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Dynamics of a tularemia outbreak in a closely monitored free-roaming population of wild house mice


Dobay, Akos; Pilo, Paola; Lindholm, Anna K; Origgi, Francesco; Bagheri, Homayoun C; König, Barbara (2015). Dynamics of a tularemia outbreak in a closely monitored free-roaming population of wild house mice. PLoS ONE, 10(11):e0141103.

Abstract

Infectious disease outbreaks can be devastating because of their sudden occurrence, as well as the complexity of monitoring and controlling them. Outbreaks in wildlife are even more challenging to observe and describe, especially when small animals or secretive species are involved. Modeling such infectious disease events is relevant to investigating their dynamics and is critical for decision makers to accomplish outbreak management. Tularemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a potentially lethal zoonosis. Of the few animal outbreaks that have been reported in the literature, only those affecting zoo animals have been closely monitored. Here, we report the first estimation of the basic reproduction number R0 of an outbreak in wildlife caused by F. tularensis using quantitative modeling based on a susceptible-infected-recovered framework. We applied that model to data collected during an extensive investigation of an outbreak of tularemia caused by F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (also designated as type B) in a closely monitored, free-roaming house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) population in Switzerland. Based on our model and assumptions, the best estimated basic reproduction number R0 of the current outbreak is 1.33. Our results suggest that tularemia can cause severe outbreaks in small rodents. We also concluded that the outbreak self-exhausted in approximately three months without administrating antibiotics.

Abstract

Infectious disease outbreaks can be devastating because of their sudden occurrence, as well as the complexity of monitoring and controlling them. Outbreaks in wildlife are even more challenging to observe and describe, especially when small animals or secretive species are involved. Modeling such infectious disease events is relevant to investigating their dynamics and is critical for decision makers to accomplish outbreak management. Tularemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a potentially lethal zoonosis. Of the few animal outbreaks that have been reported in the literature, only those affecting zoo animals have been closely monitored. Here, we report the first estimation of the basic reproduction number R0 of an outbreak in wildlife caused by F. tularensis using quantitative modeling based on a susceptible-infected-recovered framework. We applied that model to data collected during an extensive investigation of an outbreak of tularemia caused by F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (also designated as type B) in a closely monitored, free-roaming house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) population in Switzerland. Based on our model and assumptions, the best estimated basic reproduction number R0 of the current outbreak is 1.33. Our results suggest that tularemia can cause severe outbreaks in small rodents. We also concluded that the outbreak self-exhausted in approximately three months without administrating antibiotics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:4 November 2015
Deposited On:17 Nov 2015 09:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:31
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0141103
PubMed ID:26536232

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