Social immunity modulates competition between coinfecting pathogens

Barbara Milutinović, Miriam Stock, Anna V. Grasse, Elisabeth Naderlinger, Christian Hilbe & Sylvia Cremer
Coinfections with multiple pathogens can result in complex within-host dynamics affecting virulence and transmission. Whilst multiple infections are intensively studied in solitary hosts, it is so far unresolved how social host interactions interfere with pathogen competition, and if this depends on coinfection diversity. We studied how the collective disease defenses of ants – their social immunity ­– influence pathogen competition in coinfections of same or different fungal pathogen species. Social immunity reduced virulence for all...
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