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Host ungulate richness increases tuberculosis risk in south Spain

AutorVicente, Joaquín ; Gortázar, Christian ; Fuente, José de la
Fecha de publicación2013
Citación62nd International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association (2013)
ResumenLife history affects pathogen virulence, transmissibility and specificity as well as host defenses and life strategies, which can determine whether richer assemblages of hosts increases or decreases disease risk. We used the presence of pulmonary TB to measure species and community competence in 45 wild ungulate (1752 wild boar Sus scrofa, 1910 red deer Cervus elaphus, and 329 fallow deer Dama dama) and extensive cattle populations (1309 individuals) in Southern Spain, with species richness ranging from 1 to 4. We found a 49% increase in community competence for TB in richer assemblages, and this was not attributable to changes in the abundance of the most competent hosts. While highlighting the benefit of a community-based approach to study infectious diseases, our findings illustrate that increases in biodiversity do not necessarily reduce disease risk. Much of the infection patterns of microparasites such as mycobacteria causing TB are determined by their ability to multiply directly within the host, regardless of the host life history traits, so a possible explanation is that a mass-action mode of transmission would benefit from increased niches offered by higher host diversity, resulting also in increased and more diverse networks of direct and indirect contacts (trophic relationships and host aggregation). These facts may apply specially for multi-host pathogens such as mycobacteria that also persist in the environment. We therefore must consider both natural variations in life histories of pathogens and host communities to characterize the impact of biodiversity conservation on human and animal health.
DescripciónResumen del trabajo presentado a la 62nd International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association. "Utilizing Wildlife Health to Conserve Biodiversity in the Appalachians and Beyond", celebrada en Knoxville, Tennessee (USA) del 27 de julio al 2 de agosto de 2013.
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