We will discuss an evolutionary perspective of disease symptoms.
Some symptoms represent host defenses. Examples include fever, cough, diarrhea, and perhaps morning sickness.
Some symptoms represent pathogen reproductive strategies. Examples include profuse diarrhea in Vibrio cholerae infection.
Other symptoms might have been adaptive during evolutionary past, but now are subject to environmental mismatch. Severe allergy and autoimmune diseases come to mind.
Here is last year’s lecture. Morning Sickness and Menopause
Reading for next week’s writing assignment nausea-in-pregnancy
For next week, please give your take on the Flaxman/Sherman hypothesis of nausea in pregnancy. Feel free to argue instead that nausea in pregnancy is maladaptive or pathological. Remember, to get full credit, you need to include two item that were covered in lecture or from the reading. I will post some optional readings soon.
Optional:Here is an opposing viewpoint, strongly recommended if you wish to argue against Flaxman/Sherman.
If you want to read more about the smoke detector principle
If you want to learn more about fungi that hijack ants’ brains
If you want to learn more about the radiolab hookworm story
If you want to read about Mark Lyte’s recent work on bacterial neurotransmitters, plus this Commentary on neuroactive probiotics
Joe Alcock MD
Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine