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The missing link in parasite manipulation of host behaviour

Overview of attention for article published in Parasites & Vectors, April 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (84th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
10 tweeters


21 Dimensions

Readers on

67 Mendeley
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The missing link in parasite manipulation of host behaviour
Published in
Parasites & Vectors, April 2018
DOI 10.1186/s13071-018-2805-9
Pubmed ID

Ryan Herbison, Clement Lagrue, Robert Poulin


The observation that certain species of parasite my adaptively manipulate its host behaviour is a fascinating phenomenon. As a result, the recently established field of 'host manipulation' has seen rapid expansion over the past few decades with public and scientific interest steadily increasing. However, progress appears to falter when researchers ask how parasites manipulate behaviour, rather than why. A vast majority of the published literature investigating the mechanistic basis underlying behavioural manipulation fails to connect the establishment of the parasite with the reported physiological changes in its host. This has left researchers unable to empirically distinguish/identify adaptive physiological changes enforced by the parasites from pathological side effects of infection, resulting in scientists relying on narratives to explain results, rather than empirical evidence. By contrasting correlative mechanistic evidence for host manipulation against rare cases of causative evidence and drawing from the advanced understanding of physiological systems from other disciplines it is clear we are often skipping over a crucial step in host-manipulation: the production, potential storage, and release of molecules (manipulation factors) that must create the observed physiological changes in hosts if they are adaptive. Identifying these manipulation factors, via associating gene expression shifts in the parasite with behavioural changes in the host and following their effects will provide researchers with a bottom-up approach to unraveling the mechanisms of behavioural manipulation and by extension behaviour itself.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 10 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 67 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 67 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 17 25%
Student > Bachelor 12 18%
Student > Master 10 15%
Researcher 8 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 3%
Other 11 16%
Unknown 7 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 29 43%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 9 13%
Environmental Science 4 6%
Immunology and Microbiology 3 4%
Unspecified 2 3%
Other 8 12%
Unknown 12 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 13. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 June 2019.
All research outputs
of 15,295,156 outputs
Outputs from Parasites & Vectors
of 4,119 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 279,401 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Parasites & Vectors
of 2 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,295,156 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,119 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 279,401 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them