Title

Behavioral Competence: How Host Behaviors Can Interact to Influence Parasite Transmission Risk

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2015

Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Hosts vary in their ability to transmit new parasite infections (i.e. competence). Although behavior is suggested as a source of individual-level variation, the contribution of host behavior to host-parasite dynamics at the population-level remains largely enigmatic. Here we advocate that behavioral competence be characterized as a syndrome of behaviors that interact to directly or indirectly influence transmission potential. These behaviors can be plastic in response to environmental conditions and/or infection state, and appear linked to immunological traits through shared physiological regulation. By integrating behavioral variation and covariation into a whole-organism view of host competence, disease ecologists might more realistically characterize an individual's role in host-parasite systems.

DOI

10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.08.002

First Page

35

Last Page

40

Publication Title

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

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