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Hot Zone Question

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Mon Mar 20 09:32:39 EST 1995


In article <0098D9D9.41CEDC29 at vms.csd.mu.edu>, 3ni9boscoj at vms.csd.mu.edu
(Always Learning) wrote:


> Would I be able to convice you with an argument of Adapt or Die!
> In the survival of the fittest, those strains that have been able to adapt to a
> new host will start in small numbers. Very small numbers in fact.  But when
> they others die out, b/c of lack of hosts. Only the newer strains will be
> around to cause trouble.
> 
> I am aware that this is WAY oversimplified. ergo. no flames please. Intellegent
> comments always welcome.

Well Jim, I think there could be a weak point in your argument. In fact,
the number of viruses which is able to adapt to a new host should become
high or remain low independently to the variations in the former host's
population. In other words, the successful adaptation to a new host should
not depend on the size of population of the former host, at least if a
reduction of this one would not change other parameters like mutational
rate or new host's genetic pool.
In the end, in this kind of scenario, with both host's populations we
should have both kind of viruses around (which could be or not pathogens
for both or only one of the host's type). If one population will decrease,
the main source of viruses will be the of course the other one, since a new
jump will occur.
D'you think so?
maga at vetbio.unizh.ch



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