Transmission modes and the evolution of virulence
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- Ewald, P.W. Human Nature (1991) 2: 1. doi:10.1007/BF02692179
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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.