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Title: Effect of synaptic cell-to-cell transmission and recombination on the evolution of double mutants in HIV
Recombination in HIV infection can impact virus evolution in vivo in complex ways, as has been shown both experimentally and mathematically. The effect of free virus versus synaptic, cell-to-cell transmission on the evolution of double mutants, however, has not been investigated. Here, we do so by using a stochastic agent-based model. Consistent with data, we assume spatial constraints for synaptic but not for free-virus transmission. Two important effects of the viral spread mode are observed: (i) for disadvantageous mutants, synaptic transmission protects against detrimental effects of recombination on double mutant persistence. Under free virus transmission, recombination increases double mutant levels for negative epistasis, but reduces them for positive epistasis. This reduction for positive epistasis is much diminished under predominantly synaptic transmission, and recombination can, in fact, lead to increased mutant levels. (ii) The mode of virus spread also directly influences the evolutionary fate of double mutants. For disadvantageous mutants, double mutant production is the predominant driving force, and hence synaptic transmission leads to highest double mutant levels due to increased transmission efficiency. For advantageous mutants, double mutant spread is the most important force, and hence free virus transmission leads to fastest invasion due to better mixing. For neutral mutants, both more » production and spread of double mutants are important, and hence an optimal mixture of free virus and synaptic transmission maximizes double mutant fractions. Therefore, both free virus and synaptic transmission can enhance or delay double mutant evolution. Implications for drug resistance in HIV are discussed. « less
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Journal of the Royal Society interface
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National Science Foundation
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