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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 27, 2022
  2. Identifying the key vector and host species that drive the transmission of zoonotic pathogens is notoriously difficult but critical for disease control. We present a nested approach for quantifying the importance of host and vectors that integrates species’ physiological competence with their ecological traits. We apply this framework to a medically important arbovirus, Ross River virus (RRV), in Brisbane, Australia. We find that vertebrate hosts with high physiological competence are not the most important for community transmission; interactions between hosts and vectors largely underpin the importance of host species. For vectors, physiological competence is highly important. Our results identify primarymore »and secondary vectors of RRV and suggest two potential transmission cycles in Brisbane: an enzootic cycle involving birds and an urban cycle involving humans. The framework accounts for uncertainty from each fitted statistical model in estimates of species’ contributions to transmission and has has direct application to other zoonotic pathogens.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 20, 2022
  3. Ostfeld, Richard (Ed.)
  4. Drake, John (Ed.)
  5. Australia’s 81 bat species play vital ecological and economic roles via suppression of insect pests and maintenance of native forests through pollination and seed dispersal. Bats also host a wide diversity of coronaviruses globally, including several viral species that are closely related to SARS-CoV-2 and other emergent human respiratory coronaviruses. Although there are hundreds of studies of bat coronaviruses globally, there are only three studies of bat coronaviruses in Australian bat species, and no systematic studies of drivers of shedding. These limited studies have identified two betacoronaviruses and seven alphacoronaviruses, but less than half of Australian species are included inmore »these studies and further research is therefore needed. There is no current evidence of spillover of coronaviruses from bats to humans in Australia, either directly or indirectly via intermediate hosts. The limited available data are inadequate to determine whether this lack of evidence indicates that spillover does not occur or occurs but is undetected. Conversely, multiple international agencies have flagged the potential transmission of human coronaviruses (including SARS CoV-2) from humans to bats, and the consequent threat to bat conservation and human health. Australia has a long history of bat research across a broad range of ecological and associated disciplines, as well as expertise in viral spillover from bats. This strong foundation is an ideal platform for developing integrative approaches to understanding bat health and sustainable protection of human health.« less