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Co-infections determine patterns of mortality in a population exposed to parasite infection

Woolhouse, M. E. J; Thumbi, S. M; Jennings, A; Chase-Topping, Margo; Callaby, R; Kiara, H; Oosthuizen, Marinda C; Mbole-Kariuki, Mary N; Conradie, Ilana; Handel, Ian G; Poole, E. Jane; Kruuk, Loeske

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Many individual hosts are infected with multiple parasite species, and this may increase or decrease the pathogenicity of the infections. This phenomenon is termed heterologous reactivity and is potentially an important determinant of both patterns of morbidity and mortality and of the impact of disease control measures at the population level. Using infections with Theileria parva (a tick-borne protozoan, related to Plasmodium) in indigenous African cattle [where it causes East Coast fever...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorWoolhouse, M. E. J
dc.contributor.authorThumbi, S. M
dc.contributor.authorJennings, A
dc.contributor.authorChase-Topping, Margo
dc.contributor.authorCallaby, R
dc.contributor.authorKiara, H
dc.contributor.authorOosthuizen, Marinda C
dc.contributor.authorMbole-Kariuki, Mary N
dc.contributor.authorConradie, Ilana
dc.contributor.authorHandel, Ian G
dc.contributor.authorPoole, E. Jane
dc.contributor.authorKruuk, Loeske
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:25:18Z
dc.identifier.issn2375-2548
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/67574
dc.description.abstractMany individual hosts are infected with multiple parasite species, and this may increase or decrease the pathogenicity of the infections. This phenomenon is termed heterologous reactivity and is potentially an important determinant of both patterns of morbidity and mortality and of the impact of disease control measures at the population level. Using infections with Theileria parva (a tick-borne protozoan, related to Plasmodium) in indigenous African cattle [where it causes East Coast fever (ECF)] as a model system, we obtain the first quantitative estimate of the effects of heterologous reactivity for any parasitic disease. In individual calves, concurrent co-infection with less pathogenic species of Theileria resulted in an 89% reduction in mortality associated with T. parva infection. Across our study population, this corresponds to a net reduction in mortality due to ECF of greater than 40%. Using a mathematical model, we demonstrate that this degree of heterologous protection provides a unifying explanation for apparently disparate epidemiological patterns: variable disease-induced mortality rates, age-mortality profiles, weak correlations between the incidence of infection and disease (known as endemic stability), and poor efficacy of interventions that reduce exposure to multiple parasite species. These findings can be generalized to many other infectious diseases, including human malaria, and illustrate how co-infections can play a key role in determining population-level patterns of morbidity and mortality due to parasite infections.
dc.publisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.sourceScience Advances
dc.titleCo-infections determine patterns of mortality in a population exposed to parasite infection
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume1
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor070799 - Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.absfor060299 - Ecology not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9511635xPUB1479
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationWoolhouse, M.E.J., University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationThumbi, S.M., University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationJennings, A., University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationChase-Topping, Margo, University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationCallaby, R., University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationKiara, H., International Livestock Research Institute
local.contributor.affiliationOosthuizen, Marinda C., University of Pretoria
local.contributor.affiliationMbole-Kariuki, Mary N., University of Nottingham
local.contributor.affiliationConradie, Ilana, University of Pretoria
local.contributor.affiliationHandel, Ian G., University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationPoole, E. Jane, International Livestock Research Institute
local.contributor.affiliationKruuk, Loeske, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage10
local.identifier.doi10.1126/sciadv.1400026
local.identifier.absseo830399 - Livestock Raising not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.absseo960499 - Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2015-12-10T10:54:40Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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