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1 January 2013 COCCIDIAN AND NEMATODE INFECTIONS INFLUENCE PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODY TO MYXOMA AND RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE VIRUSES IN EUROPEAN RABBITS
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Abstract

The interaction among several parasites in European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is crucial to host fitness and to the epidemiology of myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease. These diseases have caused significant reductions in rabbit populations on the Iberian Peninsula. Most studies have focused on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of these viruses individually, and little is known about interactions between these viruses and other parasites. Taking advantage of an experimental restocking program in Spain, the effects of coccidian and nematode infections on the probability of having detectable antibody to myxoma and rabbit hemorrhagic disease viruses were tested in European wild rabbits. For 14 mo, we monitored rabbit abundance and parasite loads (coccidia and nematodes) in three reintroduced rabbit populations. While coccidian and nematode loads explained seasonal antibody prevalences to myxoma virus, the pattern was less clear for rabbit hemorrhagic disease. Contrary to expectations, prevalence of antibody to myxoma virus was inversely proportional to coccidian load, while nematode load seemed to play a minor role. These results have implications for viral disease epidemiology and for disease management intended to increase rabbit populations in areas where they are important for ecosystem conservation.

Alejandro Bertó-Moran, Isabel Pacios, Emmanuel Serrano, Sacramento Moreno, and Carlos Rouco "COCCIDIAN AND NEMATODE INFECTIONS INFLUENCE PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODY TO MYXOMA AND RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE VIRUSES IN EUROPEAN RABBITS," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49(1), 10-17, (1 January 2013). https://doi.org/10.7589/2011-12-343
Received: 2 December 2011; Accepted: 1 April 2012; Published: 1 January 2013
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