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The role of macroPARAsite COinfection in Rodent-borne microparasite Transmission (PARACORT)
Start date: 22 May 2015, End date: 21 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Rodent-borne microparasitic infectious diseases (e.g. LCMv), including those transmitted by the rodents’ ectoparasites (e.g. TBE), are of increasing concern for public health. Rodents themselves are also a threat to food security because they damage agricultural crops and food stores. Effective control of these emerging and re-emerging diseases (and the rodent hosts themselves) requires a full understanding of the parasite-host dynamic. This dynamic is likely to be altered where hosts are coinfected with prevalent endemic macroparasite species (e.g. helminths), which change host demography and may interact directly with microparasites via the host’s immune system. Using empirical data from a typical European temperate forest in the Autonomous Province of Trent (PAT), Northern Italy, this project will: i) first assesses which macro- and microparasites interactions exist among the common parasite community in this region (using advanced statistical methods), ii) develop a mathematical modelling framework to assess the long term dynamics of the rodent and parasite community and to simulate the outcome of a range of different parasite and host control strategies and iii) use this model to develop a co-ordinated ‘OneHealth’ plan for both rodent and parasite control in PAT .
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