Modelling Carpageddon - the deliberate release of CyHV-3

11 Jul 2018, 10:50
New Law School/--028 (University of Sydney)

New Law School/--028

University of Sydney

Oral Presentation Disease - infectious Animal interactions & epidemiology


Dr Stephen Davis (RMIT University)


The deliberate release of Cyprinid herpes virus 3 (CyHV-3) to control invasive common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in the Murray-Darling Basin of south-eastern Australia has been dubbed `Carpageddon' and is highly controversial. Common carp now represent up to 90% of the biomass in invaded waterways and mortality rates of 70-80% have been observed during outbreaks of CyHV-3 in the northern hemisphere. Hence, the release of CyHV-3 carries the risk that decomposition following mass-mortality of carp may lead to severe oxygen depletion and subsequent anoxic events. I will present mathematical modelling that is the basis for (i) developing a low-risk release strategy, and (ii) advice to the Australian government on the long-term benefits of releasing the virus. The model couples a stage based demographic model with an SEIR-type model; recruitment of young carp is determined by available spawning habitat and the river system hydrology. We show that the long-term virus impact and the dynamics predicted by the model depend largely on the presence of a latent class that allows for virus reactivation and onward infection. The impact of CyHV-3 is also sensitive to where density-dependence occurs in the life cycle of carp because of the potential for virus mortality to either replace, or be in addition to, density-dependent mortality.

Primary authors

Dr Stephen Davis (RMIT University) Dr Arathi Arakala (RMIT University) Dr Ken McColl (CSIRO) Mrs Kerryne Graham (CSIRO) Dr Jessica Hopf (RMIT University) Dr Peter Durr (CSIRO)

Presentation Materials

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