3 years ago

Age-specific infectious period shapes dynamics of pneumonia in bighorn sheep

Lisette P. Waits, Thomas E. Besser, E. Frances Cassirer, Peter J. Hudson, David J. Páez, Patrick E. Matthews, Kezia R. Manlove, Kimberly R. Andrews, Raina K. Plowright
Superspreading, the phenomenon where a small proportion of individuals contribute disproportionately to new infections, has profound effects on disease dynamics. Superspreading can arise through variation in contacts, infectiousness or infectious periods. The latter has received little attention, yet it drives the dynamics of many diseases of critical public health, livestock health and conservation concern. Here, we present rare evidence of variation in infectious periods underlying a superspreading phenomenon in a free-ranging wildlife system. We detected persistent infections of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, the primary causative agent of pneumonia in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), in a small number of older individuals that were homozygous at an immunologically relevant genetic locus. Interactions among age-structure, genetic composition and infectious periods may drive feedbacks in disease dynamics that determine the magnitude of population response to infection. Accordingly, variation in initial conditions may explain divergent population responses to infection that range from recovery to catastrophic decline and extirpation.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/ele.12829

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.