Jump to Main Content
Importance of Sequence and Timing in Parasite Coinfections
- Karvonen, Anssi, Jokela, Jukka, Laine, Anna-Liisa
- Trends in parasitology 2019 v.35 no.2 pp. 109-118
- animals, evolution, host-parasite relationships, hosts, life history, longevity, mixed infection, parasites, virulence
- Coinfections by multiple parasites predominate in the wild. Interactions between parasites can be antagonistic, neutral, or facilitative, and they can have significant implications for epidemiology, disease dynamics, and evolution of virulence. Coinfections commonly result from sequential exposure of hosts to different parasites. We argue that the sequential nature of coinfections is important for the consequences of infection in both natural and man-made environments. Coinfections accumulate during host lifespan, determining the structure of the parasite infracommunity. Interactions within the parasite community and their joint effect on the host individual potentially shape evolution of parasite life‐history traits and transmission biology. Overall, sequential coinfections have the potential to change evolutionary and epidemiological outcomes of host–parasite interactions widely across plant and animal systems.