Getting poster data...
Roy Williams and Amar Das (Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire)While the concept of “coevolution” of hosts and pathogens seems obvious, a quantitative model of coevolution as a useful and testable working hypothesis has not been achieved. Here, we introduce the technique of agent-based simulation to investigate parameters that may contribute to the maintenance or decay of stable host-pathogen relationships in isolated human populations. We build upon intuitive notions of what individual behavior may have been in an ancient isolated village, and utilize a 3-D network visualization to permit us to follow the daily activities of individual members of the population. Using various visual indicators, we track the immunological status of each individual relative to the pathogen of interest. By plotting statistical measures of the population: life expectancy, infection rate, infection duration, and so on, we can follow the long-term stability of the host-pathogen interaction of interest. We will then introduce mutations into both hosts and pathogens in this stable virtual population and examine the long-term effects on both host and pathogen populations.