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Virology

Finding balance: Virus populations reach equilibrium during the infection process.


PMID 26291064

Abstract

Virus populations, mixtures of viral strains or species, are a common feature of viral infection, and influence many viral processes including infection, transmission, and the induction of disease. Yet, little is known of the rules that define the composition and structure of these populations. In this study, we used three distinct strains of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) to examine the effect of inoculum composition, titer, and order, on the virus population. We found that CTV populations stabilized at the same equilibrium irrespective of how that population was introduced into a host. In addition, both field and experimental observations showed that these equilibria were relatively uniform between individual hosts of the same species and under the same conditions. We observed that the structure of the equilibria reached is determined primarily by the host, with the same inoculum reaching different equilibria in different species, and by the fitness of individual virus variants.

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