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Methods Mol Biol. 2009;551:1-12. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-999-4_1.

Microbial molecular epidemiology: an overview.

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  • 1IRD Representative Office, French Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand.


In this introductory chapter, I stress one more time the urgency to better connect molecular epidemiology and evolutionary biology. I show how much population genetics and phylogenetic analyses can confer a considerable added value to all attempts to characterize strains and species of pathogens. The problems dealing with the mere definition of basic concepts, such as species, subspecies, or strains, are briefly summarized. Last, I show the important contribution of molecular epidemiology to our knowledge of the basic biology of pathogens and insist on the necessity not to separate the studies dealing with pathogens from those that concern the hosts and the vectors, in the case of vector-borne diseases.

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