Seasonal dynamics of the wild rodent faecal virome

Raghwani, J. et al. (2023) Seasonal dynamics of the wild rodent faecal virome. Molecular Ecology, 32(17), pp. 4763-4776. (doi: 10.1111/mec.16778) (PMID:36367339) (PMCID:PMC7614976)

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Viral discovery studies in wild animals often rely on cross-sectional surveys at a single time point. As a result, our understanding of the temporal stability of wild animal viromes remains poorly resolved. While studies of single host–virus systems indicate that host and environmental factors influence seasonal virus transmission dynamics, comparable insights for whole viral communities in multiple hosts are lacking. Utilizing noninvasive faecal samples from a long-term wild rodent study, we characterized viral communities of three common European rodent species (Apodemus sylvaticus, A. flavicollis and Myodes glareolus) living in temperate woodland over a single year. Our findings indicate that a substantial fraction of the rodent virome is seasonally transient and associated with vertebrate or bacteria hosts. Further analyses of one of the most common virus families, Picornaviridae, show pronounced temporal changes in viral richness and evenness, which were associated with concurrent and up to ~3-month lags in host density, ambient temperature, rainfall and humidity, suggesting complex feedbacks from the host and environmental factors on virus transmission and shedding in seasonal habitats. Overall, this study emphasizes the importance of understanding the seasonal dynamics of wild animal viromes in order to better predict and mitigate zoonotic risks.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The viral metagenomics study was supported by the British Ecological Society small research grant (award no. SR18/1519) awarded to JR. In addition, we thank Dr Curt Lamberth, The Wytham Estate, for providing the microclimate data. SF and OGP are supported by BBSRC grant BB/T008806/1.s. CLF was funded by a NERC Fellowship (NE/V014730/1), SCLK by a NERC fellowship (NE/L011867/1) and an ERC Starting Grant (MUSMICRO, Project no. 851550), KM by an RVC studentship, and AR by a Clarendon Scholarship. SCH was supported by the Wellcome Trust [220414/Z/20/Z]. This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant no. 220414/Z/20/Z].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faust, Christina
Authors: Raghwani, J., Faust, C. L., François, S., Nguyen, D., Marsh, K., Raulo, A., Hill, S. C., Parag, K. V., Simmonds, P., Knowles, S. C. L., and Pybus, O. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Molecular Ecology
ISSN (Online):1365-294X
Published Online:11 November 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Molecular Ecology 32(17):4763-4776
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5061/dryad.612jm645s

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
311944Identifying mechanisms driving spatiotemporal disease dynamics in converted landscapesChristina FaustNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/V014730/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine