Escutenaire S, Chalon P, De Jaegere F, Karelle-Bui L, Mees G, Brochier B, Rozenfeld F, Pastoret P-P. Behavioral, physiologic, and habitat influences on the dynamics of Puumala virus infection in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). Emerging infectious diseases. 2002;8(9):930-6. [Journal article]
Populations of bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) were monitored during a 4-year study in southern Belgium to assess the influence of agonistic behavior, reproductive status, mobility, and distribution of the rodents on the dynamics of Puumala virus (abbreviation: PUUV; genus: Hantavirus) infection. Concordance was high between data from serologic testing and results of viral RNA detection. Wounds resulting from biting or scratching were observed mainly in adult rodents. Hantavirus infection in adults was associated with wounds in the fall, i.e., at the end of the breeding season, but not in spring. In addition, sexually active animals were significantly more often wounded and positive for infection. Hantavirus infection was associated with higher mobility in juvenile and subadult males. Seroconversions observed 6 months apart also occurred more frequently in animals that had moved longer distances from their original capture point. During nonepidemic years, the distribution of infection was patchy, and positive foci were mainly located in dense ground vegetation.