Preprint Concept Paper Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Unravelling Transmission in Epidemiological Models and its Role in the Disease-Diversity Relationship

Version 1 : Received: 19 October 2021 / Approved: 20 October 2021 / Online: 20 October 2021 (17:33:00 CEST)

How to cite: Toorians, M..E.; MacPherson, A.; Davies, T.J. Unravelling Transmission in Epidemiological Models and its Role in the Disease-Diversity Relationship. Preprints 2021, 2021100295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0295.v1). Toorians, M..E.; MacPherson, A.; Davies, T.J. Unravelling Transmission in Epidemiological Models and its Role in the Disease-Diversity Relationship. Preprints 2021, 2021100295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0295.v1).

Abstract

With the decrease of biodiversity worldwide coinciding with an increase in disease outbreaks, investigating this link is more important then ever before. This review outlines the different modelling methods commonly used for pathogen transmission in animal host systems. There are a multitude of ways a pathogen can invade and spread through a host population. The assumptions of the transmission model used to capture disease propagation determines the outbreak potential, the net reproductive success (R0). This review offers an insight into the assumptions and motivation behind common transmission mechanisms and introduces a general framework with which contact rates, the most important parameter in disease dynamics, determines the transmission method. By using a general function introduced here and this general transmission model framework, we provide a guide for future disease ecologists for how to pick the contact function that best suites their system. Additionally, this manuscript attempts to bridge the gap between mathematical disease modelling and the controversially and heavily debated disease-diversity relationship, by expanding the summarized models to multiple hosts systems and explaining the role of host diversity in disease transmission. By outlining the mechanisms of transmission into a stepwise process, this review will serve as a guide to model pathogens in multi-host systems. We will further describe these models it in the greater context of host diversity and its effect on disease outbreaks, by introducing a novel method to include host species’ evolutionary history into the framework.

Keywords

epidemiological models; transmission; biodiversity; dilution effect

Subject

BIOLOGY, Ecology

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