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Echinococcus multilocularis: secondary poisoning of fox population during a vole outbreak reduces environmental contamination in a high endemicity area.

Authors
  • Raoul, F1
  • Michelat, D
  • Ordinaire, M
  • Décoté, Y
  • Aubert, M
  • Delattre, P
  • Deplazes, P
  • Giraudoux, P
  • 1 Department of Environmental Biology, UsC INRA University of Franche-Comté, Place Leclerc, F-25030 Besançon, Cedex, France. [email protected] , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal for Parasitology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2003
Volume
33
Issue
9
Pages
945–954
Identifiers
PMID: 12906878
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This paper describes the role of fox population level on Echinococcus multilocularis infection in foxes in a highly endemic area in eastern France. Fox population level was monitored by spotlight survey at Le Souillot from 1989 to 2000, and from 1992 to 2000 at Chemin, a control site located in a low endemic area. The infection level of the fox population was estimated at Le Souillot from winter 1995 to winter 1999 using a coproantigen ELISA performed on faeces collected in the field. Population biomass of intermediate hosts (Microtus arvalis and Arvicola terrestris) was monitored using index methods from 1995 to 1999. At Le Souillot, a significant decline in the fox population level was recorded after spring 1997 (P<0.001), and the population level remained low until 2000. The decline occurred when 31% of the grassland area was treated with bromadiolone, an anticoagulant used at a large scale for the control of A. terrestris population outbreaks. No decline of population was recorded at Chemin, where bromadiolone was not used for rodent control. Significant differences among ELISA OD distributions in fox faeces were recorded for the five winters under study at Le Souillot (P=0.0004). The median of ELISA OD distribution was 0.209 and 0.207 before the population decline (winter 1995 and 1996, respectively), significantly increased to 0.306 just after the decline (winter 1997), and then significantly decreased to 0.099 and 0.104 afterwards (winter 1998 and 1999, respectively). Therefore, the decrease in infection level occurred during winter 1998, 1 year after the population decline, when the intermediate host biomass in the field was at its highest. These results suggest a complex dependence between the fox population level and E. multilocularis infection in a high endemicity area. Alternative ways to control fox population as a way to reduce E. multilocularis transmission in a given area are discussed.

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