David John Evans


  • KY16 9TS

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

I am a virologist studying the biology of single stranded positive sense RNA viruses, including poliovirus, hepatitis C virus and deformed wing virus of honeybees. My current research focuses on the evolution, replication and pathogenesis of these viruses. 

Poliovirus no longer causes significant human mortality but is an exceptionally well characterised virus we use to study the molecular mechanism of recombination, an important evolutionary process exhibited by many other single stranded postiive sense RNA viruses. Our recent studies have demonstrated that recombination is a biphasic process, involving both a strand exchange recombination event and a secondary resolution event. The characteristics of intermediates in this event may explain 'evolution by duplication' in RNA viruses, in which partial regions of the genome become duplicated and then evolve independently.

Deformed wing virus (DWV) is the most important virus infecting honeybees and is responsible for the majority of overwintering colony losses. DWV is transmitted during feeding by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa to developing honeybee pupae. We have shown that mite-exposed pupae contain a near-clonal population of DWV present at very high levels. In contrast, pupae that have not been exposed to mites contain a low level of a highly diverse DWV population. We are currently investigating the molecular pathogenesis of the virulent strain of DWV and developing strategies to control the virus. 

Research interests

Single stranded positive sense RNA viruses, evolution, cellular receptors and receptor interactions, genome replication and translation, particle assembly and genome encapsidation (packaging), molecular pathogenesis and therapies.

RNA structure and function, the prediction and analysis of cis-acting replication elements (CRE) in virus genomes, RNA composition.

Picornaviruses, human enteroviruses, poliovirus, echovirus, coxsackievirus.

Flaviviruses, hepaciviruses, hepatitis C virus.

Iflaviruses, deformed wing virus.

Academic/Professional Qualification

BSc. Microbiology (Dundee)

DPhil. (Sussex)

Other expertise

Beekeeping (see www.theapiarist.org) and 'utilitarian' perl programming.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


  • QR355 Virology


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