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Modelling the distributions of Culicoides bluetongue virus vectors in Sicily in relation to satellite-derived climate variables

Purse, B.V., Tatem, A.J., Caracappa, S., Rogers, D.J., Mellor, P.S., Baylis, M. and Torina, A. (2004) Modelling the distributions of Culicoides bluetongue virus vectors in Sicily in relation to satellite-derived climate variables Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 18, (2), pp. 90-101. (PMID:15189233).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Surveillance data from 268 sites in Sicily are used to develop climatic models for prediction of the distribution of the main European bluetongue virus (BTV) vector Culicoides imicola Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and of potential novel vectors, Culicoides pulicaris Linnaeus, Culicoides obsoletus group Meigen and Culicoides newsteadi Austen. The models containing the 'best' climatic predictors of distribution for each species, were selected from combinations of 40 temporally Fourier-processed remotely sensed variables and altitude at a 1 km spatial resolution using discriminant analysis. Kappa values of around 0.6 for all species models indicated substantial levels of agreement between model predictions and observed data. Whilst the distributions of C. obsoletus group and C. newsteadi were predicted by temperature variables, those of C. pulicaris and C. imicola were determined mainly by normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a variable correlated with soil moisture and vegetation biomass and productivity. These models were used to predict species presence in unsampled pixels across Italy and for C. imicola across Europe and North Africa. The predicted continuous presence of C. pulicaris along the appenine mountains, from north to south Italy, suggests BTV transmission may be possible in a large proportion of this region and that seasonal transhumance (seasonal movement of livestock between upland and lowland pastures) even in C. imicola-free areas should not generally be considered safe. The predicted distribution of C. imicola distribution shows substantial agreement with observed surveillance data from Greece and Iberia (including the Balearics) and parts of mainland Italy (Lazio, Tuscany and areas of the Ionian coast) but is generally much more restricted than the observed distribution (in Sardinia, Corsica and Morocco). The low number of presence sites for C. imicola in Sicily meant that only a restricted range of potential C. imicola habitats were included in the training set and that predictions could only be made within this range. Future modelling exercises will use abundance data collected according to a standardized protocol across the Mediterranean and, for Sicily in particular, should include non-climatic environmental variables that may influence breeding site suitability such as soil type

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More information

Published date: June 2004
Keywords: * Culicoides obsoletus, * Culicoides pulicaris, culicoides imicola, biting midge, bluetongue, climate, discriminant analysis, distribution, risk map, sicily
Organisations: Geography & Environment, PHEW – P (Population Health)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 344443
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/344443
ISSN: 0269-283X
PURE UUID: 1f25e28a-4672-4cd5-b49e-7dcc3fc4b549
ORCID for A.J. Tatem: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7270-941X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Nov 2012 12:03
Last modified: 14 Oct 2017 08:38

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Contributors

Author: B.V. Purse
Author: A.J. Tatem ORCID iD
Author: S. Caracappa
Author: D.J. Rogers
Author: P.S. Mellor
Author: M. Baylis
Author: A. Torina

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