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1 July 2003 WITHIN-HOST PARASITE DYNAMICS, EMERGING TRADE-OFF, AND EVOLUTION OF VIRULENCE WITH IMMUNE SYSTEM
Jean-Baptiste André, Jean-Baptiste Ferdy, Bernard Godelle
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Abstract

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.

Jean-Baptiste André, Jean-Baptiste Ferdy, and Bernard Godelle "WITHIN-HOST PARASITE DYNAMICS, EMERGING TRADE-OFF, AND EVOLUTION OF VIRULENCE WITH IMMUNE SYSTEM," Evolution 57(7), 1489-1497, (1 July 2003). https://doi.org/10.1554/02-667
Received: 8 November 2002; Accepted: 11 February 2003; Published: 1 July 2003
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KEYWORDS
Acute infections
evolution of virulence
microparasites
specific immunity
trade-off
within-host models
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