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Toward a mechanistic understanding of environmentally forced zoonotic disease emergence: sin nombre hantavirus


Carver, S and Mills, JN and Parmenter, CA and Parmenter, RR and Richardson, KS and Harris, RL and Douglass, RJ and Kuenzi, AJ and Luis, AD, Toward a mechanistic understanding of environmentally forced zoonotic disease emergence: sin nombre hantavirus, Bioscience, 65, (7) pp. 651-666. ISSN 0006-3568 (2015) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1093/biosci/biv047


Understanding the environmental drivers of zoonotic reservoir and human interactions is crucial to understanding disease risk, but these drivers are poorly predicted. We propose a mechanistic understanding of human–reservoir interactions, using hantavirus pulmonary syndrome as a case study. Crucial processes underpinning the disease’s incidence remain poorly studied, including the connectivity among natural and peridomestic deer mouse host activity, virus transmission, and human exposure. We found that disease cases were greatest in arid states and declined exponentially with increasing precipitation. Within arid environments, relatively rare climatic conditions (e.g., El Niño) are associated with increased rainfall and reservoir abundance, producing more frequent virus transmission and host dispersal. We suggest that deer mice increase their occupancy of peridomestic structures during spring–summer, amplifying intraspecific transmission and human infection risk. Disease incidence in arid states may increase with predicted climatic changes. Mechanistic approaches incorporating reservoir behavior, reservoir–human interactions, and

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Keywords:hantavirus, disease ecology, disease, transmission, emerging infectious disease
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Host-parasite interactions
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response)
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
UTAS Author:Harris, RL (Miss Rachel Harris)
ID Code:103668
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2015-10-23
Last Modified:2016-08-10

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