This work develops a methodology for estimating risk of wind-borne introduction of flying insects into a country, identifying areas and periods of high risk of vector-borne diseases incursion. This risk can be characterized by the role of suitable temperatures and wind currents in small insects’ survival and movements, respectively. The model predicts the number density of introduced insects over space and time based on three processes: the advection due to wind currents, the deposition on the ground and the survival due to climatic conditions. Spanish livestock has suffered many bluetongue outbreaks since 2004 and numerous experts point to Culicoides transported by wind from affected areas in North Africa as a possible cause. This work implements numerical experiments simulating the introduction of Culicoides in 2004. The model identified southern and eastern Spain, particularly between June and November, as being at greatest risk of wind-borne Culicoides introduction, which matches field data on bluetongue outbreaks in Spain this year. This validation suggests that this model may be useful for predicting introduction of airborne pathogens of significance to animal productivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)