Evolution of gametocyte sex ratios in malaria and related apicomplexan (protozoan) parasites

S A West, S E Reece, A F Read

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

'Survival of the fittest' is usually interpreted to mean that natural selection favours genes that maximize their transmission to the next generation. Here, we discuss recent applications of this principle to the study of gametocyte sex ratios in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites. Sex ratios matter because they are an important determinant of fitness and transmission success - and hence of disease epidemiology and evolution. Moreover, inbreeding rates can be estimated from gametocyte sex ratios. The sex ratio is also an excellent model trait for testing the validity of important components of what is being marketed as 'Darwinian medicine'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Volume17
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001

Keywords

  • LOCAL MATE COMPETITION
  • PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM GAMETOCYTES
  • MIXED-GENOTYPE INFECTIONS
  • POPULATION-STRUCTURE
  • ANOPHELES-GAMBIAE
  • MATING PATTERNS
  • COMMITMENT
  • ALLOCATION
  • TOXOPLASMA
  • VIRGINITY

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