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Volume 22, Number 12—December 2016

Assessing the Epidemic Potential of RNA and DNA Viruses

Mark E.J. WoolhouseComments to Author , Liam Brierley, Chris McCaffery, and Sam Lycett
Author affiliations: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Main Article

Table 1

Virus traits potentially relevant for capacity to emerge and cause disease in human populations*

Trait Definition
Reservoir host relatedness Viruses derived from specific host taxa (e.g., other primate species might be of increased concern)
Virus relatedness Particular virus taxa might be predisposed to infect, cause disease, and transmit among humans
Virus host range Viruses with a broad or narrow host range might be of greatest concern
Evolvability Higher substitution rates might make it easier for some viruses to adapt to human hosts
Host restriction factors Host factors, many still to be identified, are a barrier to viral infection and help determine which viruses can and cannot emerge
Transmission route Certain transmission routes might predispose viruses to emerge in humans
Virulence Certain virus or host factors might determine whether a virus causes mild or severe disease in humans
Host−virus coevolution Lack of a shared evolutionary history might be associated with higher virulence

*Adapted from Morse et al. (3).

Main Article

Page created: November 17, 2016
Page updated: November 17, 2016
Page reviewed: November 17, 2016
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