Contact-based transmission models in terrestrial gastropod populations infected with parasitic mites

Schüpbach, Hans U. and Baur, Bruno. (2010) Contact-based transmission models in terrestrial gastropod populations infected with parasitic mites. International journal for parasitology, Vol. 40, H. 9. pp. 1045-1050.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5841958

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Parasite transmission fundamentally affects the epidemiology of host–parasite systems, and is considered to be a key element in the epidemiological modelling of infectious diseases. Recent research has stressed the importance of detailed disease-specific variables involved in the transmission process. Riccardoella limacum is a hematophagous mite living in the mantle cavity of terrestrial gastropods. In this study, we experimentally examined whether the transmission success of R. limacum is affected by the contact frequency, parasite load and/or behaviour of the land snail Arianta arbustorum, a common host of R. limacum. In the experiment the transmission success was mainly affected by physical contacts among snails and slightly influenced by parasite intensity of the infected snail. Using these results we developed two different transmission models based on contact frequencies and transmission probability among host snails. As parameters for the models we used life-history data from three natural A. arbustorum populations with different population densities. Data on contact frequencies of video-recorded snail groups were used to fit the density response of the contact function, assuming either a linear relationship (model 1) or a second-degree polynomial relationship based on the ideal gas model of animal encounter (model 2). We calculated transmission coefficients (β), basic reproductive ratios (R0) and host threshold population densities for parasite persistence in the three A. arbustorum populations. We found higher transmission coefficients (β) and larger R0-values in model 1 than in model 2. Furthermore, the host population with the highest density showed larger R0-values (16.47–22.59) compared to populations with intermediate (2.71–7.45) or low population density (0.75–4.10). Host threshold population density for parasite persistence ranged from 0.35 to 2.72 snails per m2. Our results show that the integration of the disease-relevant biology of the organisms concerned may improve models of host–parasite dynamics.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:20
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 07:09

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