Principal climatic and edaphic determinants of Culicoides biting midge abundance during the 2007-2008 bluetongue epidemic in the Netherlands, based on OVI light trap data

F. Scolamacchia, J. van den Broek, R. Meiswinkel, J.A.P. Heesterbeek, A.R.W. Elbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Palaearctic Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) represent a vital link in the northward advance of certain arboviral pathogens of livestock such as that caused by bluetongue virus. The effects of relevant ecological factors on weekly Culicoides vector abundances during the bluetongue virus serotype 8 epidemics in the Netherlands in 2007 and 2008 were quantified within a hurdle modelling framework. The relative role of meteorological parameters showed a broadly consistent association across species, with larger catches linked to temperature-related variables and lower wind speed. Moreover, vector abundance was found to be influenced by edaphic factors, likely related to species-specific breeding habitat preferences that differed markedly amongst some species. This is the first study on Culicoides vector species in the Netherlands identified during an entomological surveillance programme, in which an attempt is made to pinpoint the factors that influence midge abundance levels. In addition to providing key inputs into risk-mitigating tools for midge-borne pathogens and disease transmission models, the adoption of methods that explicitly address certain features of abundance datasets (frequent zero-count observations and over-dispersion) helped enhance the robustness of the ecological analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • african horse sickness
  • obsoletus group diptera
  • spatial-distribution
  • satellite imagery
  • northern europe
  • abiotic factors
  • virus vector
  • serotype 8
  • ceratopogonidae
  • imicola

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