Edited by
George H Perry et al.

Evolutionary Medicine: A Special Issue

eLife is pleased to present a Special Issue to highlight recent advances in the growing and increasingly interdisciplinary field of evolutionary medicine.
Collection
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Evolutionary theory is critical for understanding modern human health, from how adaptations to our past lifestyles and pathogens impact risk for current diseases to the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

To highlight recent advances in the growing and increasingly interdisciplinary field of evolutionary medicine, eLife is pleased to present a Special Issue devoted to this exciting topic. This issue presents a collection of highly influential research selected for publication by a specially convened group of experts.

To support the launch of the issue, Senior Editor George Perry explores a new era for research into evolutionary medicine in an Editorial.

Collection

    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Integrating genotypes and phenotypes improves long-term forecasts of seasonal influenza A/H3N2 evolution

    John Huddleston et al.
    The combination of phenotypic measures of antigenic drift and genotypic measures of functional constraint improves the accuracy of long-term seasonal influenza A/H3N2 forecasts.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    An adjunctive therapy administered with an antibiotic prevents enrichment of antibiotic-resistant clones of a colonizing opportunistic pathogen

    Valerie J Morley et al.
    Cholestyramine, an FDA-approved bile acid sequestrant, can be repurposed to inactivate the antibiotic daptomycin in the gut, which prevents the emergence of transmissible antibiotic resistance in gastrointestinal Enterococcus faecium populations.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Productivity loss associated with functional disability in a contemporary small-scale subsistence population

    Jonathan Stieglitz et al.
    Adult spinal fracture substantially impairs subsistence productivity, particularly for men.
    1. Immunology and Inflammation

    Gross ways to live long: Parasitic worms as an anti-inflammaging therapy?

    Bruce Zhang, David Gems
    The absence of helminth parasites in developed countries may be exacerbating pathological, age-associated inflammation, known as inflammaging, suggesting that helminth therapies could provide protection against age-related disease.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Evolutionary conflicts and adverse effects of antiviral factors

    Daniel Sauter, Frank Kirchhoff
    Innate antiviral factors do not always perfectly distinguish between self and foreign, and potential adverse effects of antiviral defense mechanisms for the host have been discussed.
    1. Genetics and Genomics
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    An interbacterial DNA deaminase toxin directly mutagenizes surviving target populations

    Marcos H de Moraes et al.
    Interbacterial interactions can promote mutagenesis, and possibly adaptation, when intoxicated cells survive exposure to type VI secretion-delivered DNA deaminase toxins.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Collateral sensitivity associated with antibiotic resistance plasmids

    Cristina Herencias et al.
    Acquisition of antibiotic resistance plasmids induces collateral sensitivity to clinically relevant antibiotics in Escherichia coli, paving the way for targeted 'anti-plasmid' therapies able to preferentially eliminate plasmid-carrying bacteria.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Evolutionary transcriptomics implicates HAND2 in the origins of implantation and regulation of gestation length

    Mirna Marinić et al.
    The transcription factor HAND2 evolved uterine expression during the origins of pregnancy and may be important for maternal-fetal immune signaling and parturition.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health

    Antimicrobial resistance and COVID-19: Intersections and implications

    Gwenan M Knight et al.
    COVID-19 will have an ongoing impact on antimicrobial resistance acquisition, transmission, and burden, requiring the close attention of researchers globally to generate a complete evidence base for the shifted dynamics.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Group phenotypic composition in cancer

    Jean-Pascal Capp et al.
    Tumoral group phenotypic compositions and their relationships with the fitness of individual malignant cells in different ecological contexts represent crucial, previously unexplored dynamics in tumor progression.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    High social status males experience accelerated epigenetic aging in wild baboons

    Jordan A Anderson et al.
    Among the factors that predict fitness in wild baboons, dominance rank in males, but not in females, is the best predictor of epigenetic aging.
    1. Genetics and Genomics
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    The role of interspecies recombination in the evolution of antibiotic-resistant pneumococci

    Joshua C D'Aeth et al.
    Selection by national-level antibiotic consumption and vaccination trends drives atypical recombinations, frequently resulting in interspecies sequence exchange at many sites across a bacterial species’ chromosome.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Genetic determinants facilitating the evolution of resistance to carbapenem antibiotics

    Peijun Ma et al.
    High-level transposon insertional mutagenesis and a broader spectrum of resistance-conferring mutations for selected carbapenems facilitate the evolution of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumonia clinical isolates.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Early maternal loss leads to short- but not long-term effects on diurnal cortisol slopes in wild chimpanzees

    Cédric Girard-Buttoz et al.
    Wild chimpanzees contrast to humans since adult male chimpanzees do not exhibit physiological indicators of biological embedding of the stress associated to maternal loss early in life.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Understanding the evolution of multiple drug resistance in structured populations

    David V McLeod, Sylvain Gandon
    The evolution of multidrug resistance can be most easily understood by focusing upon the dynamical equations of linkage disequilibrium.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Immunology and Inflammation

    Glycan-based shaping of the microbiota during primate evolution

    Sumnima Singh et al.
    Ggta1 deletion in mice shapes and reduces the microbiota pathogenicity and probably contributed to the natural selection of GGTA1 loss-of-function mutations in the ancestral primates that gave rise to humans.
    1. Cancer Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Pervasive duplication of tumor suppressors in Afrotherians during the evolution of large bodies and reduced cancer risk

