Heidi C Hauffe

Heidi C Hauffe
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige | Fondazione Mach · Department of Biodiversity and Molecular Ecology (DBEM)

BA (Oxon) Zoology with Anthropology, Rh Sch, D Phil

About

201
Publications
28,972
Reads
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3,998
Citations
Citations since 2017
36 Research Items
2002 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300
20172018201920202021202220230100200300
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige
Position
  • Head of Department, Group Leader, Level 2 Researcher
July 2009 - December 2010
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige
Position
  • Level 2 Researcher
Description
  • Molecular epidemiology, ecohealth and population genetics, with focus on rodent-borne disease
January 2008 - June 2009
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 1989 - April 1993
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Evolution and speciation
October 1986 - June 1989
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Zoology with Anthropology

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Full-text available
The Western European house mouse is chromosomally diverse, with diploid karyotypes ranging from the standard 40 telocentric chromosomes down to 22 chromosomes. Karyotypes are modified through Robertsonian (Rb) fusion of 2 telocentrics into a single metacentric, occurring repeatedly with fixation, and whole-arm reciprocal translocations (WARTs) gene...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction Echinococcus multilocularis is a zoonotic parasitic cestode affecting wild carnivores worldwide. In the EU, monitoring consists of assessing prevalence in red fox (Vulpes vulpes), which represents the main definitive host and is crucial for the maintenance of the sylvatic cycle. An adequately sized sample of foxes must be tested to ass...
Article
Full-text available
The picornavirus named ‘Ljungan virus’ (LV, species Parechovirus B) has been detected in a dozen small mammal species from across Europe, but detailed information on its genetic diversity and host specificity is lacking. Here, we analyze the evolutionary relationships of LV variants circulating in free-living mammal populations by comparing the phy...
Article
Full-text available
The development of new diagnostic methods resulted in the discovery of novel hepaciviruses in wild populations of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus, syn. Clethrionomys glareolus). The naturally infected voles demonstrate signs of hepatitis similar to those induced by hepatitis C virus (HCV) in humans. The aim of the present research was to investigat...
Article
In the light of unprecedented change in global biodiversity, real-time and accurate ecosystem and biodiversity assessments are becoming increasingly essential. Nevertheless, estimation of biodiversity using ecological field data can be difficult for several reasons. For instance, for very large areas, it is challenging to collect data that provide...
Article
The illegal trade has been threatening tortoise populations worldwide for decades. Nowadays, however, DNA typing and forensic genetic approaches allow us to investigate the geographic origin of confiscated animals and to relocate them into the wild, providing that suitable molecular tools and reference data are available. Here we assess the suitabi...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the light of unprecedented change in global biodiversity, real-time and accurate ecosystem and biodiversity assessments are becoming increasingly essential. Nevertheless, estimation of biodiversity using ecological field data can be difficult for several reasons. For instance, for very large areas, it is challenging to collect data that provide...
Article
An indirect method for estimating biodiversity from Earth observations is the Spectral Variation Hypothesis (SVH). SVH states that the higher the spatial variability of the spectral response of an optical remotely sensed image, the higher the number of available ecological niches and hence, the higher the diversity of tree species in the considered...
Article
Full-text available
The factors that influence the diversity and composition of raw milk and fecal microbiota in healthy commercial dairy herds are not fully understood, partially because the majority of metataxonomic studies involve experimental farms and/or single factors. We analyzed the raw milk and fecal microbiota of 100 healthy cows from 10 commercial alpine fa...
Article
Full-text available
In light of the current biodiversity crisis, investigating the human impact on non-human primate gut biology is important to understanding the ecological significance of gut community dynamics across changing habitats and its role in conservation. Using traditional coproscopic parasitological techniques, we compared the gastrointestinal protozoan a...
Article
Full-text available
Ljungan virus (LV), which belongs to the Parechovirus genus in the Picornaviridae family, was first isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in Sweden in 1998 and proposed as a zoonotic agent. To improve knowledge of the host association and geographical distribution of LV, tissues from 1685 animals belonging to multiple rodent and insectivore s...
Article
Full-text available
Gut microbiota diversity has become the subject of extensive research in human and nonhuman animals, linking diversity and composition to gut function and host health. Because wild primates are good indicators of tropical ecosystem health, we developed the idea that they are a suitable model to observe the consequences of advancing global change (e...
