Social buffering and contact transmission

Network connections have beneficial and detrimental effects on Shigella infection risk among captive rhesus macaques

Krishna Balasubramaniam, Brianne Beisner, Jessica Vandeleest, Edward R Atwill, Brenda Mccowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In social animals, group living may impact the risk of infectious disease acquisition in two ways. On the one hand, social connectedness puts individuals at greater risk or susceptibility for acquiring enteric pathogens via contact-mediated transmission. Yet conversely, in strongly bonded societies like humans and some nonhuman primates, having close connections and strong social ties of support can also socially buffer individuals against susceptibility or transmissibility of infectious agents. Using social network analyses, we assessed the potentially competing roles of contact-mediated transmission and social buffering on the risk of infection from an enteric bacterial pathogen (Shigella flexneri) among captive groups of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Our results indicate that, within two macaque groups, individuals possessing more direct and especially indirect connections in their grooming and huddling social networks were less susceptible to infection. These results are in sharp contrast to several previous studies that indicate that increased (direct) contact-mediated transmission facilitates infectious disease transmission, including our own findings in a third macaque group in which individuals central in their huddling network and/or which initiated more fights were more likely to be infected. In summary, our findings reveal that an individual's social connections may increase or decrease its chances of acquiring infectious agents. They extend the applicability of the social buffering hypothesis, beyond just stress and immune-function-related health benefits, to the additional health outcome of infectious disease resistance. Finally, we speculate that the circumstances under which social buffering versus contact-mediated transmission may occur could depend on multiple factors, such as living condition, pathogen-specific transmission routes, and/or an overall social context such as a group's social stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2630
JournalPeerJ
Volume2016
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Shigella
Infectious Disease Transmission
Electric power transmission networks
Macaca mulatta
Macaca
Social Support
Communicable Diseases
pathogens
infectious diseases
Pathogens
Infection
social networks
infection
Shigella flexneri
Grooming
Disease Resistance
Social Conditions
Insurance Benefits
Bacterial Infections
Primates

Keywords

  • Contact-mediated transmission
  • Infectious disease risk
  • Nonhuman primate
  • Social buffering
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

@article{5b12ae23e01c4437b7c2d29db1ff05c9,
title = "Social buffering and contact transmission: Network connections have beneficial and detrimental effects on Shigella infection risk among captive rhesus macaques",
abstract = "In social animals, group living may impact the risk of infectious disease acquisition in two ways. On the one hand, social connectedness puts individuals at greater risk or susceptibility for acquiring enteric pathogens via contact-mediated transmission. Yet conversely, in strongly bonded societies like humans and some nonhuman primates, having close connections and strong social ties of support can also socially buffer individuals against susceptibility or transmissibility of infectious agents. Using social network analyses, we assessed the potentially competing roles of contact-mediated transmission and social buffering on the risk of infection from an enteric bacterial pathogen (Shigella flexneri) among captive groups of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Our results indicate that, within two macaque groups, individuals possessing more direct and especially indirect connections in their grooming and huddling social networks were less susceptible to infection. These results are in sharp contrast to several previous studies that indicate that increased (direct) contact-mediated transmission facilitates infectious disease transmission, including our own findings in a third macaque group in which individuals central in their huddling network and/or which initiated more fights were more likely to be infected. In summary, our findings reveal that an individual's social connections may increase or decrease its chances of acquiring infectious agents. They extend the applicability of the social buffering hypothesis, beyond just stress and immune-function-related health benefits, to the additional health outcome of infectious disease resistance. Finally, we speculate that the circumstances under which social buffering versus contact-mediated transmission may occur could depend on multiple factors, such as living condition, pathogen-specific transmission routes, and/or an overall social context such as a group's social stability.",
keywords = "Contact-mediated transmission, Infectious disease risk, Nonhuman primate, Social buffering, Social networks",
author = "Krishna Balasubramaniam and Brianne Beisner and Jessica Vandeleest and Atwill, {Edward R} and Brenda Mccowan",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.7717/peerj.2630",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2016",
journal = "PeerJ",
issn = "2167-8359",
publisher = "PeerJ",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social buffering and contact transmission

T2 - Network connections have beneficial and detrimental effects on Shigella infection risk among captive rhesus macaques

AU - Balasubramaniam, Krishna

AU - Beisner, Brianne

AU - Vandeleest, Jessica

AU - Atwill, Edward R

AU - Mccowan, Brenda

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - In social animals, group living may impact the risk of infectious disease acquisition in two ways. On the one hand, social connectedness puts individuals at greater risk or susceptibility for acquiring enteric pathogens via contact-mediated transmission. Yet conversely, in strongly bonded societies like humans and some nonhuman primates, having close connections and strong social ties of support can also socially buffer individuals against susceptibility or transmissibility of infectious agents. Using social network analyses, we assessed the potentially competing roles of contact-mediated transmission and social buffering on the risk of infection from an enteric bacterial pathogen (Shigella flexneri) among captive groups of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Our results indicate that, within two macaque groups, individuals possessing more direct and especially indirect connections in their grooming and huddling social networks were less susceptible to infection. These results are in sharp contrast to several previous studies that indicate that increased (direct) contact-mediated transmission facilitates infectious disease transmission, including our own findings in a third macaque group in which individuals central in their huddling network and/or which initiated more fights were more likely to be infected. In summary, our findings reveal that an individual's social connections may increase or decrease its chances of acquiring infectious agents. They extend the applicability of the social buffering hypothesis, beyond just stress and immune-function-related health benefits, to the additional health outcome of infectious disease resistance. Finally, we speculate that the circumstances under which social buffering versus contact-mediated transmission may occur could depend on multiple factors, such as living condition, pathogen-specific transmission routes, and/or an overall social context such as a group's social stability.

AB - In social animals, group living may impact the risk of infectious disease acquisition in two ways. On the one hand, social connectedness puts individuals at greater risk or susceptibility for acquiring enteric pathogens via contact-mediated transmission. Yet conversely, in strongly bonded societies like humans and some nonhuman primates, having close connections and strong social ties of support can also socially buffer individuals against susceptibility or transmissibility of infectious agents. Using social network analyses, we assessed the potentially competing roles of contact-mediated transmission and social buffering on the risk of infection from an enteric bacterial pathogen (Shigella flexneri) among captive groups of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Our results indicate that, within two macaque groups, individuals possessing more direct and especially indirect connections in their grooming and huddling social networks were less susceptible to infection. These results are in sharp contrast to several previous studies that indicate that increased (direct) contact-mediated transmission facilitates infectious disease transmission, including our own findings in a third macaque group in which individuals central in their huddling network and/or which initiated more fights were more likely to be infected. In summary, our findings reveal that an individual's social connections may increase or decrease its chances of acquiring infectious agents. They extend the applicability of the social buffering hypothesis, beyond just stress and immune-function-related health benefits, to the additional health outcome of infectious disease resistance. Finally, we speculate that the circumstances under which social buffering versus contact-mediated transmission may occur could depend on multiple factors, such as living condition, pathogen-specific transmission routes, and/or an overall social context such as a group's social stability.

KW - Contact-mediated transmission

KW - Infectious disease risk

KW - Nonhuman primate

KW - Social buffering

KW - Social networks

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84994460874&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84994460874&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.7717/peerj.2630

DO - 10.7717/peerj.2630

M3 - Article

VL - 2016

JO - PeerJ

JF - PeerJ

SN - 2167-8359

IS - 10

M1 - e2630

ER -