Theoretical and experimental studies have established the dynamic nature of virulence and that, like all traits, it has evolved. Understanding parasite evolution offers a conceptual framework for diverse fields and can contribute greatly to decision-making in disease control. Recently, Grech et al. investigated the effects of host genotype-by-parasite genotype interactions on the expression of virulence in an artificial rodent-malaria system. They found that both parasite and host effects explained most of the variance in the virulence, resistance and transmission potential. These findings are a major contribution to the emerging debate on the pros and cons of a coevolutionary approach of virulence evolution; they also hold great potential for more effective control strategies.