Periodic versus Intermittent Adaptive Cycles in Quasispecies Coevolution
We study an abstract model for the coevolution between mutating viruses and the adaptive immune system. In sequence space, these two populations are localized around transiently dominant strains. Delocalization or error thresholds exhibit a novel interdependence because immune response is conditional on the viral attack. An evolutionary chase is induced by stochastic fluctuations and can occur via periodic or intermittent cycles. Using simulations and stochastic analysis, we show how the transition between these two dynamic regimes depends on mutation rate, immune response, and population size.