RIT influenza virus database and evidence for differential selection pressures on geographically distinct human influenza A/H3N2 virus populations

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Title: RIT influenza virus database and evidence for differential selection pressures on geographically distinct human influenza A/H3N2 virus populations
Author: Satheeshkumar, Bindhu
Abstract: Increasing amounts of data available from influenza virus genome sequencing projects have necessitated the need for centralized repositories for the collection, integration, and dissemination of these data to researchers for further research. The RIT Influenza Virus Database, a complete genome database for influenza viruses, has been created with a web interface so that users could query for viruses of interest and download complete genome sequences and metadata of isolates. The interface of the database is publicly accessible at http://bucatini.bioinformatics.rit.edu/bindhuURMC/. Even though it is known that influenza viruses are under constant evolution at the surface glycoproteins to develop drug resistance or immunity against hosts, little is known whether influenza viruses are under adaptive evolution within distinct geographical regions. In the present study, an effort is made to examine whether human influenza A/H3N2 viruses from distinct geographical regions are under differential positive selection pressures within hemagglutinin and neuraminidase coding regions, and to identify potential amino acid sites, if any, that are under such positive selective pressures. Our analyses returned evidence for strong positive selection as well as differential positive selection acting within the USA hemagglutinin and weak positive selection acting within New Zealand neuraminidase, at epitope regions. Based on this evidence we speculate that, in spite of global migration, human influenza A/H3N2 viruses are under geographically distinct differential selection pressures, to evade environment driven host immunity. Further research is needed to confirm this speculation.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/13436
Date: 2011-01

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