Ev Apps Special Issue on Infection

Ev Apps Special Issue on Infection

The April 2018 issue of Evolutionary Applications is devoted to Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Infectious Diseases: Challenges, Advances and Promises.  It is open access. Enjoy!  

13 articles about evolution and human infectious disease

Echaubard Pierre, Rudge James W., & Lefevre Thierry. (2018). Evolutionary perspectives on human infectious diseases: Challenges, advances, and promises. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 383–393. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12586

Birget Philip L. G., Greischar Megan A., Reece Sarah E., & Mideo Nicole. (2017). Altered life history strategies protect malaria parasites against drugs. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 442–455. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12516

Borlase Anna, Webster Joanne P., & Rudge James W. (2017). Opportunities and challenges for modelling epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics in a multihost, multiparasite system: Zoonotic hybrid schistosomiasis in West Africa. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 501–515. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12529

Flores‐Ferrer Alheli, Marcou Olivier, Waleckx Etienne, Dumonteil Eric, & Gourbière Sébastien. (2017). Evolutionary ecology of Chagas disease; what do we know and what do we need? Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 470–487. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12582

Glunt Katey D., Coetzee Maureen, Huijben Silvie, Koffi A. Alphonsine, Lynch Penelope A., N’Guessan Raphael, … Thomas Matthew B. (2017). Empirical and theoretical investigation into the potential impacts of insecticide resistance on the effectiveness of insecticide‐treated bed nets. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 431–441. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12574

Grear Daniel A., Hall Jeffrey S., Dusek Robert J., & Ip Hon S. (2017). Inferring epidemiologic dynamics from viral evolution: 2014–2015 Eurasian/North American highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses exceed transmission threshold, R0 = 1, in wild birds and poultry in North America. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 547–557. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12576

Huijben Silvie, & Paaijmans Krijn P. (2017). Putting evolution in elimination: Winning our ongoing battle with evolving malaria mosquitoes and parasites. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 415–430. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12530

Joseph Udayan, Vijaykrishna Dhanasekaran, Smith Gavin J.D., & Su Yvonne C.F. (2017). Adaptive evolution during the establishment of European avian‐like H1N1 influenza A virus in swine. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 534–546. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12536

Kosoy Michael, & Kosoy Roman. (2017). Complexity and biosemiotics in evolutionary ecology of zoonotic infectious agents. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 394–403. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12503

Lefevre Thierry, Ohm Johanna, Dabiré Kounbobr R., Cohuet Anna, Choisy Marc, Thomas Matthew B., & Cator Lauren. (2017). Transmission traits of malaria parasites within the mosquito: Genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity, and consequences for control. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 456–469. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12571

Lourenço José, Tennant Warren, Faria Nuno R., Walker Andrew, Gupta Sunetra, & Recker Mario. (2017). Challenges in dengue research: A computational perspective. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 516–533. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12554

Rosenberg, K. R., & Trevathan, W. R. (2018). Evolutionary Perspectives on Cesarean Section. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. Sternberg Eleanore D., & Thomas Matthew B. (2017). Insights from agriculture for the management of insecticide resistance in disease vectors. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 404–414. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12501

Viana Mafalda, Faust Christina L., Haydon Daniel T., Webster Joanne P., & Lamberton Poppy H. L. (2017). The effects of subcurative praziquantel treatment on life‐history traits and trade‐offs in drug‐resistant Schistosoma mansoni. Evolutionary Applications, 11(4), 488–500. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12558

Nina Wale wins $5,000 Omenn Prize

Nina Wale wins $5,000 Omenn Prize

The Gilbert S. Omenn Prize of $5,000 for the best paper on evolution and medicine or public health published in any journal goes to a paper by Nina Wale and colleagues.

Wale, N., Sim, D. G., Jones, M. J., Salathe, R., Day, T., & Read, A. F. (2017). Resource limitation prevents the emergence of drug resistance by intensifying within-host competition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(52), 13774–13779. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1715874115

The Prize is made possible by the generosity of Gilbert Omenn. The Committee for this year was chaired by Cynthia Beall, and its members are Sean Byars, Katia Koelle, Robert Perlman and Jonathan Wells.

Abstract: Slowing the evolution of antimicrobial resistance is essential if we are to continue to successfully treat infectious diseases. Whether a drug-resistant mutant grows to high densities, and so sickens the patient and spreads to new hosts, is determined by the competitive interactions it has with drug-susceptible pathogens within the host. Competitive interactions thus represent a good target for resistance management strategies. Using an in vivo model of malaria infection, we show that limiting a resource that is disproportionately required by resistant parasites retards the evolution of drug resistance by intensifying competitive interactions between susceptible and resistant parasites. Resource limitation prevented resistance emergence regardless of whether resistant mutants arose de novo or were experimentally added before drug treatment. Our work provides proof of principle that chemotherapy paired with an “ecological” intervention can slow the evolution of resistance to antimicrobial drugs, even when resistant pathogens are present at high frequencies. It also suggests that a broad range of previously untapped compounds could be used for treating infectious diseases.

The risks of C-Section

The risks of C-Section

Just Published in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health: Rosenberg, K. R., & Trevathan, W. R. (2018). Evolutionary Perspectives on Cesarean Section. .

