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Trends Parasitol. 2006 Jan;22(1):12-6. Epub 2005 Nov 23.

Coevolutionary interactions between host and parasite genotypes.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive, CNRS UMR 7103, Universit√© Pierre et Marie Curie, CC 237, 7 quai St Bernard, 75252 Paris cedex 05, France. louis.lambrechts@snv.jussieu.fr


More than 20 years after Dawkins introduced the concept of "extended phenotype" (i.e. phenotypes of hosts and parasites result from interactions between the two genomes) and although this idea has now reached contemporary textbooks of evolutionary biology, most studies of the evolution of host-parasite systems still focus solely on either the host or the parasite, neglecting the role of the other partner. It is important to consider that host and parasite genotypes share control of the epidemiological parameters of their relationship. Moreover, not only the traits of the infection but also the genetic correlations among these and other traits that determine fitness might be controlled by interactions between host and parasite genotypes.

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