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Tuesday, August 7 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
SYMPOSIA-05: Utilizing Animal Movement and Network Models to Understand Disease Transmission and Spread

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AUTHORS: Meggan E. Craft, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul; Evelyn H. Merrill*, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada

ABSTRACT: Disease models are a useful tool to understand disease transmission and spread, predict future disease trends, estimate epidemiological parameters, test mechanistic explanations for observed patterns, and integrate data from different scales. Network models are a type of model that is exceptionally suited for situations where some individuals, or groups of individuals, have more contacts than others. Wildlife often have heterogeneous contacts due to their spatial structure, social structure, and/or seasonal mixing patterns. For modeling CWD transmission in deer, network models could assume that deer congregate on high quality landscape patches (called 'nodes') that are identified based on resource selection metrics.  Within patches, CWD could be transmitted by direct contact between individuals as well as indirect transmission with environmentally-persisting prions. Relative risk of being infected from the environment is related to the density of animals, residence times within patches, and return patch rates.  CWD could be transmitted between patches by movements of animals between patches, and the strength of the 'edges’ between patches could be related landscape connectivity, and could vary seasonally.  In this talk we address advances in movement models of individual animals to show how movement ecology can improve predictions with respect to where hosts may be exposed, either through the environment or from other individuals. Integrating more movement-based aspects into network models may allow a further understanding of disease transmission dynamics and open the door to new questions.

458817 pdf

Tuesday August 7, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Assembly Hall C

Attendees (8)