Identifying the key vector and host species that drive the transmission of zoonotic pathogens is notoriously difficult but critical for disease control. We present a nested approach for quantifying the importance of host and vectors that integrates species' physiological competence with their ecological traits. We apply this framework to a medically important arbovirus, Ross River virus (RRV), in Brisbane, Australia. We find that vertebrate hosts with high physiological competence are not the most important for community transmission; interactions between hosts and vectors largely underpin the importance of host species. For vectors, physiological competence is highly important. Our results identify primary and secondary vectors of RRV and suggest two potential transmission cycles in Brisbane: an enzootic cycle involving birds and an urban cycle involving humans. The framework accounts for uncertainty from each fitted statistical model in estimates of species' contributions to transmission and has has direct application to other zoonotic pathogens.
All data analyzed and all code generated during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Erin A Mordecai
- Erin A Mordecai
- Morgan P Kain
- Eloise B Skinner
- Erin A Mordecai
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Thomas S Churcher, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
© 2021, Kain 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.
Biogeographical studies have traditionally focused on readily visible organisms, but recent technological advances are enabling analyses of the large-scale distribution of microscopic organisms, whose biogeographical patterns have long been debated. Here we assessed the global structure of plankton geography and its relation to the biological, chemical, and physical context of the ocean (the ‘seascape’) by analyzing metagenomes of plankton communities sampled across oceans during the Tara Oceans expedition, in light of environmental data and ocean current transport. Using a consistent approach across organismal sizes that provides unprecedented resolution to measure changes in genomic composition between communities, we report a pan-ocean, size-dependent plankton biogeography overlying regional heterogeneity. We found robust evidence for a basin-scale impact of transport by ocean currents on plankton biogeography, and on a characteristic timescale of community dynamics going beyond simple seasonality or life history transitions of plankton.
Of all the non-human primate species studied by researchers, the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is likely the most widely used across biological disciplines. Rhesus macaques have thrived during the Anthropocene and now have the largest natural range of any non-human primate. They are highly social, exhibit marked genetic diversity, and display remarkable niche flexibility (which allows them to live in a range of habitats and survive on a variety of diets). These characteristics mean that rhesus macaques are well-suited for understanding the links between sociality, health and fitness, and also for investigating intra-specific variation, adaptation and other topics in evolutionary ecology.