Fungal disease dynamics in insect societies: Optimal killing rates and the ambivalent effect of high social interaction rates

S. Novak, S. Cremer, Journal of Theoretical Biology 372 (2015) 54–64.

Download
OA 1.55 MB

Journal Article | Published | English
Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi are potent biocontrol agents that are widely used against insect pests, many of which are social insects. Nevertheless, theoretical investigations of their particular life history are scarce. We develop a model that takes into account the main distinguishing features between traditionally studied diseases and obligate killing pathogens, like the (biocontrol-relevant) insect-pathogenic fungi Metarhizium and Beauveria. First, obligate killing entomopathogenic fungi produce new infectious particles (conidiospores) only after host death and not yet on the living host. Second, the killing rates of entomopathogenic fungi depend strongly on the initial exposure dosage, thus we explicitly consider the pathogen load of individual hosts. Further, we make the model applicable not only to solitary host species, but also to group living species by incorporating social interactions between hosts, like the collective disease defences of insect societies. Our results identify the optimal killing rate for the pathogen that minimises its invasion threshold. Furthermore, we find that the rate of contact between hosts has an ambivalent effect: dense interaction networks between individuals are considered to facilitate disease outbreaks because of increased pathogen transmission. In social insects, this is compensated by their collective disease defences, i.e., social immunity. For the type of pathogens considered here, we show that even without social immunity, high contact rates between live individuals dilute the pathogen in the host colony and hence can reduce individual pathogen loads below disease-causing levels.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2015-05-07
Journal Title
Journal of Theoretical Biology
Volume
372
Issue
5
Page
54 - 64
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Novak S, Cremer S. Fungal disease dynamics in insect societies: Optimal killing rates and the ambivalent effect of high social interaction rates. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2015;372(5):54-64. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.02.018
Novak, S., & Cremer, S. (2015). Fungal disease dynamics in insect societies: Optimal killing rates and the ambivalent effect of high social interaction rates. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 372(5), 54–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.02.018
Novak, Sebastian, and Sylvia Cremer. “Fungal Disease Dynamics in Insect Societies: Optimal Killing Rates and the Ambivalent Effect of High Social Interaction Rates.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 372, no. 5 (2015): 54–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.02.018.
S. Novak and S. Cremer, “Fungal disease dynamics in insect societies: Optimal killing rates and the ambivalent effect of high social interaction rates,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 372, no. 5, pp. 54–64, 2015.
Novak S, Cremer S. 2015. Fungal disease dynamics in insect societies: Optimal killing rates and the ambivalent effect of high social interaction rates. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 372(5), 54–64.
Novak, Sebastian, and Sylvia Cremer. “Fungal Disease Dynamics in Insect Societies: Optimal Killing Rates and the Ambivalent Effect of High Social Interaction Rates.” Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 372, no. 5, Elsevier, 2015, pp. 54–64, doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.02.018.
Main File(s)
Access Level
OA Open Access
Last Uploaded
2018-12-12T10:18:07Z


Export

Marked Publications

Open Data IST Research Explorer

Search this title in

Google Scholar