Dr. Pedro Vale, University of Edinburgh; https://pedrovale.bio.ed.ac.uk/

Examining the causes of host heterogeneity in pathogen acquisition and spread

Host heterogeneity is pervasive in infectious diseases and is particularly striking in ‘super-spreader’ individuals with extreme pathogen transmission phenotypes who greatly accelerate the spread of infections. The overall aim of our research is to understand how individual-level host heterogeneity scales up to population level disease outcomes. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as an established and genetically tractable model of infection, immunity, and behaviour, we take an experimental approach to investigate the causes of individual variation in immune responses, life-history traits, and social behaviours and the consequences of this variation for pathogen transmission and evolution. I will present recent work where we have measured the heritable genetic variation and immune regulation of several traits that are directly relevant to pathogen acquisition and spread: (1) infection avoidance; (2) disease tolerance; and (3) pathogen shedding. https://pedrovale.bio.ed.ac.uk/

Lectures, talks
Tue 28.03.2023, 16 h - 18 h
IEB Seminar
IEB, Lecture Hall HHÜ, Hüfferstraße 1, 48149 Münster