Are infectious diseases caused by novel entities, viruses that have rapidly evolved into more pathogenic forms, or viruses that have crossed species divides and become more virulent in their alternative host? These questions and how new diseases such as AIDS emerged have prompted renewed interest in the ways viruses originated and co-evolved with their hosts.
Origin and Evolution of Virusespresents a full and clear description of general viral concepts and specific viral systems, and provides an excellent foundation to our understanding of how viruses emerged.
This unique and comprehensive work is essential reading for all researchers in virology, molecular biology and related areas, as well as evolutionary biologists interested in phylogenetic approaches to molecular evolution. The reader is taken on an illumination journey--in time and concepts--from the first primitive replicons to their present-day complex viral counterparts.
Apart from the obvious interest, as humans are potential hosts for these viruses, there is also a great deal of academic interest in the evolutionary aspects of this simple group of organisms, since information can be gained about the origin of stains/species and evolutionary patterns that might be applicable to higher species.
The book addresses:
* Nature and evolution of early replicons
* DNA and RNA viruses in both plants and animals
* Viral origin, mutation, and survival
* Antigenic variation in influenza virus
* Interplay between host evolution and DNA virus evolution
* Emergence of viral-induced diseases, e.g. hepatitis, influenza and HIV