A1 Journal article (refereed)
Borrelia afzelii alters reproductive success in a rodent host (2018)

Cayol, C., Giermek, A., Gomez-Chamorro, A., Hytönen, J., Kallio, E., Mappes, T., Salo, J., Voordouw, M. J., & Koskela, E. (2018). Borrelia afzelii alters reproductive success in a rodent host. Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences, 285(1884), Article 20181056. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1056

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Cayol, Claire; Giermek, Anna; Gomez-Chamorro, Andrea; Hytönen, Jukka; Kallio, Eva; Mappes, Tapio; Salo, Jemiina; Voordouw, Maarten Jeroen; Koskela, Esa

Journal or series: Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences

ISSN: 0962-8452

eISSN: 1471-2954

Publication year: 2018

Volume: 285

Issue number: 1884

Article number: 20181056

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1056

Research data link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:jyu-201806133148

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75265

Publication is parallel published: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2018092536593


The impact of a pathogen on the fitness and behaviour of its natural host depends upon the host–parasite relationship in a given set of environmental conditions. Here, we experimentally investigated the effects of Borrelia afzelii, one of the aetiological agents of Lyme disease in humans, on the fitness of its natural rodent host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), in semi-natural conditions with two contrasting host population densities. Our results show that B. afzelii can modify the reproductive success and spacing behaviour of its rodent host, whereas host survival was not affected. Infection impaired the breeding probability of large bank voles. Reproduction was hastened in infected females without alteration of the offspring size at birth. At low density, infected males produced fewer offspring, fertilized fewer females and had lower mobility than uninfected individuals. Meanwhile, the infection did not affect the proportion of offspring produced or the proportion of mating partner in female bank voles. Our study is the first to show that B. afzelii infection alters the reproductive success of the natural host. The effects observed could reflect the sickness behaviour due to the infection or they could be a consequence of a manipulation of the host behaviour by the bacteria.

Keywords: Borrelia; host animals; Clethrionomys glareolus; reproduction (biology); zoonoses

Free keywords: Borrelia afzelii; fitness; host–pathogen interaction; Myodes glareolus; zoonosis; natural host

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2018

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 14:33