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Assessing plague risk and presence through surveys of small mammal flea communitiesAuthor(s): M. M. Friggens; P. L. Ford; R. R. Parmenter; M. Boyden; K. Gage
Source: In: Feldman, Susana R.; Oliva, Gabriel E.; Sacido, Monica B., eds. IX International Rangeland Congress: Diverse Rangelands for a Sustainable Society; April 3-10, 2011; Rosario, Argentina. IRC2001 Congress. p. 466.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (19.69 KB)
DescriptionPlague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, remains a threat to human and wildlife populations in the Western United States (Gage and Kosoy 2005). Several rodent species have been implicated as important maintenance hosts in the U.S., including Peromyscus maniculatus and Dipodomys spp. Fleas are a critical component of plague foci (Gage and Kosoy 2005). Transmission of plague increases with flea abundance and prevalence (Eisen et al. 2006; Lorange 2005). Prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) which have little innate immunity experience mortality in excess of 99% when exposed to plague (Gage and Kosoy 2005). Because prairie dogs outbreaks are conspicuous, it is possible to record the conditions and risk factors associated with plague outbreaks. Information gathered on prairie dog outbreaks may help identify risk factors for plague transmission in other communities. Here we present the results of a 3-year survey of flea and rodent communities surrounding prairie dog colonies in New Mexico.
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CitationFriggens, M. M.; Ford, P. L.; Parmenter, R. R.; Boyden, M.; Gage, K. 2011. Assessing plague risk and presence through surveys of small mammal flea communities. In: Feldman, Susana R.; Oliva, Gabriel E.; Sacido, Monica B., eds. IX International Rangeland Congress: Diverse Rangelands for a Sustainable Society; April 3-10, 2011; Rosario, Argentina. IRC2001 Congress. p. 466.
Keywordssmall mammals, plague, Y. pestis
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