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Infectious disease and sickness behaviour: Tumour progression affects interaction patterns and social network structure in wild Tasmanian devils: Sickness behaviour in Tasmanian devils

Hamilton, DG ORCID: 0000-0001-5883-0136, Jones, ME ORCID: 0000-0001-7558-9022, Cameron, EZ ORCID: 0000-0002-9243-0547, Kerlin, DH, McCallum, H, Storfer, A, Hohenlohe, PA and Hamede, RK ORCID: 0000-0003-1526-225X 2020 , 'Infectious disease and sickness behaviour: Tumour progression affects interaction patterns and social network structure in wild Tasmanian devils: Sickness behaviour in Tasmanian devils' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 287, no. 1940 , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2454.

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Abstract

nfectious diseases, including transmissible cancers, can have a broad range of impacts on host behaviour, particularly in the latter stages of disease progression. However, the difficulty of early diagnoses makes the study of behavioural influences of disease in wild animals a challenging task. Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are affected by a transmissible cancer, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), in which tumours are externally visible as they progress. Using telemetry and markrecapture datasets, we quantify the impacts of cancer progression on the behaviour of wild devils by assessing how interaction patterns within the social network of a population change with increasing tumour load. The progression of DFTD negatively influences devils' likelihood of interaction within their network. Infected devils were more active within their network late in the mating season, a pattern with repercussions for DFTD transmission. Our study provides a rare opportunity to quantify and understand the behavioural feedbacks of disease in wildlife and how they may affect transmission and population dynamics in general.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hamilton, DG and Jones, ME and Cameron, EZ and Kerlin, DH and McCallum, H and Storfer, A and Hohenlohe, PA and Hamede, RK
Keywords: transmissible cancer, sickness behaviour, disease transmission, devil facial tumour disease, Tasmanian devil
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher: Royal Soc London
ISSN: 0962-8452
DOI / ID Number: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2454
Copyright Information:

© 2020 The Author(s)

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