Saturday, 31 January 2015

The filovirus tree has been shooting wildly

While there are not a lot of new branches, there are many, many new leaves on this growing tree. That is overwhelmingly due to the fantastic work of Dr Pardis Sabeti, and Stephen Gire at the Sabeti lab, Harvard University, and their many collaborators. 

It sounds like even more sequences will be coming out in the future. This group is the face of the molecular epidemiology of history's largest Ebola virus disease epidemic in Sierra Leone. If a team of scientists could be said to embody an aspect of an epidemic, it has been these guys and their virus characterization. Hugely impressive stuff.

I only wish we could see more Guinean and Liberian sequences - they are both hugely under-represented in this tree of complete genomes downloaded from GenBank a week or so ago.

Click on tree to enlarge even further.
Coloured boxes surround those sequences generated during the
2014 EVD epidemic. Orange boxes point out the nearest neighbours
and the year from which the sample that was sequenced, originated.
The West African Ebola virus Makona variant has been
traced back to sharing an ancestor in common with a 2007
variant in 2004.

References
  1. Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak. Gire SK, Goba A, Andersen KG, Sealfon RS, Park DJ, Kanneh L, Jalloh S, Momoh M, Fullah M, Dudas G, Wohl S, Moses LM, Yozwiak NL, Winnicki S, Matranga CB, Malboeuf CM, Qu J, Gladden AD, Schaffner SF, Yang X, Jiang PP, Nekoui M, Colubri A, Coomber MR, Fonnie M, Moigboi A, Gbakie M, Kamara FK, Tucker V, Konuwa E, Saffa S, Sellu J, Jalloh AA, Kovoma A, Koninga J, Mustapha I, Kargbo K, Foday M, Yillah M, Kanneh F, Robert W, Massally JL, Chapman SB, Bochicchio J, Murphy C, Nusbaum C, Young S, Birren BW, Grant DS, Scheiffelin JS, Lander ES, Happi C, Gevao SM, Gnirke A, Rambaut A, Garry RF, Khan SH, Sabeti PC.
    Science. 2014 Sep 12;345(6202):1369-72. doi: 10.1126/science.1259657. Epub 2014 Aug 28.