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Interplay of Ecological and Evolutionary Processes in Infectious Disease Dynamics: Antimicrobial Resistance and Immune Escape

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Although evolutionary (population genetic) and ecological (population dynamical) processes are often considered separately, many phenomena in infectious disease dynamics can only be properly understood as an interaction of both types of processes. I will present four examples that illustrate the interaction between evolution and the spread of infectious diseases. The first two examples deal with antimicrobial resistance in HIV -1 and Staphylococcus aureus. For HIV -1, I will assess the impact of imperfect adherence on the evolution of antiretroviral-resistance at a within-host level. For Staphylococcus Aureus, I will discuss to what extent population structure can explain the coexistence between different antibiotic-resistant strains. In the second part, I will focus on evolutionary immunology and immuno-epidemiology. One of the crucial general questions in this context is, which factors determine the speed of immune escape (or antigenic drift). I will discuss this question on the basis of a model, which combines the within-host with the epidemiological perspective. Finally, I will present for measles virus the interaction between virus clearance and immune-suppression, which provides a snapshot of the evolutionary arms race between the host and the parasite.

This talk is part of the Worms and Bugs series.

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