Unbound MEDLINE

Ecological context influences epidemic size and parasite-driven evolution.

Abstract

The occurrence and magnitude of disease outbreaks can strongly influence host evolution. In particular, when hosts face a resistance-fecundity trade-off, they might evolve increased resistance to infection during larger epidemics but increased susceptibility during smaller ones. We tested this theoretical prediction by using a zooplankton-yeast host-parasite system in which ecological factors determine epidemic size. Lakes with high productivity and low predation pressure had large yeast epidemics; during these outbreaks, hosts became more resistant to infection. However, with low productivity and high predation, epidemics remained small and hosts evolved increased susceptibility. Thus, by modulating disease outbreaks, ecological context (productivity and predation) shaped host evolution during epidemics. Consequently, anthropogenic alteration of productivity and predation might strongly influence both ecological and evolutionary outcomes of disease.

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  • Authors

    Duffy MA, Ochs JH, Penczykowski RM, Civitello DJ, Klausmeier CA, Hall SR

    Source

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 335:6076 2012 Mar 30 pg 1636-8

    MeSH

    Animals
    Biological Evolution
    Daphnia
    Ecosystem
    Female
    Fishes
    Host-Pathogen Interactions
    Indiana
    Lakes
    Male
    Metschnikowia
    Models, Biological
    Population Dynamics
    Predatory Behavior
    Reproduction
    Zooplankton

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22461614