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Article

Modeling Abundance of Culicoides stellifer, a Candidate Orbivirus Vector, Indicates Nonrandom Hemorrhagic Disease Risk for White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

1
Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Florida, 3141 Turlington Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2
Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, 2055 Mowry Road, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
3
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
4
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, 200 9th St SE, Vero Beach, FL 32962, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 333 S Grand Ave, Lansing, MI 48933, USA.
Current address: USDA-ARS-NPA-Center for Grain and Animal Health Research Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases, 1515 College Ave, Manhatten, KS 66506, USA.
§
Current address: Sutter-Yuba Mosquito & Vector Control District, 701 Bogue Road, Yuba City, CA 95991, USA.
Academic Editor: Norbert Nowotny
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071328
Received: 14 June 2021 / Revised: 5 July 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 9 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus)
(1) Background: Hemorrhagic diseases in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are caused by orbiviruses and have significant economic impact on the deer ranching industry in the United States. Culicoides stellifer is a suspected vector of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), with recent field evidence from Florida, but its natural history is poorly understood. Studying the distribution and abundance of C. stellifer across the landscape can inform our knowledge of how virus transmission can occur locally. We may then target vector management strategies in areas where viral transmission can occur. (2) Methods: Here, we used an occupancy modeling approach to estimate abundance of adult C. stellifer females at various physiological states to determine habitat preferences. We then mapped midge abundance during the orbiviral disease transmission period (May–October) in Florida. (3) Results: We found that overall, midge abundance was positively associated with sites in closer proximity to large-animal feeders. Additionally, midges generally preferred mixed bottomland hardwood and agricultural/sand/water habitats. Female C. stellifer with different physiological states preferred different habitats. (4) Conclusions: The differences in habitat preferences between midges across states indicate that disease risk for deer is heterogeneous across this landscape. This can inform how effective vector management strategies should be implemented. View Full-Text
Keywords: epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus; occupancy model; Culicoides stellifer; disease transmission; vector-borne disease; spatial model; GIS epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus; occupancy model; Culicoides stellifer; disease transmission; vector-borne disease; spatial model; GIS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dinh, E.T.N.; Gomez, J.P.; Orange, J.P.; Morris, M.A.; Sayler, K.A.; McGregor, B.L.; Blosser, E.M.; Burkett-Cadena, N.D.; Wisely, S.M.; Blackburn, J.K. Modeling Abundance of Culicoides stellifer, a Candidate Orbivirus Vector, Indicates Nonrandom Hemorrhagic Disease Risk for White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Viruses 2021, 13, 1328. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071328

AMA Style

Dinh ETN, Gomez JP, Orange JP, Morris MA, Sayler KA, McGregor BL, Blosser EM, Burkett-Cadena ND, Wisely SM, Blackburn JK. Modeling Abundance of Culicoides stellifer, a Candidate Orbivirus Vector, Indicates Nonrandom Hemorrhagic Disease Risk for White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Viruses. 2021; 13(7):1328. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071328

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dinh, Emily T.N., Juan P. Gomez, Jeremy P. Orange, Max A. Morris, Katherine A. Sayler, Bethany L. McGregor, Erik M. Blosser, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena, Samantha M. Wisely, and Jason K. Blackburn 2021. "Modeling Abundance of Culicoides stellifer, a Candidate Orbivirus Vector, Indicates Nonrandom Hemorrhagic Disease Risk for White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)" Viruses 13, no. 7: 1328. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071328

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