About this Research Topic
The field of Virus Ecology has matured over the past 30 or so years. It has now gone mainstream and as such its impact can be felt across varied and diverse disciplines from biogeochemistry to primary healthcare. Consequently, Virus Ecology is a multidisciplinary field in which different disciplines of science combine to provide knowledge that helps in understanding the strategies used by different viruses for maintenance and perpetuation in their hosts. In addition, many epidemic-prone and severe infectious diseases in humans in the last decades have emerged from animals. Tracking of animal viruses is crucial not only for the control of such pathogens in their hosts and monitoring their evolutionary pathways but also for understanding mechanisms of zoonotic viral emergence to humans.
The impact that viruses have on individuals, populations and global biogeochemical processes has spawned new paradigms while at the same time challenge current scientific dogma, especially around the origin and evolution of life on earth. Similarly, biologists, ecologists, modelers, clinicians, and veterinarians are working closer than ever before, applying principles developed in Viral Ecology to develop a One Health view on healthcare.
Genomic and genetic-based analyses including replication efficiency and host-virulence evolution are important to understanding how viruses adopt different strategies for their ecology to remain in nature and be transported to new hosts and ecosystems. Gaps still exist in many facets including mechanisms of viral evolution in different hosts, at the cellular level and their links to the epidemiology in different hosts. Such studies could help in understanding the underlying evolutionary mechanisms used by emerging viruses to cross species barriers and those used by such virus to widespread in the newly introduced host.
This surge in interest in Virus Ecology and emerging infections has also led to new insights and hypotheses being developed to uncover the underpinning mechanisms leading to persistence, prevalence, resistance and virulence in a particular host/population-virus(es) system. A few notable examples being viral genome modification through methylation, development of the quasi-species theory, RNAi and CRISPR-Cas mediated resistance.
In this Research Topic, we will accept original research, mini-review, hypothesis and theory, and perspective articles addressing the evolution of different viruses and in different hosts. We also welcome studies which describe the virus evolution at viral and cellular levels. Please note that abstract submission is not mandatory but encouraged and you can submit your manuscript to the topic even without submitting an abstract.
Keywords: Virus Ecology, Emerging Viruses, Evolution, RNA Viruses, DNA Viruses, Virulence, Resistance, Prevalence
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