Community ecology meets epidemiology: the case of Lyme disease

Richard Ostfeld, Felicia Keesing and Katheleen Lo Giudice

in Disease Ecology

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780198567080
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191717871 | DOI:
Community ecology meets epidemiology: the case of Lyme disease

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A single case of Lyme disease involves at least six species: the human patient, the bacterial pathogen, the tick vector, and a vertebrate host for each of the three blood-feeding life stages of the tick. Each of these six species potentially interacts with one another and with other species within their communities. Disease systems also involve a larger network of species that play indirect but critical roles in determining disease risk. Both mammal species richness and species composition are critical to the prevalence of Lyme disease in northeastern US forests, and the functional roles of particular species often depends on the composition of the remaining community.

Keywords: tick; vector; host; vertebrate; mammal; species richness; community; pathogen; bacteria; indirect effects

Chapter.  8150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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