Navigation Links
Enlisting genomics to understand flu evolution

Multiple strains of the flu virus, circulating in a population at the same time, can reshuffle their genes and create a new virus, one capable of infecting many more people, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLoS Biology. This finding may help scientists make better predictions about which viral strains will attack during upcoming flu seasons and design more effective flu vaccines.

In the first large-scale effort to sequence the flu genome, Edward Holmes, David Lipman, and colleagues examined the genomes of 156 influenza A viruses (serotype H3N2) collected by New York State public health officials between 1999 and 2004. "We found that there are co-circulating minor variants that are not infecting many people," says Lipman. "One of these can become the next epidemic strain."

These co-circulating viruses can exchange genes in a way that creates novel, epidemiologically significant strains--a process that can occur when someone is infected simultaneously by more than one strain. The genetic reshuffling demonstrated in this study is the first to examine in detail a reassortment event from a persistently cocirculating minor strain to a previously dominant strain leading to an epidemiologically significant outcome--the emergence of the "Fujian" strain in the 2003-2004 flu season.

The Institute for Genomic Research, with funding from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, sequenced the genomes of the collected flu viruses. Examining these sequences, Holmes et al. found that a relatively uncommon strain of virus contributed its hemagglutinin gene (a highly variable viral protein that must be recognized by the host's immune defense system) to a virus common during the previous year. The reassorted virus suddenly became capable of infecting thousands. "The key thing here is that the general notion of epidemic flu is that there's a series of successions by variants of the flu we got the previous year." But the new s tudy shows that persistently cocirculating minor strains--which might be accumulating mutations with little obvious epidemiological consequences--can suddenly cause an epidemic with just one or two more mutations.

These results suggest that "the potential diversity is greater than we thought," says Lipman. "We need to have more comprehensive information on the entire genome [and] enough samples from around the world," he adds, to find the benign virus strain that will become next season's scourge. The more genomes scientists collect--and the more refined the tools of genomics become--the greater the chances of developing more effective vaccines.

Citation: Holmes EC, Ghedin E, Miller N, Taylor J, Bao Y, et al. (2005) Whole-genome analysis of human influenza A virus reveals multiple persistent lineages and reassortment among recent H3N2 viruses. PLoS Biol 3(9): e300.


'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Related biology news :

1. New comparative toxicogenomics database
2. Measuring the impact of post-genomics on Mediterranean populations
3. Owl genomics presents a HEPATOCHIP for diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
4. Drawing with DNA: Bioart illuminates genomics
5. Study reveals genomics of inflammation from severe injury
6. NIH launches comprehensive effort to explore cancer genomics
7. Environmental metagenomics diagnosing extreme environments, tapping opportunities for clean energy
8. Ticks, flukes, and genomics: Emerging pathogens revealed
9. UC San Diego partners with Venter Institute to build marine microbial genomics cyberinfrastructure
10. Advanced genomics and proteomics improve the diagnosis and treatment of a deadly lung disease
11. Large-scale genomics project will hunt genes behind common childhood diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a market ... opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it ... from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 ... for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced ... has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled ... COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of ... and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology ... among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: