Arbovirus Sequencing Project II

The Arboviruses (ARthropod BOrne), are a class of emergent pathogens responsible for some of the most deadly diseases in the world. Yellow fever virus (YFV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) is a mosquitoborne virus that has been recognized as the cause of epidemics of hemorrhagic fever in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America for hundreds of years. Currently, yellow fever (YF) is considered a re-emerging infectious disease and the causative agent, YFV is classified as a NIAID category C priority pathogen. Japanese encephalitis (JE) is numerically one of the most important causes of viral encephalitis in the world, and it is the leading cause of childhood encephalitis in Asia. JE occurs in nearly every country in Asia, with an estimated 50,000 cases and 15,000 deaths annually. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), the etiologic agent of the disease is a member of the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae), and it is the prototypic member of an antigenic complex within the genus that includes St. Louis encephalitis, Murray Valley encephalitis and West Nile viruses. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV; Togaviridae: Alphavirus) is a naturally emerging arbovirus that has caused massive outbreaks involving hundreds-of-thousands of humans, equids and other domestic animals. One outbreak spread into Texas in 1971, infecting hundreds of humans and thousands of horses. VEEV is also a well-developed biological weapon that is highly infectious via the aerosol route and is a currently classified as a select agent on the NIAID category B list of priority pathogens. VEEV is the most important emerging alphavirus pathogen of the Americas, and has affected hundreds-of-thousands of people since its discovery in 1938. The Viral Reference Center at UTMB has supported by the NIH for the 30 years and has a decades old collection of 500-600 uncharacterized viruses. The collaborators and JCVI are extremely interested in adding some of these samples in the project collection and have proposed to sequence 100 of these viruses. This project is approved to genome sequencing for 100 retrospectively collected EEEV strains. The Next Generation (Roche 454 and Illumina High Seq 2000) sequencing pipeline at JCVI will be used to sequence this collection. JCVI is currently adding Ion Torrent capabilities and if the technology continues to improve it may be substituted for the Roche 454 aspects of this proposal. 


This project has been funded in whole or part with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services under contract numbers N01-AI30071 and/or HHSN272200900007C.


David Wentworth, PhD
Director Viral Programs, JCVI

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