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Red fox and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in humans: Can predators influence public health?

Haemig, Paul D; Lithner, Stefan; Sjostedt De Luna, Sara; Lundkvist, Ake; Waldenström, Jonas LU ; Hansson, Lennart; Arneborn, Malin and Olsen, Bjorn (2008) In Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 40(6-7). p.527-532
Abstract
Analysing datasets from hunting statistics and human cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), we found a positive correlation between the number of human TBE cases and the number of red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Time lags were also present, indicating that high numbers of red fox in 1 y translated into high numbers of human TBE cases the following y. Results for smaller predators were mixed and inconsistent. Hares and grouse showed negative correlations with human TBE cases, suggesting that they might function as dilution hosts. Combining our findings with food web dynamics, we hypothesize a diversity of possible interactions between predators and human disease - some predators suppressing a given disease, others enhancing its spread, and still... (More)
Analysing datasets from hunting statistics and human cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), we found a positive correlation between the number of human TBE cases and the number of red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Time lags were also present, indicating that high numbers of red fox in 1 y translated into high numbers of human TBE cases the following y. Results for smaller predators were mixed and inconsistent. Hares and grouse showed negative correlations with human TBE cases, suggesting that they might function as dilution hosts. Combining our findings with food web dynamics, we hypothesize a diversity of possible interactions between predators and human disease - some predators suppressing a given disease, others enhancing its spread, and still others having no effect at all. Larger-sized predators that suppress red fox numbers and activity (i.e. wolf, Canis lupus; European lynx, Lynx lynx) were once abundant in our study area but have been reduced or extirpated from most parts of it by humans. We ask what would happen to red foxes and TBE rates in humans if these larger predators were restored to their former abundances. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
volume
40
issue
6-7
pages
527 - 532
publisher
Informa Healthcare
external identifiers
  • wos:000257148100013
  • scopus:47349123206
ISSN
1651-1980
DOI
10.1080/00365540701805446
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2cc970e5-4699-46bf-a197-7339d463352f (old id 1186336)
date added to LUP
2008-09-03 14:46:00
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:27:15
@article{2cc970e5-4699-46bf-a197-7339d463352f,
  abstract     = {Analysing datasets from hunting statistics and human cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), we found a positive correlation between the number of human TBE cases and the number of red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Time lags were also present, indicating that high numbers of red fox in 1 y translated into high numbers of human TBE cases the following y. Results for smaller predators were mixed and inconsistent. Hares and grouse showed negative correlations with human TBE cases, suggesting that they might function as dilution hosts. Combining our findings with food web dynamics, we hypothesize a diversity of possible interactions between predators and human disease - some predators suppressing a given disease, others enhancing its spread, and still others having no effect at all. Larger-sized predators that suppress red fox numbers and activity (i.e. wolf, Canis lupus; European lynx, Lynx lynx) were once abundant in our study area but have been reduced or extirpated from most parts of it by humans. We ask what would happen to red foxes and TBE rates in humans if these larger predators were restored to their former abundances.},
  author       = {Haemig, Paul D and Lithner, Stefan and Sjostedt De Luna, Sara and Lundkvist, Ake and Waldenström, Jonas and Hansson, Lennart and Arneborn, Malin and Olsen, Bjorn},
  issn         = {1651-1980},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6-7},
  pages        = {527--532},
  publisher    = {Informa Healthcare},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases},
  title        = {Red fox and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in humans: Can predators influence public health?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00365540701805446},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2008},
}