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We work on different aspects of the ecology of infectious diseases driven by fundamental questions of human, livestock and wildlife concern. We use across-scale approaches and examine how the mechanisms of host-parasite interaction at individual level affect persistence of infection at host population scale. We primarily focus on gastrointestinal helminths but also like bacteria and viruses. We use an interdisciplinary approach that spans from immunology to epidemiology and is based on long-term field monitoring, field and lab experimental manipulations, statistical analysis and modeling.

We are currently working on four main topics:

PUBLICATIONS (from 2005)

Kain M.P., Cattadori I.M., Bolker B. 2018. The evolutionary response of virulence to host heterogeneity: a general model with application to myxomatosis in rabbits co-infected with intestinal helminths. Evol. Ecol. Res, 19.

Ghosh S., Ferrari M.J., Pathak A.K., Cattadori I.M. 2018. Changes in parasite traits, rather than intensity, affect the dynamics of infection under external perturbation. PLoS Comp. Biol., 14(6), p.e1006167.

Liu J., Cattadori I.M., Sim DG, Eden JS, Holmes E.C., Read A.F. & Kerr P.J. 2017. Reverse engineering field isolates of myxoma virus demonstrates that single gene loss is not a good predictor for virulence evolution. J. Virol., 27: 91(20).

Ngonyoka A., Gwakisa P., Estes A., Salekwa L.P., Nnko H.J., Hudson P.J. & Cattadori I.M. 2017. Patterns of tsetse abundance and trypanosome infection rate among habitats of surveyed villages in Maasai Steppe of Northern Tanzania. Inf. Dis. Poverty, 6:126.

Kerr P.J., Cattadori I.M., Liu J., Sim D.G., Dodds J.W., Brooks J.W., Kennett M.K., Holmes E.C. & Read A.F. 2017. The next step in the on-going arms race between myxoma virus and wild rabbits in Australia is a novel disease phenotype. PNAS, 114 (35): 9397-9402.

Kerr P.J., Cattadori I.M., Rodgers M.B., Liu J., Sim D., Boag B., Eden J.S., Ghedin E., Read A.F. & Holmes E.C. 2017. Genomic and Phenotypic Characterization of Myxoma Virus from Great Britain Reveals Multiple Evolutionary Pathways Distinct from Those in Australia. PLoS Pathog., 13(3): e1006252.

Nnko H.J., Ngonyoka A., Salekwa L., Estes A.B., Hudson P.J., Gwakisa P.S. & Cattadori I.M. 2017. Seasonal variation of tsetse fly species abundance and prevalence of trypanosomes in the Maasai Steppe, Tanzania. J Vector Ecol., 42(1): 24-33.

Ngonyoka A., Gwakisa P., Estes A., Hudson P.J. Nnko H. & Cattadori I.M. 2017. Variation of tsetse fly abundance in relation to habitat and host presence in The Maasai Steppe, Tanzania. J. Vect. Ecol., 42, 34–43.

Cattadori I.M., Sebastian A., Han H., Katani R., Albert I., Eilertson E.E., Kapur V., Pathak A., Mitchell S. 2016. Impact of helminth infections and nutritional constraints on the small intestine microbiota. PLoS ONE, 11(7): e0159770.pdf

Mignatti A., Boag B. & Cattadori I.M. 2016. Host Immunity Shapes The Impact Of Climate Changes On The Dynamics Of Two Parasite Infections. PNAS, 113: 2970–2975.pdf, pdf-SM

Kerr P., Liu J., Cattadori I., Ghedin E., Read A. & Holmes E. 2015. Myxoma virus and the leporipoxviruses: an evolutionary paradigm. Viruses, 7: 1020-1061.pdf

Lambert K.A, Pathak A.K. & Cattadori I.M. Does host immunity influence hatchability of helminth eggs shed in the environment? J. Helminthol., 89: 446–452. pdf

Cattadori I.M., Boag B., Wagner B.R., Wodzinski L.A. & Boag B. 2014. Infections do not predict shedding in co-infections with two helminths from a natural system. Ecology, 95: 1684-1692. pdf

Kerr P.J., Rogers M.B., Fitch A., DePasse J.V., Cattadori I.M., Hudson P.J., Tscharke D.C., Read A., Holmes E.C. & Ghedin E. 2013. Genome scale evolution of myxoma virus reveals host-pathogen adaptation and rapid geographic spread. J. Virol., 87(23):12900-12915. pdf

Kerr P.J., Rogers M.B., Fitch A., DePasse J.V., Cattadori I.M., Hudson P.J., Tscharke D.C., Read A., Holmes E.C. & Ghedin E. 2013. Comparative analysis of the complete nucleotide sequence of the Californian MSW strain of myxoma virus reveals potential host adaptations. J. Virol., 87(22):12080-12089. pdf

