Pathogen study of house mice on islands reveals insights into viral persistence in isolated populations
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences
Studies on island populations of house mice and their viruses can reveal insights into viral persistence in isolated communities, while allowing hypotheses to be developed with respect to local adaptation to insular environments. We compared the seroprevalence of antibodies to 14 murine viruses from house mice inhabiting three islands near Australia. House mice sampled from arid Thevenard Island were seropositive to only one virus, murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), while mice on Boullanger Island were seropositive to two viruses—MCMV and epizootic diarrhoea of infant mice. On subantarctic Macquarie Island, house mice were seropositive for five viruses—MCMV, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, mouse parvovirus, epizootic diarrhoea of infant mice, and Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus. The diversity of antiviral antibodies is lower among populations of house mice on islands than those inhabiting mainland Australia. The diversity of viruses in island populations of house mice poses interesting questions about viral persistence in isolated and remote locations.