Abstract: Cesarean section (surgical removal of a neonate through the maternal abdominal and uterine walls) can be a life-saving medical intervention for both mothers and their newborns when vaginal delivery through the birth canal is impossible or dangerous. In recent years however, the rates of cesarean sections have increased in many countries far beyond the level of 10–15% recommended as optimal by the World Health Organization. These ‘excess’ cesarean sections carry a number of risks to both mothers and infants including complication from surgery for the mother and respiratory and immunological problems later in life for the infants. We argue that an evolutionary perspective on human childbirth suggests that many of these ‘unnecessary’ cesarean sections could be avoided if we considered the emotionally supportive social context in which childbirth has taken place for hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of years of human evolution. The insight that human childbirth is usually a cooperative, even social event in which women are attended by familiar, supportive family and friends suggests that the harsh clinical environment in which women often give birth in the developed world is not the best setting for dealing with the strong emotional forces that usually accompany labor and delivery. We argue that providing a secure, supportive environment for laboring mothers can reduce the rate of ‘unnecessary’ surgical deliveries.

ISEMPH Abstract Deadline March 31

ISEMPH Abstract Deadline March 31

The International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health Annual meeting program committee welcomes the submission of abstracts to be considered for platform presentations or poster presentations. Abstracts will be selected by the Program Committee after a review of scientific quality. Abstract submissions are now open. Deadline for abstract submissions is March 31st, 2018. 500 words maximum. Submissions require the use of a free EasyChair account. Learn More        Submit abstract

This year's meeting will be August 1-4, 2018 in a spectacular mountain town just above Salt Lake City–Park City, Utah. This interdisciplinary conference is an opportunity for research biologists, students, clinicians and public health professionals to share their research and advance the goals of the society: to use evolutionary insights to improve medical research and practice and to advance evolutionary biology.

The conference will be anchored around presentations by six internationally-celebrated keystone speakers. The conference features special symposia on Alternatives to Antibiotics, The Microbiome, Evolutionary Health Behavior, and Evolution in Emergency Medicine and Critical Illness, Cancer, and Human Genomics. A Pre-Conference on Wilderness Medicine – Human Adaptation to Extreme Environments will take place on August 1st, 2018.  Please join us for this exciting meeting!

The 2017 George C. Williams Prize

The 2017 George C. Williams Prize

The International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health is proud to announce the award of the $5000 George C. Williams Prize to “Time from pre-eclampsia diagnosis to delivery affects future health prospects of children”  by Birgitte Hollegaard; Jacob A. Lykke; Jacobus J. Boomsma. University of Copenhagen. Birgitte Hollegaard will present the paper at the 2018 ISEMPH meeting Aug 1-4 in Park City, Utah.

The prize is awarded each year to the  first author of the most significant article published in 2017 in the Society’s flagship journal, Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. Oxford University Press publishes the journal open access. Charles Nunn is the editor. All articles published in 2017 were automatically considered for the Prize. The Prize is made possible by donations from Doris Williams, Randolph Nesse, and other supporters of Evolution Medicine, & Public Health

This year's Prize Committee included:
Bob Gatenby (Chair), H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
Rick Bribiscas, Yale University
Steven Austad, University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Prize recognizes the contributions of George C Williams to evolutionary medicine, and aims to encourage and highlight important research in this growing field. In a seminal 1957 paper, Williams initiated work on several problems central to medicine, including an evolutionary theory of aging and life history traits including menopause. He did important work on the problem of why sex exists. Perhaps his most lasting contribution is his 1966 book Adaptation and Natural Selection, a critique of group selection that transformed how biologists think about the evolution of sociality. In the 1990’s he collaborated with Randolph Nesse on a series of papers and a book that inspired much ongoing work on how evolutionary biology can help us understand disease and improve human health.

To submit an article see http://emph.oxfordjournals.org.

Does disrupting the skin microbiome cause cancer?

Does disrupting the skin microbiome cause cancer?

Skin cancer rates are high and going higher even though we are spending less time outside than our ancestors, and despite defenses shaped by selection including pigmentation, tanning and induction of DNA repairases. 

An open access article that just appeared in Science Advances  finds that Staphylococcus epidermidis produces a molecule that inhibits DNA polymerase activity and dramatically decreases skin cancer in mice.  The authors say, "The present findings suggest an entirely new concept that some members of our skin microbiome may suppress tumor growth, and dysbiosis is potentially detrimental because of loss of a protective function instead of (or in addition to) a gain of a detrimental microbial community." Which in turn suggests that antibiotics or substances that change the skin microbiota might influence rates of skin cancer.  

Nakatsuji, T., Chen, T. H., Butcher, A. M., Trzoss, L. L., Nam, S.-J., Shirakawa, K. T., … Gallo, R. L. (2018). A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia. Science Advances, 4(2), eaao4502. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aao4502

Abstract: We report the discovery that strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis produce 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP), a molecule that inhibits DNA polymerase activity. In culture, 6-HAP selectively inhibited proliferation of tumor lines but did not inhibit primary keratinocytes. Resistance to 6-HAP was associated with the expression of mitochondrial amidoxime reducing components, enzymes that were not observed in cells sensitive to this compound. Intravenous injection of 6-HAP in mice suppressed the growth of B16F10 melanoma without evidence of systemic toxicity. Colonization of mice with an S. epidermidis strain producing 6-HAP reduced the incidence of ultraviolet-induced tumors compared to mice colonized by a control strain that did not produce 6-HAP. S. epidermidis strains producing 6-HAP were found in the metagenome from multiple healthy human subjects, suggesting that the microbiome of some individuals may confer protection against skin cancer. These findings show a new role for skin commensal bacteria in host defense.