Food web structure selects for parasite host range

Many parasites complete their life cycle by first developing in an intermediate host, then reproducing in a definitive host, relying on predation of intermediate hosts by definitive hosts. Consequently, these parasites are embedded in food webs. The structure of these food webs creates a selective force; if definitive hosts are […]

The statistics of epidemic transitions

The prevalence of a pathogen emerging in a population varies in a complex manner that is difficult to model and predict, due in part to randomness in the system. In a new paper in PLOS Computation Biology, we show that if the random component is relatively small, the underlying dynamics […]

Leukocyte profiles reflect geographic range limits in a widespread Neotropical bat

Corresponding Author: Daniel Becker, Why are some wildlife populations more or less susceptible or tolerant to infectious disease? Answering this question requires more broadly understanding how environmental variation shapes animal immune defense, but this is limited by the rarity of studies that apply a macroecological perspective to wildlife immunology and […]

Assessing the contributions of intraspecific and environmental sources of infection in urban wildlife: Salmonella enterica and white ibis as a case study

Corresponding Author: Daniel Becker, Conversion of natural habitats into urban landscapes can expose wildlife to new pathogens and alter transmission processes. Because pathogen transmission is generally difficult to quantify in wildlife, mathematical models paired with field data can help select among competing transmission mechanisms that might operate in urban […]

Trichomonosis due to Trichomonas gallinae infection in barn owls (Tyto alba) and barred owls (Strix varia) from the eastern United States

Corresponding author: Kevin D. Niedringhaus, Summary Author: Leah Crone, Image Illustrator: Chloe Parker,   Trichomonosis is a disease that infects birds via the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae, and commonly affects birds in the order Columbiformes, such as doves or pigeons. The disease has many effects including inflammation, […]

Urbanization predicts infection risk by a protozoan parasite in non-migratory populations of monarch butterflies from the southern coastal U.S. and Hawaii

Corresponding Author: Ania Majewska, Summary Author: Leah Crone, Editor: Trippe Ross, Monarch butterflies and many other pollinators have experienced population declines due to urbanization and land-use change.  In response, concerned individuals and groups in many urban environments have built green spaces such as gardens and parks, which […]

Effect of a sanitation intervention on soil-transmitted helminth prevalence and concentration in household soil: A cluster-randomized controlled trial and risk factor analysis

Corresponding Author: Amy J. Pickering, Summary Author: Leah Crone, Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are a prevalent problem in sub-Saharan Africa. Helminths, parasitic intestinal worms, pass their eggs in the feces of infected individuals.  When infected individuals defecate outside, or their feces is used as fertilizer, soil can become […]

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