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Virulence Evolution

Evolution of virulence

Key evolutionary concept: mode of transmission of a parasite or pathogen can affect the evolution of virulence.

Key evolutionary concept: public health efforts and hospital characteristics have the capacity to influence the evolution of virulence traits. 

Vector-borne diseases and virulence

Hospital Acquired Infections – are medical workers vectors of disease?

Do pathogens evolve toward commensalism?


1. Epidemiology meets Evolutionary Ecology Galvani 2003

2. Evolution of virulence. Ewald PW. 2004. Infect Dis Clin N Am (18) 1-15.

Optional but helpful 1.  Ewald Interview

Late addition, but definitely worth reading: Ewald_Oswaldo_Cruz

Writing project (due next week)

 Why do “hospital-acquired” infections get different antibiotics than “community acquired” infections. Which are generally worse and why?

Lecture Preview is here

For Discussion:

Some illnesses make you feel bad, but you can still go about your business: e.g upper respiratory infections caused by rhinoviruses. Other infections wipe you out and you can’t get out of bed. Is it in the rhinovirus’s best interest (so to speak) to keep infected hosts in bed? What symptoms associated with common cold facilitate transmission of the virus?

Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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