Cross-species pathogen spillover across ecosystem boundaries: mechanisms and theory

Borremans, B., Faust, C. , Manlove, K. R., Sokolow, S. H. and Lloyd-Smith, J. O. (2019) Cross-species pathogen spillover across ecosystem boundaries: mechanisms and theory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374(1782), 20180344. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2018.0344) (PMID:31401953)

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Abstract

Pathogen spillover between different host species is the trigger for many infectious disease outbreaks and emergence events, and ecosystem boundary areas have been suggested as spatial hotspots of spillover. This hypothesis is largely based on suspected higher rates of zoonotic disease spillover and emergence in fragmented landscapes and other areas where humans live in close vicinity to wildlife. For example, Ebola virus outbreaks have been linked to contacts between humans and infected wildlife at the rural-forest border, and spillover of yellow fever via mosquito vectors happens at the interface between forest and human settlements. Because spillover involves complex interactions between multiple species and is difficult to observe directly, empirical studies are scarce, particularly those that quantify underlying mechanisms. In this review, we identify and explore potential ecological mechanisms affecting spillover of pathogens (and parasites in general) at ecosystem boundaries. We borrow the concept of ‘permeability’ from animal movement ecology as a measure of the likelihood that hosts and parasites are present in an ecosystem boundary region. We then discuss how different mechanisms operating at the levels of organisms and ecosystems might affect permeability and spillover. This review is a step towards developing a general theory of cross-species parasite spillover across ecosystem boundaries with the eventual aim of improving predictions of spillover risk in heterogeneous landscapes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (grant no. 707840 awarded to B.B.), NSF grant nos. OCE-1335657 and DEB-1557022, SERDP grant no. RC-2635 and DARPA PREEMPT D18AC00031.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faust, Christina
Authors: Borremans, B., Faust, C., Manlove, K. R., Sokolow, S. H., and Lloyd-Smith, J. O.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8436
ISSN (Online):1471-2970
Published Online:12 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374(1782): 20180344
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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