(1/373) Phenotypic differences in the GnRH neuronal system of deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus under a natural short photoperiod.

The neural mechanisms by which short photoperiod induces gonadal regression among seasonally breeding mammals are not well understood. One hypothesis suggests that the proximate cause of seasonal gonadal regression is a photoperiod-induced modification in GnRH secretion. This hypothesis is indirectly supported by our recent findings using immunocytochemistry which identified specific photoperiod-induced adjustments in the number and morphology of GnRH containing neurones between reproductively competent and reproductively regressed laboratory housed male deer mice. Herein, we report that the GnRH neuronal system is similarly affected in reproductively responsive and nonresponsive wild male deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus exposed to a natural short photoperiod. The distribution of immunoreactive (IR)-GnRH neurones was nearly identical in field caught animals and those housed under artificial photoperiod in the laboratory. Compared with reproductively nonresponsive males, reproductively responsive mice from the field population possessed a greater total number of IR-GnRH neurones, a greater number of IR-GnRH neurones within the lateral hypothalamus, and a greater proportion of bipolar IR-GnRH neurones. Each of these distributional and morphological characters was consistent with our findings in laboratory housed male deer mice exposed to an artificial short photoperiod. Taken together, these data underscore the validity of using an artificial photoperiod to evaluate seasonal adjustments in reproductive function in the laboratory.  (+info)

(2/373) Genetic diversity and distribution of Peromyscus-borne hantaviruses in North America.

The 1993 outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the southwestern United States was associated with Sin Nombre virus, a rodent-borne hantavirus; The virus' primary reservoir is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Hantavirus-infected rodents were identified in various regions of North America. An extensive nucleotide sequence database of an 139 bp fragment amplified from virus M genomic segments was generated. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that SNV-like hantaviruses are widely distributed in Peromyscus species rodents throughout North America. Classic SNV is the major cause of HPS in North America, but other Peromyscine-borne hantaviruses, e.g., New York and Monongahela viruses, are also associated with HPS cases. Although genetically diverse, SNV-like viruses have slowly coevolved with their rodent hosts. We show that the genetic relationships of hantaviruses in the Americas are complex, most likely as a result of the rapid radiation and speciation of New World sigmodontine rodents and occasional virus-host switching events.  (+info)

(3/373) Climatic and environmental patterns associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Four Corners region, United States.

To investigate climatic, spatial, temporal, and environmental patterns associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases in the Four Corners region, we collected exposure site data for HPS cases that occurred in 1993 to 1995. Cases clustered seasonally and temporally by biome type and geographic location, and exposure sites were most often found in pinyon-juniper woodlands, grasslands, and Great Basin desert scrub lands, at elevations of 1,800 m to 2,500 m. Environmental factors (e.g., the dramatic increase in precipitation associated with the 1992 to 1993 El Nino) may indirectly increase the risk for Sin Nombre virus exposure and therefore may be of value in designing disease prevention campaigns.  (+info)

(4/373) Long-term hantavirus persistence in rodent populations in central Arizona.

For 35 months, we monitored hantavirus activity in rodent populations in central Arizona. The most frequently captured hantavirus antibody-positive rodents were Peromyscus boylii and P. truei. Antibody-positive P. boylii were more frequently male (84%), older, and heavier, and they survived longer on trapping web sites than antibody-negative mice. The number of antibody-positive P. boylii was greater during high population densities than during low densities, while antibody prevalence was greater during low population densities. Virus transmission and incidence rates, also related to population densities, varied by trapping site. The spatial distribution of antibody-positive P. boylii varied by population density and reflected the species preference for dense chaparral habitats. The focal ranges of antibody-positive P. boylii also demonstrated a patchy distribution of hantavirus.  (+info)

(5/373) Natural history of Sin Nombre virus in western Colorado.

