Transmission ecology of canine parvovirus in a multi-host, multi-pathogen system

Abdelkader Behdenna, Tiziana Lembo, Olga Calatayud, Sarah Cleaveland, Jo E.B. Halliday, Craig Packer, Felix Lankester, Katie Hampson, Meggan E. Craft, Anna Czupryna, Andrew P. Dobson, Edward J. Dubovi, Eblate Ernest, Robert Fyumagwa, J. Grant C. Hopcraft, Christine Mentzel, Imam Mzimbiri, David Sutton, Brian Willett, Daniel T. HaydonMafalda Viana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Understanding multi-host pathogen maintenance and transmission dynamics is critical for disease control. However, transmission dynamics remain enigmatic largely because they are difficult to observe directly, particularly in wildlife. Here, we investigate the transmission dynamics of canine parvovirus (CPV) using state-space modelling of 20 years of CPV serology data from domestic dogs and African lions in the Serengeti ecosystem. We show that, although vaccination reduces the probability of infection in dogs, and despite indirect enhancement of population seropositivity as a result of vaccine shedding, the vaccination coverage achieved has been insufficient to prevent CPV from becoming widespread. CPV is maintained by the dog population and has become endemic with approximately 3.5-year cycles and prevalence reaching approximately 80%. While the estimated prevalence in lions is lower, peaks of infection consistently follow those in dogs. Dogs exposed to CPV are also more likely to become infected with a second multi-host pathogen, canine distemper virus. However, vaccination can weaken this coupling, raising questions about the value of monovalent versus polyvalent vaccines against these two pathogens. Our findings highlight the need to consider both pathogen- and host-level community interactions when seeking to understand the dynamics of multi-host pathogens and their implications for conservation, disease surveillance and control programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings. Biological sciences
Issue number1899
StatePublished - Mar 27 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • coinfection
  • domestic–wildlife interface
  • longitudinal serology
  • maintenance host
  • state–space models
  • vaccine shedding


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