The phylogenomics of evolving virus virulence

Jemma L. Geoghegan, Edward C. Holmes*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    121 Citations (Scopus)


    How virulence evolves after a virus jumps to a new host species is central to disease emergence. Our current understanding of virulence evolution is based on insights drawn from two perspectives that have developed largely independently: long-standing evolutionary theory based on limited real data examples that often lack a genomic basis, and experimental studies of virulence-determining mutations using cell culture or animal models. A more comprehensive understanding of virulence mutations and their evolution can be achieved by bridging the gap between these two research pathways through the phylogenomic analysis of virus genome sequence data as a guide to experimental study.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)756–769
    Number of pages14
    JournalNature Reviews Genetics
    Issue number12
    Early online date10 Oct 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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