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2005 The Society for the Study of Evolution. All rights reserved. Evolution, 59(7), 2005, pp. 14061412
 

Summary: 1406
2005 The Society for the Study of Evolution. All rights reserved.
Evolution, 59(7), 2005, pp. 1406­1412
VIRULENCE EVOLUTION IN EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
JEAN-BAPTISTE ANDRE´ 1 AND MICHAEL E. HOCHBERG2
1Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada
E-mail: jeanbaptisteandre@gmail.com
2Equipe Ge´ne´tique et Environnement, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Unite´
Mixte de Recherche 5554 and Universite´ Montpellier II cc. 065, Place Euge`ne Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cedex 05, France
E-mail: hoch@isem.univ-montp2.fr
Abstract. Models of virulence evolution generally consider the outcome of competition between resident and mutant
parasite strains at or near endemic equilibrium. Less studied is what happens during the initial phases of invasion and
adaptation. Understanding initial adaptive dynamics is particularly important in the context of emerging diseases in
wildlife and humans, for which rapid and accurate intervention may be of the essence. To address the question of
virulence evolution in emerging diseases, we employ a simple stochastic modeling framework. As is intuitive, the
pathogen strains most likely to emerge are those with the highest net reproductive rates (R0). We find, however, that
stochastic events shape the properties of emerging pathogens in sometimes unexpected ways. First, the mean virulence
of emerging pathogens is expected to be larger in dense host populations and/or when transmission is high, due to
less restrictive conditions for the spread of the pathogen. Second, a positive correlation between average virulence
and transmissibility emerges due to a combination of drift and selection. We conclude that at least in the initial phases

  

Source: André, Jean-Baptiste - CNRS & Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, Paris 6
Hochberg, Michael - Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, Université Montpellier II

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine