Linking anthropogenic resources to wildlife-pathogen dynamics: a review and meta-analysis

Becker, D. J., Streicker, D. and Altizer, S. (2015) Linking anthropogenic resources to wildlife-pathogen dynamics: a review and meta-analysis. Ecology Letters, 18(5), pp. 483-495. (doi: 10.1111/ele.12428) (PMID:25808224) (PMCID:PMC4403965)

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Urbanisation and agriculture cause declines for many wildlife, but some species benefit from novelresources, especially food, provided in human-dominated habitats. Resulting shifts in wildlife ecol-ogy can alter infectious disease dynamics and create opportunities for cross-species transmission,yet predicting host–pathogen responses to resource provisioning is challenging. Factors enhancingtransmission, such as increased aggregation, could be offset by better host immunity due toimproved nutrition. Here, we conduct a review and meta-analysis to show that food provisioningresults in highly heterogeneous infection outcomes that depend on pathogen type and anthropo-genic food source. We also find empirical support for behavioural and immune mechanismsthrough which human-provided resources alter host exposure and tolerance to pathogens. Areview of recent theoretical models of resource provisioning and infection dynamics shows thatchanges in host contact rates and immunity produce strong non-linear responses in pathogen inva-sion and prevalence. By integrating results of our meta-analysis back into a theoretical frame-work, we find provisioning amplifies pathogen invasion under increased host aggregation andtolerance, but reduces transmission if provisioned food decreases dietary exposure to parasites.These results carry implications for wildlife disease management and highlight areas for futurework, such as how resource shifts might affect virulence evolution.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Streicker, Professor Daniel
Authors: Becker, D. J., Streicker, D., and Altizer, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Ecology Letters
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1461-0248
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Ecology Letters 18(5):483-495
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
634192Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestockDaniel StreickerWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)102507/Z/13/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED