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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2011, Article ID 436193, 5 pages
Research Article

Relationship between Anti-European Brown Hare Syndrome Serological Titers and Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus Pallas) Densities

1Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pisa, Avenue of Piagge 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy
2Virology Department, Experimental Zooprofilactic Institute of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna “B. Ubertini”, Street Bianchi 9, 25125 Brescia, Italy
3Wildlife Technician, Hunting District Livorno (ATC19), Street F. Dini 3, 57021 Campiglia, Italy

Received 22 December 2010; Accepted 16 March 2011

Academic Editor: Frank Seebacher

Copyright © 2011 Gisella Paci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thirty-three protected wild game reproduction areas, located in the province of Florence (Central Italy), were monitored for habitat characteristics and hare census over a period of 2 years. A total of 172 hares was captured, checked for sex, and age, and blood samples were taken. Serum samples were analyzed by competitive ELISA test for detection and titration of anti-European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) antibodies. Results showed that EBHSV seropositive hares from areas with high and medium population densities had higher antibody titers than those coming from low-density areas and that adults showed lower values than young animals. Anti-EBHSV antibody levels were inversely related to the distances between protected areas and private hunting areas while a high density of protected areas was not associated with any similarity in the values or prevalence of EBHSV.