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Biological invasions in rodent communities: from ecological interactions to zoonotic bacterial infection issues

By Christophe Diagne, M. Galan, Lucie Tamisier, Jonathan d’Ambrosio, Ambroise Dalecky, Khalilou Bâ, Mamadou Kane, Youssoupha Niang, Mamoudou Diallo, Aliou Sow, C. Tatard, A. Loiseau, O. Fossati-Gaschignard, Mbacké Sembène, Jean-François Cosson, Nathalie Charbonnel, Carine Brouat

Posted 14 Feb 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/108423

Several hypotheses (such as enemy release, novel weapon, spillback and dilution/density effect) suggest changes in host-parasite ecological interactions during biological invasion events. Such changes can impact both invasion process outcome and the dynamics of exotic and/or endemic zoonotic diseases. To evaluate these predictions, we investigated the ongoing invasions of the house mouse Mus musculus domesticus, and the black rat, Rattus rattus, in Senegal (West Africa). We focused on zoonotic bacterial communities depicted using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing approach in both invasive and native rodents sampled along two well-defined invasion routes. Overall, this study provided new ecological evidence connecting parasitism and rodent invasion process, with diverse potential roles of zoonotic bacteria in the invasion success. Our results also highlighted the main factors that lie behind bacterial community structure in commensal rodents. Further experimental studies as well as comparative spatio-temporal surveys are necessary to decipher the actual role of zoonotic bacteria in these invasions. Our data also gave new support for the difficulty to predict the direction in which the relationship between biodiversity changes and disease risk could go. These results should be used as a basis for public health prevention services to design reservoir monitoring strategies based on multiple pathogen surveillance.

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