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When are pathogen dynamics likely to reflect host population genetic structure?

Carver, S ORCID: 0000-0002-3579-7588 and Lunn, T 2020 , 'When are pathogen dynamics likely to reflect host population genetic structure?' , Molecular ecology, vol. 29, no. 5 , pp. 859-861 , doi:

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Does the structure and connectivity of host populations influence the dynamics and evolution of their pathogens? This topical question is the essence of research investigating the ecology of a Pteropus fruit bat and its zoonotic Nipah virus (NiV) published by Olival et al. in this issue of Molecular Ecology. Questioned less overtly, but nonetheless implicit to the study, is "what are the mechanisms underpinning intraspecific host-pathogen congruence (IHPC) of genetic structure?". Olival et al. investigated the phylogeographical structure of Pteropus medius and NiV isolates across Bangladesh, from areas inside and outside of the Nipah belt-an area where most human spillover events occur. A high degree of host panmixia was discovered, with some population differentiation east of the Nipah belt. NiV genetic structure was congruent with the host. The authors attributed the panmixia and structuring, respectively, to (a) the highly vagile nature of P. medius, and (b) possible differences between bioregions within and outside the Nipah belt. Other potential explanatory mechanisms were acknowledged, including hybridization and transmission mode. This study makes a valuable contribution to a growing body of literature examining IHPC. This has implications not only for pathogen spillover to humans and domestic animals, but more generally for thinking about the mechanisms that underlie patterns of host and pathogen genetic associations.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Carver, S and Lunn, T
Keywords: Epidemiology
Journal or Publication Title: Molecular ecology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
ISSN: 0962-1083
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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