The macroecology and evolution of avian competence for Borrelia burgdorferi

Daniel Becker & Barbara Han
Aim: Predicting novel reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens would be improved by identifying inter-specific drivers of host competence, the ability to transmit pathogens to new hosts or vectors. Tick-borne pathogens can provide a useful model system, as larvae become infected only when feeding on a competent host during their first bloodmeal. For tick-borne diseases, competence has been best studied for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), which causes Lyme borreliosis. Major reservoirs include several small mammal species,...
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