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Nat Ecol Evol. 2019 Apr;3(4):552-560. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0831-4. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

The evolutionary ecology of circadian rhythms in infection.

Author information

1
Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. mary.westwood@ed.ac.uk.
2
Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
3
Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA.
4
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IL, USA.
5
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.

Abstract

Biological rhythms coordinate organisms' activities with daily rhythms in the environment. For parasites, this includes rhythms in both the external abiotic environment and the within-host biotic environment. Hosts exhibit rhythms in behaviours and physiologies, including immune responses, and parasites exhibit rhythms in traits underpinning virulence and transmission. Yet, the evolutionary and ecological drivers of rhythms in traits underpinning host defence and parasite offence are largely unknown. Here, we explore how hosts use rhythms to defend against infection, why parasites have rhythms and whether parasites can manipulate host clocks to their own ends. Harnessing host rhythms or disrupting parasite rhythms could be exploited for clinical benefit; we propose an interdisciplinary effort to drive this emerging field forward.

PMID:
30886375
DOI:
10.1038/s41559-019-0831-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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