A virus reveals population structure and demographic history of its carnivore host

Roman Biek, Alexei J. Drummond, Mary Poss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Directly transmitted parasites often provide substantial information about the temporal and spatial characteristics of host-to-host contact. Here, we demonstrate that a fast-evolving virus (feline immunodeficiency virus, FIV) can reveal details of the contemporary population structure and recent demographic history of its natural wildlife host (Puma concolor) that were not apparent from host genetic data and would be impossible to obtain by other means. We suggest that rapidly evolving pathogens may provide a complementary tool for studying population dynamics of their hosts in "shallow" time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-541
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume311
Issue number5760
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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