Evolutionary spread of Lassa virus


August 13, 2015

Volume 162, Issue 4

This map shows the spread of Lassa virus from its ancient origins in modern-day Nigeria across the endemic zone of West Africa. Lassa evolves mostly in its rodent host, with frequent spillover events causing serious disease in humans. The migration and evolution of Lassa correlates with a change in virus translational output, patient case-fatality rates, and codon-adaptation to mammalian hosts, illustrated by viral particles of different colors. In this issue, Andersen et al. (738–750) catalog nearly 200 Lassa virus sequences generated and analyzed from clinical and rodent reservoir samples. The image is inspired by traditional West African art.
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Graphite and Photoshop