Viruses up their game in arms race with immune system

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 10:32 in Biology & Nature

Myxoma virus -- introduced to control the rabbit population in Australia in 1950 -- has developed a deadly ability to suppress the immune response in host rabbits. This example of an evolutionary arms race highlights the potential for escalating virus virulence and host resistance to produce more dangerous viruses with implications for agriculture and human vaccination, where resistance to viruses is artificially increased through selective breeding, genetic engineering, and immunization, potentially accelerating the arms race.

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