Beyond R 0 Maximisation: On Pathogen Evolution and Environmental Dimensions

Lion, S. & Metz, H. (2018). Beyond R 0 Maximisation: On Pathogen Evolution and Environmental Dimensions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33 (6) 458-473. 10.1016/j.tree.2018.02.004.

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A widespread tenet is that evolution of pathogens maximises their basic reproduction ratio, R0. The breakdown of this principle is typically discussed as exception. Here, we argue that a radically different stance is needed, based on evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) arguments that take account of the ‘dimension of the environmental feedback loop’. The R0 maximisation paradigm requires this feedback loop to be one-dimensional, which notably excludes pathogen diversification. By contrast, almost all realistic ecological ingredients of host–pathogen interactions (density-dependent mortality, multiple infections, limited cross-immunity, multiple transmission routes, host heterogeneity, and spatial structure) will lead to multidimensional feedbacks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pathogen evolution; virulence; basic reproduction ratio; evolutionary optimisation; enviromental feedback
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 06:25
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:30

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