The virus of my virus is my friend - new article led by Bradford Taylor in J. Theor. Biol.
Bradford Taylor, Mike Cortez and Joshua Weitz have developed a new model of virophage-virus interactions. Virophage are hyperparasites, i.e., viruses that depend on other (giant) viruses to propagate. In so doing, we asked: "how do viral dynamics differ based on two putative modes of entry?". One hypothesis is that virophage enter their hosts independently, whereas the other hypothesis is that virophage adhere to giant viruses and then co-infect host cells. We found many similarities in dynamics, including the phenomena that virophage increase host abundances when compared to systems without virophage. We also found differences, including changes in bistability and in the relative timing of population peaks that may help discern the mechanism of attachment. The article is available at J. Theoretical Biology and an earlier version is available on the arXiv.