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Product title :

Viruses within animal genomes

Author(s) : A. de Brogniez & L. Willems

Summary :

Viruses and their hosts can co-evolve to reach a fragile equilibrium that allows the survival of both. An excess of pathogenicity in the absence of a reservoir would be detrimental to virus survival. A significant proportion of all animal genomes has been shaped by the insertion of viruses that subsequently became ‘fossilised’. Most endogenous viruses have lost the capacity to replicate via an infectious cycle and now replicate passively. The insertion of endogenous viruses has contributed to the evolution of animal genomes, for example in the reproductive biology of mammals. However, spontaneous viral integration still occasionally occurs in a number of virus–host systems. This constitutes a potential risk to host survival but also provides an opportunity for diversification and evolution.

Keywords
Animal – Genome – Genotoxicity – Integration – Persistence – Virus.

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