Rates of vaccine evolution show strong effects of latency: implications for Varicella Zoster Virus epidemiology

Weinert, L., Depledge, D., Kundu, S., Gershon, A., Nichols, R., Balloux, Francois, Welch, J. and Breuer, J. (2015) Rates of vaccine evolution show strong effects of latency: implications for Varicella Zoster Virus epidemiology. Molecular Biology and Evolution. ISSN 0737-4038.

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Abstract

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox and shingles, and is found in human populations worldwide. The lack of temporal signal in the diversity of VZV makes substitution rate estimates unreliable, which is a barrier to understanding the context of its global spread. Here, we estimate rates of evolution by studying live attenuated vaccines, which evolved in 22 vaccinated patients for known periods of time, sometimes, but not always undergoing latency. We show that the attenuated virus evolves rapidly (~10-6 substitutions/site/day), but that rates decrease dramatically when the virus undergoes latency. These data are best explained by a model in which viral populations evolve for around 13 days before becoming latent, but then undergo no replication during latency. This implies that rates of viral evolution will depend strongly on transmission patterns. Nevertheless, we show that implausibly long latency periods are required to date the most recent common ancestor of extant VZV to an “out-of-Africa” migration with humans, as has been previously suggested.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0359 Evolution
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0426 Genetics
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Samit Kundu
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 15:00
Last Modified: 20 May 2015 15:05
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13409

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00