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PUBLICATION NOTICE: Species Distribution Modeling of Ixodes scapularis and Associated Pathogens in States East of the Mississippi River

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published April 14, 2020



Report Number: ERDC/GRL TR-20-2

Title: Species Distribution Modeling of Ixodes scapularis and Associated Pathogens in States East of the Mississippi River

By Kathleen V. Payne, Sean P. Griffin, Susan L. Lyon, Robin E. Lopez, and Nicole M. Wayant

Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited February 2020

Abstract: The purpose of this technical report is to present results of an investigation of the spatial distribution of the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the three parasites it carries that cause serious diseases (Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis) in humans. The study used the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) species niche modeling technique to produce maps predicting the probability of the presence of Ixodes scapularis in the eastern United States. The model makes predictions based on tick and disease surveillance data from the Army Public Health Center, and environmental data collected from satellite remote sensing platforms. Geospatial analysis was also used to locate patterns between the disease-causing parasites. The resulting prediction maps of deer tick location can be used to inform vector interception planning, which attempts to lower the risk of disease-carrying ticks from infecting humans. The maps comparing the spatial distribution of the diseases related to deer ticks can be used as a launch point for further public health study into the drivers behind parasite spread, or to direct treatment resources.

38 pages / 3.6 Mb

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