CO-ORDINATOR: Dr Matt Tinsley
Prerequisites: Animal Ecology (BIOU6AE) or The Animal Cell (BIOU6AC)
Parasites are a potent selective force: within the worldwide human population infectious diseases cause over 11 million deaths annually. The immune system of hosts in turn creates a uniquely hostile environment for parasite survival. Hosts and their pathogens are linked in a continuous evolutionary arms race: selection on the host population to defend against parasites results in counter-selection on the parasite population to evade host immunity. This is one of the fiercest of all coevolutionary battles and it can drive extremely rapid adaptive change. This course will explore the consequences of host-parasite interactions for the evolution of pathogen populations and for the host immune system. It will focus particularly on the impact of coevolution on the diversity of attack and defence strategies in parasites and their hosts.
Scheduled Teaching: 19 hours
Independent Study: 81 hours
Placements: 0 hours