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Trends Ecol Evol. 2019 Apr;34(4):303-314. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2018.12.009. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Extreme Competence: Keystone Hosts of Infections.

Author information

1
Global and Planetary Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620, USA. Electronic address: lbmartin@health.usf.edu.
2
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong Waurn Ponds, VIC 3216, Australia.
3
CSIRO Health & Biosecurity at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia.
4
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia.
5
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7008, Australia.
6
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia.
7
Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.
8
Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
9
School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia.
10
Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia.
11
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
12
School of Life and Environmental Sciences (SOLES), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Abstract

Individual hosts differ extensively in their competence for parasites, but traditional research has discounted this variation, partly because modeling such heterogeneity is difficult. This discounting has diminished as tools have improved and recognition has grown that some hosts, the extremely competent, can have exceptional impacts on disease dynamics. Most prominent among these hosts are the superspreaders, but other forms of extreme competence (EC) exist and others await discovery; each with potentially strong but distinct implications for disease emergence and spread. Here, we propose a framework for the study and discovery of EC, suitable for different host-parasite systems, which we hope enhances our understanding of how parasites circulate and evolve in host communities.

KEYWORDS:

disease; epidemic; infection; zoonosis

PMID:
30704782
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2018.12.009

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