Virulence is an evolutionary paradox because parasites never benefit from their host's death. The adaptive explanation of virulence is classically based upon the existence of physiological constraints that create a trade-off between parasites' epidemiological traits (virulence, transmissibility, and clearance). Here we develop an epidemiological model where infections are dynamic processes and we demonstrate how these dynamics generate a trade-off between emerging epidemiological parameters. We then study how host's immune strength modifies this trade-off and hence influences virulence evolution. We found that in acute infections, where parasites are engaged in a race with immune cells, immunity restrains more the duration of the infection than its intensity. As a consequence parasites evolve to provoke more virulent but shorter infections in strongly immunized hosts.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 57 • No. 7