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© Research
Publication : Current opinion in genetics & development

The Red Queen’s long race: human adaptation to pathogen pressure

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Current opinion in genetics & development - 24 Aug 2014

Siddle KJ, Quintana-Murci L

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25170983

Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2014 Dec;29:31-8

Pathogens, and the infectious diseases they cause, have been paramount among the threats encountered by humans in their expansions throughout the globe. Numerous studies have identified immunity and host defence genes as being among the functions most strongly targeted by selection, most likely pathogen-driven. The dissection of the form and intensity of such selective pressures have increased our knowledge of the biological relevance of the underlying immunological mechanisms in host defence. Although the identities of the specific infectious agents imposing these selective pressures remain, in most cases, elusive, the impact of several pathogens, notably malaria and cholera, has been described. However, past selection against infectious diseases may have some fitness costs upon environmental changes, potentially leading to maladaptation and immunopathology.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25170983