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Waning of maternal immunity and the impact of diseases: the example of myxomatosis in natural rabbit populations

D. Fouchet S. Marchandeau Michel Langlais 1, 2 Dominique Pontier 3
1 ANUBIS - Tools of automatic control for scientific computing, Models and Methods in Biomathematics
INRIA Futurs, Université Bordeaux Segalen - Bordeaux 2, Université Sciences et Technologies - Bordeaux 1
3 Ecoépidémiologie évolutionniste
Département écologie évolutive [LBBE]
Abstract : Myxomatosis is a leporipoxvirus that infects the european rabbit, inducing a high mortality rate. Observations lead us to hypothesize that a rabbit carrying maternal antibodies (or having recovered) can be infected (or re-infected) upon being exposed (or re-exposed) to the virus. Infection will lead to mild disease, boosting host immune protection. Using a modelling approach we show that this phenomenon may lead to a difference of impact of myxomatosis according to its transmission rate. Young are exposed when they still carry maternal antibodies and develop a mild disease in high transmission populations. Our results show that the impact of myxomatosis is generally higher in epidemic situations compared to populations where the virus circulates all the year. As a consequence, waning of acquired immunity and the continuous supply of newborn along the year may reduce the impact of the disease.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00195446
Contributor : Michel Langlais <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 10, 2007 - 9:45:52 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:20:06 PM

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D. Fouchet, S. Marchandeau, Michel Langlais, Dominique Pontier. Waning of maternal immunity and the impact of diseases: the example of myxomatosis in natural rabbit populations. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Elsevier, 2006, 242, pp.81-89. ⟨10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.02.003⟩. ⟨hal-00195446⟩

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