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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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Evidence that rodent control strategies ought to be improved to enhance food security and reduce the risk of rodent-borne illnesses within subsistence farming villages in the plague/endemic West Nile region, Uganda

This resource presents a survey of 37 households from 17 subsistence farming villages within the West Nile region of Uganda. This revealed that rodents cause both pre- and post-harvest damage to crops. Evidence of rodent access to stored foods was reported in conjunction with each of the reported storage practices, and the paper suggests that current efforts are inadequate for effectively reducing rodent abundance in homes.

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Lassa Fever: a rodent-human interaction

This resource examines the sites of interactions between humans and the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis. It presents findings such as new arenaviruses in other African rodents and in snakes, that  argue preferably toward the host-switching concept. The recent emergence in Sierra Leone, the absence of virus positive Mastomys between the two endemic zones and poor virus diversity in the Mano River area also point in the direction of a unique import of Lassa virus from Nigeria to Sierra Leone during the 19th century. This resource also discusses the hypothesis of human displacements through the Atlantic slave trade and its abolition in 1807.

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Diversity and dynamics in a community of small mammals in coastal Guinea, West Africa

This resource investigated three villages in high endemic zones of Lassa fever in Guinea and presents the biodeiversity of the small mammal community identified through standardized trapping in houses, cultivations and forest.

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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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Forecasting rodent outbreaks in Africa: an ecological basis for Mastomys control in Tanzania

This study collected rainfall data preceding historical outbreaks of Mastomys rats in East Africa in order to test the hypothesis that such outbreaks occur after long dry periods. It found that rodent outbreaks were generally not preceded by long dry period and the population dynamics of Mastomys natalensis rats in Tanzania are significantly affected by the distribution of rainfall during the rainy season.

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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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Organizing the donation of convalescent plasma for a therapeutic clinical trial on Ebola Virus Disease: The experience in Guinea

This resource reports on the successful organization of donor mobilization and plasma collection as part of the Ebola-Tx clinical trial from November 2014 to July 2015 in Conakry, Guinea, the challenges they faced, and efforts made to address these.

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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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