Harnessing evolutionary biology to combat infectious disease

Thomas Little, Judith E. Allen, Simon A. Babayan, Keith R. Matthews, Nick Colegrave

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Pathogens have remarkable abilities to flout therapeutic intervention. This characteristic is driven by evolution, either as a direct response to intervention (for example, the evolution of antibiotic resistance) or through long-term co-evolution that generates host or parasite traits that interact with therapy in undesirable or unpredicted ways. To make progress towards successful control of infectious diseases, the concepts and techniques of evolutionary biology must be deeply integrated with traditional approaches to immunology and pathogen biology. An interdisciplinary approach can inform our strategies to control pathogens or even the treatment of infected patients, positioning us to meet the current and future challenges of controlling infectious diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-220
    Number of pages4
    JournalNature Medicine
    Volume18
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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