How viruses evolve within hosts can dictate infection outcomes; however, reconstructing this process is challenging. We evaluate our multiplexed amplicon approach, PrimalSeq, to demonstrate how virus concentration, sequencing coverage, primer mismatches, and replicates influence the accuracy of measuring intrahost virus diversity. We develop an experimental protocol and computational tool, iVar, for using PrimalSeq to measure virus diversity using Illumina and compare the results to Oxford Nanopore sequencing. We demonstrate the utility of PrimalSeq by measuring Zika and West Nile virus diversity from varied sample types and show that the accumulation of genetic diversity is influenced by experimental and biological systems.
Keywords: Amplicon sequencing; Intrahost evolution; SNP calling; Viral sequencing; West Nile; Zika.