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Extreme competence: keystone hosts of infections
journal contributionposted on 01.04.2019, 00:00 authored by Lynn B Martin, Brianne AddisonBrianne Addison, Andrew G D Bean, Kate BuchananKate Buchanan, Andrea Crino, Justin R Eastwood, Andrew S Flies, Rodrigo Hamede, Geoffrey E Hill, Marcel KlaassenMarcel Klaassen, Rebecca E Koch, Hanne MartensHanne Martens, Constanza Napolitano, Edward J Narayan, Lee Peacock, Alison J Peel, Anne Peters, Nynke Raven, Alice Risely, Michael J Roast, Lee Rollins, Manuel Ruiz-Aravena, Dan Selechnik, Helena StokesHelena Stokes, Beata UjvariBeata Ujvari, Laura F Grogan
Individual hosts differ extensively in their competence for parasites, but traditional research has discounted this variation, partly because modeling such heterogeneity is difficult. This discounting has diminished as tools have improved and recognition has grown that some hosts, the extremely competent, can have exceptional impacts on disease dynamics. Most prominent among these hosts are the superspreaders, but other forms of extreme competence (EC) exist and others await discovery; each with potentially strong but distinct implications for disease emergence and spread. Here, we propose a framework for the study and discovery of EC, suitable for different host-parasite systems, which we hope enhances our understanding of how parasites circulate and evolve in host communities.