Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

There is currently much debate about the timescales of virus evolution. Some viruses may have co-evolved with human populations for tens of thousands of years, or even with our primate ancestors over many millions of years. However, calibrations of the rate of short-term virus evolution lead to estimates of dates for viral ancestors that are orders of magnitude more recent, and a number of the proposed host-virus co-divergence scenarios have been questioned. Other considerations indicate that the proposed recent timescales for virus evolution are implausible, that co-divergence has been rejected prematurely, and that long-term evolutionary rates are very much slower than short-term rates. There is a need to understand the biological basis of this discrepancy and to develop evolutionary models that can accommodate this.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.coviro.2011.10.018

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr Opin Virol

Publication Date

11/2011

Volume

1

Pages

436 - 441

Keywords

Animals, Biological Evolution, DNA Viruses, Evolution, Molecular, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Humans, Virus Diseases