Assembling evidence for identifying reservoirs of infection

By February 11, 2015Workgroup 1

Author: Mafalda Viana, Rebecca Mancy, Roman Biek, Sarah Cleaveland, Paul C. Cross, James O. Lloyd-Smith, and Daniel T. Haydon

Publication: Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Publication Date: 2014

Abstract: Many pathogens persist in multihost systems, making the identification of infection reservoirs crucial for devising effective interventions. Here, we present a conceptual framework for classifying patterns of incidence and prevalence, and review recent scientific advances that allow us to study and manage reservoirs simultaneously. We argue that interventions can have a crucial role in enriching our mechanistic understanding of how reservoirs function and should be embedded as quasiexperimental studies in adaptive management frameworks. Single approaches to the study of reservoirs are unlikely to generate conclusive insights whereas the formal integration of data and methodologies, involving interventions, pathogen genetics, and contemporary surveillance techniques, promises to open up new opportunities to advance understanding of complex multihost systems.

View and download