Increasing preparedness by networking: the network “Rodent-borne pathogens”
Rodents are important as pests in agriculture and forestry, as model organisms for biomedical studies and as pathogen reservoirs. These pathogens may have the potential to cause disease in domestic animals and humans, or might be rodent-specific and have no or yet unknown zoonotic potential. The network “Rodent-borne pathogens” was established as a platform for an interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists working in mammalogy, ecology, genetics, immunology, toxicology, epidemiology, virology, microbiology, parasitology and human and veterinary medicine. The presentation will give an overview on the activities of the network: (i) to identify the diversity of pathogens in rodents and other small mammals, (ii) to estimate the geographical distribution and host specificity of these pathogens, (iii) to understand processes that may lead to outbreaks and to characterize genetic consequences of rodent population dynamics on pathogens, (iv) to evaluate the influence of pest management (and rodenticide resistance) on pathogen occurrence and prevalence in pest species (rats, house mice), (v) to prove the zoonotic potential of novel pathogens, (vi) to develop tools for experimental studies on rodent-borne pathogens, and (vii) to develop tools and workflows for detection of rodent-borne pathogens. In conclusion, the network provides an important infrastructure for interdisciplinary scientific work in a One Health perspective.