Endemic infection can shape exposure to novel pathogens: Pathogen co-occurrence networks in the Serengeti lions

Nicholas Fountain-Jones, Craig Packer, Maude Jacquot, F.  Guillaume Blanchet, Karen Terio, Meggan E Craft

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Abstract

Pathogens are embedded in a complex network of microparasites that can collectively or individually alter disease dynamics and outcomes. Endemic pathogens that infect an individual in the first years of life, for example, can either facilitate or compete with subsequent pathogens thereby exacerbating or ameliorating morbidity and mortality. Pathogen associations are ubiquitous but poorly understood, particularly in wild populations. We report here on 10 years of serological and molecular data in African lions, leveraging comprehensive demographic and behavioural data to test if endemic pathogens shape subsequent infection by epidemic pathogens. We combine network and community ecology approaches to assess broad network structure and characterise associations between pathogens across spatial and temporal scales. We found significant non-random structure in the lion-pathogen co-occurrence network and identified both positive and negative associations between endemic and epidemic pathogens. Our results provide novel insights on the complex associations underlying pathogen co-occurrence networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-913
Number of pages10
JournalEcology letters
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

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Panthera leo
pathogen
pathogens
infection
exposure
community ecology
morbidity
wild population
demographic statistics
mortality

Keywords

  • Babesia
  • calicivirus
  • canine distemper virus
  • co-infection
  • community assembly
  • coronavirus
  • feline immunodeficiency virus
  • parvovirus

Cite this

Endemic infection can shape exposure to novel pathogens : Pathogen co-occurrence networks in the Serengeti lions. / Fountain-Jones, Nicholas; Packer, Craig; Jacquot, Maude; Blanchet, F.  Guillaume; Terio, Karen; Craft, Meggan E.

In: Ecology letters, Vol. 22, No. 6, 01.06.2019, p. 904-913.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

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AU - Packer, Craig

AU - Jacquot, Maude

AU - Blanchet, F.  Guillaume

AU - Terio, Karen

AU - Craft, Meggan E

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AB - Pathogens are embedded in a complex network of microparasites that can collectively or individually alter disease dynamics and outcomes. Endemic pathogens that infect an individual in the first years of life, for example, can either facilitate or compete with subsequent pathogens thereby exacerbating or ameliorating morbidity and mortality. Pathogen associations are ubiquitous but poorly understood, particularly in wild populations. We report here on 10 years of serological and molecular data in African lions, leveraging comprehensive demographic and behavioural data to test if endemic pathogens shape subsequent infection by epidemic pathogens. We combine network and community ecology approaches to assess broad network structure and characterise associations between pathogens across spatial and temporal scales. We found significant non-random structure in the lion-pathogen co-occurrence network and identified both positive and negative associations between endemic and epidemic pathogens. Our results provide novel insights on the complex associations underlying pathogen co-occurrence networks.

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