RNA virus exploration within the field of medical virology has greatly benefited from technological developments in genomics, deepening our understanding of viral dynamics and emergence. Large-scale first-generation technology sequencing projects have expedited molecular epidemiology studies at an unprecedented scale for two pathogenic RNA viruses chosen as models: influenza A virus and dengue. Next-generation sequencing approaches are now leading to a more in-depth analysis of virus genetic diversity, which is greater for RNA than DNA viruses because of high replication rates and the absence of proofreading activity of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. In the field of virus discovery, technological advancements and metagenomic approaches are expanding the catalogs of novel viruses by facilitating our probing into the RNA virus world.
Keywords: dengue; influenza; intrahost diversity; metagenomics; molecular epidemiology; next-generation sequencing; viral genomics.