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Virol J. 2008 Aug 7;5:93. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-93.

Stone age diseases and modern AIDS.

Author information

1
Biology Department, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-6801, USA. koch@indiana.edu

Abstract

The great advantage of being a sexually transmitted disease is the ability to survive and specialize solely on a host species that is present in low numbers and widely distributed so that contact between infected and uninfected organisms by chance is rare. Pathogens of a sparse, but widely distributed host species, must either: i) have an alternative host; ii) be able to survive in a dormant state; or iii) be non-destructive to their host. For the pathogens of a diploid there is a particularly effective strategy, that of being sexually transmitted. Then the hosts' themselves transfer the pathogen.

PMID:
18687115
PMCID:
PMC2531097
DOI:
10.1186/1743-422X-5-93
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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