- Osaka Urban Living and Health Association
- 生活衛生 (ISSN:05824176)
- vol.53, no.3, pp.145-152, 2009-07-30 (Released:2009-08-07)
Recently, there have been fears that an influenza pandemic is approaching in the near future and the importance of preventing infection has often been discussed. The possibility of controlling the evolution of virulence has however received less attention. In the present paper, I first introduce the evolutionary ecology of infectious disease virulence based on the existing theoretical work and then explain three possible selection pressures that favor very serious virulence and suggest promising methods to reduce the effect of each. Most of these methods are consistent with methods to prevent the spread of infection, while one also emphasizes the importance of international cooperation in the elimination of poverty and conflict. I suggest thus that evolutionary ecological thinking has the potential to provide a new point of view in the control of infectious diseases.