A serial cross-sectional study of the prevalence of rabbit haemorrhagic disease on three farms in the lower North Island of New Zealand

Henning, J. and Davies, P. (2005) A serial cross-sectional study of the prevalence of rabbit haemorrhagic disease on three farms in the lower North Island of New Zealand. New Zealand veterinary journal, 53 2: 149-153. doi:10.1080/00480169.2005.36493


Author Henning, J.
Davies, P.
Title A serial cross-sectional study of the prevalence of rabbit haemorrhagic disease on three farms in the lower North Island of New Zealand
Journal name New Zealand veterinary journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-0169
Publication date 2005-04-01
Year available 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00480169.2005.36493
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 53
Issue 2
Start page 149
End page 153
Total pages 5
Place of publication Wellington, N.Z.
Publisher New Zealand Veterinary Association
Language eng
Subject 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
070704 Veterinary Epidemiology
Abstract AIM: To estimate over a 3-year period following the first release of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) the prevalence of rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and the abundance of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in an area that historically had low rabbit densities. METHODS: Three farms grazing predominantly sheep and beef cattle, located close together and with low initial rabbit densities, were selected for study. RHDV had been deliberately released on all farms in December 1997. Farms were visited 2–3 times per year between June 1998 and April 2001. At each visit, rabbits were shot with the aid of spotlights at night and blood samples were collected for detection of RHDV antibodies. Rabbit carcasses were necropsied and the age of the animals was determined. Rabbit abundance on each property was measured throughout the study using spotlight night counts. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with the risk of carcasses being seropositive for RHDV. RESULTS: Rabbit density differed initially between farms (8.2, 9.9, 2.3 rabbits per spotlight km in June 1998), and declined on all three properties over time (1.2, 2.4, 1.1 rabbits per spotlight km in November 2000). Highest antibody titres to RHDV were initially evident on the farm on which rabbits were most abundant. The average prevalence of seropositive rabbits overall was 21% (95% CI=15–28%). Female rabbits tended to be less likely to be seropositive for RHDV than males (OR=0.47; 95% CI=0.21–1.02). The odds of becoming seropositive were reduced for rabbits born in the breeding season of 1999–2000 (OR=0.17; 95% CI=0.05–0.64). CONCLUSIONS: The temporal pattern of outbreaks measured by peaks of seroprevalence differed between closely-spaced farms when they had different rabbit densities, but were similar when rabbit densities were similar. Microclimate and vegetation influencing abundance of insect vectors for RHDV and intrinsic population-related factors like rabbit breeding behaviour are also likely to be involved in local patterns of spread.
Keyword Wild Rabbit
Oryctolagus Cuniculus
Rabbit Haemorrhagic diseae
Population density
Serology
Seroprevalence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 31 Mar 2009, 01:15:23 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of School of Veterinary Science