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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2009 Apr;9(2):141-6. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2007.0155.

Association between habitat and prevalence of hantavirus infections in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus).

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  • 1Research Laboratory for Vector-Borne Diseases, Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.


In order to determine the habitat preferred by Myodes (before Clethrionomys) glareolus and the corresponding Puumala hantavirus seroprevalence in those habitats, we captured rodents simultaneously in three significantly different habitats. We compared trapping success and presence of virus per habitat during an ongoing epidemic in order to test the hypothesis of a density-dependent seroprevalence. Our study showed that bank vole population density, as well as Puumala virus seroprevalence, were habitat dependent. Apodemus sylvaticus was found more vulnerable for deteriorating habitat conditions than M. glareolus and could play a role as vehicle for Puumala virus and as mediator for inter- and conspecific virus transmission.

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