This experiment is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Grant Challenge Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

The impacts of rodent control on disease risk in urban areas

$3,138
Raised of $5,400 Goal
59%
Ended on 3/24/19
Campaign Ended
  • $3,138
    pledged
  • 59%
    funded
  • Finished
    on 3/24/19

Methods

Summary

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. 

Challenges

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!

Pre Analysis Plan

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.

Protocols

This project has not yet shared any protocols.