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Researcher using next-generation sequencing to rapidly identify pathogens
Date:7/28/2014

MANHATTAN, Kansas He calls himself the bug hunter, but the target of his work consists of viruses that can only be found and identified with special methods and instruments. Benjamin Hause, an assistant research professor at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University, recently published an article about one of his discoveries, porcine enterovirus G, which is an important find in the United States.

"We had isolated a virus in cells, but didn't know what it was," Hause said. "We used next-generation sequencing to identify it, and it turned out to be porcine enterovirus G, which had been described before but had never previously been found in North America."

The virus is thought to be benign and is not known to cause disease, but it had only been reported before in Europe and Asia.

"Fortunately porcine enterovirus G doesn't do much in pigs, but it raises concerns about other viruses getting through the border," Hause said. "We're not sure if this has been here for some time undetected or is a recent introduction. Coincidentally, the virus was most similar to 2012 Chinese isolates and was detected around the same time as a couple of other viruses: porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and porcine deltacoronavirus, both of which were detected in China in the same time frame prior to the U.S."

Both porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and porcine deltacoronavirus have caused major economic losses to hog producers in North America and are impacting several other aspects of the swine industry. Hause has mapped these viruses at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory as a way to ensure the reliability of the next-generation sequencing methods he uses to identify and characterize pathogens. The technique will soon be offered at the laboratory.

"As we isolate viruses, we can completely sequence their genomes," Hause said. "We can get a good understanding of what makes those viruses tick. Ne
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Contact: Benjamin Hause
bhause@vet.k-state.edu
785-532-4278
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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