Sociobiology is one thing, but sociovirology? Yes , indeed. In the realm of viruses it can be tricky to define an individual, and mutation rates are high, but as for all other life, there is kinship and cooperation and competition that can be illuminated by evolutionary principles.
Díaz-Muñoz, S. L., Sanjuán, R., & West, S. (2017). Sociovirology: Conflict, Cooperation, and Communication among Viruses. Cell Host & Microbe, 22(4), 437–441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2017.09.012
Virus-virus interactions are pervasive and highly diverse (DaPalma et al., 2010; Figure 1). Some viruses need another, ‘‘helper’’ virus to complete their infection cycle, and other viruses are commonly activated or suppressed by the presence of secondary viral infections. Viral proteins can mix and produce mosaic-like viral particles (pseudotypes) when a cell is coinfected with two different viruses. Viral coinfection of microbes is widespread (Dı´az-Mun˜ oz, 2017), and viruses have mechanisms enabling multiple viral genomes to be cotransmitted in the same infectious unit (reviewed in Sanjua´ n, 2017). Coinfecting viral genomes can be distinct, variants of the same virus, or even genetically identical, suggesting different types of functional interplay. Furthermore, bacteriophages use a form of communication to regulate lysis of the infected cell (Erez et al., 2017). Finally, virus-virus interactions in the absence of cellular coinfection can also be mediated by changes at the host level, such as immune responses. Despite this growing body of empirical evidence suggesting virus-virus interactions, we lack a well-founded conceptual framework that provides an understanding of how these interactions have evolved and how they could shape viral pathogenesis. Social evolution theory was originally developed to explain animal behavior, but has since been extended to microorganisms, including bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes.Yet this social perspective has not been embraced in the study of viruses. read more