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Microbes Infect. 2000 Jul;2(8):891-6.

Host life history responses to parasitism.

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Fonctionnement et évolution des systèmes écologiques, CNRS-UMR 7625, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 7, quai St Bernard (cc237) Paris, France.


Parasites and their infections can adversely effect a host's growth, reproduction and survival. These effects are often not immediate, but increase with time since infection. A general prediction from evolutionary biology is that hosts suffering from this type of infection should preferentially allocate resources towards reproduction, even if this is at the expense of their growth and survival. This review illustrates this argument with several empirical studies showing hosts behaving in this manner. These studies indicate that one way for hosts to reduce the costs of parasitism is by altering their life history traits to bring forward their schedule of reproduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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