Math. Model. Nat. Phenom.
Volume 7, Number 5, 2012Immunology
|Page(s)||105 - 122|
|Published online||17 October 2012|
From Quasispecies Theory to Viral Quasispecies: How Complexity has Permeated Virology
1 Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo
Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM) Campus de Cantoblanco 28049, Madrid, Spain
2 Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial Ctra. de Torrejón a Ajalvir, Km 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
3 Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBERehd), 08036 Barcelona, Spain
⋆ Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RNA viruses replicate as complex and dynamic mutant distributions. They are termed viral quasispecies, in recognition of the fundamental contribution of quasispecies theory in our understanding of error-prone replicative entities. Viral quasispecies have launched a fertile field of transdiciplinary research, both experimental and theoretical. Here we review the origin and some implications of the quasispecies concept, with emphasis on internal interactions among components of the same mutant virus ensemble, a critical fact to design new antiviral strategies. We make the distinction between “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” properties of mutant distributions, and emphasize that there are several levels of complexity that can influence viral quasispecies behavior.
Mathematics Subject Classification: 92-02 / 92B05 / 92C40 / 92D25
Key words: RNA viruses / viral quasispecies / mutation rate / viral fitness / lethal mutagenesis
© EDP Sciences, 2012
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