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Rodent Control

Rodent control 

In the absence of vaccine, rodent control has been thought to be the best way to control the Lassa disease. Broadly, control methods could fit into four categories: Infrastructure (housing and food storage), biological (animals), chemical (poisons etc.) or traps. Rodent control methodologies can include actions within the domestic sphere and outside of the home in the surrounding bush. The prevalence of each method and their relative success in reducing rodent exposure requires further study. Control methods may also differ because of the way animals are classified. Previous research has shown that rodents found outside of villages may be acceptable to hunt for food, whereas the same rodents found within the village may not be due to an association with disease. An individual’s access to different rodent control methods is often dependant on either the wares stocked in local periodic markets or their ability to frequently travel to larger markets further away. The cost per unit and ease of transportation of different rodent control methods may also affect their dissemination into the rural markets.

Resources

Evaluation of rodent control to fight Lassa fever based on field data and mathematical modelling

This resource aims to to assess the efficacy of rodent control by performing a 4-year field experiment in rural Upper Guinea, and developing a mathematical model to simulate different control strategies (annual density control, continuous density control, and rodent vaccination).

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The bioeconomics of controlling an African rodent pest species

This resource presents an ecological population model as a basis for an economic analyses of controlling an African pest rodent, the multimammate rate, which causes major damage in maize production. This study sues data from the village level in Tanzania, and the model incorporates density-dependent and density-independent factors.

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Rodent control to fight Lassa fever: Evaluation and lessons learned from a 4-year study in Upper Guinea

This paper performed a 4 year intervention based on chemical rodent control, utilizing anticoagulant rodenticides in 3 villages and evaluating the rodent abundance before and after treatment. They found that chemical treatment provides an effective tool to control local rodent populations. Based on these findings and the acceptability of rodent control activities at community level, the authors aim to promote, in coordination with health and agricultural authorities, a more holistic approach, including rodent trapping and poisoning, environmental hygiene, personal hygiene, house repairs and rodent-proof storage.

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Domestic cats and dogs create a landscape of fear for pest rodents around rural homesteads

This paper found that the presence of cats and dogs at the same homestead significantly reduced activity and increased ’giving up densities’ (i.e. increased perception of foraging cost) of pest rodent species. The results suggest that pest rodent activity can be discouraged through the presence of domestic predators. When different types of predator are present together, they likely create a heightened landscape of fear for foraging rodents.

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Case-control study of Mastomys natalensis and humans in Lassa virus-infected households in Sierra Leone

This resource studied Lassa virus infection and antibodies in households where Lassa fever cases occurred and compared these to those in the nearest neighbour houses and "far" houses located across the village. It reports on rodent infection and human anti-body prevalence. 

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