Modeling Vaccination Strategies to Control White-Nose Syndrome in Little Brown Bat Colonies
Dr. Alex Capaldi
Arts and Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics
0000-0003-2942-343X, 0000-0003-1739-6059, 0000-0003-2897-4248
Since 2006, the North American bat population has been in rapid decline due to a disease, known as White-nose Syndrome (WNS), caused by an invasive fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans). The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is the most affected bat by this emerging disease in North America. We consider how best to prevent local extinctions of this species using mathematical models. A new vaccine against WNS has been under development since 2017 and thus, we analyze the effects of implementing vaccination as a control measure. We create a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Vaccinated hybrid ordinary differential equation and difference equation model informed by the phenology of little brown bats. We analyze various vaccination strategies to determine how to maximize bat survival with regard to realistic restrictions. Next, we perform a sensitivity analysis to determine the robustness of our results. Finally, we consider other possible control measures in union with vaccination to determine the optimal control strategy. We find vaccination to be the most promising control measure considered thus far.
Cornwell, Eva; Elzinga, David; and Stowe, Shelby, "Modeling Vaccination Strategies to Control White-Nose Syndrome in Little Brown Bat Colonies" (2017). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 15.