What has molecular epidemiology ever done for wildlife disease research? Past contributions and future directions

Benton, C. H., Delahay, R. J., Trewby, H. and Hodgson, D. J. (2015) What has molecular epidemiology ever done for wildlife disease research? Past contributions and future directions. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 61(1), pp. 1-16. (doi:10.1007/s10344-014-0882-4)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

The increasing availability of novel molecular techniques has transformed the study of human health and disease epidemiology. However, uptake of such approaches has been more conservative in the field of wildlife disease epidemiology. We consider the reasons for this and discuss current and potential applications of molecular techniques in a variety of relevant areas within the field of wildlife disease research. These include conducting wildlife disease surveillance, identifying sources of pathogen emergence, uncovering host-pathogen dynamics and managing current outbreaks, including the development and monitoring of wildlife vaccines. We highlight key examples of applications of molecular epidemiological approaches to wildlife disease scenarios and draw parallels from human disease research to suggest potential future directions. The potential value of next generation sequencing technologies to the field of wildlife disease research is discussed, and initial applications are highlighted, balanced against consideration of the challenges involved. Using a wide range of examples drawn from research into human, livestock and wildlife diseases, we demonstrate the value of using molecular epidemiological approaches at all scales of wildlife disease research, from pathogen strains circulating at a global scale to intra-individual host-pathogen dynamics. The potential future contribution of these technologies to the field of wildlife disease epidemiology is substantial. In particular, they are likely to play an increasingly important role in helping us to address a principal challenge in the management of wildlife diseases which is how to tease apart the transmission dynamics of complex multi-host systems in order to develop effective and sustainable interventions.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Trewby, Dr Hannah
Authors: Benton, C. H., Delahay, R. J., Trewby, H., and Hodgson, D. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:European Journal of Wildlife Research
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-4642
ISSN (Online):1439-0574
Published Online:20 December 2014

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record