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Mechanistic simulation modeling of RNA virus evolution during serial passage in cell culture

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Tanya Kostova, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Mon, Dec 4 2017, 3:10PM

RNA viruses have the highest mutation rates among viruses and compared to all life forms. Mutations in the virus genome occur with significant frequency in the process of its replication within a single cell. This, combined with the extremely high number of genome copies produced, results in the formation of viral populations with diverse genomes and the emergence of new variants with advantageous features. Virus plasticity is at the basis of drug resistance and loss of vaccine efficacy.

Virus evolution in the lab is often studied via serial passage of virus in cell cultures. We have developed a mechanistic simulation of virus evolution during serial passaging – a technique to grow and adapt virus to the specific cell line used in vaccine development. I will outline the basics of virus replication, will discuss the model and will present simulation results.