Research Abstract


Success of a suicidal defense strategy against infection in a structured habitat

2012年1月30日 Scientific Reports 2 : 238 doi: 10.1038/srep00238


福世 真樹1,2, 佐々木 顕3,4 & 小林 一三1,5,6

  1. 東京大学大学院 新領域創成科学研究科
  2. 日本学術振興会特別研究員
  3. 総合研究大学院大学 先導科学研究科
  4. オーストリア国際応用システム解析研究所(オーストリア)
  5. 東京大学医科学研究所
  6. 東京大学大学院 理学系研究科
Pathogen infection often leads to the expression of virulence and host death when the host-pathogen symbiosis seems more beneficial for the pathogen. Previously proposed explanations have focused on the pathogen's side. In this work, we tested a hypothesis focused on the host strategy. If a member of a host population dies immediately upon infection aborting pathogen reproduction, it can protect the host population from secondary infections. We tested this "Suicidal Defense Against Infection" (SDAI) hypothesis by developing an experimental infection system that involves a huge number of bacteria as hosts and their virus as pathogen, which is linked to modeling and simulation. Our experiments and simulations demonstrate that a population with SDAI strategy is successful in the presence of spatial structure but fails in its absence. The infection results in emergence of pathogen mutants not inducing the host suicide in addition to host mutants resistant to the pathogen.