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AEI 12:511-527 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00379

Spatial epidemiological modelling of infection by Vibrio aestuarianus shows that connectivity and temperature control oyster mortality

Coralie Lupo1,*, Bhagat Lal Dutta1, Sébastien Petton2, Pauline Ezanno3, Delphine Tourbiez1, Marie-Agnès Travers1,4, Fabrice Pernet2, Cédric Bacher5

1Ifremer, SG2M, F-17390 La Tremblade, France
2Université Brest, Ifremer, CNRS, IRD, LEMAR, 29840 Plouzané, France
3INRAE, Oniris, BIOEPAR, 44300 Nantes, France
4Université Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, UPVD, IHPE, 34000 Montpellier, France
5Ifremer, DYNECO, F-29580 Plouzané, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Vibrio aestuarianus infection in oyster populations causes massive mortality, resulting in losses for oyster farmers. Such dynamics result from host-pathogen interactions and contagion through water-borne transmission. To assess the spatiotemporal spread of V. aestuarianus infection and associated oyster mortality at a bay scale, we built a mathematical model informed by experimental infection data at 2 temperatures and spatially dependent marine connectivity of oyster farms. We applied the model to a real system and tested the importance of each factor using a number of modelling scenarios. Results suggest that introducing V. aestuarianus in a fully susceptible adult oyster population in the bay would lead to the mortality of all farmed oysters over 6 to 12 mo, depending on the location in which infection was initiated. The effect of temperature was captured by the basic reproduction number (R0), which was >1 at high seawater temperatures, as opposed to values <1 at low temperatures. At the ecosystem scale, simulations showed the existence of long-distance dispersal of free-living bacteria. The western part of the bay could be reached by bacteria originating from the eastern side, though the spread time was greatly increased. Further developments of the model, including the consideration of the anthropogenic movements of oysters and oyster-specific sensitivity factors, would allow the development of accurate maps of epidemiological risks and help define aquaculture zoning.


KEY WORDS: Basic reproduction number · Crassostrea gigas · Hydrodynamics · Oyster disease · Sensitivity analysis · Vibrio aestuarianus


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Cite this article as: Lupo C, Dutta BL, Petton S, Ezanno P and others (2020) Spatial epidemiological modelling of infection by Vibrio aestuarianus shows that connectivity and temperature control oyster mortality. Aquacult Environ Interact 12:511-527. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00379

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