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Prog Drug Res. 1989;33:93-133.

RNA virus evolution and the control of viral disease.


RNA viruses and other RNA genetic elements must be viewed as organized distributions of sequences termed quasi-species. This means that the viral genome is statistically defined but individually indeterminate. Stable distributions may be maintained for extremely long time periods under conditions of population equilibrium. Perturbation of equilibrium results in rapid distribution shifts. This genomic organization has many implications for viral pathogenesis and disease control. This review has emphasized the problem of selection of viral mutants resistant to antiviral drugs and the current difficulties encountered in the design of novel synthetic vaccines. Possible strategies for antiviral therapy and vaccine development have been discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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