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Pathogen transmission risk by opportunistic gulls moving across human landscapes

AuthorsNavarro, Joan ; Grémillet, David; Afán, Isabel ; Miranda, Francisco ; Bouten, Willem; Forero, Manuela G. ; Figuerola, Jordi
Issue DateJul-2019
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationScientific Reports 9: 10659 (2019)
AbstractWildlife that exploit human-made habitats hosts and spreads bacterial pathogens. This shapes the epidemiology of infectious diseases and facilitates pathogen spill-over between wildlife and humans. This is a global problem, yet little is known about the dissemination potential of pathogen-infected animals. By combining molecular pathogen diagnosis with GPS tracking of pathogen-infected gulls, we show how this knowledge gap could be filled at regional scales. Specifically, we generated pathogen risk maps of Salmonella, Campylobacter and Chlamydia based on the spatial movements of pathogen-infected yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) equipped with GPS recorders. Also, crossing this spatial information with habitat information, we identified critical habitats for the potential transmission of these bacteria in southern Europe. The use of human-made habitats by infected-gulls could potentially increase the potential risk of direct and indirect bidirectional transmission of pathogens between humans and wildlife. Our findings show that pathogen-infected wildlife equipped with GPS recorders can provide accurate information on the spatial spread risk for zoonotic bacteria. Integration of GPS-tracking with classical epidemiological approaches may help to improve zoonosis surveillance and control programs
Description5 pages, 2 figures, supplementary information https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46326-1.-- Data are available in a central PostgreSQL database at UvA-BiTS (http://www.uva-bits.nl/virtual-lab)
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46326-1
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46326-1
e-issn: 2045-2322
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