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Can Natural Selection Apply to HIV?

WRATHAL at american.edu WRATHAL at american.edu
Thu Jan 26 08:49:26 EST 1995

In article <3g6iik$p8 at newsbf02.news.aol.com>
druisi at aol.com (DRuisi) writes:
>  The ultimate goal of a virus is to reproduce.  Since viruses are
>not alive, I said in a paper that since virus does reproduce, selective
>advantages would be preserved in future generations, and thus Survival of
>the Fittest does apply to HIV.
>   Please email me with your input.
>  -DRuisi at aol.com
Sure, Natural Selection will effect a virus, HIV included. One consideration
is that if the virus kills its host too quickly, then there is less chance
for the virus to infect a new host, and so have a selective disadvantage
when compared to viruses which are more benign. The myxomatosis viral
infection which was used to try to get rid of the rabbits in Australia. At
first, the virus was quite virulent, but after the virus became less
desctructive to the host. One would assume that this might happen to any
virus. In addition, there is also the response of the host, which will
aquire a measure of resistance to the viral infection. At the end of all
this, it would appear that an equilibrium is established between the
production of new virus and its lethality to its host.
                              Dick Wrathall

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