Factors shaping the adaptive landscape for arboviruses: Implications for the emergence of disease

Lark L Schneider, Naomi Forrester, Konstantin Tsetsarkin, Nikos Vasilakis, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many examples of the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases involve the adaptation of zoonotic viruses to new amplification hosts or to humans themselves. These include several instances of simple mutational adaptations, often to hosts closely related to the natural reservoirs. However, based on theoretical grounds, arthropod-borne viruses, or arboviruses, may face several challenges for adaptation to new hosts. Here, we review recent findings regarding adaptive evolution of arboviruses and its impact on disease emergence. We focus on the zoonotic alphaviruses Venezuelan equine encephalitis and chikungunya viruses, which have undergone adaptive evolution that mediated recent outbreaks of disease, as well as the flaviviruses dengue and West Nile viruses, which have emerged via less dramatic adaptive mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalFuture Microbiology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • adaptation
  • alphavirus
  • emergence
  • evolution
  • fitness
  • flavivirus
  • mosquito
  • vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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