Evidence of multiple intraspecific transmission routes for Leptospira acquisition in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus)

Minter, A and Diggle, P J and Costa, F and Childs, J and Ko, A I and Begon, M (2017) Evidence of multiple intraspecific transmission routes for Leptospira acquisition in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). Epidemiology and Infection, 145 (16). pp. 3438-3448. ISSN 0950-2688

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Infectious diseases frequently have multiple potential routes of intraspecific transmission of pathogens within wildlife and other populations. For pathogens causing zoonotic diseases, knowing whether these transmission routes occur in the wild and their relative importance, is critical for understanding maintenance, improving control measures and ultimately preventing human disease. The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is the primary reservoir of leptospirosis in the urban slums of Salvador, Brazil. There is biological evidence for potentially three different transmission routes of leptospire infection occurring in the rodent population. Using newly obtained prevalence data from rodents trapped at an urban slum field site, we present changes in cumulative risk of infection in relation to age-dependent transmission routes to infer which intra-specific transmission routes occur in the wild. We found that a significant proportion of animals leave the nest with infection and that the risk of infection increases throughout the lifetime of Norway rats. We did not observe a significant effect of sexual maturity on the risk of infection. In conclusion, our results suggest that vertical and environmental transmission of leptospirosis both occur in wild populations of Norway rats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Epidemiology and Infection
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2713
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Medicine
ID Code: 89186
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2017 09:14
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2019 02:19
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/89186

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