Habitat suitability and ecological niche profiling of the West Nile Virus vector, Culex pipiens, in Forsyth County, NC

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
April N. Frake (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Roy Stine

Abstract: Thought to have originated in Uganda in the late 1930's, West Nile Virus (WNV) was introduced in to North America in 1999 in New York City (Nash et. al, 2001). From its first occurrence within the United States, the virus spread across the contiguous forty-eight states and southern Canada in five years resulting in 18,000 human cases and over 700 fatalities (West Nile Virus, 2013). An important vector for the transmission of the WNV, Culex pipiens is widely distributed throughout the world with the exception of Australia and Antarctica (Farajollahi et al., 2011). This study seeks to utilize Remote Sensing, GIS, and Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) Modeling in developing a presence-only habitat probability model of the known WNV bridge vector, Cx. Pipiens in Forsyth County, North Carolina by defining ecogeographical parameters that promote the mosquito species' larval development. Mosquito sampling was conducted in sixty-nine localities across the study area over a twenty-eight week period during the 2013 breeding season (April to October). Final habitat suitability maps produced as a result of this research will serve to guide future trap placement toward areas of high Cx. pipiens presence throughout the study area in an effort to optimize vector control measures and reduce the risk of WNV transmission. MaxEnt modeling results for the predicted probability of Cx. pipiens geographical distribution in Forsyth County highlighted the largest concentrations of Cx. Pipiens habitats within and along the periphery of the Winston-Salem municipality. Secondary areas of higher probability were located in the north central portion of the county, an area marked by irrigated cropland and deciduous forest.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Culex Pipiens, Ecological Niche Modeling, MaxEnt, West Nile Virus
Culex pipiens $x Habitat $z North Carolina $z Forsyth County
West Nile virus

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