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Hunting alters viral transmission and evolution in a large carnivore

Fountain-Jones, NM ORCID: 0000-0001-9248-8493, Kraberger, S, Gagne, RB, Gilbertson, MLJ, Trumbo, DR, Charleston, M ORCID: 0000-0001-8385-341X, Salerno, PE, Funk, WC, Crooks, K, Logan, K, Alldredge, M, Dellicour, S, Baele, G, Didelot, X, VandeWoude, S, Carver, S ORCID: 0000-0002-3579-7588 and Craft, ME 2022 , 'Hunting alters viral transmission and evolution in a large carnivore' , Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 6 , pp. 174-182 , doi: 10.1038/s41559-021-01635-5.

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Hunting can fundamentally alter wildlife population dynamics but the consequences of hunting on pathogen transmission and evolution remain poorly understood. Here, we present a study that leverages a unique landscape-scale quasi-experiment coupled with pathogen-transmission tracing, network simulation and phylodynamics to provide insights into how hunting shapes feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) dynamics in puma (Puma concolor). We show that removing hunting pressure enhances the role of males in transmission, increases the viral population growth rate and increases the role of evolutionary forces on the pathogen compared to when hunting was reinstated. Changes in transmission observed with the removal of hunting could be linked to short-term social changes while the male puma population increased. These findings are supported through comparison with a region with stable hunting management over the same time period. This study shows that routine wildlife management can have impacts on pathogen transmission and evolution not previously considered.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Fountain-Jones, NM and Kraberger, S and Gagne, RB and Gilbertson, MLJ and Trumbo, DR and Charleston, M and Salerno, PE and Funk, WC and Crooks, K and Logan, K and Alldredge, M and Dellicour, S and Baele, G and Didelot, X and VandeWoude, S and Carver, S and Craft, ME
Keywords: epidemiology
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2397-334X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41559-021-01635-5
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© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022

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