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Uncovering Virus-Virus Interactions by Unifying Approaches and Harnessing High-Throughput Tools


Virus-host interactions have received much attention in virology. Virus-virus interactions can occur when >1 virus infects a host and can be deemed social when one virus affects the fitness of another virus, as in the well-known case of superinfection exclusion. Coinfection and subsequent social interactions can change viral pathogenicity, host range, and genetic composition, with implications for human health and viral evolution. I propose that this field can be advanced by bringing new perspectives into virology (e.g., social evolution theory) and uniting disciplinary divides within virology (classical, host-focused, and ecoevolutionary). The development of novel high-throughput tools that meld molecular and evolutionary approaches can harness viral diversity as an experimental asset to understand complex viral social interactions. A greater knowledge of virus-virus interactions will lead to the reformulation of basic concepts of virology and advances in applied virology, with new treatments that harness interactions between viruses to fight viral and bacterial infections.

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