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Strategies of host resistance to pathogens in spatially structured populations: An agent-based evaluation.

08:00 EDT 5th August 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Strategies of host resistance to pathogens in spatially structured populations: An agent-based evaluation."

There is growing theoretical evidence that spatial structure can affect the ecological and evolutionary outcomes of host-parasite interactions. Locally restricted interactions have been shown in particular to affect host resistance and tolerance. In this study we investigate the evolution of several types of host disease resistance strategies, alone or in combination, in spatially structured populations. We construct a spatially explicit, individual-based stochastic model where hosts and parasites interact with each other in a spatial lattice, and interactions are restricted to a given neighbourhood of varying size. We investigate several host resistance strategies, including constitutive (expressed in all resistant hosts), induced (expressed only upon infection), and combinations thereof. We show that a costly constitutive resistance cannot reach fixation, whereas an inducible resistance strategy may become fixed in the population if the cost remains low, particularly if it impacts host recovery. We also demonstrate that mixed strategies can be maintained in the host population, and that a higher investment in a recovery-boosting inducible resistance allows for a higher investment in a constitutive response. Our simulations reveal that the spatial structure of the population impacts the selection for resistance in a complex fashion. While single strategies of resistance are generally favoured in less structured populations, mixed strategies can sometimes prevail only in highly structured environments, e.g. when combining constitutive and transmission-blocking induced responses Overall these results shed new light on the dynamics of disease resistance in a spatially-structured host-pathogen system, and advance our theoretical understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of disease resistance, a necessary step to elaborate more efficient and sustainable strategies for disease management.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Theoretical population biology
ISSN: 1096-0325
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