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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2002 Jul;27(5):603-8.

Behaviour, chemosignals and endocrine functions in male mice infected with tick-borne encephalitis virus.

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Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Siberian Branch of RAS, 630091, Novosibirsk, Frunze str. 11, Russia.


Odour attractiveness, social behaviour and endocrine status of male mice (outbred ICR strain) were examined 6-7 days after inoculation with subclinical dose of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE). According to RT-PCR control of efficiency of infection, males injected with TBE were divided on the two subgroups: TBE+ (males with viral RNA) and TBE- (males without viral RNA). Susceptible males (TBE+ subgroup) showed the higher level of plasma testosterone in comparison with both control and nonsusceptible (TBE- subgroup) males. TBE+ males had also more odour attraction for oestrus females and more aggressiveness in social conflict. Higher sexual attractiveness and aggressiveness of the infected host benefit the pathogen's distribution in the host population.

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