Parasite exposure and host susceptibility jointly drive the emergence of epidemics

Tara Stewart Merrill, Spencer Hall & Carla Cáceres
Parasite transmission is thought to depend on both parasite exposure and host susceptibility to infection; however, the relative contribution of these two factors to epidemics remains unclear. We used interactions between an aquatic host and its fungal parasite to evaluate how parasite exposure and host susceptibility interact to drive epidemics. In six lakes, we tracked the following factors from pre-epidemic to epidemic emergence: 1) parasite exposure (measured observationally as fungal spores attacking wild-caught hosts), 2)...
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