Susceptibility to infections

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RESEARCHERS have shown that when fruit flies co-evolve with viruses, different genetic changes occur to those caused by encountering a virus for the first time, altering the insects’ susceptibility to future infection. The findings, published in eLife, help to address a fundamental question in infectious disease biology: why are some individuals genetically resistant to infection, while others are genetically susceptible? Answering this question has potential implications for reducing disease, for example where genetic variation plays a role in a mosquito’s ability to transmit malaria.

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