Bridge hosts, a missing link for disease ecology in multi-host systems

Caron, Alexandre, Cappelle, Julien, Cumming, Graeme S., de Garine-Wichatitsky, Michel, and Gaidet, Nicolas (2015) Bridge hosts, a missing link for disease ecology in multi-host systems. Veterinary Research, 46. 83.

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Abstract

In ecology, the grouping of species into functional groups has played a valuable role in simplifying ecological complexity. In epidemiology, further clarifications of epidemiological functions are needed: while host roles may be defined, they are often used loosely, partly because of a lack of clarity on the relationships between a host's function and its epidemiological role. Here we focus on the definition of bridge hosts and their epidemiological consequences. Bridge hosts provide a link through which pathogens can be transmitted from maintenance host populations or communities to receptive populations that people want to protect (i.e., target hosts). A bridge host should (1) be competent for the pathogen or able to mechanically transmit it; and (2) come into direct contact or share habitat with both maintenance and target populations. Demonstration of bridging requires an operational framework that integrates ecological and epidemiological approaches. We illustrate this framework using the example of the transmission of Avian Influenza Viruses across wild bird/poultry interfaces in Africa and discuss a range of other examples that demonstrate the usefulness of our definition for other multi-host systems. Bridge hosts can be particularly important for understanding and managing infectious disease dynamics in multi-host systems at wildlife/domestic/human interfaces, including emerging infections.

Item ID: 40821
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1297-9716
Keywords: avian influenza virus
Additional Information:

© 2015 Caron et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of France, Wildlife Conservation Society
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 10:23
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 33%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 34%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960404 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 33%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830309 Poultry @ 33%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 34%
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