House mouse infestations: is there a public health risk and are current approaches to control effective?

Murphy, G and Williams, HJ 2004, House mouse infestations: is there a public health risk and are current approaches to control effective? , in: Second World Health Organisation International Housing and Health Symposium, 29 September - 1 October 2004, Vilnius, Lithuania.

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In the UK, urban mice (Mus domesticus) are often viewed as nuisance pests and there is no coherent approach to the control of house mouse infestations. Cheetham Hill is an inner city area of Manchester, England. A study area that was typical of other areas of the city was defined. It contained 253 domestic properties with a diverse mix of housing types ranging in age and styles from pre 1919 terraces to more recently built detached/semi-detached dwellings in public and private ownership. Tracking plates were used to detect mouse activity internally. Thirty percent of the properties had evidence of indoor mouse infestations. Mice were live trapped within infested properties and tissue samples extracted for DNA fingerprinting. DNA analysis confirmed that mice were able to move between properties that were attached to each other, but there was little movement between blocks of properties. The trapped mice were also screened for the presence of Toxoplasma cysts in the brain tissue. Fifty-nine percent of the trapped mice were found to be infected with Toxoplasma. Previous research has reported levels of infection to be between 1 – 5 % within mouse populations. The public health significance of this finding is fully discussed. The paper also reports on current approaches to control in the UK and, following the findings of this work, assesses the effectiveness of these control strategies to eradicate house mouse infestations in the UK.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Symposium session: 'Pests in the urban environment'
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Funders: World Health Organisation (WHO)
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2008 16:56
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:02

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