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Use of high spatial resolution satellite imagery to characterize landscape at risk for bluetongue

Guis H., Tran A., De La Rocque S., Baldet T., Gerbier G., Barragué B., Biteau-Coroller F., Roger F., Viel J.F., Mauny F.. 2007. Veterinary Research, 38 : p. 669-683.

DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2007025

The recent and rapid spread in the Mediterranean Basin of bluetongue, a viral disease of ruminants transmitted by some species of Culicoides (biting midges), highlights the necessity of determining the conditions of its emergence. This study uses high spatial resolution satellite imagery and methods from landscape ecology science to identify environmental parameters related to bluetongue occurrence in Corsica, a French Mediterranean island where the disease occurred for the first time in 2000. A set of environmental variables recorded in the neighborhood of 80 sheep farms were related to case occurrence through a logistic regression model computed within three subsequent buffer distances of 0.5, 1 and 2 km. The results reveal the role of landscape metrics, particularly those characterizing land-use units such as prairies and woodlands, as well as farm type, latitude and sunshine to explain the presence of bluetongue. Internal and external validation both indicate that the best results are obtained with the 1 km buffer size model (area under Receiver Operating Characteristic curve = 0.9 for internal validation and 0.81 for external validation). The results show that high spatial resolution remote sensing (i.e. 10 m pixels) and landscape ecology approaches contribute to improving the understanding of bluetongue epidemiology.

Mots-clés : fièvre catarrhale du mouton; culicoides; Épidémiologie; télédétection; facteur du milieu; paysage; zone méditerranéenne; végétation; Écologie; corse; france; Émergence

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