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The phylogenomics of evolving virus virulence

Nature Reviews Genetics (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

How virulence evolves after a virus jumps to a new host species is central to disease emergence. Our current understanding of virulence evolution is based on insights drawn from two perspectives that have developed largely independently: long-standing evolutionary theory based on limited real data examples that often lack a genomic basis, and experimental studies of virulence-determining mutations using cell culture or animal models. A more comprehensive understanding of virulence mutations and their evolution can be achieved by bridging the gap between these two research pathways through the phylogenomic analysis of virus genome sequence data as a guide to experimental study.

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National Geographic: leaky vaccines enhance spread of deadlier chicken viruses: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/27/leaky-vaccines-enhance-spread-of-deadlier-chicken-viruses/

The Scientist Infographic: evolving virulence: https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/50451/title/Infographic--Evolving-Virulence/

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Acknowledgements

E.C.H. is funded by an Australian Research Council Australian Laureate Fellowship (FL170100022). The authors thank J. Bull for helpful discussions.

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Nature Reviews Genetics thanks S. Alizon and the other, anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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  1. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    • Jemma L. Geoghegan
  2. Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    • Edward C. Holmes

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-018-0055-5