Deconvolving mutational patterns of poliovirus outbreaks reveals its intrinsic fitness landscape

Ahmed A. Quadeer, John P. Barton, Arup K. Chakraborty, Matthew R. McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Vaccination has essentially eradicated poliovirus. Yet, its mutation rate is higher than that of viruses like HIV, for which no effective vaccine exists. To investigate this, we infer a fitness model for the poliovirus viral protein 1 (vp1), which successfully predicts in vitro fitness measurements. This is achieved by first developing a probabilistic model for the prevalence of vp1 sequences that enables us to isolate and remove data that are subject to strong vaccine-derived biases. The intrinsic fitness constraints derived for vp1, a capsid protein subject to antibody responses, are compared with those of analogous HIV proteins. We find that vp1 evolution is subject to tighter constraints, limiting its ability to evade vaccine-induced immune responses. Our analysis also indicates that circulating poliovirus strains in unimmunized populations serve as a reservoir that can seed outbreaks in spatio-temporally localized sub-optimally immunized populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number377
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'Deconvolving mutational patterns of poliovirus outbreaks reveals its intrinsic fitness landscape'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this