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Cryptic connections illuminate pathogen transmission within community networks.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Hoyt, JR; Langwig, KE; White, JP; Kaarakka, HM; Redell, JA; Kurta, A; DePue, JE; Scullon, WH; Parise, KL; Foster, JT; Frick, WF; Kilpatrick, AM
Published in: Nature
November 2018

Understanding host interactions that lead to pathogen transmission is fundamental to the prediction and control of epidemics1-5. Although the majority of transmissions often occurs within social groups6-9, the contribution of connections that bridge groups and species to pathogen dynamics is poorly understood10-12. These cryptic connections-which are often indirect or infrequent-provide transmission routes between otherwise disconnected individuals and may have a key role in large-scale outbreaks that span multiple populations or species. Here we quantify the importance of cryptic connections in disease dynamics by simultaneously characterizing social networks and tracing transmission dynamics of surrogate-pathogen epidemics through eight communities of bats. We then compared these data to the invasion of the fungal pathogen that causes white-nose syndrome, a recently emerged disease that is devastating North American bat populations13-15. We found that cryptic connections increased links between individuals and between species by an order of magnitude. Individuals were connected, on average, to less than two per cent of the population through direct contact and to only six per cent through shared groups. However, tracing surrogate-pathogen dynamics showed that each individual was connected to nearly fifteen per cent of the population, and revealed widespread transmission between solitarily roosting individuals as well as extensive contacts among species. Connections estimated from surrogate-pathogen epidemics, which include cryptic connections, explained three times as much variation in the transmission of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome as did connections based on shared groups. These findings show how cryptic connections facilitate the community-wide spread of pathogens and can lead to explosive epidemics.

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Published In

Nature

DOI

EISSN

1476-4687

Publication Date

November 2018

Volume

563

Issue

7733

Start / End Page

710 / 713

Location

England

Related Subject Headings

  • Zoonoses
  • Social Networking
  • Mycoses
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Hibernation
  • General Science & Technology
  • Dust
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Contact Tracing
 

Citation

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MLA
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Hoyt, J. R., Langwig, K. E., White, J. P., Kaarakka, H. M., Redell, J. A., Kurta, A., … Kilpatrick, A. M. (2018). Cryptic connections illuminate pathogen transmission within community networks. Nature, 563(7733), 710–713. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0720-z
Hoyt, Joseph R., Kate E. Langwig, J Paul White, Heather M. Kaarakka, Jennifer A. Redell, Allen Kurta, John E. DePue, et al. “Cryptic connections illuminate pathogen transmission within community networks.Nature 563, no. 7733 (November 2018): 710–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0720-z.
Hoyt JR, Langwig KE, White JP, Kaarakka HM, Redell JA, Kurta A, et al. Cryptic connections illuminate pathogen transmission within community networks. Nature. 2018 Nov;563(7733):710–3.
Hoyt, Joseph R., et al. “Cryptic connections illuminate pathogen transmission within community networks.Nature, vol. 563, no. 7733, Nov. 2018, pp. 710–13. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0720-z.
Hoyt JR, Langwig KE, White JP, Kaarakka HM, Redell JA, Kurta A, DePue JE, Scullon WH, Parise KL, Foster JT, Frick WF, Kilpatrick AM. Cryptic connections illuminate pathogen transmission within community networks. Nature. 2018 Nov;563(7733):710–713.
Journal cover image

Published In

Nature

DOI

EISSN

1476-4687

Publication Date

November 2018

Volume

563

Issue

7733

Start / End Page

710 / 713

Location

England

Related Subject Headings

  • Zoonoses
  • Social Networking
  • Mycoses
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Hibernation
  • General Science & Technology
  • Dust
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Contact Tracing