Network analysis shining light on parasite ecology and diversity

Trends Parasitol. 2010 Oct;26(10):492-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jun 17.


The vast number of species making up natural communities, and the myriad interactions among them, pose great difficulties for the study of community structure, dynamics and stability. Borrowed from other fields, network analysis is making great inroads in community ecology and is only now being applied to host-parasite interactions. It allows a complex system to be examined in its entirety, as opposed to one or a few components at a time. This review explores what network analysis is and how it can be used to investigate parasite ecology. It also summarizes the first findings to emerge from network analyses of host-parasite interactions and identifies promising future directions made possible by this approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity*
  • Ecology
  • Food Chain
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Parasites / physiology*
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics
  • Species Specificity