Can we use resistance as a general indicator of a host's quality? Here I argue that this would be useful only if resistance is determined by the host and effective against many parasites, but that resistance is likely to be determined by an interaction between the host and the parasite. I discuss the parasite's influence on resistance first with an empirical approach showing that resistance depends on the interaction between the host's and the parasite's genotypes and then with a theoretical approach describing the co-evolution between the host's immune response and the parasite's counter-response.
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