Boston, MA, Manassas, VA, Oklahoma City, OK and Shenzhen, China -- May 2, 2012 Representatives from BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, in conjunction with George Mason University (GMU), the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Mass. Eye and Ear) and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), jointly announce that they have signed an agreement to sequence 100 human adenoviruses gathered from researchers globally, including ones that cause respiratory, gastrointestinal and ocular diseases. The goal of the sequencing project is to identify the molecular basis of adenovirus evolution, including base changes and genome recombinations, and to understand the genome basis for adenovirus pathogenicity and its role in the genesis of emergent pathogens.
Human adenoviruses (HAdVs), first isolated in 1953, are DNA viruses that were initially identified as respiratory pathogens but are now known to cause a range of diseases, including ocular, gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders. Respiratory adenoviruses typically generate cold-like symptoms, aka "the uncommon cold", that can spread broadly and rapidly among a population, but normally pose low levels of fatalities. Since 1953, 67 new types of HAdVs have been isolated. Extensive genome sequence data from both newly isolated and archived HAdVs, and their accompanying bioinformatics, are leading to an in-depth understanding of the biology of HAdVs, including how novel viral pathogens appear.
Genome recombination plays an important role in the molecular evolution of HAdVs, leading to newly emerging strains as well as re-emerging pathogens that have changed or become more virulent. As an example, a recent outbreak of respiratory infections in China raised public concerns and unfounded rumors of a SARS outbreak, but genomic analysis definitively identified the outbreak as a respiratory tract infection caused by adenovirus type 55. An outbreak of Ad55 was identified earlier
|Contact: Jia Liu|