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Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a spongiform encephalopathy disease caused by the transmission of infectious prion agents. CWD is a fatal disease that affects wild and farmed cervids in North America with few cases reported overseas. Social interaction of cervids, feeding practices by wildlife keepers and climate effects on the environmental carrying capacity all can affect CWD transmission in deer. Wildlife deer game hunting is economically important to the semi-arid South Texas region and is affected by climate change. In this paper, we model and investigate the effect of climate change on the spread of CWD using typical climate scenarios. We use a system of impulsive differential equations to depict the transmission of CWD between different age groups and gender of cervids. The carrying capacity and contact rates are assumed to depend on climate. Due to the polygamy of bucks, we use mating rates that depend on the number of bucks and does. We analyze the stability of the model and use simulations to study the effect of harvesting (culling) on eradicating the disease, given the climate of South Texas. We use typical climate change scenarios based on published data and our assumptions. For the climate indicator, we calculated and utilized the Standard Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). We found that climate change might hinder the efforts to reduce and effectively manage CWD as it becomes endemic to South Texas. The model shows the extinction of the deer population from this region is a likely outcome.


© 2022 Islam, Bulut, Feria-Arroyo, Tyshenko and Oraby. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Frontiers in Epidemiology





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