Does the dilution effect generally occur in animal diseases?

Zheng Y.X. Huang*, Yang Yu, Frank Van Langevelde, Willem F. De Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The dilution effect (DE) has been reported in many diseases, but its generality is still highly disputed. Most current criticisms of DE are related to animal diseases. Particularly, some critical studies argued that DE is less likely to occur in complex environments. Here our meta-analyses demonstrated that the magnitude of DE did not differ between animal vs plant diseases. Moreover, DE generally occurs in all three subgroups of animal diseases, namely direct-transmitted diseases, vector-borne diseases and diseases caused by parasites with free-living stages. Our findings serve as an important contribution to understanding the generality of DE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-826
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • direct-transmitted disease
  • Diversity-disease relationship
  • host species diversity
  • parasite with free-living stage
  • vector-borne disease


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