Natural selection and dynamical coexistence of defective and complementing virus segments

J Theor Biol. 1992 Aug 7;157(3):383-406. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5193(05)80617-4.


Defective interfering (DI) particles are known to coexist with wildtype viruses under high multiplicity of infection. The complementing segments of coviruses (multiparticle, segmented viruses) coexist under similar conditions. In all cases, within-cell reproductive advantage to one of the segments is rather common. This fact, and the observation that DI particles are parasites, whereas covirus segments are mutualists, call for a non-trivial model of stable dynamical coexistence. The methodical novelty is the application of the structured deme model to virus dynamics. It assumes that biochemical ("ecological") interactions occur among segments within a coinfection group, established through random infection of the cells, and there is complete mixing of the various types emerging from all the coinfection groups (cells) in the virus pool between two infections. Through the application of the model, analytic results on the coexistence of virus segments are obtained for the following cases: virus-DI particle, virus-DI particle-resistant virus, covirus pair, virus-covirus.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Viruses / genetics*