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Vis-a-Vis SIGNED

Collective Infectious Units and the Social Evolution of Viruses

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Vis-a-Vis project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Vis-a-Vis project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Vis-a-Vis" about.

genetics    structural    view    human    tested    fusion    critically    contrast    drug    interactions    evolution    accepted    virulence    determinant    previously    experimental    units    social    independent    multiple    mechanistically    indicates    uncovered    vesicles    virion    antiviral    parasite    principles    epidemiology    virus    virions    confirmed    baculovirus    facet    diversity    putative    harbouring    resistance    drive    implications    stage    structures    emergence    infectious    engineering    sharp    explored    aggregates    disease    particles    strategies    extracellular    viral    radically    borne    inspire    virology    laying    collective    practical    tools    matrices    evolvability    biology    reaching    function    discoveries    generality    rhabdovirus    viruses    transmitted    protein    constituted    enteroviruses    vector    species    sum    lipid    genetic    sociality    maintenance    demonstrates    informed    infectivity    unappreciated    tractable    vivo    fitness    foundations    paradigm    nanotechnology   

Project "Vis-a-Vis" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 46010

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Total cost 1˙969˙821 €
 EC max contribution 1˙969˙821 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-05-01   to  2022-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT DE VALENCIA ES (VALENCIA) coordinator 1˙969˙821.00


 Project objective

A widely accepted view in virology is that virions function as independent infectious units. However, recent work by us and others indicates that viruses are often transmitted as more complex structures, such as virion aggregates, lipid vesicles or protein matrices harbouring multiple infectious particles. This demonstrates that viruses can be transmitted as “collective infectious units”, in sharp contrast with the current paradigm. Critically, these recent discoveries now set the stage for the evolution of social interactions, a previously unappreciated facet of viruses. I propose to investigate how collective infectious units drive virus social evolution using state-of-the-art tools from the fields of virology, genetics, structural biology, and nanotechnology. The effects of collective infectivity on viral fitness will be tested directly using experimental evolution and genetic engineering, and confirmed in vivo. Three widely different viruses will be used to achieve generality: human enteroviruses, a vector-borne rhabdovirus, and a baculovirus. Furthermore, the implications of virus social interactions for the maintenance of genetic diversity, evolvability, virulence evolution, and the emergence of drug resistance will be investigated. Radically new processes such as the putative extracellular fusion of viral particles will be also explored. I expect that infectious units constituted by viruses from different species will be uncovered as well, with far-reaching implications for epidemiology. It is becoming increasingly recognized that parasite sociality is a disease determinant, and our results may therefore inspire new antiviral strategies. In sum, this project aims at laying the foundations of virus sociality from a mechanistically-informed, bottom-up approach. Importantly, beyond their practical importance viruses will also provide a simple and tractable system that will help us to establish more general principles of social evolution.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Ernesto Segredo-Otero, Rafael Sanjuán
The effect of genetic complementation on the fitness and diversity of viruses spreading as collective infectious units
published pages: 41-48, ISSN: 0168-1702, DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2019.05.005
Virus Research 267 2019-11-18
2019 Juan-Vicente Bou, Ron Geller, Rafael Sanjuán
Membrane-Associated Enteroviruses Undergo Intercellular Transmission as Pools of Sibling Viral Genomes
published pages: 714-723.e4, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.014
Cell Reports 29/3 2019-11-18
2019 Asher Leeks, Rafael Sanjuán, Stuart A. West
The evolution of collective infectious units in viruses
published pages: 94-101, ISSN: 0168-1702, DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2019.03.013
Virus Research 265 2019-11-18
2019 Rafael Sanjuán, María-Isabel Thoulouze
Why viruses sometimes disperse in groups†
published pages: , ISSN: 2057-1577, DOI: 10.1093/ve/vez014
Virus Evolution 5/1 2019-11-18
2019 Cebriá-Mendoza, Sanjuán, Domingo-Calap
Directed Evolution of a Mycobacteriophage
published pages: 46, ISSN: 2079-6382, DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics8020046
Antibiotics 8/2 2019-11-18
2019 Pilar Domingo-Calap, Ernesto Segredo-Otero, María Durán-Moreno, Rafael Sanjuán
Social evolution of innate immunity evasion in a virus
published pages: 1006-1013, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0379-8
Nature Microbiology 4/6 2019-11-15
2017 Rafael Sanjuán
Collective Infectious Units in Viruses
published pages: 402-412, ISSN: 0966-842X, DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2017.02.003
Trends in Microbiology 25/5 2019-05-08
2017 José M. Cuevas, María Durán-Moreno, Rafael Sanjuán
Multi-virion infectious units arise from free viral particles in an enveloped virus
published pages: 17078, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.78
Nature Microbiology 2 2019-05-08
2018 Juan Á. Patiño-Galindo, Francisco Domínguez, María T. Cuevas, Elena Delgado, Mónica Sánchez, Lucía Pérez-Álvarez, Michael M. Thomson, Rafael Sanjuán, Fernando González-Candelas, José M. Cuevas
Genome-scale analysis of evolutionary rate and selection in a fast-expanding Spanish cluster of HIV-1 subtype F1
published pages: 43-47, ISSN: 1567-1348, DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.09.008
Infection, Genetics and Evolution 66 2019-05-08
2018 Iván Andreu-Moreno, Rafael Sanjuán
Collective Infection of Cells by Viral Aggregates Promotes Early Viral Proliferation and Reveals a Cellular-Level Allee Effect
published pages: 3212-3219.e4, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.028
Current Biology 28/20 2019-05-08
2018 Rafael Sanjuán
Collective properties of viral infectivity
published pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1879-6257, DOI: 10.1016/j.coviro.2018.06.001
Current Opinion in Virology 33 2019-05-08
2017 Samuel L. Díaz-Muñoz, Rafael Sanjuán, Stuart West
Sociovirology: Conflict, Cooperation, and Communication among Viruses
published pages: 437-441, ISSN: 1931-3128, DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.09.012
Cell Host & Microbe 22/4 2019-05-08
2018 Asher Leeks, Ernesto A Segredo-Otero, Rafael Sanjuán, Stuart A West
Beneficial coinfection can promote within-host viral diversity
published pages: , ISSN: 2057-1577, DOI: 10.1093/ve/vey028
Virus Evolution 4/2 2019-05-08

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