Large scale flu virus sequencing completed

October 5, 2005

Scientists at the Institute for Genomic Research in Maryland report completing the first large-scale project to sequence the influenza virus.

TIGR scientists say they sequenced 209 complete genomes of the human influenza A virus, representing virus samples taken from patients who visited county clinics across New York during five seasons 1999-2004.

Nearly all of the genomes represented the H3N2 strain, which predominated during those flu seasons. Comparing genomes, the researchers tracked the changing virus as it moved across the region.

"This study demonstrates that genomics can help us better track the flu virus and develop more effective vaccines," said first author Elodie Ghedin, who heads TIGR's viral genomics lab. "This is perhaps the most detailed snapshot scientists have gotten of flu's movement through communities."

Across New York state, the researchers documented at least three distinct variants of the H3N2 influenza virus during the 5-year study period. In some of the flu seasons studied, the variants circulated simultaneously. That, the scientists said, means New Yorkers weren't all contracting the same flu but slightly different versions of the virus.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: How to fight the flu this season

Related Stories

How to fight the flu this season

January 19, 2018

(HealthDay)—The flu is causing widespread misery across the United States this winter, but the American Lung Association says there are things you can do to avoid being felled by the virus.

Why the flu season is so bad this year

January 18, 2018

This year's flu season has hit the United States hard, with nearly every state reporting widespread influenza activity in early January. In California, at least 42 people under the age of 65 have died from the flu, and the ...

Recommended for you

Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world

January 19, 2018

Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers—especially to virulent pathogens. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that can sense microbes ...

Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency

January 19, 2018

Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine's efficiency ...

Team takes a deep look at memristors

January 19, 2018

In the race to build a computer that mimics the massive computational power of the human brain, researchers are increasingly turning to memristors, which can vary their electrical resistance based on the memory of past activity. ...

Bio-renewable process could help 'green' plastic

January 19, 2018

When John Wesley Hyatt patented the first industrial plastic in 1869, his intention was to create an alternative to the elephant tusk ivory used to make piano keys. But this early plastic also sparked a revolution in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.