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Destructive disinfection of infected brood prevents systemic disease spread in ant colonies

Pull, Christopher D. ; Ugelvig, Line V. ; Wiesenhofer, Florian ; Grasse, Anna V. ; Tragust, Simon ; Schmitt, Thomas ; Brown, Mark J. F. ; Cremer, Sylvia


In social groups, infections have the potential to spread rapidly and cause disease outbreaks. Here, we show that in a social insect, the ant Lasius neglectus, the negative consequences of fungal infections (Metarhizium brunneum) can be mitigated by employing an efficient multicomponent behaviour, termed destructive disinfection, which prevents further spread of the disease through the colony. ...


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