June 2007

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


In five parks around Portland, Oregon, where there is a dense human population, investigators have found a 5.3% prevalence of the host of the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Sin Nombre Virus in deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus. Previous studies show the prevalence of SNV varies inversely with the level of biodiversity measured for each reserve. The current study uses a preserved subset of 257 specimens from the same populations to examine a second disease system: gastrointestinal meta-parasites, to compare the impact of the same environmental factors on a parasite with a different transmission strategy. The results were similar: biodiversity has an inverse effect on prevalence of meta-parasites, but population densities of P. maniculatus and of all small mammals have no significant effect. Analysis was performed using GEE modeling for correlated data. Models with more than one variable tested did not retain significance suggesting that some of the effect of biodiversity can be explained by changes in population dynamics. Mass was also a significant predictor, although not in a model stratified by weight or age. Biodiversity proves to be a persistent if not robust factor influencing wildlife disease dynamics.




School of Medicine



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