Figure 1: The evolution of viral genomic mutation rates. | Nature

Figure 1: The evolution of viral genomic mutation rates.

From: The importance of being erroneous

Figure 1

High mutation rates may enable viruses to escape the host's immune responses, but low mutation rates reduce the probability of destroying essential viral genes. If the mutation rate is too high or too low, the viral population becomes extinct either because the genetic information is irretrievably lost or because the population cannot keep pace with the immune response. Kamp et al.2 have calculated a genomic mutation rate that optimally balances these constraints.

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