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Spatial epidemiology model can explain the seasonal dynamics of infectious disease Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) by thermoregulation behavior of the host, common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

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For ectotherms, habitat temperature is one of the most fundamental factors responsible for disease dynamics. Therefore, temperature-dependent habitat selection of hosts could alter their susceptibility to pathogens. Here, we examined the effect of host behavior in the fluctuating thermal regime on disease dynamics, by a dynamical modeling with field surveys. Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) was used as a model disease, which is a mass mortality agent of common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Telemetry analysis revealed that carp shifted their location according to the temporal fluctuations of the thermal regime in the habitat, suggesting a preference for specific temperatures. Numerical simulation using a disease transmission model reproduced the characteristic bimodal seasonal trends of infection rate to CyHV-3. The simulation demonstrated that the temperature preference of individual carp was central in determining whether the temperature-dependent behavior ameliorates or exacerbates disease severity. Moreover, it also demonstrated that increases in the fraction of warmer coastal areas can mitigate the impact of CyHV-3 on the carp population by promoting the acquisition of immunity. Our findings suggest that the prevalence of infectious disease in poikilothermic animals can be regulated by the combined effects of the thermal regime of their habitat and the host’s thermally induced behavior.

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We express our sincere gratitude to Notogawa Fisheries Union, Higashi-Omi, Shiga, Japan, for their support in field activities. We also thank Drs. Yasushi Mitsunaga, Kazuhoshi Komeyama, Takeshi Yamane, Yoshio Kunimune (Kindai University), and Yuya Makiguchi (Hokkaido University) for their instructions related to the telemetry survey. We are grateful to Dr. Thomas Ting Lei (Ryukoku University) for helpful comments on the manuscript. Our radio telemetry study was conducted with the permission of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. We declare that all experiments in this study comply with the current laws of Japan.


This research was supported by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (project number C-06) and by a research fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Young Scientists to K.U. and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 20K03750 to Y.S.

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Zen’ichiro Kawabata, Hiroki Yamanaka, Toshifumi Minamoto, Atsushi Sogabe, and Koji Omori designed the empirical part of this study. Researchers above conducted the field survey with the help of Kimiko Uchii, Mie N. Honjo, Alata A. Suzuki, and Yukihiro Kohmatsu. Hiroki Yamanaka and Toshifumi Minamoto conducted the DNA analysis. Takeshi Miki and Yasuhisa Saito developed and analyzed the model. Takeshi Miki, Kimiko Uchii, Hiroki Yamanaka, and Toshifumi Minamoto wrote the main manuscript text and prepared the figures. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Takeshi Miki or Hiroki Yamanaka.

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Miki, T., Yamanaka, H., Sogabe, A. et al. Spatial epidemiology model can explain the seasonal dynamics of infectious disease Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) by thermoregulation behavior of the host, common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Theor Ecol 16, 195–208 (2023).

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