Model or meal? Farm animal populations as models for infectious diseases of humans.


In recent decades, theory addressing the processes that underlie the dynamics of infectious diseases has progressed considerably. Unfortunately, the availability of empirical data to evaluate these theories has not grown at the same pace. Although laboratory animals have been widely used as models at the organism level, they have been less appropriate for addressing issues at the population level. However, farm animal populations can provide empirical models to study infectious diseases at the population level.

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