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Where are the horses? With the sheep or cows? Uncertain host location, vector-feeding preferences and the risk of African horse sickness transmission in Great Britain

Lo Iacono, Giovanni, Robin, Charlotte A., Newton, J. Richard, Gubbins, Simon and Wood, James L. N. (2013) Where are the horses? With the sheep or cows? Uncertain host location, vector-feeding preferences and the risk of African horse sickness transmission in Great Britain Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 10 (83).

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Abstract

Understanding the influence of non-susceptible hosts on vector-borne disease transmission is an important epidemiological problem. However, investigation of its impact can be complicated by uncertainty in the location of the hosts. Estimating the risk of transmission of African horse sickness (AHS) in Great Britain (GB), a virus transmitted by Culicoides biting midges, provides an insightful example because: (i) the patterns of risk are expected to be influenced by the presence of non-susceptible vertebrate hosts (cattle and sheep) and (ii) incomplete information on the spatial distribution of horses is available because the GB National Equine Database records owner, rather than horse, locations. Here, we combine land-use data with available horse owner distributions and, using a Bayesian approach, infer a realistic distribution for the location of horses. We estimate the risk of an outbreak of AHS in GB, using the basic reproduction number (R0), and demonstrate that mapping owner addresses as a proxy for horse location significantly underestimates the risk. We clarify the role of non-susceptible vertebrate hosts by showing that the risk of disease in the presence of many hosts (susceptible and non-susceptible) can be ultimately reduced to two fundamental factors: first, the abundance of vectors and how this depends on host density, and, second, the differential feeding preference of vectors among animal species.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Lo Iacono, Giovannig.loiacono@surrey.ac.uk
Robin, Charlotte A.
Newton, J. Richard
Gubbins, Simon
Wood, James L. N.
Date : 17 April 2013
Funders : Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Identification Number : 10.1098/rsif.2013.0194
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2013 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Epidemiology; Dilution effect; Vector-borne disease; Basic reproduction number; Culicoides
Depositing User : Karen Garland
Date Deposited : 22 Nov 2017 13:38
Last Modified : 19 Apr 2018 14:45
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/844928

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