Climate Change Could Increase the Geographic Extent of Hendra Virus Spillover Risk
Web of Science
AuthorMartin, G; Yanez-Arenas, C; Chen, C; Plowright, RK; Webb, RJ; Skerratt, LF
University of Melbourne Author/sSkerratt, Lee
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMartin, G., Yanez-Arenas, C., Chen, C., Plowright, R. K., Webb, R. J. & Skerratt, L. F. (2018). Climate Change Could Increase the Geographic Extent of Hendra Virus Spillover Risk. ECOHEALTH, 15 (3), pp.509-525. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-018-1322-9.
Access StatusOpen Access
Disease risk mapping is important for predicting and mitigating impacts of bat-borne viruses, including Hendra virus (Paramyxoviridae:Henipavirus), that can spillover to domestic animals and thence to humans. We produced two models to estimate areas at potential risk of HeV spillover explained by the climatic suitability for its flying fox reservoir hosts, Pteropus alecto and P. conspicillatus. We included additional climatic variables that might affect spillover risk through other biological processes (such as bat or horse behaviour, plant phenology and bat foraging habitat). Models were fit with a Poisson point process model and a log-Gaussian Cox process. In response to climate change, risk expanded southwards due to an expansion of P. alecto suitable habitat, which increased the number of horses at risk by 175-260% (110,000-165,000). In the northern limits of the current distribution, spillover risk was highly uncertain because of model extrapolation to novel climatic conditions. The extent of areas at risk of spillover from P. conspicillatus was predicted shrink. Due to a likely expansion of P. alecto into these areas, it could replace P. conspicillatus as the main HeV reservoir. We recommend: (1) HeV monitoring in bats, (2) enhancing HeV prevention in horses in areas predicted to be at risk, (3) investigate and develop mitigation strategies for areas that could experience reservoir host replacements.
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