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Concept: Yap

35

The taxonomy, biology, and population status of flying foxes (Pteropus spp.) remain little investigated in the Caroline Islands, Micronesia, where multiple endemic taxa occur. Our study evaluated the taxonomic relationships between the flying foxes of the Mortlock Islands (a subgroup of the Carolines) and two closely related taxa from elsewhere in the region, and involved the first ever field study of the Mortlock population. Through a review of historical literature, the name Pteropus pelagicus Kittlitz, 1836 is resurrected to replace the prevailing but younger name Pteropus phaeocephalus Thomas, 1882 for the flying fox of the Mortlocks. On the basis of cranial and external morphological comparisons, Pteropus pelagicus is united taxonomically with Pteropus insularis “Hombron and Jacquinot, 1842” (with authority herein emended to Jacquinot and Pucheran 1853), and the two formerly monotypic species are now treated as subspecies - Pteropus pelagicus pelagicus in the Mortlocks, and Pteropus phaeocephalus insularis on the islands of Chuuk Lagoon and Namonuito Atoll. The closest relative of Pteropus pelagicus is Pteropus tokudae Tate, 1934, of Guam, which is best regarded as a distinct species. Pteropus pelagicus pelagicus is the only known resident bat in the Mortlock Islands, a chain of more than 100 atoll islands with a total land area of <12 km(2). Based on field observations in 2004, we estimated a population size of 925-1,200 bats, most of which occurred on Satawan and Lukunor Atolls, the two largest and southernmost atolls in the chain. Bats were absent on Nama Island and possibly extirpated from Losap Atoll in the northern Mortlocks. Resident Mortlockese indicated bats were more common in the past, but that the population generally has remained stable in recent years. Most Pteropus phaeocephalus pelagicus roosted alone or in groups of 5-10 bats; a roost of 27 was the largest noted. Diet is comprised of at least eight plant species, with breadfruit (Artocarpus spp.) being a preferred food. Records of females with young (April, July) and pregnant females (July) suggest an extended breeding season. Pteropus pelagicus pelagicus appears most threatened by the prospect of sea level rise associated with global climate change, which has the potential to submerge or reduce the size of atolls in the Mortlocks. Occasional severe typhoons probably temporarily reduce populations on heavily damaged atolls, but hunting and ongoing habitat loss are not current problems for the subspecies.

Concepts: Caroline Islands, Atoll, Pteropus, Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk, Namonuito Atoll, Yap, Pohnpei

6

The pacific islands of Micronesia have experienced several outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases over the past decade. In outbreaks on small islands, the susceptible population is usually well defined, and there is no co-circulation of pathogens. Because of this, analysing such outbreaks can be useful for understanding the transmission dynamics of the pathogens involved, and particularly so for yet understudied pathogens such as Zika virus. Here, we compared three outbreaks of dengue and Zika virus in two different island settings in Micronesia, the Yap Main Islands and Fais, using a mathematical model of transmission dynamics and making full use of commonalities in disease and setting between the outbreaks. We found that the estimated reproduction numbers for Zika and dengue were similar when considered in the same setting, but that, conversely, reproduction number for the same disease can vary considerably by setting. On the Yap Main Islands, we estimated a reproduction number of 8.0-16 (95% Credible Interval (CI)) for the dengue outbreak and 4.8-14 (95% CI) for the Zika outbreak, whereas for the dengue outbreak on Fais our estimate was 28-102 (95% CI). We further found that the proportion of cases of Zika reported was smaller (95% CI 1.4%-1.9%) than that of dengue (95% CI: 47%-61%). We confirmed these results in extensive sensitivity analysis. They suggest that models for dengue transmission can be useful for estimating the predicted dynamics of Zika transmission, but care must be taken when extrapolating findings from one setting to another.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Statistics, Mathematics, Pacific Ocean, Approximation, Estimation, Yap

4

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) belonging to the Flaviviridae family and Flavivirus genus. ZIKV was first isolated from a monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947 [1]. Subsequently, sporadic human infections were reported in Africa and Asia. In 2007, the first large documented ZIKV outbreak was reported from Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia [2]. No further transmission was identified in the Pacific until October 2013 when French Polynesia (FP) reported the first cases; a subsequent explosive outbreak resulted in an estimated 28,000 cases seeking medical care (~11% of the population) [3,4]. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Pacific Ocean, Oceania, All rights reserved, Caroline Islands, Copyright, Polynesia, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap

2

An epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) illness that occurred in July 2007 on Yap Island in the Federated States of Micronesia prompted entomological studies to identify both the primary vector(s) involved in transmission and the ecological parameters contributing to the outbreak. Larval and pupal surveys were performed to identify the major containers serving as oviposition habitat for the likely vector(s). Adult mosquitoes were also collected by backpack aspiration, light trap, and gravid traps at select sites around the capital city. The predominant species found on the island was Aedes (Stegomyia) hensilli. No virus isolates were obtained from the adult field material collected, nor did any of the immature mosquitoes that were allowed to emerge to adulthood contain viable virus or nucleic acid. Therefore, laboratory studies of the probable vector, Ae. hensilli, were undertaken to determine the likelihood of this species serving as a vector for Zika virus and other arboviruses. Infection rates of up to 86%, 62%, and 20% and dissemination rates of 23%, 80%, and 17% for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue-2 viruses respectively, were found supporting the possibility that this species served as a vector during the Zika outbreak and that it could play a role in transmitting other medically important arboviruses.

Concepts: DNA, Biology, Virus, Mosquito, Nucleic acid, Aedes aegypti, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap

1

Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne alphavirus which causes an acute febrile illness associated with polyarthralgia. Beginning in August 2013, clinicians from the Yap State Department of Health in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) identified an unusual cluster of illness which was subsequently confirmed to be chikungunya virus disease. Chikungunya virus disease previously had not been recognized in FSM.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Arthralgia, Chikungunya, Alphavirus, O'nyong'nyong virus, Semliki Forest Virus, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap

0

The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947. It was neglected until a major outbreak occurred on Yap Island, Micronesia, in 2007. Teratogenic effects resulting in microcephaly in newborn infants is the greatest public health threat. In 2016, the Zika virus epidemic was declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Consequently, mathematical models were constructed to explicitly elucidate related transmission dynamics.

Concepts: Infant, Epidemiology, Mathematical model, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap

0

Hippo/YAP pathway is known to be important for development, growth and organogenesis, and dysregulation of this pathway leads to tumor progression.We and others find that YAP is up-regulated in human gliomas and associated with worse prognosis of patients. However, the role and mechanism of YAP in glioma progression is largely unknown.

Concepts: Glioma, Brain tumor, Yap, Yap International Airport

0

The transcriptional coactivator yes-associated protein (YAP) is a strong oncogene in liver cancer development.

Concepts: Gene expression, Cancer, Oncology, Transcription factor, Oncogene, Yap, Yap International Airport

0

The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water) and uninhabited (low human impact); cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact); and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon) and inhabited (highest human impact). Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia) and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an ‘opportunistic’ scleractinian coral (Montipora sp.) is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing) can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.

Concepts: Population, Coral reef, Hierarchy, World population, Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap, Ulithi

0

In 1952, Dick et al published a series of studies of a new virus isolated from sentinel rhesus macaque monkeys in the Zika Forest near Entebbe, Uganda (1). The first human isolation of Zika virus (ZIKV) occurred 2 years later in Nigeria. Cases of human infection were uncommonly identified until a major outbreak in Yap Island, Micronesia in 2007. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Macaque, Primate, Rhesus Macaque, All rights reserved, Copyright, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap