A Bird's Eye View of Influenza A Virus Transmission: Challenges with Characterizing Both Sides of a Co-Evolutionary Dynamic.

TitleA Bird's Eye View of Influenza A Virus Transmission: Challenges with Characterizing Both Sides of a Co-Evolutionary Dynamic.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHill NJ, Runstadler JA
JournalIntegr Comp Biol
Volume56
Issue2
Pagination304-16
Date Published2016 Aug
ISSN1557-7023
Abstract

<p>In nature, wild birds and influenza A viruses (IAV) are continually co-evolving, locked into a back-and-forth of resistance and conquest that has approached a stable equilibrium over time. This co-evolutionary relationship between bird host and IAV may appear stable at the organismal level, but is highly dynamic at the molecular level manifesting in a constant trade-off between transmissibility and virulence of the virus. Characterizing both sides of the host-virus dynamic has presented a challenge for ecologists and virologists alike, despite the potential for this approach to provide insights into which conditions destabilize the equilibrium state resulting in outbreaks or mortality of hosts in extreme cases. The use of different methods that are either host-centric or virus-centric has made it difficult to reconcile the disparate fields of host ecology and virology for investigating and ultimately predicting wild bird-mediated transmission of IAV. This review distills some of the key lessons learned from virological and ecological studies and explores the promises and pitfalls of both approaches. Ultimately, reconciling ecological and virological approaches hinges on integrating scales for measuring host-virus interactions. We argue that prospects for finding common scales for measuring wild bird-influenza dynamics are improving due to advances in genomic sequencing, host-tracking technology and remote sensing data, with the unit of time (months, year, or seasons) providing a starting point for crossover.</p>

DOI10.1093/icb/icw055
Alternate JournalIntegr. Comp. Biol.
PubMed ID27252222