Endemic hantavirus infection impairs the winter survival of its rodent host

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Ecology (Impact Factor: 4.66). 09/2007; 88(8):1911-6. DOI: 10.1890/06-1620.1
Source: PubMed


The influence of pathogens on host fitness is one of the key questions in infection ecology. Hantaviruses have coevolved with their hosts and are generally thought to have little or no effect on host survival or reproduction. We examined the effect of Puumala virus (PUUV) infection on the winter survival of bank voles (Myodes glareolus), the host of this virus. The data were collected by monitoring 22 islands over three consecutive winters (a total of 55 island populations) in an endemic area of central Finland. We show that PUUV infected bank voles had a significantly lower overwinter survival probability than antibody negative bank voles. Antibody negative female bank voles from low-density populations living on large islands had the highest survival. The results were similar at the population level as the spring population size and density were negatively correlated with PUUV prevalence in the autumn. Our results provide the first evidence for a significant effect of PUUV on host survival suggesting that hantaviruses, and endemic pathogens in general, deserve even more attention in studies of host population dynamics.

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Available from: Eva R Kallio,
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    • "Niklasson et al. (1995) found that the proportion of PUUV antibody positive voles in spring was dependent on the bank vole abundance in the previous fall. Following up on other findings, especially by Kallio et al. (2007) and Voutilainen et al. (2012), we now reevaluated the PUUV data published by Niklasson et al. (1995) in relation to local habitat and landscape structure during two successive vole cycles. "
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    ABSTRACT: Zoonoses are major contributors to emerging infectious diseases globally. Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is a zoonosis caused by rodent-borne hantaviruses. In Europe, Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) carried and shed by the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), is the most common cause of HFRS. We explore the relationship of PUUV infection in bank voles, as measured by PUUV antibody detection, with habitat and landscape scale properties during two successive vole cycles in boreal Sweden. Our analysis revealed that PUUV infection in the population was not uniform between cycles and across different landscapes. The mean density index of PUUV antibody positive and negative bank voles were highest in old forest, second highest in cut-over forest (approx. 0-30 years old) and lowest on mires. Most importantly, old forest was the core habitat, where PUUV antibody positive bank voles were found through the low density phase and the transition between successive vole cycles. In spring, occurrence of antibody positive voles was negatively related to the proportion of cut-over forest in the surrounding landscape, suggesting that large scale human induced land-use change altered the occurrence of PUUV infection in voles which has not been shown before. Dependence of PUUV infection on habitat and landscape structure, and the variation in infection load within and between cycles are of importance for human risk assessment.
    Ecosphere 09/2015; 6(9):art163. DOI:10.1890/ES15-00039.1 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "After completing all the measurements of the thirteenth generation , we discovered that the colony had been infected with Puumala hantavirus during that generation. The virus was not detected earlier because, under normal housing conditions, infection does not result in pathology in bank voles (Bernshtein et al. 1999); some data suggest, however, that the virus may decrease vole survival under harsh winter conditions (Kallio et al. 2007). We confirmed that reproduction (litter mass and litter size during weaning), mortality, and condition (adult body mass) in the infected generations did not differ from the preceding uninfected generations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Endothermy, high basal metabolic rates (BMRs), and high locomotor-related metabolism were important steps in the evolution of mammals. It has been proposed that the composition of membrane phospholipid fatty acids plays an important role in energy metabolism and exercise muscle physiology. In particular, the membrane pacemaker theory of metabolism suggests that an in cell membrane fatty acid unsaturation would result in n increase in BMR. We aimed to determine whether membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition of heart, liver, and gastrocnemius muscles differed between lines of bank voles selected for hgh swim-induced aerobic metabolism—which also evolved an increased BMR—and unselected control lines. Proportions of fatty acids significantly differed among the organs: liver was the least unsaturated, whereas the gastrocnemius muscles were most unsaturated.However, fatty acid proportions of the heart and liver did not differ significantly between selected and control lines. In gastrocnemius muscles, significant differences between selection directions were found: compared to control lines, membranes of selected voles were richer in saturated C18:0 and unsaturated C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3, whereas the pattern was reversed for saturated C16:0 and unsaturated C20:4n-6. Neither unsaturation index nor other combined indexes of fatty acid proportions differed between lines. Thus, our results do not support the membrane pacemaker hypothesis. However, the differences between selected and control lines in gastrocnemius muscles reflect chain lengths rather than number of double bonds and are probably related to differences in locomotor activity per se rather than to differences in the basal or routine metabolic rate.
    Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 07/2015; 88(6):000-000. DOI:10.1086/683039 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    • "A bank vole's survival is compromised by multiple factors including ecto-and endoparasites, disease, starvation, and predation (Kallio et al., 2007; Norrdahl & Korpimäki, 1995; Soveri et al., 2000). For instance, Puumala Hantavirus, Ixodes-tick transmitted pathogens, helminthes, and coccidiosis are all pathogens that compromise bank vole survival (Hakkarainen et al., 2007; Haukisalmi & Henttonen, 2000; Kallio et al., 2007; Soveri et al., 2000). Genetic disease resistance and immune response therefore have important consequences for survival and thus, fitness in this species. "
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