Long-distance aerial dispersal modelling of Culicoides biting midges: case studies of incursions into Australia

Eagles, Debbie, Melville, Lorna, Weir, Richard, Davis, Steven, Bellis, Glenn, Zalucki, Myron P., Walker, Peter J. and Durr, Peter A. (2014) Long-distance aerial dispersal modelling of Culicoides biting midges: case studies of incursions into Australia. BMC Veterinary Research, 10 135: 1-10. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-135

Author Eagles, Debbie
Melville, Lorna
Weir, Richard
Davis, Steven
Bellis, Glenn
Zalucki, Myron P.
Walker, Peter J.
Durr, Peter A.
Title Long-distance aerial dispersal modelling of Culicoides biting midges: case studies of incursions into Australia
Formatted title
Long-distance aerial dispersal modelling of Culicoides biting midges: case studies of incursions into Australia
Journal name BMC Veterinary Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1746-6148
Publication date 2014-06-19
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1746-6148-10-135
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 135
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 3400 Veterinary
Abstract Migratory animals encounter suites of novel microbes as they move between disparate sites during their migrations, and are frequently implicated in the global spread of pathogens. Although wild animals have been shown to source a proportion of their gut microbiota from their environment, the susceptibility of migrants to enteric infections may be dependent upon the capacity of their gut microbiota to resist incorporating encountered microbes. To evaluate migrants' susceptibility to microbial invasion, we determined the extent of microbial sourcing from the foraging environment and examined how this influenced gut microbiota dynamics over time and space in a migratory shorebird, the Red-necked stint Calidris ruficollis. Contrary to previous studies on wild, nonmigratory hosts, we found that stint on their nonbreeding grounds obtained very little of their microbiota from their environment, with most individuals sourcing only 0.1% of gut microbes from foraging sediment. This microbial resistance was reflected at the population level by only weak compositional differences between stint flocks occupying ecologically distinct sites, and by our finding that stint that had recently migrated 10,000 km did not differ in diversity or taxonomy from those that had inhabited the same site for a full year. However, recent migrants had much greater abundances of the genus Corynebacterium, suggesting a potential microbial response to either migration or exposure to a novel environment. We conclude that the gut microbiota of stint is largely resistant to invasion from ingested microbes and that this may have implications for their susceptibility to enteric infections during migration.
Formatted abstract
Background: Previous studies investigating long-distance, wind-borne dispersal of Culicoides have utilised outbreaks of clinical disease (passive surveillance) to assess the relationship between incursion and dispersal event. In this study, species of exotic Culicoides and isolates of novel bluetongue viruses, collected as part of an active arbovirus surveillance program, were used for the first time to assess dispersal into an endemic region.

Results: A plausible dispersal event was determined for five of the six cases examined. These include exotic Culicoides specimens for which a possible dispersal event was identified within the range of two days - three weeks prior to their collection and novel bluetongue viruses for which a dispersal event was identified between one week and two months prior to their detection in cattle. The source location varied, but ranged from Lombok, in eastern Indonesia, to Timor-Leste and southern Papua New Guinea.

Conclusions: Where bluetongue virus is endemic, the concurrent use of an atmospheric dispersal model alongside existing arbovirus and Culicoides surveillance may help guide the strategic use of limited surveillance resources as well as contribute to continued model validation and refinement. Further, the value of active surveillance systems in evaluating models for long-distance dispersal is highlighted, particularly in endemic regions where knowledge of background virus and vector status is beneficial.
Keyword Culicoides
Atmospheric dispersal modelling
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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