Journal article

Frequency-dependent competition between strains imparts resilience to perturbations in a model ofPlasmodium falciparummalaria transmission

Qixin He, Shai Pilosof, Kathryn Tiedje, Karen Day, Mercedes Pascual

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Published : 2020

Abstract

In high-transmission endemic regions, local populations of Plasmodium falciparum exhibit vast diversity of the var genes encoding its major surface antigen, with each parasite comprising multiple copies from this diverse gene pool. This strategy to evade the immune system through large combinatorial antigenic diversity is common to other hyperdiverse pathogens. It underlies a series of fundamental epidemiological characteristics, including large reservoirs of transmission from high prevalence of asymptomatics and long-lasting infections. Previous theory has shown that negative frequency-dependent selection (NFDS) mediated by the acquisition of specific immunity by hosts structures the divers..

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