Spatial and temporal dynamics of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in wild rodents, northern Italy.Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Jul; 15(7):1019-25.EI
We determined the prevalence of infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) among small mammals in northern Italy and analyzed long-term dynamics of LCMV in a rodent population in the province of Trento. LCMV is circulating among the most widespread and common wild rodent species in this area (Apodemus flavicollis, Myodes glareolus, and Microtus arvalis); overall prevalence is 6.8%. During 2000-2006, intensive monitoring of LCMV in a population of yellow-necked mice (A. flavicollis) showed a positive correlation between prevalence of infection and rodent density. At the individual level, weight and sex appeared to correlate with antibody prevalence, which suggests that horizontal transmission of LCMV occurs principally among heavier, older males and occurs during fighting. Isolation and genetic characterization of this virus will be the crucial next steps for a better understanding of its ecology.