CEES research on the cover of PNAS
A publication by W. Ryan Easterday et al., on the dynamics of anthrax infections, was featured on the cover of the February 25th issue.
The cover of PNAS February 25th 2020.
The publication by W. Ryan Easterday, that also included co-authors Nils Chr. Stenseth from CEES, previous CEES member Wendy C. Turner and international collaborators, was titled "Coalescence modeling of intrainfection Bacillus anthracis populations allows estimation of infection parameters in wild populations".
The cover image was taken by W. Ryan Easterday himself, and showed a mother zebra and newborn foal in Etosha National Park, Namibia, during the height of the anthrax season.
The significance of the publication is summarized in this way:
This study applies coalescence modeling to a “slowly evolving” bacterial pathogen, Bacillus anthracis, to derive estimates of infection durations and founding population sizes from natural anthrax mortalities. Although coalescence modeling has been applied to highly mutable chronic pathogens (i.e., HIV), to date, methodological hurdles have prevented its wider application. Our findings show it is possible to obtain pathological data from infections, post hoc, which may be applicable to other pathogens and settings, including clinical. Given their higher resolution, microsatellites will remain useful in shorter evolutionary timeframe studies.
The publication is available for all at this link.