Mathematical Biology Seminar

Ed Holmes
Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Department of Biology, Penn State University
Fogarty International Center
2:00PM, Wednesday, April 13, 2011
JTB 320
The Phylodynamics of Influenza

Abstract: Despite on-going vaccination programs, influenza is one of the most important viral diseases in human and animal populations. Phylodynamics represents a powerful approach to understand key aspects of the evolution and epidemiology of influenza virus, particularly as it is able to link patterns of genetic variation at multiple scales, from within single hosts to the global population. In this seminar I will review a number of the key developments stemming from phylodynamic studies of influenza, namely: (i) the pattern and determinants of the spread of influenza virus on a global scale, (ii) the nature of viral evolution within single epidemics, and particular the emergence and spread of the H1N1/09 influenza virus (i.e. ‘swine flu’), and (iii) the extent and nature of intra-host viral genetic diversity. More generally, this seminar will highlight how the new tools of comparative genomics and phylodynamics are helping to rapidly unravel the patterns and dynamics of viral spread.