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Coproduction and modeling spatial contact networks prevent bias about infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus transmission for Snake River Basin salmonids

February 11, 2023

Much remains unknown about variation in pathogen transmission across the geographic range of a free-ranging fish or animal species and about the influence of movement (associated with husbandry practices or animal behavior) on pathogen transmission. Salmonid hatcheries are an ideal system in which to study these processes. Salmonid hatcheries are managed for endangered species recovery, supplementation of threatened or at-risk fish stocks, support of fisheries, and ecosystem stability. Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a rhabdovirus of significant concern to salmon aquaculture. Landscape IHNV transmission dynamics previously had been estimated only for salmonid hatcheries in the Lower Columbia River Basin (LCRB). The objectives of this study were to estimate IHNV transmission dynamics in a unique geographic region, the Snake River Basin (SRB), and to quantitatively estimate the effect of model coproduction on inference because previous assessments of coproduction have been qualitative. In contrast to the LCRB, the SRB has hatchery complexes consisting of a main hatchery and ≥1 satellite facility. Knowledge about hatchery complexes was held by a subset of project researchers but would not have been available to project modelers without coproduction. Project modelers generated and tested multiple versions of Bayesian susceptible-exposedinfected models to realistically represent the SRB and estimate the effect of coproduction. Models estimated the frequency of transmission routes, route-specific infection probabilities, and infection probabilities for combinations of salmonid hosts and IHNV lineages. Model results indicated that in the SRB, avoiding exposure to IHNV-positive adult salmonids is the most important action to prevent juvenile infections. Migrating adult salmonids exposed juvenile cohort-sites most frequently, and the infection probability was greatest following exposure to migrating adults. Without coproduction, the frequency of exposure by migrating adults would have been overestimated by 70 cohort-sites, and the infection probability following exposure to migrating adults would have been underestimated by∼0.09. The coproduced model had less uncertainty in the infection probability if no transmission route could be identified (Bayesian credible interval (BCI) width = 0.12) compared to the model without coproduction (BCI width = 0.34). Evidence for virus lineage MD specialization on steelhead and rainbow trout (both Oncorhynchus mykiss) was apparent without model coproduction. In the SRB, we found a greater probability of virus lineage UC infection in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) compared to in O. mykiss, whereas in the LCRB, UC more clearly exhibited a generalist approach. Coproduction influenced estimates that depended on transmission routes, which operated differently at main hatcheries and satellite sites within hatchery complexes. Hatchery complexes are found outside of the SRB and are not specific to salmonid hatcheries alone. There is great potential for coproduction and modeling spatial contact networks to advance understanding about infectious disease transmission in complex production systems and surrounding free-ranging animal populations.

Publication Year 2023
Title Coproduction and modeling spatial contact networks prevent bias about infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus transmission for Snake River Basin salmonids
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.117415
Authors Jeffrey P. Mattheiss, Rachel Breyta, Gael Kurath, Shannon L. LaDeau, David James Páez, Paige F. B. Ferguson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Environmental Management
Index ID 70247094
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center