Rabies Persistence in Vampire Bats by Prof. Julie Blackwood

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 1:00pm to 1:45pm

Bronfman Science Center, 106 18 Hoxsey St, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA

Rabies Persistence in Vampire Bats by Prof. Julie Blackwood

Immunity, Pathogenesis and Immigration

Mathematics and Statistics Department Faculty Seminar

Abstract:  Bats are a frequent source of pathogen spillover to humans and livestock and a reservoir for emerging infectious diseases. Transmission mechanisms within bat populations remain enigmatic, precluding effective management of zoonotic transmission. Vampire bats transmit rabies virus throughout Latin America, causing lethal human rabies and thousands of livestock deaths every year. By selecting among competing transmission models applied to spatially replicated longitudinal field data, we find that most rabies virus exposures are non-lethal and instead immunize bats, thus facilitating viral persistence. Further, frequent interactions among bats from different colonies are necessary to maintain the chain of transmission. We also evaluate the efficacy of bat culling and demonstrate that it has minimal effects on seroprevalence when spatially coordinated control is absent.

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Mathematics & Statistics

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