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The relationship between vector species richness and the risk of vector-borne infectious diseases
  • Gaku Takimoto,
  • Harumasa Shirakawa,
  • Takuya Sato
Gaku Takimoto
The University of Tokyo

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Harumasa Shirakawa
The University of Tokyo
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Takuya Sato
Kobe University
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Biodiversity can potentially influence the risk of vector-borne diseases, which impact human welfare and wildlife management. Here we theoretically study the relationship between vector species richness and the risk of vector-borne diseases by a mathematical model for a multiple-vector-single-host vector-borne disease. The model incorporates transmission interference due to feeding interference among vector species and regulation of susceptible vector densities due to intraspecific recruitment competition. The model reveals three patterns of the vector richness-disease risk relationship: monotonic amplification, hump-shaped, and monotonic dilution. Monotonic amplification occurs across a wide parameter region. Hump-shaped or monotonic dilution is found when transmission interference is strong and recruitment competition is weak. Unexpectedly, susceptible vector regulation does not only promote dilution but can strengthen amplification if coupled with strong transmission interference. Our results suggest that vector richness can strongly affect the risk of vector-borne diseases and should be considered in disease risk management.