RNA Virus Population Diversity: An Optimum for Maximal Fitness and Virulence. The ability of an RNA virus to exist as a population of genetically distinct variants permits the virus to overcome events during infections that would otherwise limit virus multiplication or drive the population to extinction. Viral genetic diversity is created by the ribonucleotide misincorporation frequency of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). We have identified a poliovirus (PV) RdRp derivative (H237R) possessing a mutator phenotype.
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