I used data sets from a four-year (2002-06) Centers for Disease Control longitudinal study that monitored several small rodent assemblages to explore the demographic factors suspected to be associated with Sin Nombre Virus in deer mice. I examined the spatial and temporal patterns of two sympatric rodents, deer mice and Mogollon voles, in order to determine if Sin Nombre virus spillover (incidental viral transfer to a non-host species) occurred and if vole populations influenced Sin Nombre virus prevalence in deer mice.
The abundance of deer mice increased steadily in an extended stepwise fashion during which two peak growth periods occurred. Deer mice density and the number of antibody-positive mice increased in an overall linear fashion while percent antibody prevalence was annually variable and nonlinear. Meanwhile, Mogollon vole densities were more variable and increased at a slower rate. Synchronous peak densities of both species occurred subsequent to the unusual wet 2004-05 period.
The ranges of voles were fragmented and patchy while deer mice were common throughout the area. Preferred vole microhabitats were more similar to optimal deer mice microhabitats and consisted of abundant seasonal grasses, loamy soils, gopher (Thomomys bottae) holes, and dense sticky-leaved rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus). At various sites and during seasonal periods of peak vole densities, deer mice moved and resided in areas distant from voles. During seasonal drought periods, voles disappeared, and several deer mice returned to their original shelter sites.
Even though voles and deer mice shared shelter sites, runways, and microhabitats, no Sin Nombre virus spillover occurred between the two species. Furthermore, increases in vole densities in areas sympatric with deer mice did not negatively affect SNV transmission and prevalence among deer mice.
|Advisor:||Abbott, Kenneth D.|
|Commitee:||Langmaid, Kim, Roberts, W. Brent|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 47/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Zoology, Virology|
|Keywords:||Arizonia, Deer mice, Grand Canyon, Mogollon voles, Population dynamics, Sin Nombre virus, Sympatric|
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