Abstracts (first author)
Are tolerant hosts more likely to be super-shedders of disease?PDF
Understanding the causes of individual variation in transmission could improve the success of disease management, by allowing to target the most infectious hosts. Disentangling the causes of this variation is challenging in the context of epidemics, but an alternative is to study disease transmission (or transmission potential) under a variety of genetic and environmental contexts in controlled experimental conditions. During infection, hosts may recover by eliminating pathogens (resistance mechanisms) or by controlling damage caused by infection without eliminating pathogens (tolerance mechanisms). Because they suffer less for a given parasite load, very tolerant hosts may experience infections for longer and have more opportunities for disease transmission. I present experimental data from Daphnia-microparasite and rodent malaria systems testing the link between tolerance and transmission potential. These results may be particularly relevant in understanding the epidemiological consequences of anti-virulence therapies of infection, that essentially increase host health without eliminating parasites.