Article
Full-text available
Gastrointestinal parasites colonizing the mammalian gut influence the host immune system and health. Parasite infections, mainly helminths, have been studied intensively in both humans and non-human animals, but relatively rarely within a conservation framework. The Udzungwa red colobus monkey (Procolobus gordonorum) is an endangered endemic primat...
Poster
Full-text available
We tested if eDNA metabarcoding of water samples can be used for developing an effective protocol for the characterization and monitoring of Alpine amphibian communities. Choosing a widespread and abundant anuran, the common frog (Rana temporaria) as a model species, we tested for differences in detection success among three developmental stages an...
Poster
The Apennines bear is an iconic and endangered Italian mammal, distributed in a small area in Central Italy. Considered as an independent evolutionary lineage within the nominal species Ursus arctos, it shows some specific features including a small body size and a very low diversity at long fractions of the genome. It has also been suggested that...
Article
Full-text available
The gut microbiota plays a critical role in host health, yet remains poorly studied in wild species. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), key indicators of Arctic ecosystem health and environmental change, are currently affected by rapid shifts in habitat that may alter gut homeostasis. Declining sea ice has led to a divide in the southern Beaufort Sea p...
Article
Tick-borne encephalitis is an important zoonosis in many parts of north-western, central and eastern Europe, Russia and the Far East, with considerable altitudinal and latitudinal shifts described during recent decades. The reported routes of transmission for TBE virus include the saliva-activated non-viraemic transmission between co-feeding ticks...
Article
Full-text available
Although the diversity of microbial communities (microbiota) inhabiting body niches are of proven importance to health in both humans and non-human animals, the functional importance of these collective genomes (microbiome) to the adaptive potential of their hosts has only recently been considered within a conservation framework. If loss of gut bio...
Conference Paper
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a severe neurological disease caused by the TBE virus (TBEV), a flavivirus transmitted mainly by the tick Ixodes ricinus. TBE has a patchy distribution in natural endemic hotspots. TBEV circulation in the natural environment occurs via three different modes of transmission: vertical transmission (from the infected f...
Article
Full-text available
Rodents play a key role as reservoirs of many zoonotic pathogens which represent an emerging public health threat worldwide. Among these, Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) is the most pathogenic hantavirus in Europe with a case-fatality rate of up to 12 per cent, while Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) has a mortality rate below 1 per cent. Bot...
Article
Rodent-borne hanta- and arenaviruses are an emerging public health threat in Europe; however, their circulation in human populations is usually underestimated since most infections are asymptomatic. Compared to other European countries, Italy is considered ‘low risk’ for these viruses, yet in the Province of Trento, two pathogenic hantaviruses (Puu...
Article
Full-text available
The incidence of tick-borne diseases caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. has been rising in Europe in recent decades. Early pre-assessment of acarological hazard still represents a complex challenge. The aim of this study was to model Ixodes ricinus questing nymph density and its infection rate w...
Article
We describe Stammericaris destillans sp. nov., and re-describe Stammericaris trinacriae (Pesce, Galassi and Cottarelli 1988) based on new material. The two species were collected from epikarstic drips and pools on the floor of two different caves: a karstic (Molara Cave) and a gypsum (Entella Cave) cave, respectively, both located in Sicily, Italy....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Directly-transmitted rodent-borne zoonotic viruses, such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) can cause nervous system infections. Rodent-borne Ljungan virus (LV) is considered potentially zoonotic possibly causing neurological symptoms. Our objective was to understand the role of these two viruses compared to other pathogens i...
Article
The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis in Ixodes spp. ticks removed from wildlife, domestic animals and humans in the Province of Trento (northern Italy) in order to better understand their ecology and provide public health professiona...
Article
Full-text available
A wealth of human studies have demonstrated the importance of gut microbiota to health. Research on non-human animal gut microbiota is now increasing, but what insight does it provide? We reviewed 650 publications from this burgeoning field (2009–2016) and determined that animals driving this research were predominantly ‘domestic’ (48.2%), followed...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Background Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is a zoonotic bacterial disease with increasing relevance for public health in Europe. The understanding of its sylvatic cycle and identification of competent reservoir hosts are essential for improving disease risk models and planning preventative measures. Results In 2012 we collected single ear...
Article
Full-text available
Many important and rapidly emerging pathogens of humans, livestock and wildlife are ?vector-borne?. However, the term ?vector? has been applied to diverse agents in a broad range of epidemiological systems. In this perspective, we briefly review some common definitions, identify the strengths and weaknesses of each and consider the functional diffe...
