Computational methods for assessing host specifi city/ pathogenic | 828
Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals
Open Access

ISSN: 1948-5964

+44 1300 500008

Computational methods for assessing host specifi city/ pathogenicity in Ebolavirus strains

International Conference and Exhibition on VIROLOGY

5-7 September 2011 Baltimore, USA

Catherine E. Campbell, C. Allan Bolipata, Christina Knippler, Matthew McCoy, and Carl Nelson

Scientific Tracks Abstracts: JAA

Abstract :

Ebolavirus causes an extremely deadly form of hemorrhagic fever in humans and primates, with mortality rates exceeding 90 percent in some outbreaks. As BSL-4 agents, these RNA viruses are both expensive and diffi cult to work with in the laboratory. Of the fi ve known strains, only Reston ebolavirus appears to be asymptomatic in humans, while remaining fatal in primates. Ebolaviruses are highly mutable and exhibit hundreds of SNPs across their 14 kb genome among various strains. Th is study examined the genome and proteome of all known strains of Ebolavirus to identify possible locations that might explain the decreased pathogenicity of the Reston strain in humans. SNPs were identifi ed with 100 percent correlation to all isolates of Reston ebolavirus but complete absence in any other non-Reston isolate. Th ese SNPs were correlated with corresponding amino acid changes determined to be either synonymous or non-synonymous changes. As a surrogate for structural change, hydrophobicity plots were made for each of the viral protein sequences in all strains, and this data was transformed using a continuous wavelet transformation. Th e composite wavelets were correlated between Reston and non-Reston isolates to identify areas of low correlation which may indicate structural variation between isolates. Th ese regions of potential structural change were then correlated back to the amino acid and SNP substitutions. From this analysis several key SNPs were identifi ed which may correspond to host specifi city. Gaining an understanding of these diff erences may lead to safer experimentation using the Reston strain and may aid in the development of novel treatments.

Biography :

Dr. Campbell is a currently a Principal Molecular Biologist with Noblis and has a decade of professional experience in bioinformatics. Her research has focused on the analysis of population based experiments designed to study both human disease and animal models of disease. Projects have involved in silico identifi cation of medical countermeasures and pathogen identifi cation and informatics research for a wide variety of complex neurological disorders. Her research work has encompassed both laboratory experiments and statistical and bioinformatics analysis of several important diseases including Ebola, plague, Gaucher?s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neurofi bromatosis.