Human Nature

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 1–30

Transmission modes and the evolution of virulence

With special reference to cholera, influenza, and AIDS

Authors

  • Paul W. Ewald
    • Department of BiologyAmherst College
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02692179

Cite this article as:
Ewald, P.W. Human Nature (1991) 2: 1. doi:10.1007/BF02692179

Abstract

Application of evolutionary principles to epidemiological problems indicates that cultural characteristics influence the evolution of parasite virulence by influencing the success of disease transmission from immobilized, infected hosts. This hypothesis is supported by positive correlations between virulence and transmission by biological vectors, water, and institutional attendants. The general evolutionary argument is then applied to the causes and consequences of increased virulence for three diseases: cholera, influenza and AIDS.

Key words

VirulenceEvolutionAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)CholeraInfluenzaHuman Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)Disease vectorsPathogenicity

Copyright information

© Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 1991