The Ecology of Genetically Diverse Infections

  title={The Ecology of Genetically Diverse Infections},
  author={Andrew F. Read and Louise H. Taylor},
  pages={1099 - 1102}
Microparasite infections often consist of genetically distinct clonal lineages. Ecological interactions between these lineages within hosts can influence disease severity, epidemiology, and evolution. Many medical and veterinary interventions have an impact on genetic diversity within infections, but there is little understanding of the long-term consequences of such interventions for public and animal health. Indeed, much of the theory in this area is based on assumptions contradicted by the… 

Do Coinfections Maintain Genetic Variation in Parasites?

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Cloning of the unculturable parasite Pasteuria ramosa and its Daphnia host reveals extreme genotype-genotype interactions.

The first clones of the unculturable bacterium Pasteuria ramosa, a parasite of Daphnia magna, were obtained, andonal genotypes of the parasite exhibited much more specific interactions with host genotypes than previous studies using isolates.

Parasite variation and the evolution of virulence in a Daphnia-microparasite system

Examination of variation between parasite isolates from the crustacean Daphnia magna found that the isolate causing higher early mortality was, on average, less successful at establishing infections and had a slower growth rate within hosts.

Restriction of Francisella novicida Genetic Diversity during Infection of the Vector Midgut

This work shows that the tick vector acted as a stronger ecological filter for pathogen diversity compared to the mammalian host and incorporated the experimental results into a model to demonstrate how vector population dynamics, especially vector-to-host ratio, strongly affected pathogen genotypic diversity in a population over time.

Importance of Sequence and Timing in Parasite Coinfections.

Multiple infections and the evolution of virulence.

It is argued that it is possible to make sense out of the complexity inherent to multiple infections and that experimental evolution settings may provide the best opportunity to further the understanding of virulence evolution.

An ecological and evolutionary perspective on human–microbe mutualism and disease

The shared evolutionary fate of humans and their symbiotic bacteria has selected for mutualistic interactions that are essential for human health, and ecological or genetic changes that uncouple this shared fate can result in disease.

Exposing the diversity of multiple infection patterns.




Adaptive Dynamics of Pathogen–Host Interactions

This chapter explains why the traditional approach of predicting evolutionary outcomes by maximizing the basic reproduction ratio of a disease is not always appropriate. Since pathogens tend to

Experimental evolution of parasites.

Serial passage experiments show that within-host competition generally drives an increase in a parasite's virulence in a new host, whereas the parasite becomes avirulent to its former host, indicating a trade-off between parasite fitnesses on different hosts.

Aggregation and distribution of strains in microparasites.

An analysis of four published data sets for vector-borne microparasite infections where strains or genotypes have been distinguished uses a mathematical model to illustrate the impact of host-vector contact patterns, finding that even if contact is random there may still be significant aggregation in parasite distributions.

Mixed–genotype infections of malaria parasites: within–host dynamics and transmission success of competing clones

Two experiments show that asexual dominance during most of the infection is poorly correlated to transmission probability, and therefore that the assumption that within–host population size correlates to Transmission probability may not be warranted, and raise the fundamental question of why transmission rates of individual genotypes are often higher from mixed than single–clone infections.

Models of Parasite Virulence

  • S. Frank
  • Biology
    The Quarterly Review of Biology
  • 1996
Standard models of parasite virulence are summarized and connected to diverse topics, such as the virulence of bacterial plasmids, the evolution of genomes, and the processes that influence conflict and cooperation among the earliest replicators near the origin of life.

The epidemiology of multiple-clone Plasmodium falciparum infections in Gambian patients

A statistical analysis of 2-locus genetic diversity of clones within isolates concludes that not all multiple-clone infections result from superinfection, but that some are due to single multiple- clone inoculations.


  • B. Wostmann
  • Biology
    The Journal of Agricultural Science
  • 1908
Parasitology publishes definitive papers on all aspects of pure and applied parasitology including biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, ecology and physiology and also the

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