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J Virol. Jul 1991; 65(7): 3954–3957.
PMCID: PMC241436

Fitness alteration of foot-and-mouth disease virus mutants: measurement of adaptability of viral quasispecies.


We document the rapid alteration of fitness of two foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) mutants resistant to a neutralizing monoclonal antibody. Both mutants showed a selective disadvantage in BHK-21 cells when passaged in competition with their parental FMDV. Upon repeated replication of the mutants alone, they acquired a selective advantage over the parental FMDV and fixed additional genomic substitutions without reversion of the monoclonal antibody-resistant phenotype. Thus, variants that were previously kept at low frequency in the mutant spectrum of a viral quasispecies rapidly became the master sequence of a new genomic distribution and dominated the viral population.

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