Shaikhet, Leonid; Santiago F. Elena and Andrei Korobeinikov

Compared to the replication of double-stranded RNA and DNA viruses, the replication of single-stranded viruses requires the production of a number of intermediate strands that serve as templates for the synthesis of genomic-sense strands. Two theoretical extreme mechanisms for replication for such single-stranded viruses have been proposed; one extreme being represented by the so-called linear stamping machine and the opposite extreme by the exponential growth. Of course, real systems are more complex and examples have been described in which a combination of such extreme mechanisms can also occur: a fraction of the produced progeny resulting from a stamping-machine type of replication that uses the parental genome as template, whereas other fraction of the progeny results from the replication of other progeny genomes. Martinez et al.,(1) Sardanyes et al.(2) and Fornes et al.(3) suggested and analyzed a deterministic model of single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) virus intracellular replication that incorporated variability in the replication mechanisms.