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Title: Impact of biodiversity and seasonality on Lyme-pathogen transmission
Authors: Lou, Y 
Wu, J
Wu, X
Issue Date: 2014
Source: Theoretical biology and medical modelling, 2014, v. 11, 50, p. 1-25
Abstract: Lyme disease imposes increasing global public health challenges. To better understand the joint effects of seasonal temperature variation and host community composition on the pathogen transmission, a stage-structured periodic model is proposed by integrating seasonal tick development and activity, multiple host species and complex pathogen transmission routes between ticks and reservoirs. Two thresholds, one for tick population dynamics and the other for Lyme-pathogen transmission dynamics, are identified and shown to fully classify the long-term outcomes of the tick invasion and disease persistence. Seeding with the realistic parameters, the tick reproduction threshold and Lyme disease spread threshold are estimated to illustrate the joint effects of the climate change and host community diversity on the pattern of Lyme disease risk. It is shown that climate warming can amplify the disease risk and slightly change the seasonality of disease risk. Both the "dilution effect" and "amplification effect" are observed by feeding the model with different possible alternative hosts. Therefore, the relationship between the host community biodiversity and disease risk varies, calling for more accurate measurements on the local environment, both biotic and abiotic such as the temperature and the host community composition.
Keywords: Amplification effect
Dilution effect
Host diversity
Lyme disease
Seasonal tick population
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Journal: Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling 
ISSN: 1742-4682
DOI: 10.1186/1742-4682-11-50
Rights: © 2014 Lou et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproductionin any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
The following publication Lou, Y., Wu, J., & Wu, X. (2014). Impact of biodiversity and seasonality on Lyme-pathogen transmission. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 11, 50, 1-25 is available at
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