Uncertain links in host-parasite networks: lessons for parasite transmission in a multi-host system
Josephine G Walker, Michaela Plein, Eric R Morgan, Peter A Vesk
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | The Royal Society | Published : 2017
For many parasites, the full set of hosts that are susceptible to infection is not known, and this could lead to a bias in estimates of transmission. We used counts of individual adult parasites from historical parasitology studies in southern Africa to map a bipartite network of the nematode parasites of herbivore hosts that occur in Botswana. Bipartite networks are used in community ecology to represent interactions across trophic levels. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to predict the full set of host–parasite interactions from existing data on parasitic gastrointestinal nematodes of wild and domestic ungulates given assumptions about the distribution of parasite counts within hosts,..View full abstract
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J.G.W. was funded by a University of Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarship and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions Early Career Researcher Visiting Fellowship Scheme. M.P. was funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award. M.P. and P.A.V. were funded through Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.