BMC infectious diseases 2018 01 1218(1) 37 doi 10.1186/s12879-017-2827-5
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is a rodent-borne disease caused by hantaviruses. Landscape can influence the risk of hantavirus infection for humans, mainly through its effect on rodent community composition and distribution. It is important to understand how landscapes influence population dynamics for different rodent species and the subsequent effect on HFRS risk.
To determine how rodent community composition influenced human hantavirus infection, we monitored rodent communities in the prefecture-level cities of Loudi and Shaoyang, China, from 2006 to 2013. Land use data were extracted from satellite images and rodent community diversity was analyzed in 45 trapping sites, in different environments. Potential contact matrices, determining how rodent community composition influence HFRS infection among different land use types, were estimated based on rodent community composition and environment type for geo-located HFRS cases.
Apodemus agrarius and Rattus norvegicus were the predominant species in Loudi and Shaoyang, respectively. The major risk of HFRS infection was concentrated in areas with cultivated land and was associated with A. agrarius, R. norvegicus, and Rattus flavipectus. In urban areas in Shaoyang, Mus musculus was related to risk of hantavirus infection.
Landscape features and rodent community dynamics may affect the risk of human hantavirus infection. Results of this study may be useful for the development of HFRS prevention initiatives that are customized for regions with different geographical environments.