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Developing a temperature-driven map of the basic reproductive number of the emerging tick vector of Lyme disease Ixodes scapularis in Canada.

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A mechanistic model of the tick vector of
Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis, was adapted to a deterministic structure. Using temperature normals smoothed by Fourier analysis to generate seasonal temperature-driven development rates and host biting rates, and a next generation matrix approach, the model was used to obtain values for the basic reproduction number (R(0)) for I. scapularis at locations in southern Canada where the tick is established and emerging. The R(0) at Long Point, Point Pelee and Chatham sites where I. scapularis are established, was estimated at 1.5, 3.19 and 3.65, respectively. The threshold temperature conditions for tick population survival (R(0)=1) were shown to be the same as those identified using the mechanistic model (2800-3100 cumulative annual degree days >0°C), and a map of R(0) for I. scapularis, the first such map for an arthropod vector, was drawn for Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. This map supports current risk assessments for
Lyme disease risk emergence in Canada. Sensitivity analysis identified host abundance, tick development rates and summer temperatures as highly influential variables in the model, which is consistent with our current knowledge of the biology of this tick. The development of a deterministic model for I. scapularis that is capable of providing values for R(0) is a key step in our evolving ability to develop tools for assessment of
Lyme disease risk emergence and for development of public health policies on surveillance, prevention and control.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

J Theor Biol. 2013 Feb 21;319:50-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.11.014. Epub 2012 Dec 1. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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