Advances in studies of disease-navigating webs: Sarcoptes scabiei as a case study.
Parasit Vectors. 2014 Jan 9;7:16.
Alasaad S1, Sarasa M, Heukelbach J, Mijele D, Soriguer RC, Zhu XQ, Rossi L.
1Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Avda, Américo Vespucio s/n 41092, Sevilla, Spain. email@example.com .
The discipline of epidemiology is the study of the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined anima populations. It is the key to evidence-based medicine, which is one of the cornerstones of public health.
One of the important facets of epidemiology is disease-navigating webs (disease-NW) through which zoonotic and multi-host parasites in general move from one host to another.
Epidemiology in this context includes
(i) classical epidemiological approaches based on the statistical analysis of disease prevalence and distribution and, more recently, (ii) genetic approaches with approximations of disease-agent population genetics. Both approaches, classical epidemiology and population genetics, are useful for studying disease-NW.
However, both have strengths and weaknesses when applied separately, which, unfortunately, is too often current practice.
In this paper, we use Sarcoptes scabiei mite epidemiology as a case study to show how important an integrated approach can be in understanding disease-NW and subsequent disease control.
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