Document Detail

Seasonality selects for more acutely virulent parasites when virulence is density dependent.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23193133     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Host condition is often likely to influence parasite virulence. Furthermore, condition may often be correlated with host density, and therefore, it is important to understand the role of density-dependent virulence (DDV). We examine the consequences of DDV to the evolution of parasites in both seasonal and non-seasonal environments. In particular, we consider seasonality in host birth rate that results in a fluctuating host density and therefore a variable virulence. We show that parasites are selected for lower exploitation, and therefore lower transmission and virulence as the strength of DDV increases without seasonality. This is an important insight from our models; DDV has the opposite effect on the evolution of parasites to that of higher baseline mortality. Our key result is that although seasonality does not affect the evolution of virulence in classical models, with DDV parasites in seasonal environments are predicted to evolve to be more acute. This suggests that in more seasonal environments wildlife disease is likely to be more rather than less virulent if DDV is widespread.
R Donnelly; A Best; A White; M Boots
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  280     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-29     Completed Date:  2013-05-06     Revised Date:  2014-01-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  20122464     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Biological Evolution*
Host-Parasite Interactions
Models, Biological*
Parasites / pathogenicity*
Population Density
Selection, Genetic*
Virulence / genetics,  physiology*

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