The King Laboratory
of Theoretical Ecology & Evolution
at the University of Michigan

Coupled heterogeneities and their impact on parasite transmission and control

G. M. Vazquez-Prokopec, T. A. Perkins, L. A. Waller, A. L. Lloyd, R. C. Reiner, T. W. Scott, and U. Kitron
Trends in Parasitology 32:  356–367, 2016.

Most host-parasite systems exhibit remarkable heterogeneity in the contribution to transmission of certain individuals, locations, host infectious states, or parasite strains. While significant advancements have been made in the understanding of the impact of transmission heterogeneity in epidemic dynamics and parasite persistence and evolution, the knowledge base of the factors contributing to transmission heterogeneity is limited. We argue that research efforts should move beyond considering the impact of single sources of heterogeneity and account for complex couplings between conditions with potential synergistic impacts on parasite transmission. Using theoretical approaches and empirical evidence from various host-parasite systems, we investigate the ecological and epidemiological significance of couplings between heterogeneities and discuss their potential role in transmission dynamics and the impact of control.

The official version of the paper is here.  

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