Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak
Author(s)Sealfon, Rachel S.; Lander, Eric S.
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In its largest outbreak, Ebola virus disease is spreading through Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. We sequenced 99 Ebola virus genomes from 78 patients in Sierra Leone to ~2000× coverage. We observed a rapid accumulation of interhost and intrahost genetic variation, allowing us to characterize patterns of viral transmission over the initial weeks of the epidemic. This West African variant likely diverged from central African lineages around 2004, crossed from Guinea to Sierra Leone in May 2014, and has exhibited sustained human-to-human transmission subsequently, with no evidence of additional zoonotic sources. Because many of the mutations alter protein sequences and other biologically meaningful targets, they should be monitored for impact on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies critical to outbreak response.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Gire, S. K., A. Goba, K. G. Andersen, R. S. G. Sealfon, D. J. Park, L. Kanneh, S. Jalloh, et al. “Genomic Surveillance Elucidates Ebola Virus Origin and Transmission During the 2014 Outbreak.” Science 345, no. 6202 (August 28, 2014): 1369–1372.
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