chapter  16
14 Pages

Population dynamics of host and pathogens

WithAmber M. Smith, Ruy M. Ribeiro, Alan S. Perelson

Viruses are the most prevalent biological agents on Earth, occupying every ecological niche, infecting all known forms of life, and outnumbering cellular organisms by at least an order of magnitude. The fitness landscape paradigm has a rich history dating back more than 85 years and is a cornerstone of theoretical population genetics. The recent confluence of high-throughput sequencing technologies and high-performance computing has reinvigorated this concept in new and exciting ways by enabling the determination of empirical viral fitness landscapes from experimental and clinical sequence databases. From a fundamental perspective, these quantitative models of the genotype-phenotype-fitness relationship furnish new understanding of viral dynamics and evolution. From an applied perspective, these mappings offer a powerful roadmap for rational in silico immunogen design to guide and accelerate the development of antiviral drugs and vaccines.