Prisoners of war — host adaptation and its constraints on virus evolution

Prisoners of war — host adaptation and its constraints on virus evolution

Prisoners of war — host adaptation and its constraints on virus evolution, Published online: 05 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41579-018-0120-2

Studies of ancient DNA and endogenous viral elements have revealed extraordinary conservation of virus genome sequences over thousands or millions of years. In this Opinion article, Simmonds, Aiewsakun and Katzourakis describe a niche-filling model that describes how viruses can rapidly evolve to adapt to new host environments while their longer-term evolution is increasingly driven by their hosts.

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