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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2004;58:183-205.

Viral error catastrophe by mutagenic nucleosides.

Author information

1
The Joseph Gottstein Memorial Cancer Research Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA. jonand@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Riboviruses and retroviruses have the highest rates of mutations of any known organism. Increasing the mutation rate of these viruses could exceed the error threshold for viability of a viral population within a host. Recent experiments with mutagenic nucleoside analogs validate this new approach to treating infection of RNA viruses. Lethal mutagenesis with HIV-infected cells in culture has been documented and has been postulated to be the mechanism for treatment of hepatitis C with ribavirin. We consider the viral dynamics involved in the formation of a quasispecies, the choice of mutagenic nucleoside analogs, and the studies that have demonstrated the feasibility of lethal mutagenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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