Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version


Document Type



MANTER: Journal of Parasite Biodiversity (ISSN 2470-8224) Occasional Papers, Number 27, December 23, 2022

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.manter27


Copyright © 2022 Salvatore J. Agosta


Pathogens and their hosts are embedded within the larger biosphere, what Darwin called the “entangled bank.” Emerging infectious disease occurs when a parasite “switches” to a new host. Understanding the dynamics of emerging disease requires understanding the dynamics of host-switching, which requires a more general understanding of how the biosphere and its constituent members cope when conditions change. The Stockholm paradigm is an integrative evolutionary framework that describes how living systems cope with change by oscillating between exploiting and exploring the geographical and functional dimensions of their environments. It combines organismal capacity, ecological opportunity, and the repeated external perturbations to the conditions that drive the interaction between capacity and opportunity, catalyzing the dynamics of the entangled bank. The Stockholm paradigm makes clear that emerging disease is an expected outcome of the expression of the same evolutionary potential that governs the response of the rest of the biosphere when conditions change.