Evaluating the Performance of Chemical Control in the Presence of Resistant Pathogens
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Resistance to chemical control is a major impediment to combating many socially and economically important diseases. Theoretical and experimental studies have shown that reducing the intensity of treatment can slow, or even prevent, the invasion of resistance, yet reducing treatment levels also results in a net increase in disease severity. Clearly there is a need to identify control strategies that balance the conflicting aims of resistance management and disease suppression. Using a mathematical model for the dynamics of fungicide resistance in crop pathogens, we present a broadly applicable measure of the performance of chemical control in the presence of resistant pathogen strains. We illustrate how to optimise fungicide performance with respect to the intensity of treatment as a function of the duration of treatment and the fitness of the resistant strain. We find that in the short term, fungicide performance is optimised at high levels of treatment despite rapid selection for resistance, while the long-term optimum performance is achieved when treatment renders the fungicide-sensitive and fungicide-resistant pathogens equally fit. We further present evidence that under prescribed conditions, the ratio of dose size and frequency, and the fungicide mode of action, can have a significant effect on fungicide performance.
KeywordsResistance Chemical control Fungicide performance Model
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