3 years ago

Development of genetic programming-based model for predicting oyster norovirus outbreak risks

Development of genetic programming-based model for predicting oyster norovirus outbreak risks
Oyster norovirus outbreaks pose increasing risks to human health and seafood industry worldwide but exact causes of the outbreaks are rarely identified, making it highly unlikely to reduce the risks. This paper presents a genetic programming (GP) based approach to identifying the primary cause of oyster norovirus outbreaks and predicting oyster norovirus outbreaks in order to reduce the risks. In terms of the primary cause, it was found that oyster norovirus outbreaks were controlled by cumulative effects of antecedent environmental conditions characterized by low solar radiation, low water temperature, low gage height (the height of water above a gage datum), low salinity, heavy rainfall, and strong offshore wind. The six environmental variables were determined by using Random Forest (RF) and Binary Logistic Regression (BLR) methods within the framework of the GP approach. In terms of predicting norovirus outbreaks, a risk-based GP model was developed using the six environmental variables and various combinations of the variables with different time lags. The results of local and global sensitivity analyses showed that gage height, temperature, and solar radiation were by far the three most important environmental predictors for oyster norovirus outbreaks, though other variables were also important. Specifically, very low temperature and gage height significantly increased the risk of norovirus outbreaks while high solar radiation markedly reduced the risk, suggesting that low temperature and gage height were associated with the norovirus source while solar radiation was the primary sink of norovirus. The GP model was utilized to hindcast daily risks of oyster norovirus outbreaks along the Northern Gulf of Mexico coast. The daily hindcasting results indicated that the GP model was capable of hindcasting all historical oyster norovirus outbreaks from January 2002 to June 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico with only two false positive outbreaks for the 12.5-year period. The performance of the GP model was characterized with the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve of 0.86, the true positive rate (sensitivity) of 78.53% and the true negative rate (specificity) of 88.82%, respectively, demonstrating the efficacy of the GP model. The findings and results offered new insights into the oyster norovirus outbreaks in terms of source, sink, cause, and predictors. The GP model provided an efficient and effective tool for predicting potential oyster norovirus outbreaks and implementing management interventions to prevent or at least reduce norovirus risks to both the human health and the seafood industry.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0043135417308692

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