    Juan M Vazquez, Vincent J Lynch
    Duplication of tumor suppressor genes contributed to the evolution of large, long-lived elephants.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Multi-step vs. single-step resistance evolution under different drugs, pharmacokinetics, and treatment regimens

    Claudia Igler et al.
    The number and effects of mutations leading to full drug resistance crucially determine treatment failure probability and should be used to inform antimicrobial treatment strategies with regard to avoidance of resistance emergence.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Price equation captures the role of drug interactions and collateral effects in the evolution of multidrug resistance

    Erida Gjini, Kevin B Wood
    A simple mathematical model reveals that antibiotic interactions and collateral effects of evolution are inseparable drivers of multidrug resistance linked by the well-known Price equation from evolutionary theory.
    1. Genetics and Genomics
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Linking plasmid-based beta-lactamases to their bacterial hosts using single-cell fusion PCR

    Peter J Diebold et al.
    One-step Isolation and Lysis (OIL) PCR offers a robust, versatile, accessible, and high-throughput method for linking mobile DNA with bacterial hosts in natural microbial communities.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Clusters of polymorphic transmembrane genes control resistance to schistosomes in snail vectors

    Jacob A Tennessen et al.
    A region of the Biomphalaria genome, containing highly divergent haplotypes with different combinations of transmembrane genes, strongly impacts whether these snails can transmit parasitic schistosomes.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Mutational resilience of antiviral restriction favors primate TRIM5α in host-virus evolutionary arms races

    Jeannette L Tenthorey et al.
    Mutations in the TRIM5α retrovirus-binding interface frequently improve but rarely disrupt retroviral restriction.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Principles of dengue virus evolvability derived from genotype-fitness maps in human and mosquito cells

    Patrick T Dolan et al.
    Distinct selective landscapes in mosquito and human cells shape dengue virus genetic diversity and highlight mechanisms of host adaptation in arboviruses.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Development of antibacterial compounds that constrain evolutionary pathways to resistance

    Yanmin Zhang et al.
    Integrated multi-scale, multi-tool approach to design novel 'evolution drugs' which can delay the emergence of antibiotic resistance by constraining bacterial evolutionary escape strategies.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Immunology and Inflammation

    Contrasting effects of Western vs Mediterranean diets on monocyte inflammatory gene expression and social behavior in a primate model

    Corbin SC Johnson et al.
    Modern human diet patterns alter primate behavior and monocyte gene expression leading to monocyte polarization–experimental evidence of the evolutionary mismatch hypothesis.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    High potency of sequential therapy with only β-lactam antibiotics

    Aditi Batra et al.
    Sequential therapy with only β-lactam antibiotics achieves surprisingly high potency by exploiting both low rates of spontaneous resistance emergence and low rates of spontaneous cross-resistance among the drugs in sequence.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    The need for practical insecticide-resistance guidelines to effectively inform mosquito-borne disease control programs

    Alice Namias et al.
    With standardized insecticide-resistance assays failing to inform mosquito-control efficacy due to genotype-by-environment effects, practical resistance monitoring under relevant local conditions is needed to correlate resistance, mosquito-control efficacy, and disease epidemiology.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Expanding the MECP2 network using comparative genomics reveals potential therapeutic targets for Rett syndrome

    Irene Unterman et al.
    A novel comparative genomics framework identifies MECP2 network proteins targeted by existing drugs, with three drugs validated in an in vitro Rett syndrome model.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Parallel evolution between genomic segments of seasonal human influenza viruses reveals RNA-RNA relationships

    Jennifer E Jones et al.
    Phylogenetic relationships between viral RNA segments are distinct between subtypes and lineages of seasonal human influenza A viruses and implicate RNA-RNA relationships as novel drivers of influenza virus evolution.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Understanding patterns of HIV multi-drug resistance through models of temporal and spatial drug heterogeneity

    Alison F Feder et al.
    In triple-drug-treated HIV, partially resistant viruses can spread and resistance to specific drugs evolves in a predictable order, potentially a result of spatial or temporal heterogeneity in drug concentrations.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Medicine

    APOE4 is associated with elevated blood lipids and lower levels of innate immune biomarkers in a tropical Amerindian subsistence population

    Angela R Garcia et al.
    The relationship between APOE genotype and disease risks may be environmentally moderated, with APOE4 being less harmful and unlikely to increase cardiometabolic risk in a physically active, energy-limited population.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Immunology and Inflammation

    Evolution of pathogen tolerance and emerging infections: A missing experimental paradigm

    Srijan Seal et al.
    An integrated empirical paradigm tracing immune strategies, underlying mechanisms and infection outcomes across reservoir host-pathogen systems, their specific ecological contexts, life-history features, and coevolutionary dynamics can reveal the actual patterns and processes underlying spillover in the wild.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Local adaptation and archaic introgression shape global diversity at human structural variant loci

    Stephanie M Yan et al.
    Graph genotyping of structural variation in diverse human populations reveals functional associations and signatures of local adaptation within poorly resolved regions of the genome.

Contributors

  1. George H Perry
    Senior Editor
  2. Dominique Soldati-Favre
    Senior Editor
  3. Ben Cooper
    Reviewing Editor
  4. Vaughn S Cooper
    Reviewing Editor
  5. Sophie Helaine
    Reviewing Editor
  6. Frank Kirchhoff
    Reviewing Editor
  7. Paul Rainey
    Reviewing Editor
  8. Antonis Rokas
    Reviewing Editor
  9. Amy Goldberg
    Guest Editor
  10. Imroze Khan
    Guest Editor