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Lecture48-BIO150-Rowe-07-08

Lecture48-BIO150-Rowe-07-08 - Evolutionary Medicine Prof...

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Copyright © 2008 Locke Rowe Evolutionary Medicine Prof. Locke Rowe Lecture 48 The Evolution of Virulence Required reading: none Key words/concepts/terms: Ebola virus, resistance, generation time, Myxoma virus, virulence, vector 1. Introduction 2. Coincidental by-product: (a) Ebola virus 3. Parasite adaptation: (a) Myxoma virus, (b) vector transmitted virus 4. Prospects 1. Some diseases cause very severe, life threatening illnesses in their hosts (eg. influenza virus of 1918) while others are quite benign (e.g., common cold, current influenza virus). Here, we explore two hypotheses to explain the evolution of virulence (i.e., the degree to which the virus causes morbidity or mortality). The two hypotheses we will discuss are coincidental virulence and parasite adaptation. 2. At first, it was believed that highly virulent diseases resulted as a coincidental side-effect of novel host-parasite associations. It was assumed that the two would evolve so that the disease became benign over time because killing the host too quickly was ‘harmful’ for the virus. An
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