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Feeding ecology informs parasite epidemiology: prey selection modulates encounter rate with Echinococcus multilocularis in urban coyotes.

Liccioli S, Bialowas C, Ruckstuhl KE, Massolo A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Dominant food items included small mammals, fruit and vegetation, although hare and deer were seasonally relevant.The lowest frequency of occurrence per scat of small mammals was recorded in winter (39.4%), when consumption of deer was highest (36.4%).Within the small mammal assemblage, voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus and Myodes gapperi) were the selected preys of urban coyotes and likely played a key role for the maintenance of the urban sylvatic life-cycle of E. multilocularis in Calgary.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the role of urban coyote feeding ecology in the transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of Alveolar Echinococcosis in humans. As coyotes can play a main role in the maintenance of this zoonotic parasite within North American urban settings, such study can ultimately aid disease risk management. Between June 2012 and June 2013, we collected 251 coyote feces and conducted trapping of small mammals (n = 971) in five parks in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We investigated E. multilocularis epidemiology by assessing seasonal variations of coyote diet and the selective consumption of different rodent intermediate host species. Furthermore, accounting for small mammal digestibility and coyote defecation rates we estimated the number of small mammal preys ingested by coyote and consequently, coyote encounter rates with the parasite. Dominant food items included small mammals, fruit and vegetation, although hare and deer were seasonally relevant. The lowest frequency of occurrence per scat of small mammals was recorded in winter (39.4%), when consumption of deer was highest (36.4%). However, highest encounter rates (number of infected hosts predated/season) with E. multilocularis (95% CI: 1.0-22.4), combined with the lack of predation on non-competent small mammal species, suggest that winter is the critical season for transmission and control of this parasite. Within the small mammal assemblage, voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus and Myodes gapperi) were the selected preys of urban coyotes and likely played a key role for the maintenance of the urban sylvatic life-cycle of E. multilocularis in Calgary.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Seasonal variations in the consumption of small mammal species by coyotes, expressed as the percentage of scats containing a given food items (i.e., frequency of occurrence per scat), in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013.
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pone.0121646.g001: Seasonal variations in the consumption of small mammal species by coyotes, expressed as the percentage of scats containing a given food items (i.e., frequency of occurrence per scat), in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013.

Mentions: According to the frequency of occurrence per scat, consumption of meadow vole (33.9%) was significantly higher than any other species of small mammals (southern red-backed vole = 8.0%, X2Exact = 50.880, df = 1, p<0.001; deer mouse = 5.6%, X2Exact = 63.428, df = 1, p<0.001; northern pocket gopher = 10.8%, X2Exact = 38.661, df = 1, p<0.001; western jumping mouse = 3.6%, X2Exact = 75.604, df = 1, p<0.001; shrews = 2.8%, X2Exact = 80.969, df = 1, p< 0.001) (Fig. 1). Meadow vole ranked as the most consumed small mammal also according to the mean number of animals ingested per coyote feces (0.90±0.13; median = 0, range = 0–12.44), which was significantly higher than all the other species (southern red-backed vole = 0.39± 0.14; median = 0, range = 0–25.39; U = 23597.5, df = 1, p<0.001; deer mouse = 0.17 ± 0.07; median = 0, range = 0–16.54; U = 22700.5, df = 1, p<0.001; northern pocket gopher = 0.15 ± 0.04; median = 0, range = 0–3.78; U = 23960.5, df = 1, p<0.001; western jumping mouse = 0.08±0.03; median = 0, range = 0–5.84; U = 22097.0, df = 1, p<0.001; shrews = 0.02±0.02; median = 0, range = 0–4.60; U = 21484.000, df = 1, p<0.001).


Feeding ecology informs parasite epidemiology: prey selection modulates encounter rate with Echinococcus multilocularis in urban coyotes.

Liccioli S, Bialowas C, Ruckstuhl KE, Massolo A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Seasonal variations in the consumption of small mammal species by coyotes, expressed as the percentage of scats containing a given food items (i.e., frequency of occurrence per scat), in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4359113&req=5

pone.0121646.g001: Seasonal variations in the consumption of small mammal species by coyotes, expressed as the percentage of scats containing a given food items (i.e., frequency of occurrence per scat), in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013.
Mentions: According to the frequency of occurrence per scat, consumption of meadow vole (33.9%) was significantly higher than any other species of small mammals (southern red-backed vole = 8.0%, X2Exact = 50.880, df = 1, p<0.001; deer mouse = 5.6%, X2Exact = 63.428, df = 1, p<0.001; northern pocket gopher = 10.8%, X2Exact = 38.661, df = 1, p<0.001; western jumping mouse = 3.6%, X2Exact = 75.604, df = 1, p<0.001; shrews = 2.8%, X2Exact = 80.969, df = 1, p< 0.001) (Fig. 1). Meadow vole ranked as the most consumed small mammal also according to the mean number of animals ingested per coyote feces (0.90±0.13; median = 0, range = 0–12.44), which was significantly higher than all the other species (southern red-backed vole = 0.39± 0.14; median = 0, range = 0–25.39; U = 23597.5, df = 1, p<0.001; deer mouse = 0.17 ± 0.07; median = 0, range = 0–16.54; U = 22700.5, df = 1, p<0.001; northern pocket gopher = 0.15 ± 0.04; median = 0, range = 0–3.78; U = 23960.5, df = 1, p<0.001; western jumping mouse = 0.08±0.03; median = 0, range = 0–5.84; U = 22097.0, df = 1, p<0.001; shrews = 0.02±0.02; median = 0, range = 0–4.60; U = 21484.000, df = 1, p<0.001).

Bottom Line: Dominant food items included small mammals, fruit and vegetation, although hare and deer were seasonally relevant.The lowest frequency of occurrence per scat of small mammals was recorded in winter (39.4%), when consumption of deer was highest (36.4%).Within the small mammal assemblage, voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus and Myodes gapperi) were the selected preys of urban coyotes and likely played a key role for the maintenance of the urban sylvatic life-cycle of E. multilocularis in Calgary.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the role of urban coyote feeding ecology in the transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of Alveolar Echinococcosis in humans. As coyotes can play a main role in the maintenance of this zoonotic parasite within North American urban settings, such study can ultimately aid disease risk management. Between June 2012 and June 2013, we collected 251 coyote feces and conducted trapping of small mammals (n = 971) in five parks in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We investigated E. multilocularis epidemiology by assessing seasonal variations of coyote diet and the selective consumption of different rodent intermediate host species. Furthermore, accounting for small mammal digestibility and coyote defecation rates we estimated the number of small mammal preys ingested by coyote and consequently, coyote encounter rates with the parasite. Dominant food items included small mammals, fruit and vegetation, although hare and deer were seasonally relevant. The lowest frequency of occurrence per scat of small mammals was recorded in winter (39.4%), when consumption of deer was highest (36.4%). However, highest encounter rates (number of infected hosts predated/season) with E. multilocularis (95% CI: 1.0-22.4), combined with the lack of predation on non-competent small mammal species, suggest that winter is the critical season for transmission and control of this parasite. Within the small mammal assemblage, voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus and Myodes gapperi) were the selected preys of urban coyotes and likely played a key role for the maintenance of the urban sylvatic life-cycle of E. multilocularis in Calgary.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus