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Assessing likely invasion sites of Zika virus-infected mosquitoes in civilian and naval maritime ports in Florida

Authors Kollars TM

Received 29 September 2016

Accepted for publication 16 November 2016

Published 7 January 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 1—6


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Unnasch

Thomas M Kollars

College of Health Sciences, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, USA

Abstract: Several mosquito species are capable of invading new geographic regions and exploiting niches that are similar to their natural home ranges where they may introduce, or reintroduce, pathogens. In addition to initial invasion, introduction of new genotypes into established populations may also occur. Zika virus is spreading throughout the world, posing significant health risks to human populations, particularly pregnant women and their infants. The first locally acquired case of Zika virus in the US occurred in July 2016 in Miami, Florida on the Atlantic coast; the first locally acquired case in another US county occurred in the Tampa, Florida area. Three port cities in Florida were chosen to assess the risk of import and spread of Zika virus: Mayport Naval Station, Miami, and Tampa. The bioagent transport and enviromental modeling system TIGER model and ArcGIS were used to analyze abiotic and biotic factors influencing potentially Zika-infected Aedes species, should they enter through these ports. The model was tested by overlaying documented and suspected concurrent Zika cases and comparing published high-risk areas for Zika virus. In addition to Zika hot zones being identified, output indicates surveillance and integrated mosquito management should expect larger zones. Surveillance sites at ports should be identified and prioritized for pathogen and vector control to reduce the import of mosquitoes infected with Zika virus. Low resolution maps often provide valuable suitability of the geographic expansion of organisms. Providing a higher resolution predictive map, identifying probable routes of invasion, and providing areas at high risk for initial invasion and control zones, will aid in controlling and perhaps eliminating the spread of arboviruses through mosquito vectors.

Keywords: Aedes, Zika virus, invasive species, maritime ports, biological agents arbovirus, Geographic Information System

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