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      Data Preparation for West Nile Virus Agent-Based Modelling: Protocol for Processing Bird Population Estimates and Incorporating ArcMap in AnyLogic


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          West Nile Virus (WNV) was first isolated in 1937. Since the 1950s, many outbreaks have occurred in various countries. The first appearance of infected birds in Manitoba, Canada was in 2002.


          This paper describes the data preparation phase of setting up a geographic information system (GIS) simulation environment for WNV Agent-Based Modelling in Manitoba.


          The main technology used in this protocol is based on AnyLogic and ArcGIS software. A diverse variety of topics and techniques regarding the data collection phase are presented, as modelling WNV has many disparate attributes, including landscape and weather impacts on mosquito population dynamics and birds’ roosting locations, population count, and movement patterns.


          Different maps were combined to create a grid land cover map of Manitoba, Canada in a shapefile format compatible with AnyLogic, in order to modulate mosquito parameters. A significant amount of data regarding 152 bird species, along with their population estimates and locations in Manitoba, were gathered and assembled. Municipality shapefile maps were converted to built-in AnyLogic GIS regions for better compatibility with census data and initial placement of human agents. Accessing shapefiles and their databases in AnyLogic are also discussed.


          AnyLogic simulation software in combination with Esri ArcGIS provides a powerful toolbox for developers and modellers to simulate almost any GIS-based environment or process. This research should be useful to others working on a variety of mosquito-borne diseases (eg, Zika, dengue, and chikungunya) by demonstrating the importance of data relating to Manitoba and/or introducing procedures to compile such data.

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          Most cited references45

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          Spatial agent-based models for socio-ecological systems: Challenges and prospects

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            A mathematical model for assessing control strategies against West Nile virus.

            Since its incursion into North America in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has spread rapidly across the continent resulting in numerous human infections and deaths. Owing to the absence of an effective diagnostic test and therapeutic treatment against WNV, public health officials have focussed on the use of preventive measures in an attempt to halt the spread of WNV in humans. The aim of this paper is to use mathematical modelling and analysis to assess two main anti-WNV preventive strategies, namely: mosquito reduction strategies and personal protection. We propose a single-season ordinary differential equation model for the transmission dynamics of WNV in a mosquito-bird-human community, with birds as reservoir hosts and culicine mosquitoes as vectors. The model exhibits two equilibria; namely the disease-free equilibrium and a unique endemic equilibrium. Stability analysis of the model shows that the disease-free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable if a certain threshold quantity (R0), which depends solely on parameters associated with the mosquito-bird cycle, is less than unity. The public health implication of this is that WNV can be eradicated from the mosquito-bird cycle (and, consequently, from the human population) if the adopted mosquito reduction strategy (or strategies) can make R0 1, then the unique endemic equilibrium is globally stable for small WNV-induced avian mortality. Thus, in this case, WNV persists in the mosquito-bird population.
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              Birds, migration and emerging zoonoses: west nile virus, lyme disease, influenza A and enteropathogens.

              Wild birds are important to public health because they carry emerging zoonotic pathogens, either as a reservoir host or by dispersing infected arthropod vectors. In addition, bird migration provides a mechanism for the establishment of new endemic foci of disease at great distances from where an infection was acquired. Birds are central to the epidemiology of West Nile virus (WNV) because they are the main amplifying host of the virus in nature. The initial spread of WNV in the U.S. along the eastern seaboard coincided with a major bird migration corridor. The subsequent rapid movement of the virus inland could have been facilitated by the elliptical migration routes used by many songbirds. A number of bird species can be infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, but most are not competent to transmit the infection to Ixodes ticks. The major role birds play in the geographic expansion of Lyme disease is as dispersers of B. burgdorferi-infected ticks. Aquatic waterfowl are asymptomatic carriers of essentially all hemagglutinin and neuraminidase combinations of influenza A virus. Avian influenza strains do not usually replicate well in humans, but they can undergo genetic reassortment with human strains that co-infect pigs. This can result in new strains with a marked increase in virulence for humans. Wild birds can acquire enteropathogens, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter spp., by feeding on raw sewage and garbage, and can spread these agents to humans directly or by contaminating commercial poultry operations. Conversely, wild birds can acquire drug-resistant enteropathogens from farms and spread these strains along migration routes. Birds contribute to the global spread of emerging infectious diseases in a manner analogous to humans traveling on aircraft. A better understanding of avian migration patterns and infectious diseases of birds would be useful in helping to predict future outbreaks of infections due to emerging zoonotic pathogens.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                July 2017
                17 July 2017
                : 6
                : 7
                : e138
                [1] 1 University of Manitoba Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Winnipeg, MB Canada
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Hamid Reza Nasrinpour Hamid.Nasrinpour@ 123456UManitoba.CA
                Author information
                ©Hamid Reza Nasrinpour, Alexander A Reimer, Marcia R Friesen, Robert D McLeod. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 17.07.2017.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 16 June 2016
                : 4 October 2016
                : 12 October 2016
                : 5 June 2017

                anylogic,shapefiles,arcmap,west nile virus,land cover,bird roosts,bird home range,manitoba


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