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Wilderness in the ‘city’ revisited: different urbes shape transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis by altering predator and prey communities
- Liccioli, Stefano, Giraudoux, Patrick, Deplazes, Peter, Massolo, Alessandro
- Trends in parasitology 2015 v.31 no.7 pp. 297-305
- Echinococcus multilocularis, echinococcosis, habitats, host-parasite relationships, human settlements, landscapes, models, parasites, public health, urban areas, urbanization, wilderness
- The urbanization of Echinococcus multilocularis, the agent of alveolar echinococcosis (AE), is a public health concern worldwide. Here we propose to consider ‘urban’ habitats under a broad ecological perspective and discuss the effects of human settlements (urbes) on host communities and the process of parasite urbanization. We argue that interactions between landscape features (i.e., landscape composition and configuration) and host communities can shape the heterogeneity of transmission gradients observed within and across different types of human settlement. Due to unique ecological characteristics and public health management priorities, we envisage urban landscapes as a model system to further increase our understanding of host–parasite interactions shaping the circulation of E. multilocularis.