The impact of co-circulating parasites on West Nile virus transmission
Presenter: Andrew Golnar, Hamer Lab, Dept. of Entomology graduate student
Hosted by TBA
Interspecific interactions between parasites are known to influence population and community epidemiology. Culex mosquitoes ingest a variety of viral, protozoan, and macro-parasitic organisms that circulate among avian and mammalian hosts, however, the epidemiological consequences of mosquito co-infection on vector-borne transmission remains largely unknown. Based on experimental and published data, we built and parameterized multi-host, multi-vector compartmental models to assess how avian malaria may impact West Nile virus transmission dynamics at population and community scales. Transmission heterogeneity due to changes in vector competence, host competence, survivorship, and mosquito feeding habits were evaluated using stochastic simulations and sensitivity analyses employing a Latin Hypercube sampling design. Results highlight the importance of co-circulating parasites as drivers of disease transmission and provide a framework for ongoing transmission experiments.