The role of antiparasite treatment experiments in assessing the impact of parasites on wildlife

Amy B. Pedersen*, Andy Fenton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has become increasingly clear that parasites can have significant impacts on the dynamics of wildlife populations. Recently, researchers have shifted from using observational approaches to infer the impact of parasites on the health and fitness of individuals to using antiparasite drug treatments to test directly the consequences of infection. However, it is not clear the extent to which these experiments work in wildlife systems, or whether the results of these individual-level treatment experiments can predict the population-level consequences of parasitism. Here, we assess the results of treatment experiments, laying out the benefits and limitations of this approach, and discuss how they can be used to improve our understanding of the role of parasites in wildlife populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200–211
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Anthelmintic
  • Fecundity
  • Fitness
  • Ivermectin
  • Population dynamics
  • Survival

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