Connecting within-host dynamics to the rate of viral molecular evolution

Virus Evolution
Kayla M PeckMark M Tanaka


Viruses evolve rapidly, providing a unique system for understanding the processes that influence rates of molecular evolution. Neutral theory posits that the evolutionary rate increases linearly with the mutation rate. The occurrence of deleterious mutations causes this relationship to break down at high mutation rates. Previous studies have identified this as an important phenomenon, particularly for RNA viruses which can mutate at rates near the extinction threshold. We propose that in addition to mutation dynamics, viral within-host dynamics can also affect the between-host evolutionary rate. We present an analytical model that predicts the neutral evolution rate for viruses as a function of both within-host parameters and deleterious mutations. To examine the effect of more detailed aspects of the virus life cycle, we also present a computational model that simulates acute virus evolution using target cell-limited dynamics. Using influenza A virus as a case study, we find that our simulation model can predict empirical rates of evolution better than a model lacking within-host details. The analytical model does not perform as well as the simulation model but shows how the within-host basic reproductive number influences evo...Continue Reading


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May 4, 2018·Journal of Virology·Kayla M Peck, Adam S Lauring
Aug 5, 2017·Virus Evolution·John-Sebastian EdenMark M Tanaka

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