Viral evolution and epidemiology

Katrin Leitmeyer, Rebeca Rico-Hesse

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    This review highlights recent research on viral evolution and its use towards understanding disease pathogenesis and epidemiology. The development of techniques such as enzymatic amplification of viral genomes and automated sequencing has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of sequence information from clinical samples. These sequences (RNA or DNA, or the amino acids they encode) have been compared by complex computer algorithms to generate evolutionary trees or phylogenies of natural virus variants, which can sometimes be used to correlate viral genotype with phenotype. Understanding the rates and types of evolution that occur during the transmission of viruses has considerable impact on the design of methods for the control of virus diseases.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)367-371
    Number of pages5
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 1997

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases

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