Meeting Abstract

S4-1.3  Jan. 5  Effects of host nutrient supply on the outcome of infectious disease SMITH, VAL H.*; SMITH, MARILYN S.; University of Kansas; University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City vsmith@ku.edu

In the context of human disease, nutrition is most commonly discussed primarily in terms of maintaining a proper diet and avoiding nutrient deficiencies. However, host nutrition can also be viewed from an ecological standpoint: plants, animals, and their associated pathogens share a wide range of resources that are required to support their metabolism, growth, and reproduction. After an infection occurs, all subsequent host-pathogen interactions in part depend upon the twin processes of resource acquisition and utilization, and competition for growth-limiting resources potentially can occur between pathogens and cellular components of the host ecosystem. Experimental studies of disease across a wide variety of host-pathogen systems confirm unambiguously that the supplies of both inorganic and organic nutrients to the host can have a profound effect on the outcome of infection by viral, fungal, and bacterial pathogens. It is argued that an ecological view of host nutrition potentially can help to inform biomedical, veterinary, and agricultural practices.