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Exposure in Dogs Tested for Vector-Borne Diseases in North Carolina.

Abstract

seroreactivity. To account for sparsely sampled areas, statistical smoothing using head banging and areal interpolation kriging was performed. Using previously described risk factors for exposure to canine tick-borne diseases, eight multivariable logistic regression models based on biologically plausible hypotheses were tested, and a final model was selected using an Akaike's Information Criterion weighted-average approach. Seroreactivity among dogs tested for vector-borne disease was variable across the state: higher along the southern/eastern coastal plains and eastern Piedmont, and lower in the western mountains. Of 25 explanatory factors considered, the model combining demographic, socioeconomic, climatic, and land use variables fits best. Based on this model, female intact sex and increasing percentage of the county with low-intensity development and evergreen forest were associated with higher seroreactivity. Conversely, moderate development, increasing median household income, and higher temperature range and relative humidity were associated with lower seroreactivity. This model could be improved, however, by including local and host-scale factors that may play a significant role in dogs' exposure.

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