Disease transmission in social groups
The risk of disease outbreaks may be increased in social organisms living in dense groups, in which pathogens can rapidly transmit between hosts. According to theory, disease dynamics should depend on the composition of a social group and on its social network structure. However, there is insufficient empirical data. Experimental epidemiology is obstructed by the lack of study systems that allow research of the causal link between group composition, social network structure, and disease transmission. The EU-funded EPIDEMIC project will use an original system based on the unique biological characteristics of the clonal raider ant. Unlike other ants, this species is deprived of queens and reproduces clonally, allowing to control important aspects of colony composition. The project will use automated techniques for tracking behaviour, aiming to detect those characteristics that protect social organisms against infectious disease.
Fields of science
Call for proposalSee other projects for this call
Funding SchemeERC-STG - Starting Grant
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