Bluetongue virus spread in Europe is a consequence of climatic, landscape and vertebrate host factors as revealed by phylogeographic inference

Jacquot, M. , Nomikou, K., Palmarini, M. , Mertens, P. and Biek, R. (2017) Bluetongue virus spread in Europe is a consequence of climatic, landscape and vertebrate host factors as revealed by phylogeographic inference. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 284(1864), 20170919. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.0919) (PMID:29021180) (PMCID:PMC5647287)

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Abstract

Spatio-temporal patterns of the spread of infectious diseases are commonly driven by environmental and ecological factors. This is particularly true for vector-borne diseases because vector populations can be strongly affected by host distribution as well as by climatic and landscape variables. Here, we aim to identify environmental drivers for bluetongue virus (BTV), the causative agent of a major vector-borne disease of ruminants that has emerged multiple times in Europe in recent decades. In order to determine the importance of climatic, landscape and host-related factors affecting BTV diffusion across Europe, we fitted different phylogeographic models to a dataset of 113 time-stamped and geo-referenced BTV genomes, representing multiple strains and serotypes. Diffusion models using continuous space revealed that terrestrial habitat below 300 m altitude, wind direction and higher livestock densities were associated with faster BTV movement. Results of discrete phylogeographic analysis involving generalized linear models broadly supported these findings, but varied considerably with the level of spatial partitioning. Contrary to common perception, we found no evidence for average temperature having a positive effect on BTV diffusion, though both methodological and biological reasons could be responsible for this result. Our study provides important insights into the drivers of BTV transmission at the landscape scale that could inform predictive models of viral spread and have implications for designing control strategies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jacquot, Dr Maude and Biek, Dr Roman and Mertens, Professor Peter Paul Clem and Palmarini, Professor Massimo and Nomikou, Dr Kyriaki
Authors: Jacquot, M., Nomikou, K., Palmarini, M., Mertens, P., and Biek, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 284(1864):20170919
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
544122Phylogeography, transmission dynamics and pathogenesis of bluetongueMassimo PalmariniWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)092806/Z/10/ZMVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH