Ecological Impacts on Dermacentor andersoni Abundance and Socioeconomic Impacts on Dermacentor Disease Incidence

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Authors
Ayers, Kaitlynn
Frans, Macie
Advisor
Hokit, Grant
Editor
Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Ecological Impacts on Dermacentor andersoni Abundance and Socioeconomic Impacts on Dermacentor Disease Incidence
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Colorado Tick Fever Virus (CTFV), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), tularemia, Q Fever, and anaplasmosis are endemic to western North America. The vector for these diseases are Dermacentor ticks, which are located across Montana. In other states, D. andersoni abundance was found to be correlated with elevation and other environmental factors. Abundance of Dermacentor ticks can increase disease incidence, and may also be associated with socioeconomic factors. Health disparities impact disadvantaged populations through preventable differences in disease burden and health opportunities. RMSF and Lyme disease have shown associations between incidence rates and social determinants of health (SDOH). This project tests for associations between SDOH and Dermacentor disease incidence and between environmental factors and D. andersoni abundance in Montana. Data on tick abundance was collected across 156 sites in Montana from 2013-2017. Random stratified sampling of D. andersoni occurred across three ecoregions: grasslands, intermountain valleys, and the Rocky Mountains. The abundance of ticks was organized into categorical levels. GIS elevation data was acquired from the EROS Data Center. Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services reports communicable diseases by county, and identified 30 counties with Dermacentor tick diseases from 2014-2018. Correlation analysis was used to test association between disease incidence and SDOH. Data for socioeconomic factors comes from the 2020 census. Using ANOVA and correlation analysis, we will present findings on the association between elevation and other environmental factors and D. andersoni abundance and SDOH and Dermacentor disease incidence in Montana.
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Biology