Viral phylogeny in court: the unusual case of the Valencian anesthetist
1 Laboratory for Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
2 Centro de Malária e outras Doenças Tropicais and Unidade de Microbiologia, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
3 Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK
BMC Biology 2013, 11:83 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-83Published: 19 July 2013
A large and complex outbreak of hepatitis C virus in Valencia, Spain that began 25 years ago led to the prosecution and conviction of an anesthetist who was accused of infecting hundreds of his patients. Evolutionary analyses of viral gene sequences were presented as evidence in the trial, and these are now described in detail by González-Candelas and colleagues in a paper published in BMC Biology. Their study illustrates the challenges and opportunities that arise from the use of phylogenetic inference in criminal trials concerning virus transmission.