reference : Host heterogeneity dominates West Nile virus transmission

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract Heterogeneity in host populations and communities can have large effects on the transmission and control of a pathogen. In extreme cases, a few individuals give rise to the majority of secondary infections, which have been termed super spreading events. Here, we show that transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) is dominated by extreme heterogeneity in the host community, resulting in highly inflated reproductive ratios. A single relatively uncommon avian species, American robin (Turdus migratorius), appeared to be responsible for the majority of WNV-infectious mosquitoes and acted as the species equivalent of a super spreader for this multi-host pathogen. Crows were also highly preferred by mosquitoes at some sites, while house sparrows were significantly avoided. Nonetheless, due to their relative rarity, corvids (crows and jays) were relatively unimportant in WNV amplification. These results challenge current beliefs about the role of certain avian species in WNV amplification and demonstrate the importance of determining contact rates between vectors and host species to understand pathogen transmission dynamics.
Author Kilpatrick, A. M.; Daszak, P.; Jones, M. J.; Marra, P. P.; Kramer, L. D.
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2006.3575
Date Sep 22
ISSN 1471-2954
Issue 1599
Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Keywords Animals; Birds/*virology; Culicidae/*physiology/virology; Feeding Behavior/*physiology; West Nile Fever/*transmission; West Nile virus/isolation & purification
Notes Kilpatrick, A Marm Daszak, Peter Jones, Matthew J Marra, Peter P Kramer, Laura D eng N01-AI-25490/AI/NIAID NIH HHS/ Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S. England 2006/08/25 09:00 Proc Biol Sci. 2006 Sep 22;273(1599):2327-33.
Pages 2327-2333
Title Host heterogeneity dominates West Nile virus transmission
Volume 273
Year 2006
Bibliographic identifiers
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_record_number 18007
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