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Host heterogeneity affects both parasite transmission to and fitness on subsequent hosts


Stephenson, Jessica F; Young, Kyle A; Fox, Jordan; Jokela, Jukka; Cable, Joanne; Perkins, Sarah E (2017). Host heterogeneity affects both parasite transmission to and fitness on subsequent hosts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 372(1719):0093.

Abstract

Infectious disease dynamics depend on the speed, number and fitness of parasites transmitting from infected hosts (‘donors’) to parasite-naive ‘recipients’. Donor heterogeneity likely affects these three parameters, and may arise from variation between donors in traits including: (i) infection load, (ii) resistance, (iii) stage of infection, and (iv) previous experience of transmission. We used the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, and a directly transmitted monogenean ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli, to experimentally explore how these sources of donor heterogeneity affect the three transmission parameters. We exposed parasite-naive recipients to donors (infected with a single parasite strain) differing in their infection traits, and found that donor infection traits had diverse and sometimes interactive effects on transmission. First, although transmission speed increased with donor infection load, the relationship was nonlinear. Second, while the number of parasites transmitted generally increased with donor infection load, more resistant donors transmitted more parasites, as did those with previous transmission experience. Finally, parasites transmitting from experienced donors exhibited lower population growth rates on recipients than those from inexperienced donors. Stage of infection had little effect on transmission parameters. These results suggest that a more holistic consideration of within-host processes will improve our understanding of between-host transmission and hence disease dynamics.

Abstract

Infectious disease dynamics depend on the speed, number and fitness of parasites transmitting from infected hosts (‘donors’) to parasite-naive ‘recipients’. Donor heterogeneity likely affects these three parameters, and may arise from variation between donors in traits including: (i) infection load, (ii) resistance, (iii) stage of infection, and (iv) previous experience of transmission. We used the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, and a directly transmitted monogenean ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli, to experimentally explore how these sources of donor heterogeneity affect the three transmission parameters. We exposed parasite-naive recipients to donors (infected with a single parasite strain) differing in their infection traits, and found that donor infection traits had diverse and sometimes interactive effects on transmission. First, although transmission speed increased with donor infection load, the relationship was nonlinear. Second, while the number of parasites transmitted generally increased with donor infection load, more resistant donors transmitted more parasites, as did those with previous transmission experience. Finally, parasites transmitting from experienced donors exhibited lower population growth rates on recipients than those from inexperienced donors. Stage of infection had little effect on transmission parameters. These results suggest that a more holistic consideration of within-host processes will improve our understanding of between-host transmission and hence disease dynamics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:5 May 2017
Deposited On:14 Nov 2018 16:41
Last Modified:14 Nov 2018 16:47
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:0962-8436
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0093

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