virulence

Joachim Dagg joaccigh at w252zrz.zrz.tu-berlin.de
Tue Jan 3 10:00:27 EST 1995


zelmeda4 at WFU.EDU ("derek a. zelmer") writes:

>and that is not what I meant when I said that evolution towards increased 
>pathogenicity will eventually use up host resources resulting in 
>selection for more benign strains. In terms of evolution and natural 
>selection we are most often left with an end product that has us 
>guessing about selective forces. Because selection for increased 
>virulence will rapidly use up the parasites resource, i.e. susceptible 
>hosts, the conditions favoring this type of selection will be short 
>lived. 

That reminded me of the c-r-selection model. Maybe virulent parasits
are the r-strategists within the parasits, that use up their ressource
rapidly, because it is clumped in space and/or time. The less virulent
parasits would be the c-strategists, who do not exceed the momentary
capacity of their environment, because it is more stable. Though this
might be an old idea, it is new to me. But it needs to be tested, to
be more than just a nice evolutionary explanation.
Joachim 



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