Virus Fitness: Concept, Quantification, and Application to HIV Population Dynamics

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Abstract

Viral fitness has been broadly studied during the past three decades, mainly to test evolutionary models and population theories difficult to analyze and interpret with more complex organisms. More recent studies, however, are focused in the role of fitness on viral transmission, pathogenesis, and drug resistance. Here, we used human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as one of the most relevant models to evaluate the importance of viral quasispecies and fitness in HIV evolution, population dynamics, disease progression, and potential clinical implications.