Viral decay acceleration
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2011)|
Viruses evolve at rates approximately one million times faster than the human genome. The high mutation rate increases diversity within the viral population and facilitates survival in the face of host immune responses, depletion of target cells and antiviral therapeutics. This evolutionary advantage however comes at a considerable cost in that the vast majority of virus particles have mutated beyond a survivability threshold and are therefore non-infectious. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that therapeutics capable of increasing the mutation frequency as little as 2-fold results in collapse of the viral population. These therapeutics, termed VDA agents, accelerate the accumulation of additional mutations in the viral genome, progressively debilitating the virus which causes decay and eventual extinction of the entire viral population.