1. Ecology
  2. Epidemiology and Global Health
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Ecological multiplex interactions determine the role of species for parasite spread amplification

  1. Massimo Stella
  2. Sanja Selakovic
  3. Alberto Antonioni
  4. Cecilia Andreazzi  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  2. Utrecht University, Netherlands
  3. University College London, United Kingdom
  4. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil
Research Article
  • Cited 4
  • Views 839
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e32814 doi: 10.7554/eLife.32814

Abstract

Despite their potential interplay, multiple routes of many disease transmissions are often investigated separately. As an unifying framework for understanding parasite spread through interdependent transmission paths, we present the 'ecomultiplex' model, where the multiple transmission paths among a diverse community of interacting hosts are represented as a spatially explicit multiplex network. We adopt this framework for designing and testing potential control strategies for T. cruzi spread in two empirical host communities. We show that the ecomultiplex model is an efficient and low data-demanding method to identify which species enhances parasite spread and should thus be a target for control strategies. We also find that the interplay between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions leads to a phenomenon of parasite amplification, in which top predators facilitate T. cruzi spread, offering a mechanistic interpretation of previous empirical findings. Our approach can provide novel insights in understanding and controlling parasite spreading in real-world complex systems.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Massimo Stella

    Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Sanja Selakovic

    Faculty of Geociences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Alberto Antonioni

    Department of Economics, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Cecilia Andreazzi

    Fiocruz Mata Atlântica, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    For correspondence
    cecilia.andreazzi@fiocruz.br
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9817-0635

Funding

Swiss National Science Foundation (P2LAP1-161864)

  • Alberto Antonioni

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (645.000.013)

  • Sanja Selakovic

Engineer Research and Development Center (EP/G03690X/1)

  • Massimo Stella

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (647570)

  • Sanja Selakovic

Swiss National Science Foundation (P300P1-171537)

  • Alberto Antonioni

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Nicole Gottdenker, University of Georgia, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: October 15, 2017
  2. Accepted: April 20, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 23, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 21, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Stella et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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