Article
Anticipating species distributions in space and time is necessary for effective biodiversity conservation and for prioritising management interventions. This is especially true when considering invasive species. In such a case, anticipating their spread is important to effectively plan management actions. However, considering uncertainty in the out...
Article
Stochastic processes play an important role in the infectious disease dynamics of wildlife, especially in species subject to large population oscillations. Here we study the case of a free ranging population of yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) in northern Italy, where circulation of Dobrava-Belgrade hantavirus (DOBV) has been detected inte...
Article
Full-text available
Ljungan virus (LV) is a picornavirus originally isolated from Swedish bank voles ( Myodes glareolus ) in 1998. The association of LV with human disease has been debated ever since, but fundamental data on the ecology of the virus are still lacking. Here we present results of the first intensive study on the prevalence of LV in bank voles trapped in...
Article
Aedes koreicus (Edwards) (Diptera: Culicidae) is an invasive mosquito species and potential vector of pathogens which has recently colonised a large part of northeastern Italy and other European countries. Several species of cyclopoid copepods are natural predators of mosquito larvae and can be useful biological control agents in artificial contain...
Article
Full-text available
Background In Europe, Ixodes ricinus L. is the main vector of a variety of zoonotic pathogens, acquired through blood meals taken once per stage from a vertebrate host. Defining the main tick hosts in a given area is important for planning public health interventions; however, until recently, no robust molecular methods existed for blood meal ident...
Article
The first natural chromosomal variation in the house mouse was described nearly 50 years ago in Val Poschiavo on the Swiss side of the Swiss–Italian border in the Central Eastern Alps. Studies have extended into neighboring Valtellina, and the house mice of the Poschiavo-Valtellina area have been subject to detailed analysis, reviewed here. The max...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews research on the evolutionary mechanisms leading to different transmission modes. Such modes are often under genetic control of the host or the pathogen, and often in conflict with each other via trade-offs. Transmission modes may vary among pathogen strains and among host populations. Evolutionary changes in transmission mode h...
Article
Western house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) and common shrews (Sorex araneus) are important models for study of chromosomal speciation. Both had ancestral karyotypes consisting of telocentric chromosomes, and each is subdivided into numerous chromosomal races many of which have resulted from fixation of new mutations (Robertsonian fusions and whol...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of chromosomal rearrangements for speciation can be inferred from studies of genetic exchange between hybridising chromosomal races within species. Reduced fertility or recombination suppression in karyotypic hybrids has the potential to maintain or promote genetic differentiation in genomic regions near rearrangement breakpoints. We...
Article
Full-text available
A selective sweep is the result of strong positive selection driving newly occurring or standing genetic variants to fixation, and can dramatically alter the pattern and distribution of allelic diversity in a population. Population-level sequencing data have enabled discoveries of selective sweeps associated with genes involved in recent adaptation...
Preprint
Full-text available
A selective sweep is the result of strong positive selection rapidly driving newly occurring or standing genetic variants to fixation, and can dramatically alter the pattern and distribution of allelic diversity in a population or species. Population-level sequencing data have enabled discoveries of selective sweeps associated with genes involved i...
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of agriculture is shrinking pristine forest areas worldwide, jeopardizing the persistence of their wild inhabitants. The Udzungwa red colobus monkey (Procolobus gordonorum) is among the most threatened primate species in Africa. Primarily arboreal and highly sensitive to hunting and habitat destruction, they provide a critical model t...
Article
Lung specimens (n = 216) from six wildlife species were examined for occurrence of Pneumocystis species in pulmonary tissues. Among small mammals the shrew Sorex antinorii (80 %) were most frequently colonized. In contrast, foxes and badgers did not yield positive amplification. Host-specificity was noted, at least at the level of the host genus. P...
Article
The identification and evaluation of the ecological and environmental factors shaping patterns of natural genetic variation are fundamental goals of population and conservation genetics. Many studies focus on factors affecting single species, but it is also important to test whether some influential biotic and abiotic factors are common drivers of...
Article
Full-text available
The gut microbiota is vital to host health and, as such, it is important to elucidate the mechanisms altering its composition and diversity. Intestinal helminths are host immunomodulators and have evolved both temporally and spatially in close association with the gut microbiota, resulting in potential mechanistic interplay. Host-helminth and host-...
