The number of cercariae of Transversotrema patialense which attach to the fish host Brachydanio rerio, during a fixed exposure period, is shown to be directly proportional to cercarial density within an experimental infection arena. The distribution of successful infections/host is shown to change from a random pattern to an over-dispersed form as cercarial exposure density or duration of host exposure to infection increases. A stochastic simulation model is used to demonstrate that small differences in host susceptibility to infection, within a population of hosts, can generate patterns of dispersion in parasite numbers/host similar to those observed in the experimental studies. Differences in host behaviour, during the period of exposure to infection, are thought to generate variability in host susceptibility to cercarial infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Infectious Diseases