Leveraging non-human primates for exploring the social transmission of microbes

Sahana Kuthyar, Melissa B. Manus, Katherine R. Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Host social interactions can provide multiple complex pathways for microbial transmission. Here, we suggest non-human primates as models to study the social transmission of commensal or mutualistic microbes due to their high sociality, wide range of group compositions and dominance structures, and diverse group interactions. Microbial sharing from social interactions can positively impact host health by promoting microbial diversity and influencing immunity. Microbes may also drive their own transmission by shaping host behavior, which could lead to fitness benefits for both microbes and hosts. Variation in patterns of social interactions at both the individual and group scale make non-human primates an ideal system to explore the relationship between social behavior, microbial sharing, and their impact on host health and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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