Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire de Probabilités Statistique et Modélisation
The Population Genetics of Pathogen Virulence
Life history theory provides a powerful framework to understand the evolution of pathogens in both epidemic and endemic situations. This framework, however, relies on the assumption that pathogen populations are very large and that one can neglect the e ects of demographic stochasticity. In my talk, I will present an alternative approach, based in population genetics, which will explore the effects of finite population size on the evolution of pathogen virulence and transmission. I will show that demographic stochasticity introduces additional evolutionary forces that can qualitatively affect the dynamics and the evolutionary outcome. In particular, I will discuss scenarios where finite population size can select for lower virulence.
Joint work with Amaury Lambert, Troy Day and Sylvain Gandon.