Volume 77, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The ecology and distribution of is poorly understood despite continued anthrax outbreaks in wildlife and livestock throughout the United States. Little work is available to define the potential environments that may lead to prolonged spore survival and subsequent outbreaks. This study used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction modeling system to model the ecological niche for in the contiguous United States using wildlife and livestock outbreaks and several environmental variables. The modeled niche is defined by a narrow range of normalized difference vegetation index, precipitation, and elevation, with the geographic distribution heavily concentrated in a narrow corridor from southwest Texas northward into the Dakotas and Minnesota. Because disease control programs rely on vaccination and carcass disposal, and vaccination in wildlife remains untenable, understanding the distribution of plays an important role in efforts to prevent/eradicate the disease. Likewise, these results potentially aid in differentiating endemic/natural outbreaks from industrial-contamination related outbreaks or bioterrorist attacks.


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  • Received : 05 Jul 2007
  • Accepted : 24 Aug 2007

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