The effect of co- and superinfection on the adaptive dynamics of vesicular stomatitis virus

Infect Genet Evol. 2007 Jan;7(1):69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2006.04.004. Epub 2006 Jun 27.


In many infectious diseases, hosts are often simultaneously infected with several genotypes of the same pathogen. Much theoretical work has been done on modelling multiple infection dynamics, but empirical evidences are relatively scarce. Previous studies have demonstrated that coinfection allows faster adaptation than single infection in RNA viruses. Here, we use experimental populations of the vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus derived from an infectious cDNA, to show that superinfection dynamics promotes faster adaptation than single infection. In addition, we have analysed two different periodicities of multiple infection, daily and separated 5 days in time. Daily multiple infections allow higher fitness increases than multiple infections taking place every 5 days. We propose that the effect of superinfection on fitness is mainly influenced by the time elapsed between the first and the second infection, since shorter time intervals offer more opportunities to competition between resident and invading populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Models, Genetic
  • Superinfection*
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / genetics*
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / immunology
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / pathogenicity
  • Virulence