1932

Abstract

Parasite avoidance is a host defense that reduces an individual's contact rate with parasites. We investigate avoidance as a primary driver of variation among individuals in their risk of parasitism and the evolution of host–parasite interactions. To bridge mechanistic and taxonomic divides, we define and categorize avoidance by its function and position in the sequence of host defenses. We also examine the role of avoidance in limiting epidemics and evaluate evidence for the processes that drive its evolution. Throughout, we highlight important directions in which to advance our conceptual and theoretical understanding of the role of avoidance in host–parasite interactions. We emphasize the need to test assumptions and quantify the effect of avoidance independent of other defenses. Importantly, many open questions may be most tractable in host systems that have not been the focus of traditional behavioral avoidance research, such as plants and invertebrates.

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2022-11-02
2024-07-15
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102220-020636
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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