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Disease EcologyCommunity structure and pathogen dynamics$
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Sharon K. Collinge and Chris Ray

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567080.001.0001

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Extending the principles of community ecology to address the epidemiology of host-pathogen systems

Extending the principles of community ecology to address the epidemiology of host-pathogen systems

Chapter:
(p.6) chapter 2 Extending the principles of community ecology to address the epidemiology of host-pathogen systems
Source:
Disease Ecology
Author(s):

Robert D. Holt

Andrew P. Dobson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567080.003.0002

Most emerging diseases involve more than one host, and many involve complex host-pathogen communities. The epidemiology of host-pathogen communities is explored through the analysis of ‘community modules’ or small sets of interacting species. Relevant community modules include parasite chains and multiple parasite species are linked through competition for shared hosts. The authors analyze pathogen transmission dynamics in several types of community module; review mechanisms for parasite coexistence; and develop a series of simple models to elucidate these mechanisms. Their models and analyses provide a conceptual foundation and introduction to analytical tools that can be applied to many host-pathogen systems. One straightforward tool developed is isocline analysis, which allows for a qualitative description of the conditions required for the invasion of one or more parasite species given a fixed host density. Additional analyses involve the consideration of the ratio of inter- to intra-specific interactions, and its effect on host and parasite coexistence.

Keywords:   community modules, competition, isocline, invasion, coexistence, parasite, pathogen, transmission, disease, epidemiology

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