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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378669

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Using geospatial methods to measure the risk of environmental persistence of avian influenza virus in South Carolina

item STENKAMP-STRAHM, CHLOE - Colorado State University
item PATYK, KELLY - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item MCCOOL-EYE, MARY JANE - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item FOX, ANDREW - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Humphreys, John
item JAMES, ANGELA - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item SOUTH, DAVID - Colorado State University
item MAGZAMEN, SHERYL - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2020
Publication Date: 5/19/2020
Citation: Stenkamp-Strahm, C.M., Patyk, K., McCool-Eye, M., Fox, A., Humphreys Jr, J.M., James, A.M., South, D., Magzamen, S.L. 2020. Using geospatial methods to measure the risk of environmental persistence of avian influenza virus in South Carolina. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology. 34:100342.

Interpretive Summary: Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) have a wide host range and are capable of infecting many wild and domestic animals. If introduced into a domestic poultry operation, AIVs can subsequently spread to other poultry facilities through the movement of birds, people, and equipment, or even by airborne or local areal transmission. Avian influenza outbreaks in domestic poultry can have severe local, regional, and national level economic impacts and adversely affect the agricultural industry. Although environmental factors (e.g., water presence, distances to lakes and wetlands, annual temperature, precipitation, type of land cover, freeze/thaw dates) have been shown to impact both the level of infection in poultry and the propagation of AIV during outbreaks, modeling efforts to date have yet to specifically focus on how these factors impact environmental virus survivability from a spatial context. To address this knowledge gap, the primary objective of this study was to use geospatial methods to determine AIV environmental persistence risk and to infer the risk of AIV introduction to domestic poultry facilities. The geospatial methods described in this publication are broadly applicable to a variety of diseases affecting agricultural systems, including West Nile Disease and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Technical Abstract: Avian influenza (AIV) is a highly contagious virus that can infect both wild birds and domestic poultry. This study aimed to define areas within the state of South Carolina (SC) at heightened risk for environmental persistence of AIV using geospatial methods. Environmental factors known to influence AIV survival were identified through the published literature and using a multi-criteria decision analysis with GIS was performed. Risk was defined using five categories following the World Organization for Animal Health Risk Assessment Guidelines. Less than 1% of 1km grid cells in SC showed a high risk of AIV per- sistence. Approximately 2% - 17% of counties with high or very high environmental risk also had medium to very high numbers of commercial poultry operations. Results can be used to improve surveillance activities and to inform biosecurity practices and emergency preparedness efforts.