News from the Richardson Lab
In a recent publication by members of the Richardson lab, PC students found that urban rats harbor diverse parasite/pathogen communities that differ dramatically among locations, even across just a few city blocks. They also found that variation in rat parasites/pathogens was not associated with movement patterns of the rat reservoirs. But there was some evidence that rat movement was restricted to similar microenvironments, such that park rats will tend to move to other parks, while rats in residential housing complexes will generally move to other housing. This study has broad applications to human health risk from rat-borne diseases in cities around the world.
To read more, check out their paper in the November 2017 issue of Zoonoses and Public Health: Spatial Variation in the parasite communities and genomic structure of urban rats in New York City