Abstract: The Canadian prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have generally reported the highest human incidence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Canada. In this study, environmental and biotic factors were used to predict numbers of Culex tarsalis Coquillett, which is the primary mosquito vector of WNV in this region, and prevalence of WNV infection in Cx. tarsalis in the Canadian prairies. The results showed that higher mean temperature and elevated time lagged mean temperature were associated with increased numbers of Cx. tarsalis and higher WNV infection rates. However, increasing precipitation was associated with higher abundance of Cx. tarsalis and lower WNV infection rate. In addition, this study found that increased temperature fluctuation and wetland land cover were associated with decreased infection rate in the Cx. tarsalis population. The resulting monthly models can be used to inform public health interventions by improving the predictions of population abundance of Cx. tarsalis and the transmission intensity of WNV in the Canadian prairies. Furthermore, these models can also be used to examine the potential effects of climate change on the vector population abundance and the distribution of WNV.
Keywords: West Nile virus; Culex tarsalis; geographic information system; generalized linear mixed model; environmental variables; Canadian prairie
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Chen, C.-C.; Epp, T.; Jenkins, E.; Waldner, C.; Curry, P.S.; Soos, C. Modeling Monthly Variation of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) Abundance and West Nile Virus Infection Rate in the Canadian Prairies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 3033-3051.
Chen C-C, Epp T, Jenkins E, Waldner C, Curry PS, Soos C. Modeling Monthly Variation of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) Abundance and West Nile Virus Infection Rate in the Canadian Prairies. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(7):3033-3051.
Chen, Chen-Chih; Epp, Tasha; Jenkins, Emily; Waldner, Cheryl; Curry, Philip S.; Soos, Catherine. 2013. "Modeling Monthly Variation of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) Abundance and West Nile Virus Infection Rate in the Canadian Prairies." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 7: 3033-3051.