Community interactions determine role of species in parasite spread amplification: the ecomultiplex network model [article]

Massimo Stella, Sanja Selakovic, Alberto Antonioni, Cecilia S. Andreazzi
2017 arXiv   pre-print
Most of zoonoses are multi-host parasites with multiple transmission routes that are usually investigated separately despite their potential interplay. As a unifying framework for modelling parasite spread through different paths of infection, we suggest "ecomultiplex" networks, i.e. multiplex networks representing interacting animal communities with (i) spatial structure and (ii) metabolic scaling. We exploit this ecological framework for testing potential control strategies for T. cruzii
more » ... d in two real-world ecosystems. Our investigation highlights two interesting results. Firstly, the ecomultiplex topology can be as efficient as more data-demanding epidemiological measures in identifying which species facilitate parasite spread. Secondly, the interplay between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions leads to a phenomenon of parasite amplification in which top predators facilitate T. cruzii spread, offering theoretical interpretation of previous empirical findings. Our approach is broadly applicable and could provide novel insights in designing immunisation strategies for pathogens with multiple transmission routes in real-world ecosystems.
arXiv:1706.05121v1 fatcat:zk2vjwfxj5e6zb2p3oxprnhowa