Metagenomic screening for new viruses; Bioinformatics challenges
Stockholm Bioinformatics Center Seminars
Wednesday 09 May 2007
to 14:15 at
Björn Andersson (CMB, Karolinska Institutet)
Virus infections cause many of the largest health problems in the world. It is likely that there is a multitude of unknown viruses that infect humans and it is has been suggested that viruses are involved in causing many common diseases, such as diabetes and MS. The discovery rate of new viruses has until now been slow.
I will present initial results from a project to further develop and use a strategy for virus discovery using a genomics/bioinformatics approach. The project has resulted in the development of a pipeline to discover unknown viruses in patient samples and the characterization of several new viruses. The methods include enrichment of virus particles, shotgun sequencing and bioinformatics analyses. The methods have been proven to work efficiently and that they are ready for scaling up to characterize the human virome. Individual virus discoveries will lead to new clinical insights, therapies and diagnostic tools, and we aim to develop this protocol further with the goal of providing a broader picture of human virus infections in relation to disease.
I will present the analysis of the sequence data accumulated thus far, including the characterization of two new human viruses, Human Bocavirus and KI Polyomavirus, and a broader description of the known and novel viruses, bacterial, phage and human sequences and completely unknown sequences found in samples of different clinical origin.