Evolutionary analysis of the dynamics of viral infectious disease

Oliver G. Pybus, Andrew Rambaut

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Many organisms that cause infectious diseases, particularly RNA viruses, mutate so rapidly that their evolutionary and ecological behaviours are inextricably linked. Consequently, aspects of the transmission and epidemiology of these pathogens are imprinted on the genetic diversity of their genomes. Large-scale empirical analyses of the evolutionary dynamics of important pathogens are now feasible owing to the increasing availability of pathogen sequence data and the development of new computational and statistical methods of analysis. In this Review, we outline the questions that can be answered using viral evolutionary analysis across a wide range of biological scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-550
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • human influenza A
  • acute respiratory syndrome
  • genetic diverstiy
  • HIV-1 transmission
  • in-vivo
  • molecular epidemiology
  • phylogenetic analysis
  • population turnover


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