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Modelling temporal dynamics of Culicoides populations on Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) vectors of viruses of veterinary importance

Grimaud Y., Guis H., Boucher F., Chiroleu F., Tran A., Rakotoarivony I., Duhayon M., Cetre-Sossah C., Esnault O., Garros C.. 2018. In : 21st E-SOVE (European Society for Vector Ecology) Meeting Abstract Book. Arthropod Vector Science for the benefit of society: Educate, Empathize, Engage. Palermo : ESOVE, p. 118-118. E-SOVE (European Society for Vector Ecology) Meeting. 21, 2018-10-22/2018-10-26, Palermo (Italie).

Reunion Island regularly faces outbreaks of epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) and bluetongue (BT), two viral diseases transmitted by haematophagous midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to animals of economic importance such as cattle, sheep and goats. To date, ¿ve species of Culicoides are recorded in Reunion Island: Culicoides bolitinos, C. enderleini, C. grahamii, C. imicola, and C. kibatiensis. Although epizootics and Culi-coides diversity are already well documented, abundance and seasonality of the ¿ve species are not. According to a recent viral screening of local Culicoides populations (unpublished data), at least four species are involved in the transmission of each virus. Therefore, cha-racterizing the risk period by modelling the temporal dynamics of the ¿ve Culicoides species is a key step to better understand BT and EHD epidemiology and improve their control. Between 2016 and 2018, 55 biweekly Culicoides catches using OVI traps were set up in 11 sites. A hurdle model (i.e. a presence/absence model combined with an abundance model) was developed for each species in order to determine climatic and environmental drivers of presence and abundance of Culicoides. Regarding abundance, average Culicoides catch per site ranges from 4 to 45,875 individuals. Also, diversity differ between sites with C. imicola being dominant at low altitude and C. kiba-tiensis at high altitude. A marked seasonality is observed for the 3 other species. Eleven me-teorological and environmental determinants were used to model presence and abundan-ce of each species: temperature, humidity, rain, wind, global radiation, vegetation index, eco-climatic area, land use, farm density, animal density and length of nearby watercourse. The association of these determinants to explain presence and/or abundance depends on the species, but each plays a role in at least one species. This is the first study to model Culicoides population dynamics in Reunion Island. In the absence of vaccination and vector control strategies, determining periods of high abundance of Culicoides is a crucial first step towards identifying periods at high risk of transmission for both viruses.

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