CUED Publications database

Network analysis of the hominin origin of Herpes Simplex virus 2 from fossil data

Underdown, S and Kumar, K and Houldcroft, CJ (2017) Network analysis of the hominin origin of Herpes Simplex virus 2 from fossil data. Virus Evolution, 3. vex026-. ISSN 2057-1577 (Unpublished)

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Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) is a human herpesvirus found worldwide that causes genital lesions and more rarely causes encephalitis. This pathogen is most common in Africa, and particularly in central and east Africa, an area of particular significance for the evolution of modern humans. Unlike HSV1, HSV2 has not simply co-speciated with humans from their last common ancestor with primates. HSV2 jumped the species barrier between 1.4 and 3 MYA, most likely through intermediate but unknown hominin species. In this article, we use probability-based network analysis to determine the most probable transmission path between intermediate hosts of HSV2, from the ancestors of chimpanzees to the ancestors of modern humans, using paleo-environmental data on the distribution of African tropical rainforest over the last 3 million years and data on the age and distribution of fossil species of hominin present in Africa between 1.4 and 3 MYA. Our model identifies Paranthropus boisei as the most likely intermediate host of HSV2, while Homo habilis may also have played a role in the initial transmission of HSV2 from the ancestors of chimpanzees to P.boisei.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: network analysis human evolution infectious disease virology archaeology
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2017 01:23
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 05:11
DOI: 10.1093/ve/vex026