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Epidemiol Infect. 1999 Jun;122(3):455-60.

Cowpox: reservoir hosts and geographic range.

Author information

1
Centre for Comparative Infectious Diseases, University of Liverpool.

Abstract

It is generally accepted that the reservoir hosts of cowpox virus are wild rodents, although direct evidence for this is lacking for much of the virus's geographic range. Here, through a combination of serology and PCR, we demonstrate conclusively that the main hosts in Great Britain are bank voles, wood mice and short-tailed field voles. However, we also suggest that wood mice may not be able to maintain infection alone, explaining the absence of cowpox from Ireland where voles are generally not found. Infection in wild rodents varies seasonally, and this variation probably underlies the marked seasonal incidence of infection in accidental hosts such as humans and domestic cats.

PMID:
10459650
PMCID:
PMC2809641
DOI:
10.1017/s0950268899002423
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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