Welcome to EEID | Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Disease - University of Oxford

Welcome to EEID

A major challenge in infectious disease control is the high degree of genetic diversity exhibited by many pathogens and their hosts. Understanding how this diversity emerged, how it is naturally structured and how it may be altered by public health interventions is of obvious value to the epidemiologist, but is also fascinating from an ecological and evolutionary perspective.

Several successful human pathogens exhibit antigenic diversity, as a means of camouflaging themselves from their host’s immune response. Differences amongst hosts, or between different tissues in the same host, can drive structural diversity in pathogen receptor binding molecules, as well as metabolic diversity in pathogen housekeeping genes.

For the host’s part, diversity is seen in the genes of the immune system, particularly in those responsible for pathogen recognition (e.g. the human leukocyte antigens). Physiological variation can can also play a role in determining the outcome of infection: the sickle cell mutation in haemoglobin is a well-known example, providing over 90% protection against death from malaria.

The interactive evolution of these various elements of pathogen and host diversity is central to our research. We develop and test mathematical models to understand these processes in many different disease systems including malaria, influenza, HIV and range of bacterial diseases.

Recent EEID publications:
Wikramaratna PS, Rambaut A
Vaccine 2015 Sep 2
Tewari S, Brousse V, Piel FB, Menzel S, Rees DC
GBD 2013 DALYs and HALE Collaborators, Murray CJ, Barber RM, Foreman KJ, Ozgoren AA, Abd-Allah F, Abera SF, Aboyans V, Abraham JP, Abubakar I, Abu-Raddad LJ, Abu-Rmeileh NM, Achoki T, Ackerman IN, Ademi Z, Adou AK, Adsuar JC, Afshin A, Agardh EE, Alam...
Lancet 2015 Nov 28 386(10009):2145-91
Watkins ER, Penman BS, Lourenço J, Buckee CO, Maiden MC, Gupta S
Wikramaratna PS, Lourenço J, Klenerman P, Pybus OG, Gupta S
Noble R, Kaltz O, Hochberg ME
Lourenço J, Wikramaratna PS, Gupta S
BMC Bioinformatics 2015 16:176
Piel FB, Weatherall DJ
Childs LM, Abuelezam NN, Dye C, Gupta S, Murray MB, Williams BG, Buckee CO
Epidemics 2015 Mar 10:102-7
Wikramaratna PS, Kucharski A, Gupta S, Andreasen V, McLean AR, Gog JR
Epidemics 2015 Mar 10:31-4