Applied Mathematics Seminar: “How Immune Selection can Shape Evolution of Malaria Quasi-Species”

Join the Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics (MAMS) on October 15, 2018 for an Applied Mathematics Seminar given by Dr. David Gurarie, Professor, CWRU Department of MAMS.  Dr. Gurarie will speak on “How Immune Selection can Shape Evolution of Malaria Quasi-Species.” The seminar will be held in Yost 306, from 3:15 – 4:15 PM.

Abstract:  Multiple forces drive evolution of parasites in host populations, and immune selection plays an important part. Malaria parasite has developed several ways to avoid host immunity. The key strategy is antigenic variation, whereby parasite would switch expressed antigens contained in its genetic repertoire, and thus prolong infection duration and successful transmission.

The talk will review some conventional concepts and models of evolution /selection for multi-strain parasites and the role of immunity. Then I will outline a new agent-based modeling approach to genetically-structured malaria, that accounts for essential features of its in-host biology and immunology. The model will be applied to basic questions of evolutionary biology in host-parasite systems: (i) the meaning of ‘fitness’ and selection, (ii) parasite diversity and connectivity network (relationship between multiple strains), (iii) the resulting population structure (parasite distribution in host communities), (iv) the effect of host makeup and transmission environment.


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