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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Epidemiological Implications of Host Biodiversity and Vector Biology: Key Insights from Simple Models
Author(s): Dobson, Andrew
Auld, Stuart
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Keywords: vector-borne disease
tick-borne disease
dilution effect
disease risk
Issue Date: Apr-2016
Date Deposited: 1-Mar-2016
Citation: Dobson A & Auld S (2016) Epidemiological Implications of Host Biodiversity and Vector Biology: Key Insights from Simple Models. American Naturalist, 187 (4), pp. 405-422.;
Abstract: Models used to investigate the relationship between biodiversity change and vector-borne disease risk often do not explicitly include the vector; they instead rely on a frequency-dependent transmission function to represent vector dynamics. However, differences between classes of vector (e.g., ticks and insects) can cause discrepancies in epidemiological responses to environmental change. Using a pair of disease models (mosquito- and tick-borne), we simulated substitutive and additive biodiversity change (where noncompetent hosts replaced or were added to competent hosts, respectively), while considering different relationships between vector and host densities. We found important differences between classes of vector, including an increased likelihood of amplified disease risk under additive biodiversity change in mosquito models, driven by higher vector biting rates. We also draw attention to more general phenomena, such as a negative relationship between initial infection prevalence in vectors and likelihood of dilution, and the potential for a rise in density of infected vectors to occur simultaneously with a decline in proportion of infected hosts. This has important implications; the density of infected vectors is the most valid metric for primarily zoonotic infections, while the proportion of infected hosts is more relevant for infections where humans are a primary host.
DOI Link: 10.1086/685445
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Copyright 2016 by The University of Chicago. Accepted for publication by The American Naturalist on 11/19/2015. Managing Editor of The American Naturalist gave written permission for the publisher version to be made publicly available in this repository inline with NERC funder requirement.

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