The role of viral evolution in rabies host shifts and emergence

Mollentze, N., Biek, R. and Streicker, D. G. (2014) The role of viral evolution in rabies host shifts and emergence. Current Opinion in Virology, 8, pp. 68-72. (doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2014.07.004) (PMID:25064563) (PMCID:PMC4199325)

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Despite its ability to infect all mammals, Rabies virus persists in numerous species-specific cycles that rarely sustain transmission in alternative species. The determinants of these species-associations and the adaptive significance of genetic divergence between host-associated viruses are poorly understood. One explanation is that epidemiological separation between reservoirs causes neutral genetic differentiation. Indeed, recent studies attributed host shifts to ecological factors and selection of ‘preadapted’ viral variants from the existing viral community. However, phenotypic differences between isolates and broad scale comparative and molecular evolutionary analyses indicate multiple barriers that Rabies virus must overcome through adaptation. This review assesses various lines of evidence and proposes a synthetic hypothesis for the respective roles of ecology and evolution in Rabies virus host shifts.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Biek, Professor Roman and Mollentze, Dr Nardus and Streicker, Professor Daniel
Authors: Mollentze, N., Biek, R., and Streicker, D. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Virus Research
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Current Opinion in Virology
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1879-6265
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Current Opinion in Virology 8:68-72
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
634192Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestockDaniel StreickerWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)102507/Z/13/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED