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The relationship between socioeconomic indices and potentially zoonotic pathogens carried by wild Norway rats: a survey in Rhône, France (2010–2012)

  • F. AYRAL (a1), J. ARTOIS (a2), A.-L. ZILBER (a1), F. WIDÉN (a3), K.C. POUNDER (a4), D. AUBERT (a5), D. J. BICOUT (a6) and M. ARTOIS (a1)...

Summary

Leptospira interrogans, hantaviruses (particularly Seoul virus), hepatitis E virus (HEV), and Toxoplasma gondii are rat-associated zoonoses that are responsible for human morbidity and mortality worldwide. This study aimed to describe the infection patterns of these four pathogens in wild rats (Rattus norvegicus) across socioeconomic levels in neighbourhoods in Lyon, France. The infection or exposure status was determined using polymerase chain reaction or serology for 178 wild rats captured in 23 locations; additionally, confirmatory culture or mouse inoculation was performed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to investigate whether morphological and socioeconomic data could predict the infection status of the rats. This study revealed that the rat colony's age structure may influence the prevalence of L. interrogans, hantavirus, and HEV. In addition, areas with high human population densities and low incomes may be associated with a greater number of infected rats and an increased risk of disease transmission.

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Copyright

The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr. F. Ayral, 1 avenue Bourgelat, 69280 Marcy l'Etoile, France. (Email: florence.ayral@vetagro-sup.fr)

References

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