Plasticity in transmission strategies of the malaria parasite, plasmodium chabaudi: environmental and genetic effects

Cameron, A., Reece, S. E., Drew, D. R., Haydon, D. T. and Yates, A. J. (2013) Plasticity in transmission strategies of the malaria parasite, plasmodium chabaudi: environmental and genetic effects. Evolutionary Applications, 6(2), pp. 365-376. (doi: 10.1111/eva.12005)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.12005

Abstract

Parasites may alter their behaviour to cope with changes in the within-host environment. In particular, investment in transmission may alter in response to the availability of parasite resources or host immune responses. However, experimental and theoretical studies have drawn conflicting conclusions regarding parasites' optimal (adaptive) responses to deterioration in habitat quality. We analyse data from acute infections with six genotypes of the rodent malaria species <i>Plasmodium chabaudi</i> to quantify how investment in transmission (gametocytes) is influenced by the within-host environment. Using a minimum of modelling assumptions, we find that proportional investment in gametocytogenesis increases sharply with host anaemia and also increases at low parasite densities. Further, stronger dependence of investment on parasite density is associated with greater virulence of the parasite genotype. Our study provides a robust quantitative framework for studying parasites' responses to the host environment and whether these responses are adaptive, which is crucial for predicting the short-term and evolutionary impact of transmission-blocking treatments for parasitic diseases.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Haydon, Professor Daniel and Yates, Professor Andrew
Authors: Cameron, A., Reece, S. E., Drew, D. R., Haydon, D. T., and Yates, A. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Evolutionary Applications
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN:1752-4563
ISSN (Online):1752-4571
Published Online:10 October 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Evolutionary Applications 6(2):365-376
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
673361Modeling the development and maintenance of peripheral naive T cell populationsAndrew YatesNational Institute of Health (USA) (NIH(US))R01AI093870III -IMMUNOLOGY