We study rats from neighborhoods across Chicago by receiving trapped rats from pest management professionals. Once received, we collect several different organs for disease testing and genetic analysis and collect a hair sample to examine their stress levels. We will ship liver samples from at least 80 rats to a veterinary diagnostic lab to measure the concentrations of six commonly used rodenticides: warfarin, coumachlor, diphacinone, chlorophacinone, brodifacoum, and difethialone.
We have been having good success receiving rats from diverse Chicago neighborhoods and testing them for disease such as leptospirosis and Escherichia coli. Our biggest challenge is that testing for rodenticide exposure is expensive - which is why we need your help!
Our goal is to test the hypothesis that poisoned rats are more likely to be infected with bacterial diseases. We will perform statistical tests to see if there is a positive correlation between rodenticide concentrations in rat livers and the likelihood of being infected with E. coli. We will include additional variables in our statistical models to test if this relationship is dependent on factors such as the age or sex of the rat and the neighborhood in which it was caught.
This project has not yet shared any protocols.