Biogeographic and ecological regulation of disease: Prevalence of Sin Nombre virus in island mice is related to island area, precipitation, and predator richness

American Naturalist
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

The relative roles of top-down and bottom-up forces in affecting disease prevalence in wild hosts is important for understanding disease dynamics and human disease risk. We found that the prevalence of Sin Nombre virus (SNV), the agent of a severe disease in humans (hantavirus pulmonary syndrome), in island deer mice from the eight California Channel Islands was greater with increased precipitation (a measure of productivity), greater island area, and fewer species of rodent predators. In finding a strong signal of the ecological forces affecting SNV prevalence, our work highlights the need for future work to understand the relative importance of average rodent density, population fluctuations, behavior, and specialist predators as they affect SNV prevalence. In addition to illustrating the importance of both bottom-up and top-down limitation of disease prevalence, our results suggest that predator richness may have important bearing on the risk of exposure to animal-borne diseases that affect humans.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Biogeographic and ecological regulation of disease: Prevalence of Sin Nombre virus in island mice is related to island area, precipitation, and predator richness
Series title American Naturalist
DOI 10.1086/659632
Volume 177
Issue 5
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Publisher location Chicago, IL
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title American Naturalist
First page 691
Last page 697
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Channel Islands