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Trophic ecology, behaviour and host population dynamics in Echinococcus multilocularis transmission


Raoul, Francis; Hegglin, Daniel; Giraudoux, Patrick (2015). Trophic ecology, behaviour and host population dynamics in Echinococcus multilocularis transmission. Veterinary Parasitology, 213(3-4):162-171.

Abstract

The life cycle of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis primarily involves canids and small mammals (rodents, lagomorphs) as definitive and intermediate hosts, respectively. Several surveys have identified marked temporal and geographical variations at different scales in the parasite's prevalence in both types of hosts, suggesting variations in the biological and ecological factors that control transmission processes. The parasite transmission from intermediate to definitive hosts is determined by the predator-prey relationship, which theoretically depends on prey population dynamics and the complex dietary response of predators to varying densities of prey species and other food items. Parasite eggs are transmitted to intermediate hosts via carnivore faeces, whose distribution in the environment is driven by the defecating behaviour of final hosts. We reviewed field-based studies that address issues related to the trophic ecology and behaviour of definitive hosts, interactions between definitive and intermediate hosts, and E. multilocularis transmission both in wild and domestic animals in rural and urban environments. Two density-dependent mechanisms control the transmission dynamics in definitive hosts: one is based on the variations in the availability of intermediate hosts, and the other is based on the variations in the density of the definitive host and its faeces. Non-linearity and the direct and delayed responses of definitive host contamination in relation to intermediate host population variations were recorded. The dietary response of the red fox was shown to be complex when abundant alternative resources were available (anthropogenic food, multiple intermediate host prey species). Micro-local hotspots of parasite transmission to intermediate hosts in a landscape, as well as areas of higher risk for human contamination in village and urban settings, may be explained by the definitive hosts' activity patterns and defecation behaviour.

Abstract

The life cycle of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis primarily involves canids and small mammals (rodents, lagomorphs) as definitive and intermediate hosts, respectively. Several surveys have identified marked temporal and geographical variations at different scales in the parasite's prevalence in both types of hosts, suggesting variations in the biological and ecological factors that control transmission processes. The parasite transmission from intermediate to definitive hosts is determined by the predator-prey relationship, which theoretically depends on prey population dynamics and the complex dietary response of predators to varying densities of prey species and other food items. Parasite eggs are transmitted to intermediate hosts via carnivore faeces, whose distribution in the environment is driven by the defecating behaviour of final hosts. We reviewed field-based studies that address issues related to the trophic ecology and behaviour of definitive hosts, interactions between definitive and intermediate hosts, and E. multilocularis transmission both in wild and domestic animals in rural and urban environments. Two density-dependent mechanisms control the transmission dynamics in definitive hosts: one is based on the variations in the availability of intermediate hosts, and the other is based on the variations in the density of the definitive host and its faeces. Non-linearity and the direct and delayed responses of definitive host contamination in relation to intermediate host population variations were recorded. The dietary response of the red fox was shown to be complex when abundant alternative resources were available (anthropogenic food, multiple intermediate host prey species). Micro-local hotspots of parasite transmission to intermediate hosts in a landscape, as well as areas of higher risk for human contamination in village and urban settings, may be explained by the definitive hosts' activity patterns and defecation behaviour.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:30 October 2015
Deposited On:12 Feb 2016 09:14
Last Modified:29 Nov 2016 08:23
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-4017
Additional Information:Special Issue: Plenary papers presented at the ESCCAP Echinococcus 2014 scientific meeting — Held at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Vilnius, Lithuania
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.07.034
PubMed ID:26276578

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