Modelling Multi-Species Parasite Transmission

  • Andrea Pugliese
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 673)


Some models are presented for the dynamics of a host population with two parasite species. The models differ in two main aspects: whether they include direct competition among parasites and whether the analysis is based on some approximation and which one. If the analysis is not constrained by a priori assumptions about parasite distributions, it is found that species coexistence is very unlikely without some kind of direct competition among parasites; on the other hand, coexistence generally occurs when inter-specific competition is lower than intraspecific, similarly to standard theory for free-living species. If hosts differ in their predisposition to infection, but not in an identical way towards the two parasite species, then species coexistence becomes feasible even if inter-specific competition is as strong as intraspecific; in this case, coexistence becomes easier as the variance in predisposition increases. These models do not yield universal predictions for patterns of parasite distributions; an analysis of the mechanisms of interaction in each specific system is necessary for that.


Parasite Species Parasite Load Host Density Parasite Community Species Coexistence 
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© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Pugliese
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di MatematicaUniversità di TrentoPovoItaly

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