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Why are some discases more virulent than others? Vector-borne diseases such as malaria and water-borne diseases such as cholera are generally more virulent than diseases spread by direct contagion. One factor that characterizes both vector- and water-borne diseases is their ability to spread over long distances, thus causing infection of susceptible(More)
Hosts have evolved a diverse range of defence mechanisms in response to challenge by infectious organisms (parasites and pathogens). Whether defence is through avoidance of infection, control of the growth of the parasite once infected, clearance of the infection, tolerance to the disease caused by infection or innate and/or acquired immunity, it will have(More)
Theory on the evolution of virulence generally predicts selection for an optimal level of virulence determined by trade-offs with transmission and/or recovery. Here we consider the evolution of pathogen virulence in hosts who acquire long-lived immunity and live in a spatially structured population. We show theoretically that large shifts in virulence may(More)
Dengue virus, the causative agent of dengue fever and its more serious manifestation dengue hemorrhagic fever, is widespread throughout tropical and subtropical regions. The virus exists as four distinct serotypes, all of which have cocirculated in Bangkok for several decades with epidemic outbreaks occurring every 8-10 years. We analyze time-series data of(More)
There has been a renewed controversy on the processes that determine evolution in spatially structured populations. Recent theoretical and empirical studies have suggested that parasites should be expected to be more ''prudent'' (less harmful and slower transmitting) when infection occurs locally. Using a novel approach based on spatial moment equations, we(More)
Tolerance to parasites reduces the harm that infection causes the host (virulence). Here we investigate the evolution of parasites in response to host tolerance. We show that parasites may evolve either higher or lower within-host growth rates depending on the nature of the tolerance mechanism. If tolerance reduces virulence by a constant factor, the(More)
In response to parasitic infection, hosts may evolve defences that reduce the deleterious effects on survivorship. This may be interpreted as a form of resistance, as long as infected hosts are able to either recover or reproduce. Here we distinguish two important routes to this form of resistance. An infected host may either: (1) tolerate pathogen damage,(More)
There is a wide variety of resistance mechanisms that hosts may evolve in response to their parasites. These can be functionally classified as avoidance (lower probability of becoming infected), recovery (faster rate of clearance), tolerance (reduced death rate when infected), or acquired immunity. It is commonly thought that longer lived organisms should(More)
Theory has emphasized the importance of both intrinsic factors such as host immunity and extrinsic drivers such as climate in determining disease dynamics. In particular, seasonality may lead to multi-annual cycles in prevalence, but the likelihood of this depends on the role of acquired immunity. Some diseases including malaria have immunity that falls(More)
Theory suggests that the current rapid increase in connectivity and consequential changes in the structure of human, agricultural, and wildlife populations may select for parasite strains with higher infectivity. We carried out a test of this spatial theory by experimentally altering individual host movement rates in a model host/pathogen system by altering(More)