Demonstrating frequency-dependent transmission of sarcoptic mange in red foxes

Devenish-Nelson, Eleanor S. and Richards, Shane A. and Harris, Stephen and Soulsbury, Carl and Stephens, Philip A. (2014) Demonstrating frequency-dependent transmission of sarcoptic mange in red foxes. Biology Letters, 10 (10). ISSN 1744-9561

Full content URL: http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/...

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Demonstrating frequency-dependent transmission of sarcoptic mange in red foxes

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Abstract

Understanding the relationship between disease transmission and host density is essential for predicting disease spread and control. Using long-term data on sarcoptic mange in a red fox Vulpes vulpes population, we tested long-held assumptions of density- and frequency-dependent direct disease transmission. We also assessed the role of indirect transmission. Contrary to assumptions typical of epidemiological models, mange dynamics are better explained by frequency-dependent disease transmission than by density-dependent transmission in this canid. We found no support for indirect transmission. We present the first estimates of R0 and age-specific transmission coefficients for mange in foxes. These parameters are important for managing this poorly understood but highly contagious and economically damaging disease.

Keywords:Age-specific infection, basic reproductive number, frequency-dependent transmission, indirect transmission, susceptible-exposed-infected (SEI) model, red fox, JCOpen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:15368
Deposited On:09 Oct 2014 10:19

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