Superinfection exclusion: A viral strategy with short-term benefits and long-term drawbacks.
PLoS computational biology
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Hunter, M., & Fusco, D. (2022). Superinfection exclusion: A viral strategy with short-term benefits and long-term drawbacks.. PLoS computational biology, 18 (5) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010125
Viral superinfection occurs when multiple viral particles subsequently infect the same host. In nature, several viral species are found to have evolved diverse mechanisms to prevent superinfection (superinfection exclusion) but how this strategic choice impacts the fate of mutations in the viral population remains unclear. Using stochastic simulations, we find that genetic drift is suppressed when superinfection occurs, thus facilitating the fixation of beneficial mutations and the removal of deleterious ones. Interestingly, we also find that the competitive (dis)advantage associated with variations in life history parameters is not necessarily captured by the viral growth rate for either infection strategy. Putting these together, we then show that a mutant with superinfection exclusion will easily overtake a superinfecting population even if the latter has a much higher growth rate. Our findings suggest that while superinfection exclusion can negatively impact the long-term adaptation of a viral population, in the short-term it is ultimately a winning strategy.
Science and Technology Facilities Council (DiRAC Funding)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R513180/1, EP/P020259/1)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010125
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/337973
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/