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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 coyote fecal prevalence (mean, 95% CI) [13] and the number of infected intermediate hosts (IHs; mean, 95% CI) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (A); number of small mammals and proportion of intermediate hosts (IHs/total number of small mammals) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (B).
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pone.0121646.g002: Seasonal variations in coyote fecal prevalence (mean, 95% CI) [13] and the number of infected intermediate hosts (IHs; mean, 95% CI) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (A); number of small mammals and proportion of intermediate hosts (IHs/total number of small mammals) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (B).

Mentions: The proportion of intermediate hosts predated varied across seasons (X2Exact = 23.646, df = 3, p<0.001), with that in winter (1.0) being significantly higher than values observed in summer (0.79; X2 = 17.767, df = 1, p<0.001), fall (0.87; X2 = 9.649, df = 1, p = 0.003) and spring (0.88; X2 = 9.148, df = 1, p = 0.001). Meadow voles accounted for the majority of ingested intermediate hosts, with a mean of 60.6±21.9 individuals preyed by coyote per season, and ranging from a minimum of 24.4 in fall to a maximum of 118.8 in spring. Southern red-backed vole was the second most recurrent prey species (mean = 29.6±5.9), followed by deer mouse (11.5±9.3), northern pocket gopher (9.1±4.4), western jumping mouse (4.8±2.0) and shrew (1.1±2.2) (Fig. 2B).


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 coyote fecal prevalence (mean, 95% CI) [13] and the number of infected intermediate hosts (IHs; mean, 95% CI) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (A); number of small mammals and proportion of intermediate hosts (IHs/total number of small mammals) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (B).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0121646.g002: Seasonal variations in coyote fecal prevalence (mean, 95% CI) [13] and the number of infected intermediate hosts (IHs; mean, 95% CI) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (A); number of small mammals and proportion of intermediate hosts (IHs/total number of small mammals) estimated to be ingested by individual coyote in five sites in urban Calgary, AB, Canada, between June 2012 and June 2013 (B).
Mentions: The proportion of intermediate hosts predated varied across seasons (X2Exact = 23.646, df = 3, p<0.001), with that in winter (1.0) being significantly higher than values observed in summer (0.79; X2 = 17.767, df = 1, p<0.001), fall (0.87; X2 = 9.649, df = 1, p = 0.003) and spring (0.88; X2 = 9.148, df = 1, p = 0.001). Meadow voles accounted for the majority of ingested intermediate hosts, with a mean of 60.6±21.9 individuals preyed by coyote per season, and ranging from a minimum of 24.4 in fall to a maximum of 118.8 in spring. Southern red-backed vole was the second most recurrent prey species (mean = 29.6±5.9), followed by deer mouse (11.5±9.3), northern pocket gopher (9.1±4.4), western jumping mouse (4.8±2.0) and shrew (1.1±2.2) (Fig. 2B).

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