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Viruses 2015, 7(6), 3226-3240;

RNA Viruses and RNAi: Quasispecies Implications for Viral Escape

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, The University of Toledo, 3055 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Mehle
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 4 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Technology and Resistance to Viruses - Reviews)
Full-Text   |   PDF [310 KB, uploaded 19 June 2015]   |  


Due to high mutation rates, populations of RNA viruses exist as a collection of closely related mutants known as a quasispecies. A consequence of error-prone replication is the potential for rapid adaptation of RNA viruses when a selective pressure is applied, including host immune systems and antiviral drugs. RNA interference (RNAi) acts to inhibit protein synthesis by targeting specific mRNAs for degradation and this process has been developed to target RNA viruses, exhibiting their potential as a therapeutic against infections. However, viruses containing mutations conferring resistance to RNAi were isolated in nearly all cases, underlining the problems of rapid viral evolution. Thus, while promising, the use of RNAi in treating or preventing viral diseases remains fraught with the typical complications that result from high specificity of the target, as seen in other antiviral regimens. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA virus; RNAi; escape; adaptations; quasispecies RNA virus; RNAi; escape; adaptations; quasispecies

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Presloid, J.B.; Novella, I.S. RNA Viruses and RNAi: Quasispecies Implications for Viral Escape. Viruses 2015, 7, 3226-3240.

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