Impact of puumala virus infection on maturation and survival in bank voles : a capture-mark-recapture analysis
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Journal of wildlife diseases. - Ames, Iowa
, p. 148-156
University of Antwerp
Many zoonotic diseases are caused by rodent-borne viruses. Major fluctuations in the transmission of these viruses have been related to large changes in reservoir host population numbers due to external factors. However, the impact of the pathogen itself on the demography of its reservoir host is often overlooked. We investigated the impact of Puumala virus (PUUV) on survival and reproductive maturation probability of its reservoir host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). Three years (200406) of data from nine independent sites in southern Belgium were collected and analyzed with a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) method that includes statistical correction for the variation in capture probability of voles. A multistate model based on four states of reproductive activity and PUUV immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody status was used to estimate survival and probability of transition from one reproductive or infection state to another. Although survival estimates for reproductively active voles were similar between infected and noninfected individuals, PUUV infection in reproductively inactive voles decreased mean monthly survival by 14%. PUUV infection was associated with a threefold increase in the probability of reproductive maturation in bank voles. Moreover, the probability of PUUV IgG seroconversion was three times higher for reproductively active voles compared to reproductively inactive voles. Our model indicates that PUUV infection may alter bank vole population dynamics by affecting both survival and maturation in its host. Additional studies, using CMR methodology with shorter time intervals between trapping sessions and possibly a longer duration, are needed to confirm these findings.