Based on a recent model of evolving viruses competing with an adapting immune system (Kamp and Bornholdt, Co-evolution of quasispecies: B-cell mutation rates maximize viral error catastrophes. Phys Rev Lett 88, 2002), we study the conditions under which a viral quasispecies can maximize its growth rate. We find that a virus is most viable if it generates on average precisely one mutation within the time it takes for the immune system to adapt to a new viral epitope. Experimental viral mutation rates, in particular for HIV (human immunodefi- ciency virus), seem to suggest that many viruses have achieved their optimal mutation rate.
Leonardo da Vinci
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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