Data from: Incomplete host immunity favors the evolution of virulence in an emergent pathogen

Arietta E. Fleming-Davies, Paul D. Williams, André A. Dhondt, Andrew P. Dobson, Wesley A. Hochachka, Ariel E. Leon, David H. Ley, Erik E. Osnas & Dana M. Hawley
Immune memory evolved to protect hosts from reinfection, but incomplete responses that allow future reinfection might inadvertently select for more harmful pathogens. We present empirical and modeling evidence that incomplete immunity promotes the evolution of higher virulence in a natural host-pathogen system. We performed sequential infections of house finches with Mycoplasma gallisepticum strains of varying virulence. Virulent bacterial strains generated stronger host protection against reinfection than less virulent strains, and thus excluded less virulent strains...
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