Evolution and molecular epidemiology of polyomaviruses
TORRES, CAROLINA (ARTICULO DE REVISIÓN POR INVITACIÓN, AUTOR PARA CORRESPONDENCIA))
Infection, Genetics and Evolution
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Polyomaviruses (PyVs) are small DNA viruses that infect several species, including mammals, birds and fishes. Their study gained momentum after the report of previously unidentified viral species in the past decade, and especially, since the description of the first polyomavirus clearly oncogenic for humans.The aim of this work was to review the most relevant aspects of the evolution and molecular epidemiology of polyomaviruses, allowing to reveal general evolutionary patterns and to identify some unaddressed issues and future challenges. The main points analysed included: 1) the species and genera assignation criteria; 2) the hypotheses, mechanisms and timescale of the ancient and recent evolutionary history of polyomaviruses; and 3) the molecular epidemiology of human viruses, with special attention to JC, BK and Merkel cell polyomaviruses.