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Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites has been proposed as a mechanism maintaining genetic diversity in both host and parasite populations. In particular, the high levels of genetic diversity widely observed at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of vertebrate hosts are consistent with the hypothesis of parasite-driven balancing(More)
Most hosts, including humans, are simultaneously or sequentially infected with several parasites. A key question is whether patterns of coinfection arise because infection by one parasite species affects susceptibility to others or because of inherent differences between hosts. We used time-series data from individual hosts in natural populations to analyze(More)
Evidence for selective maintenance of genetic diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) was investigated in an unmanaged population of Soay sheep on the island of Hirta, St. Kilda, Scotland. Animals were sampled as newborn lambs and between 887 and 1209 individuals were typed at each of five microsatellite markers located either within or(More)
The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that coevolution of interacting species (such as hosts and parasites) should drive molecular evolution through continual natural selection for adaptation and counter-adaptation. Although the divergence observed at some host-resistance and parasite-infectivity genes is consistent with this, the long time periods typically(More)
The liver fluke Fasciola hepatica is a major pathogen of livestock worldwide, causing huge economic losses to agriculture, as well as 2.4 million human infections annually. Here we provide a draft genome for F. hepatica, which we find to be among the largest known pathogen genomes at 1.3 Gb. This size cannot be explained by genome duplication or expansion(More)
Evolutionary ecology predicts that parasite life-history traits, including a parasite's survivorship and fecundity within a host, will evolve in response to selection and that their evolution will be constrained by trade-offs between traits. Here, we test these predictions using a nematode parasite of rats, Strongyloides ratti, as a model. We performed a(More)
A central issue in ecology is in understanding the relative influences of intrinsic and extrinsic effects on population regulation. Previous studies on the cyclic population dynamics of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) have emphasized the destabilizing effects of either nematode parasites or territorial behaviour and aggression. The potential(More)
Animals might be able to use highly polymorphic genetic markers to recognize very close relatives and avoid inbreeding. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is thought to provide such a marker because it influences individual scent in a broad range of vertebrates. However, direct evidence is very limited. In house mice (Mus musculus domesticus), the(More)
Nematode infections are subject to density-dependent effects on their establishment, survivorship and fecundity within a host. These effects act to regulate and stabilize the size of nematode populations. Understanding how these density-dependent effects occur is important to guide the development of control strategies against parasitic nematodes and the(More)
The identification of genes involved in a host's response to parasite infection provides both a means for understanding the pathways involved in immune defence and a target for examining host-parasite co-evolution. Most studies rely on a candidate gene approach derived from model systems to identify gene targets of interest, and there have been a dearth of(More)