Hendra Virus Spillover is a Bimodal System Driven by Climatic Factors
Gerardo Martin, Carlos Yanez-Arenas, Raina K Plowright, Carla Chen, Billie Roberts, Lee F Skerratt
ECOHEALTH | SPRINGER | Published : 2018
Understanding environmental factors driving spatiotemporal patterns of disease can improve risk mitigation strategies. Hendra virus (HeV), discovered in Australia in 1994, spills over from bats (Pteropus sp.) to horses and thence to humans. Below latitude - 22°, almost all spillover events to horses occur during winter, and above this latitude spillover is aseasonal. We generated a statistical model of environmental drivers of HeV spillover per month. The model reproduced the spatiotemporal pattern of spillover risk between 1994 and 2015. The model was generated with an ensemble of methods for presence-absence data (boosted regression trees, random forests and logistic regression). Presences..View full abstract
The College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, was contracted by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation to undertake this research project. This research was funded by the Commonwealth of Australia, the State of New South Wales and the State of Queensland under the National Hendra Virus Research Program. HeV incident locations are by courtesy of the State of Queensland, through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Biosecurity Queensland, thanks to Dr. Craig Smith. We would also like to thank Dr David Paez and the reviewers for their valuable comments on the manuscript.