Article
The sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus L., is an important hematophagous vector of zoonotic disease of both veterinary and public health importance in Europe. Risk models for tick-borne diseases can be improved by identifying the main hosts of this species in any given area. However, this generalist tick stays on a host for only a few days a year over its...
Poster
Full-text available
Understanding the feeding biology of the wood tick is essential for the improvement of disease risk models, since this arthropod vector feeds on several vertebrate species, some of which are competent reservoir hosts for pathogenic organisms. Identifying the source of a bloodmeal in a questing tick poses particular technical challenges: host DNA is...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the causes and effects of species invasions is a priority in ecology and conservation biology. One of the crucial steps in evaluating the impact of invasive species is to map changes in their actual and potential distribution and relative abundance across a wide region over an appropriate time span. While direct and indirect remote se...
Article
Contact zones between two evolutionary lineages are often useful for understanding the process of speciation because the observed genetic pattern reflects the history of differentiation. The Eurasian lacertid lizard Zootoca vivipara is a potentially interesting model for studying the role of reproductive mode in the speciation of squamate reptiles...
Book
It is widely accepted among conservation biologists that genetics is, more than ever, an essential and efficient tool for wild and captive population management and reserve design. However, a true synergy between population genetics and conservation biology is lacking. Following the first International Workshop on Population Genetics for Animal Con...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 1998, a new virus was isolated in wild populations of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in Sweden. The suspected pathogen was named the “Ljungan virus” (LV), after the river near the site of its discovery. Later, it was also detected in voles in the United States and Denmark, and more recently in the UK and Italy. Interest in LV stems from reports t...
Chapter
Restocking is a common procedure for artificially increasing the population size of fish and game species in a particular geographical area. A similar intervention, which entails the (re)introduction of individuals from a source population (natural or captive) to a target area, is an important tool for ecosystem restoration, and is often essential...
Article
Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) is the most pathogenic hantavirus in Europe with a case-fatality rate of up to 12%. To detect changes in risk for humans, the prevalence of antibodies to DOBV has been monitored in a population of Apodemus flavicollis in the province of Trento (northern Italy) since 2000, and a sudden increase was observed in 2010. In...
Poster
Full-text available
Viene descritta l’analisi della prima area di sintopia delle due sottospecie di Zootoca vivipara presenti in Italia, Zootoca vivipara vivipara e Zootoca vivipara carniolica. L’area è stata indagata tramite tecniche molecolari (microsatelliti e citocromo-b) per individuare la presenza di possibili ibridi tra le due sottospecie. Non sono stati rileva...
Article
Full-text available
To the Editor: The tick-borne pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an increasing potential public health threat across Europe. Its intraspecific genetic variability is associated with different reservoir host and vector tick species (1–4); however, the roles of various vertebrates as competent reservoirs of A. phagocytophilum in Europe need clarif...
Data
Baysesian analysis of of Anasplasma phagocytophilum groEL gene partial sequences and 73 msp4 gene partial sequences.
Conference Paper
During the last decade social network analysis has increased in importance as a methodological framework to study inter- and intra-specific relations between animals. Understanding patterns in social network structure have important consequences in biological control, conservation and help us make inferences about parasite/pathogen transmission dyn...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract We report Ljungan virus infection in Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) for the first time, and extend the known distribution of adenoviruses in both native red squirrels and alien gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) to southern Europe.
Article
Ljungan virus (LV, genus Parechovirus, family Picornaviridae) is considered currently to be a rodent-borne virus. Despite suggested human disease associations, its zoonotic potential remains unclear. To date, LV antibody prevalence in both humans and rodents has not been studied. In this study, two different LV immunofluorescence assays (LV IFAs) w...
Conference Paper
Dobrava-­Belgrade virus (DOBV)is considered the most pathogenic of hantaviruses in Europe, causing HFSR with case fatality rate up to 12%. The first DOBV strain was isolated from lungs of A. flavicollis mice captured in Slovenia, southeast Europe, and now represents the prototype DOBV strain (named Slovenia, or Slo/Af) from A. flavicollis. The spat...
Article
Full-text available
Within species, populations differing by chromosomal rearrangements ("chromosomal races") may become reproductively isolated in association with reduced hybrid fertility due to meiotic aberrations. Speciation is also possible if hybridizing chromosomal races accumulate genetic differences because of reduced meiotic recombination in the heterozygous...