The quantitative contribution of vertical transmission to the prevalence rate of Junin virus infection in subsequent generations of its natural reservoir, , was analysed. Data on mortality and reproduction of infected at birth with a wild strain of Junin virus were used to estimate the infection-dependent relative survival rate (β = 0.4849) and relative fertility of the infected host (α = 0.2088). Prevalence rates of infection, obtained by mathematical simulation in optimal conditions of vertical transfer, dropped steadily to zero in a few generations. Vertical transmission was found to be insufficient to overcome the effect of highly depressed survival and fertility of the infected host and maintain a stabilized prevalence of Junin virus infection in successive generations; this suggested that viral maintenance is mainly dependent upon horizontal transmission.


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