Just another comment on purpose

Martin Hewlett hewlett at brahms.biosci.arizona.edu
Fri Sep 13 18:01:37 EST 1996


Paul Digard wrote:

> Ewald argues further that
> killing the host may not be selected against. If the virus is stable
> (i.e. smallpox), replicating to enormous levels at the fatal expense
> of the host could be a viable strategy, as long as further hosts
> come into contact with infectious material.

I think that this is the key point of the "balance" argument.  It seems
to me that a successfull virus must somehow allow for the presence of
"further hosts" in order to propagate.  Therefore, it is difficult to
see how case fatality rates approaching 100% are consistent with this
need.

Martin Hewlett
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of ARizona
Tucson, Arizona





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