Murphy L., Pathak A.K. & Cattadori I.M. 2013. A co-infection with two gastrointestinal nematodes alters host immune responses and only partially parasite dynamics. Paras. Immunol., 35: 421-432. pdf

Boag B., Hernandez A. & Cattadori I.M. 2013. Observations on the epidemiology and interactions between myxomatosis, coccidiosis and helminth parasites in a wild rabbit population in Scotland. Europ. J. Wild. Res., 59: 557-562. pdf

Van Kuren A., Boag B., Hrubar E. & Cattadori I.M. 2013. Variability in the intensity of nematode larvae from gastrointestinal tissues of a natural herbivore. Parasitology, 140: 632-640. pdf

Hernandez A., Poole A. & Cattadori I.M. 2012. Climate changes influence free-living stages of soil-transmitted parasites of European rabbits. Glob. Chan. Biol., 19: 1028-1042. pdf

Kerr P.J., Ghedin E., DePasse J.V., Fitch A., Cattadori I.M., Hudson P.J., Tscharke D.C., Read A.F. & Holmes E.C. 2012 Evolutionary History and Attenuation of Myxoma virus on Two Continents. PLoS Pathog., 8(10): e1002950. pdf

Pathak A.K., Pelensky C., Boag B. & Cattadori I.M. 2012 Immuno-epidemiology of chronic bacteria-helminth co-infection: observations from the field and evidence from the laboratoy. Int. J. Parasit., 42:647-655. pdf

Thakar J., Pathak A.K., Murphy L., Albert R. & Cattadori I.M. 2012 Network model of immune responses reveals key effectors to single and co-infection kinetics by a respiratory bacterium and a gastrointestinal helminth. PLoS Comput. Biol., 8: e1002345.pdf

Pathak A.K. Biarnes M., Murphy L. & Cattadori I.M. 2011. Snapshot of spatio-temporal cytokine response to single and co-infections with helminths and bacteria. Res. Immunol., 1: 95-102. pdf

Murphy L, Nalpas N., Stear M. & Cattadori I.M. 2011. Explaining patterns of infection in free living populations using laboratory immune experiments. Paras. Immunol., 33: 287-302. pdf

Pathak A.K., Boag B., Poss M., Harvill E. & Cattadori I.M. 2010. Seasonal incidence of Bordetella Bronchiseptica in an age-structured free-living rabbit population.
Epidem. Infect., 14:1-10. pdf

Pathak A.K., Creppage K., Werner J. & Cattadori I.M. 2010. Immune regulation of a chronic bacteria infection and consequences for pathogen transmission: the case of Bordetella bronchiseptica in rabbits. BMC microbiol., 10: 226. pdf

Stear M.J., Boag B., Cattadori I.M. & Murphy L. 2009. Genetic variation in resistance to mixed, predominantly Teladorsagia circumcincta nematode infections of sheep: from heritabilities to gene identification. Paras. Immunol., 31: 274-82. pdf

Ferrari N., Cattadori I.M., Rizzoli A. & Hudson P.J. 2009. Heligmosomoides polygyrus reduces infestation of Ixodes ricinus in free-living yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis. Parasitology, 136: 305-16. pdf

Harvell D., Altizer S., Cattadori I.M., Harrington L., Weil E. 2009. Climate change and wildlife diseases: when does the host matter the most? Ecology, 90: 912-920. pdf

Chylinski C., Boag B., Stear M. & Cattadori I.M. 2009. Effects of host characteristics and parasite intensity on growth and fecundity of Trichostrongylus retortaeformis infections in rabbits. Parasitology. 136: 117-123. pdf

Cattadori I.M., Boag B. & Hudson P.J., 2008. Parasite co-infection and interaction as drivers of host heterogeneity. Int. J. Parasitol., 38: 371–380. pdf

Cornell S., Bjørnstad O.N., Cattadori I.M., Boag B., & Hudson P.J. 2008.
Seasonality, cohort-dependence and the development of immunity in a natural host-nematode system. Proc R. Soc. B. 275: 473-591. pdf

Cattadori I.M, Albert R. & Boag B. 2007. Variation in host susceptibility and infectiousness generated by co-infection: the myxoma-Trichostrongylus retortaeformis case in wild rabbits. J.R.S. Interface, 4: 831-840. pdf

Graham A. Cattadori I.M., Lloyd-Smith J., Ferrari M., Bjornstad O.N. 2007. Transmission consequences of co-infection: cytokines writ large? Trends Parasitol., 6: 284-291. pdf

Perkins S.E., Cattadori I.M., Tagliapietra V., Rizzoli A., Hudson P. J. 2006. Localized deer absence leads to loss of the dilution effect and tick amplification. Ecology, 87: 1981-1986. pdf

Hudson P.J., Cattadori I.M., Boag B., Dobson A.P. 2006. Climate disruption and parasite-host dynamics: patterns and processes associated with warming and the frequency of extreme climatic events. J. Helminthol., 80:1-9. pdf

Dobson A., Cattadori I.M., Holt R., Ostfeld R.S., Keesing F., Krichbaum K., Rohr J., Perkins S.E., Hudson P.J. 2006. Sacred cows, and sympathetic squirrels: The importance of biological diversity to human health. PLoS Med., 3: 1-5. pdf

Childs D. Z., Cattadori I.M., Suwonkerd W., Prajakwong S. & Boots M. 2006. Spatio-temporal patterns of Malaria incidence in Northern Thailand. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hygiene, 100: 623-631.

Kallio-Kokko H, Laakkonen J., Rizzoli A, Tagliapietra V., Cattadori I.M., Perkins S., Hudson P.J., Cristofolini A., Versini W., Vapalahti O.,Vaheri A., Henttonen, H. 2005.
Hanta- and arenavirus antibody prevalence in rodents and humans in Trentino, Northern Italy. Epidem. Infect., 2: 1-7.

Cattadori I.M., Boag B., Bjørnstad O.N., Cornell S. & Hudson P.J., 2005. Immuno-epidemiology and peak shift in a seasonal host-nematode system. Proc. R. Soc. B, 272, 1163-1169. pdf

Cattadori I.M., Haydon D.T., & Hudson P.J. 2005. Parasites and climate synchronize red grouse populations. Nature, 433: 737-741. pdf

Nhat Nguyen. I am interested in understanding how within-host processes of infection affect disease dynamics and transmission. My DPhil work focused on analyzing stationary antibody titer distributions in a population where there was no presence of influenza vaccine and performed inference of seroincidence from serological time series. I am working on analyzing the immunological responses and shedding dynamics of rabbits infected with Bordetella. My research interest is performing different statistical inferences and model fitting dynamics, bioinformatics, and learning about functional genomics for different infectious diseases.


Chiara Vanalli. I am an environmental engineer specialized in the optimal management and planning of natural resources. I am interested in the analysis of ecological and environmental systems. My work is mainly focused on understanding the interaction between climate and infectious disease dynamics. Currently, I validate an existing climate-immuno-epidemiological model of multi-parasite species infection on spatially dispersed populations of rabbits and produce maps of the risk of infection in different IPCC climate scenarios and time horizons.



K. Forbes (Post-Doc)
F. Dagostin (MS)                                                                                                            A. Mignatti (Visiting Scholar, PhD)
A. Pathak (Post-Doc, Res. Assoc.)
S. Ghosh (Post-Doc, main supervisor: M. Ferrari)
A. Hernandez (Post-Doc)
M. Steele (Ms)
A. Van Kuren (Ms)

Dynamics of co-infection and consequences for transmission

Co-infections affect host susceptibility and infectiousness and ultimately alter disease transmission and persistence but how they do so is unclear. We use an immuno-epidemiological approach and a combination of lab and field work to quantify how co-infections interact between each other and the host, how immunity modulates these interactions and how these processes influence the shedding of infective particles in the environment. Our study system is the European rabbit and its common infections: the gastrointestinal helminths T. retortaeformis and G. strigosum, the respiratory bacterium B. bronchiseptica and the virus myxoma (Figure 1).

Marino Gatto
Brian Boag

Effect of climate change on long-term and seasonal parasite persistence

Host exposure to infections is affected by the survival, development and transmission of infecting agents, which in turn are affected by environmental conditions such as climate and habitat. How do climate changes affect parasite transmission? How do environmental changes affect chronic infections? To address these questions we use a combination of long term studies from more than 30 years of data on a population of European rabbits and its two common gastrointestinal parasites, T. retortaeformis and G. strigosum, in combination with field and lab experiments. Long term climatic data and environmental changes are also available. Our ultimate goal is to understand how long-term climate change and seasonality drive host infection (Figure 2).
Link: NSF-LTREB study

Brian Boag
Peter Hudson

Tolerance and resistance in host-parasite interactions

The response of the host to parasite infections can range from either tolerance, by limiting the parasite damage, or resistance, by mounting a response that reduces the parasite burden and eventually develops into some level of long term protection. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms that generate these phenotypes using the rabbit and its two gastrointestinal parasites, T. retortaeformis (Figure 3a) and G. strigosum (Figure 3b), which show distinct life history traits.

Brian Boag
Matt Ferrari