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The Ecology of Genetically Diverse Infections

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Science  11 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5519, pp. 1099-1102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059410

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Microparasite infections often consist of genetically distinct clonal lineages. Ecological interactions between these lineages within hosts can influence disease severity, epidemiology, and evolution. Many medical and veterinary interventions have an impact on genetic diversity within infections, but there is little understanding of the long-term consequences of such interventions for public and animal health. Indeed, much of the theory in this area is based on assumptions contradicted by the available data.

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