Genetic recombination See recombination

genetic transmission Involves passage of a viral genome from one host generation to the next, either integrated into the cellular DNA as a DNA provirus, or in some other close association with the genome of the gamete. Often used with imprecise meaning. See congenital infection.

genetic variation Alteration in genome structure by mutation. Occurs much more frequently with RNA than with DNA, in part because of limited copying fidelity of RNA replicases and retrotran-scriptases, as well as the lack of RNA proofreading enzymes in the host cell. Consequently RNA viruses exist as a population of variants known as a quasi-species. This allows rapid adaptation in response to changes in the host (e.g. presence of neutralizing antibodies or an antiviral drug) by selection of genetic variants fitted for replication in the altered environment.

Drake JW and Holland JJ (1999) Proc Natl Acad Sci 96,13910

Salzano FM (2000) Proc Natl Acad Sci 97, 5317

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