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HP8 Emerging Agents, Detection, and Emergency Response
(624) Metapopulation models of bubonic plague in black tailed prairie dogs.
Cox, S1, Presley, S1, Pepper, C, 1 The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Lubbock, Texas, USA
ABSTRACT- Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are increasingly associated with urban and suburban residential areas in the southwestern U.S. and are particularly vulnerable to plague (Yersinia pestis) epizootics. Moreover, plague has been identified as a Category A biological threat agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Introduced epizootic plague in species associated with urban environments, such as prairie dogs, increases the likelihood of disease crossover into the human population. Thus, we developed spatially explicit models to predict the effects of epizootic plague die-offs of black-tailed prairie dogs, prairie dog colony dynamics, vector population trends, and the resultant threat of Y. pestis to human populations related to these combined factors. Model results suggest that information on the degree of domestic animal contact with prairie dogs and their fleas, as well as the degree of colony isolation, are critical to managing potentially devastating epizootic outbreaks of plague.
Key words: metapopulation, bioterrorism, plague, praire dog
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