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Many organisms that cause infectious diseases, particularly RNA viruses, mutate so rapidly that their evolutionary and ecological behaviours are inextricably linked. Consequently, aspects of the transmission and epidemiology of these pathogens are imprinted on the genetic diversity of their genomes. Large-scale empirical analyses of the evolutionary dynamics of important pathogens are now feasible owing to the increasing availability of pathogen sequence data and the development of new computational and statistical methods of analysis. In this Review, we outline the questions that can be answered using viral evolutionary analysis across a wide range of biological scales.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nrg2583

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Rev Genet

Publication Date

08/2009

Volume

10

Pages

540 - 550

Keywords

Animals, Communicable Diseases, Evolution, Molecular, Humans, RNA Viruses, Virus Diseases