Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eating well could help spread disease, water flea study suggests

Date:
February 26, 2013
Source:
Eating well could help spread disease
Summary:
Plentiful food can accelerate the spread of infections, scientists have shown in a study of water fleas. Scientists studying bacterial infections in tiny water fleas have discovered that increasing their supply of food can speed up the spread of infection.

Microscopic image of water flea (Daphnia).
Credit: iStockphoto

Plentiful food can accelerate the spread of infections, Edinburgh scientists have shown in a study of water fleas.

Related Articles


Scientists studying bacterial infections in tiny water fleas have discovered that increasing their supply of food can speed up the spread of infection. They carried out the study to better understand factors that affect how diseases are transmitted.

Researchers found that when a population of parasite-infected water fleas was well-fed, some of them became highly contagious, compared with when food was limited.

Epidemic spread

"If we have an idea of which individuals transmit a lot of disease, we will be better able to stop its spread," said Dr Pedro Vale, School of Biological Sciences.

Scientists say the discovery highlights that, under certain conditions, some individuals may be more prone to spreading disease than others.

Their findings could help inform ways to monitor and control the spread of infections, such as epidemics, in large populations.

Some well-fed water fleas were more infectious than others because they were able to survive for longer with the parasite, giving it more time to multiply.

Parasite growth

Scientists at the University studied the impact of food quantity on the spread of a bacteria parasite that grows in the water flea gut, releasing infectious spores when the water flea dies.

Among those water fleas that were well-fed, some were found to be carrying many more parasites than others, and so were more prone to spreading the disease.

The study, published in Biology Letters, was supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

"We know that contact between individuals is important; but now we know that, for some animals at least, nutrition may also play an important role in the spread of disease," said Vale.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Eating well could help spread disease. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. F. Vale, M. Choisy, T. J. Little. Host nutrition alters the variance in parasite transmission potential. Biology Letters, 2013; 9 (2): 20121145 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1145

Cite This Page:

Eating well could help spread disease. "Eating well could help spread disease, water flea study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226120551.htm>.
Eating well could help spread disease. (2013, February 26). Eating well could help spread disease, water flea study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226120551.htm
Eating well could help spread disease. "Eating well could help spread disease, water flea study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226120551.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins