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Trends Parasitol. 2011 Aug;27(8):355-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Host specificity in phylogenetic and geographic space.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. robert.poulin@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

The measurement of host specificity goes well beyond counting how many host species can successfully be used by a parasite. In particular, specificity can be assessed with respect to how closely related the host species are, or whether a parasite exploits the same or different hosts across its entire geographic range. Recent developments in the measurement of biodiversity offer a new set of analytical tools that can be used to quantify the many aspects of host specificity. We describe here the multifaceted nature of host specificity, summarize the indices available to measure its different facets one at a time or in combination, and discuss their implications for parasite evolution and disease epidemiology.

PMID:
21680245
DOI:
10.1016/j.pt.2011.05.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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