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A temporal dilution effect: hantavirus infection in deer mice and the intermittent presence of voles in Montana


Carver, SS and Kuenzi, A and Bagamian, KH and Mills, JN and Rollin, PE and Zanto, SN and Douglass, R, A temporal dilution effect: hantavirus infection in deer mice and the intermittent presence of voles in Montana, Acta Oecologica: International Journal of Ecology, 166 pp. 713-721. ISSN 1146-609X (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Springer-Verlag

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1882-z


The effect of intermittently occurring, nonreservoir host species on pathogen transmission and prevalence in a reservoir population is poorly understood. We investigated whether voles, Microtus spp., which occur intermittently, influenced estimated standing antibody prevalence (ESAP) to Sin Nombre hantavirus (SNV, Bunyaviridae: Hantavirus) among deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, whose populations are persistent. We used 14 years of data from central Montana to investigate whether ESAP among deer mice was related to vole presence or abundance while controlling for the relationship between deer mouse abundance and ESAP. We found a reduction in deer mouse ESAP associated with the presence of voles, independent of vole abundance. A number of studies have documented that geographic locations which support a higher host diversity can be associated with reductions in pathogen prevalence by a hypothesized dilution effect. We suggest a dilution effect may also occur in a temporal dimension at sites where host richness fluctuates. Preservation of host diversity and optimization of environmental conditions which promote occurrence of ephemeral species, such as voles, may result in a decreased ESAP to hantaviruses among reservoir hosts. Our results may extend to other zoonotic infectious diseases.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Sin Nombre virus, dilution effect, transmission, temporal, density independence
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Carver, SS (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:80289
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2012-10-26
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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