Within-host interference competition can prevent invasion of rare parasites
Cambridge University Press
COPYRIGHT: © Cambridge University Press 2017
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Competition between parasite species or genotypes can play an important role in the establishment of parasites in new host populations. Here, we investigate a mechanism by which a rare parasite is unable to establish itself in a host population if a common resident parasite is already present (a 'priority effect'). We develop a simple epidemiological model and show that a rare parasite genotype is unable to invade if coinfecting parasite genotypes inhibit each other's transmission more than expected from simple resource partitioning. This is because a rare parasite is more likely to be in multiply-infected hosts than the common genotype, and hence more likely to pay the cost of reduced transmission. Experiments competing interfering clones of bacteriophage infecting a bacterium support the model prediction that the clones are unable to invade each other from rare. We briefly discuss the implications of these results for host-parasite ecology and (co)evolution.
This work was funded by NERC, BBSRC and AXA Research Fund. AB acknowledges support from the Royal Society. HCL is funded by The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. PDS is funded by a Royal SocietyScience Foundation Ireland University Research Fellowship.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
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