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Characterizing environmental factors influencing zoonotic disease reservoirs using meta-parasite prevalence

By Cynthia L. Mills

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Category Theses
Abstract

In five parks around Portland, Oregon, where there is a dense human population, investigators have found a 5.3% prevalence of the host of the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Sin Nombre Virus in deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus. Previous studies show the prevalence of SNV varies inversely with the level of biodiversity measured for each reserve. The current study uses a preserved subset of 257 specimens from the same populations to examine a second disease system: gastrointestinal meta-parasites, to compare the impact of the same environmental factors on a parasite with a different transmission strategy. The results were similar: biodiversity has an inverse effect on prevalence of meta-parasites, but population densities of P. maniculatus and of all small mammals have no significant effect. Analysis was performed using GEE modeling for correlated data. Models with more than one variable tested did not retain significance suggesting that some of the effect of biodiversity can be explained by changes in population dynamics. Mass was also a significant predictor, although not in a model stratified by weight or age. Biodiversity proves to be a persistent if not robust factor influencing wildlife disease dynamics.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2007
Publisher OHSU Digital Commons
Department Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Degree Master of Science
DOI 10.6083/M4Z899CB
URL http://digitalcommons.ohsu.edu/etd/186/
Language English
University Oregon Health and Science University
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Tags
  1. Animal welfare
  2. Environment
  3. Health
  4. Oregon
  5. Parasites
  6. Parasitic diseases
  7. Physical environment
  8. Veterinary medicine
  9. Zoonoses