This process might participate Ruxolitinib in explaining why PUUV – H. mixtum coinfection are only detected in the Northern massif des Ardennes despite the presence of H. mixtum over the region sampled. The Southern crêtes pré-ardennaises might experience less stressful climatic conditions that do not lead to strong trade-offs between immune responses. Temporal surveys of helminths and PUUV in these two geographic areas and in other part of Europe could
help confirming this hypothesis. Such longitudinal studies, including different sampling seasons, could also bring insight into the influence of population age structure in the helminth-PUUV interactions described here. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first
study that analyses hantavirus – helminth coinfection in natural populations of reservoirs. Our research stressed the influence of the environment in enhancing or depleting the occurrence of these coinfections. PUUV and parasite species distributions, which strongly depend on soil and climatic factors, and immune trade-offs mediated by stressful environmental conditions may affect the incidence and our capacities to detect coinfections of biological significance. Longitudinal studies are now required to follow the same marked bank voles through times and to disentangle the host, pathogen and environmental factors underlying the PUUV-helminth associations described in this study. Acknowledgements This work received the financial support from the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique and the GOCE-CT-2003-010284 EDEN. The manuscript is catalogued SB203580 concentration by the EDEN Steering Committee as EDEN0252 (http://www.eden-fp6project.net).
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