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Zoning of the republic of Kazakhstan as to the risk of natural focal diseases in animals: the case of rabies and anthrax

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Rabies and anthrax, being natural focal diseases, are characterized by the ability to persist in areas with a certain combination of environmental factors without human intervention. These infections annually cause sporadic outbreaks in domestic, livestock and wild animals in the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK) receiving close attention of the veterinary service. In particular, targeted mass vaccination and surveillance are conducted, which requires zoning of the country according to the exposure to the diseases.

This paper presents a zoning approach based on the estimation of suitability to the study diseases using the Environmental Niche Modelling method. Retrospective data on animal rabies outbreaks in the RK for 2003-2014, as well as data on anthrax burial sites for 1933-2014 were used. The following environmental factors were treated as potential explanatory variables: 1) a set of climate data derived variables BIOCLIM; 2) altitude above the sea level; 3) land cover type; 4) the maximum green vegetation fraction and 5) soil type.

The modelling outcomes for both diseases indicate elevated risks along the northern and southeastern borders of the RK that not only follows the distribution of historic disease cases, but also accounts for potentially suitable environmental conditions. To comply with the requirements of the veterinary service, gridded risk maps were converted into categorical maps by averaging risk values within municipal districts and ranking according to four categories: low, medium, high, and very high.

The maps obtained may be used as recommendations to the veterinary service as a basis for developing regionspecific anti-epizootic measures. 

About the Authors

Sarsenbay K. Abdrakhmanov
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University
Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Yersyn Y. Mukhanbetkaliyev
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University
Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Fedor I. Korennoy
Federal Center for Animal Health (FGBI ARRIAH)
Russian Federation

Kanatzhan K. Beisembayev
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University
Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Ablaikhan S. Kadyrov
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University
Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Anar M. Kabzhanova
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University
Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Julie Adamchick
University of Minnesota
United States

Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, 

St. Paul

Gulzhan N. Yessembekova
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University
Russian Federation
Nur-Sultan (Astana)


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For citation:

Abdrakhmanov S.K., Mukhanbetkaliyev Y.Y., Korennoy F.I., Beisembayev K.K., Kadyrov A.S., Kabzhanova A.M., Adamchick J., Yessembekova G.N. Zoning of the republic of Kazakhstan as to the risk of natural focal diseases in animals: the case of rabies and anthrax. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(1):134-144.

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