Monitoring and redirecting virus evolution
Top panel: Phylogenetic approaches are first used to characterize a viral outbreak. From left to right: Sequencing data identifies a new viral genotype by phylogenetics. This new strain is represented in red in the phylogenetic tree. By combining these data with sampling dates, a Bayesian skyline plot reveals the demographic history of the epidemic. Middle panels: First, by functional genomics, this new variant is tested in vitro and in vivo. Survival curves show the phenotype of this new strain. Second, experimental evolution is performed to a) recapitulate the evolution observed in nature using ancestral genotypes and b) predict the next mutations likely to emerge, using as a starting point the newly identified variant (in red). Bottom panel: Implementation of genotype–phenotype maps would help monitor evolution and potentially predict future trajectories towards, or away from, virulence.