IGN 16-4
The tail's tale: Can macroparasite aggregation models resolve questions about microparasite persistence?

Friday, August 14, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Kezia Manlove, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Bozeman, MT
Paul Chafee Cross, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, US Geological Survey, Bozeman, MT
Frances Cassirer, Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, Lewiston, ID
Raina K. Plowright, Microbiology and Immunology, Montana State University
Peter J. Hudson, The Huck Institutes of Life Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Super-spreader hosts disproportionately impact the dynamics of acute, highly infectious pathogens. Asymptomatic carriers should play a parallel role in shaping dynamics of slower-moving pathogens, but this prediction remains largely untested since carriage is difficult to identify in the wild. Here, we use social contact and mortality data from bighorn sheep to infer host-specific bacterial carriage probabilities in the absence of disease tests. We feed these animal-specific probabilities into a simulation model that predicts the impact of carrier removal on epidemic size. Our findings suggest a small group of potentially identifiable hosts drives persistence of the microparasite underlying bighorn sheep pneumonia.