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Data from: How parasite interaction strategies alter virulence evolution in multi-parasite communities

Citation

Clay, Patrick; Rudolf, Volker (2019), Data from: How parasite interaction strategies alter virulence evolution in multi-parasite communities, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k301s49

Abstract

The majority of organisms host multiple parasite species, each of which can interact with hosts and competitors through a diverse range of direct and indirect mechanisms. These within-host interactions can directly alter the mortality rate of coinfected hosts and alter the evolution of virulence (parasite induced host mortality). Yet we still know little about how within-host interactions affect the evolution of parasite virulence in multi-parasite communities. Here, we modeled the virulence evolution of two coinfecting parasites in a host population in which parasites interacted through cross immunity, immune suppression, immunopathology, or spite. We show (1) that these within-host interactions have different effects on virulence evolution when all parasites interact with each other in the same way vs. when coinfecting parasites have unique interaction strategies, (2) that all of these interactions cause the evolution of lower virulence in some hosts, and higher virulence in other hosts, depending on the hosts infection status, and (3) that for cross immunity and spite, whether parasites increased or decreased the evolutionarily stable virulence in coinfected hosts depended on interaction strength. These results improve our understanding of virulence evolution in complex parasite communities, and show that virulence evolution must be understood at the community scale.

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Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: Graduate Research Fellowship Program