Predicting the next eye pathogen; analysis of a novel adenovirus

April 10, 2013, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

The ongoing dance between a virus and its host distinctly shapes how the virus evolves. While human adenoviruses typically cause mild infections, recent reports have described newly characterized adenoviruses that can cause severe, sometime fatal, human infections.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School, Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, School of , George Mason University, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center report a systems biology approach to show how evolution has affected the disease potential of a recently identified novel human adenovirus. Their approach is based on the belief that understanding viral evolution and pathogenicity is essential to our capacity to foretell the potential impact on human disease for new and emerging viruses. Their study is now published in mBio.

Since the first adenovirus was characterized in 1953, 69 human adenoviruses (HAdVs) have been recognized as unique types. Analysis of whole- for existing and new HAdVs confirmed a critical role for homologous recombination in adenovirus evolution, leading to new and sometime serious . The emergence of new HAdV types, with several associated with severe eye infection, promoted the investigators to apply a systems biology approach to try to predict the ocular tropism of a previously uncharacterized and highly novel HAdV, isolated by nasopharyngeal swab from a 4-month-old boy with several bronchiolitis.

A combined genomic, bioinformatics and biological analysis identified a unique deletion in a key protein of the viral capsid and further suggested the potential of the virus to cause severe ocular infection. The results point toward a possible approach for predicting pathogenicity for newly identified and recently emergent .

Explore further: High fever and evidence of a virus? Caution, it still may be Kawasaki disease

Related Stories

High fever and evidence of a virus? Caution, it still may be Kawasaki disease

November 5, 2012
Clinicians should take caution when diagnosing a child who has a high fever and whose tests show evidence of adenovirus, and not assume the virus is responsible for Kawasaki-like symptoms. According to a new study from Nationwide ...

Scavenger cells accomplices to viruses

July 21, 2011
Mucosal epithelia do not have any receptors on the outer membrane for the absorption of viruses like hepatitis C, herpes, the adenovirus or polio, and are thus well-protected against pathogenic germs. However, certain viruses, ...

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

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.