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Commentary Open Access
The recent observation of interviral recombination between members of two distinct classes of DNA viruses has opened the gates to a new field of human disease development. In all cases studied thus far interviral recombination is a rare event that requires special circumstances for intracellular interaction of participating viral genomes. The rarity and special requirements do not detract from the potential clinical significance of resulting recombinants, as exemplified by recombination between JC viral and Epstein-Barr viral genomes. This significance depends largely upon the mechanisms of recombination that would generate specific forms of recombinant viral genomes. At this time little is known regarding mechanisms of interviral recombination. DNA break-induced replication seems presently to be a highly plausible means of initiating formation of different, potentially active recombination products. Generalizing interviral recombination to a variety of viruses will open a fertile field for discovery as multiple diseases of mysterious etiology are investigated.
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, PML, Multiple sclerosis, MS, DNA replication, DNA recombination, Epstein-Barr virus, JC virus, HERV, DNA break-induced replication, Interviral Recombination, Viral Disease