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Host infection and community composition predict vector burden

Title data

Salomon, Jordan ; Lawrence, Alexandra ; Crews, Arielle ; Sambado, Samantha ; Swei, Andrea:
Host infection and community composition predict vector burden.
In: Oecologia. (February 2021) . - 12 S..
ISSN 1432-1939
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-021-04851-9

Abstract in another language

Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the United States, yet critical gaps remain in our understanding of tick and host interactions that shape disease dynamics. Rodents such as deer mice (Peromyscus spp.) and dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) are key reservoirs for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological bacterium of Lyme disease, and can vary greatly in abundance between habitats. The aggregation of Ixodes pacificus, the western black-legged tick, on rodent hosts is often assumed to be constant across various habitats and not dependent on the rodent or predator communities; however, this is rarely tested. The factors that determine tick burdens on key reservoir hosts are important in estimating Lyme disease risk because larger tick burdens can amplify pathogen transmission. This study is the first to empirically measure I. pacificus larval burdens on competent reservoir hosts as a function of community factors such as rodent diversity, predator diversity, and questing tick abundance. Rodents were live trapped at oak woodland sites to collect tick burdens and tissue samples to test for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. We found that N. fuscipes tick burdens were negatively correlated with predator diversity, but positively correlated with questing I. pacificus larvae. In addition, rodent hosts that were infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato tend to have higher burdens of larval ticks. These results demonstrate that tick burdens can be shaped by variability between individuals, species, and the broader host community with consequences for transmission and prevalence of tick-borne pathogens.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Zoonotic disease; Biodiversity; Ixodes pacificus; Borrelia burgdorferi; Predators
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 610 Medicine and health
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 10:14
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/63713