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Sociospatial structure explains marked variation in brucellosis seroprevalence in an Alpine ibex population

Abstract : In a context of (re)emerging infectious diseases with wildlife reservoirs, understanding how animal ecology shapes epidemiology is a key issue, particularly in wild ungulates that share pathogens with domestic herbivores and have similar food requirements. For the first time in Europe, brucellosis (Brucella melitensis), a virulent zoonosis, persisted in an Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) population and was transmitted to cattle and humans. To better understand disease dynamics, we investigated the relationships between the spatial ecology of ibex and the epidemiology of brucellosis. Combining home range overlap between 37 GPS-collared individuals and visual observations of 148 visuallymarked individuals monitored during the 2013-2016 period, we showed that females were spatially segregated in at least 4 units all year round, whereas males were more prone to move between female units, in particular during the rutting period. In addition to ibex age, the spatial structure in females largely contributed to variation in seroprevalence in the whole population. These results suggest that non-sexual routes are the most likely pathways of intraspecific transmission, crucial information for management. Accounting for wildlife spatial ecology was hence decisive in improving our ability to better understand this health challenge involving a wildlife reservoir.
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Contributor : Emmanuelle Gilot Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 9:08:37 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 3:54:47 AM


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Pascal Marchand, Pauline Freycon, Jean-Philippe Herbaux, Yvette Game, Carole Toïgo, et al.. Sociospatial structure explains marked variation in brucellosis seroprevalence in an Alpine ibex population. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-15803-w⟩. ⟨hal-03225793⟩



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