Widespread Exposure to Mosquitoborne California Serogroup Viruses in Caribou, Arctic Fox, Red Fox, and Polar Bears, Canada

Kayla Buhler
Antonia Dibernardo
Nicholas Pilfold
Jane Harms
Heather Fenton
Suzanne Carriere
Allicia Kelly
Helen Schwantje
Xavier Fernandez Aguilar
Lisa-Marie Leclerc
Geraldine Gouin
Nicholas Lunn
Evan Richardson
David McGeachy
Émilie Bouchard
Adrián Hernández Ortiz
Gustaf Samelius
Robbin Lindsay
Michael Drebot
Patricia Gaffney
Patrick Leighton
Ray Alisauskas
Emily Jenkins
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Northern Canada is warming at 3 times the global rate. Thus, changing diversity and distribution of vectors and pathogens is an increasing health concern. California serogroup (CSG) viruses are mosquitoborne arboviruses; wildlife reservoirs in northern ecosystems have not been identified. We detected CSG virus antibodies in 63% (95% CI 58%-67%) of caribou (n = 517), 4% (95% CI 2%-7%) of Arctic foxes (n = 297), 12% (95% CI 6%-21%) of red foxes (n = 77), and 28% (95% CI 24%-33%) of polar bears (n = 377). Sex, age, and summer temperatures were positively associated with polar bear exposure; location, year, and ecotype were associated with caribou exposure. Exposure was highest in boreal caribou and increased from baseline in polar bears after warmer summers. CSG virus exposure of wildlife is linked to climate change in northern Canada and sustained surveillance could be used to measure human health risks.