A mark-recapture longitudinal study of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody to Sin Nombre virus (SNV) in rodent populations in western Colorado (1994-results summarized to October 1997) indicates the presence of SNV or a closely related hantavirus at two sites. Most rodents (principally deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, and pinyon mice, P. truei) did not persist on the trapping webs much beyond 1 month after first capture. Some persisted more than 1 year, which suggests that even a few infected deer mice could serve as transseasonal reservoirs and mechanisms for over-winter virus maintenance. A positive association between wounds and SNV antibody in adult animals at both sites suggests that when infected rodents in certain populations fight with uninfected rodents, virus amplification occurs. At both sites, male rodents comprised a larger percentage of seropositive mice than recaptured mice, which suggests that male mice contribute more to the SNV epizootic cycle than female mice. In deer mice, IgG antibody prevalence fluctuations were positively associated with population fluctuations. The rates of seroconversion, which in deer mice at both sites occurred mostly during late summer and midwinter, were higher than the seroprevalence, which suggests that the longer deer mice live, the greater the probability they will become infected with SNV.  (+info)

(6/373) Disparity in the natural cycles of Borrelia burgdorferi and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.

We studied the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) among questing nymphal and adult Ixodes scapularis ticks of the same generation and the infectivity of wild white-footed mice for ticks feeding on them. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking ticks increased less than twofold from nymphal (31% to 33%) to adult (52% to 56%) stage, and 52% of white-footed mice were infected. Prevalence of the agent of HGE increased 4.5- to 10.6-fold from nymphal (1.5% to 1.8%) to adult stage (7.6% to 19.0%), while only 18% of mice were infectious to ticks. B. burgdorferi infection was more common in mouse-fed ticks than in ticks collected from vegetation, whereas the agent of HGE was half as common in mouse-fed ticks as in ticks collected from vegetation. The different prevalence in nature of these pathogens in ticks suggests that their maintenance cycles are also different.  (+info)

(7/373) Longitudinal study of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in a population of Peromyscus leucopus at a Lyme disease-enzootic site in Maryland.

The maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi in a population of Peromyscus leucopus was investigated from 202 mark and recapture mice and 61 mice that were removed from a site in Baltimore County, Maryland. Borrelia burgdorferi infection was detected by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of ear tissue, and exposure to the spirochete was quantified by serology. Overall prevalence of B. burgdorferi, as determined by culture and PCR of ear tissue at first capture, was 25% in the longitudinal sample and 42% in the cross-sectional sample. Significantly more juvenile mice were captured in the longitudinal sample (18%) than in the cross-sectional sample (0%). Among 36 captured juvenile mice, only one was infected with B. burgdorferi; this contributed to a significant trend for infection with B. burgdorferi with age. Recovery from infection with B. burgdorferi was not detected among 77 mice followed for an average of 160 days. The incidence rate of infection with B. burgdorferi was 10 times greater in mice captured during two periods of high risk of exposure to nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks compared with a period of low risk. Maintenance of B. burgdorferi in this population was dependent on indirect transmission of the organism from infected ticks to susceptible mice and development of chronic infection with the spirochete, which had no measurable effect on the survival of infected mice.  (+info)

(8/373) Development and distribution of pathologic lesions are related to immune status and tissue deposition of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent-infected cells in a murine model system.

To evaluate pathology and the role of immune status in a murine model system of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), C3H/HeJ, C3H-SCID, and Peromyscus leucopus mice were infected with an HGE agent. All mice remained healthy. Ehrlichemia was not detected after day 14 in P. leucopus and C3H/HeJ mice but increased between days 14 and 90 in C3H-SCID mice. In tissues examined at day 21 and later, infection was rarely detected in immunocompetent mice but was present in all C3H-SCID mice and included pulmonary endothelialitis and hepatic mononuclear cell aggregates with apoptoses. HGE agent was demonstrated in mature and immature myeloid cells in hematopoietic tissues and infrequently in lung and liver lesions with deposition of infected cells. HGE agent infection in immunocompromised mice progresses slowly, has a higher infectious burden and more tissue pathology and is persistent. A murine model for HGE may be useful to assess pathologic lesions, transmission, and persistence.  (+info)