Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

No Place to Hide: Evolutionary Forensics

Published: Monday, July 29, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, July 29, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The rapid molecular evolution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been used to help incriminate the source of an outbreak in two Spanish hospitals in the late nineties.

The evolutionary techniques used, described in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Biology, also helped separate those who were infected by the person in question from those infected elsewhere during the same time period.

In the days before deep sequencing became a cheap option scientists used partial sequencing of HCV to help convict an anesthetist of infecting 275 patients with this virus. Back in 1998 an anesthetist was alleged to have injected himself with opioid painkillers, using some of the dose meant for his patients, before giving them the rest using the same needle and syringe. It is only now, after the experts' testimony and appeals, that the science used to track the outbreak and the spread of the virus is being made public.

The main difficulty in establishing a link between the source and the infected patients is that the virus continues to evolve in its host. Also unlike HIV, HCV can remain silent in an infected patient for years even though it is still capable of being transmitted.

Prof Fernando Gonzßlez Candelas from the Universidad de Valencia, who led this multicentre study explained, "We sequenced 322 patients who were suspected to have been infected by the donor and 44 local, unrelated controls. Our analysis of over 4000 sequences from the E1-E2 region of the viral genome allowed us to exclude 47 patients as having been infected elsewhere. Because we knew the dates of infection for some patients we were able to use their data to validate a molecular clock and construct an estimated date of infection for each patient and of the source."

The patients were all infected between 1988 and 1998 shortly after the estimated date of infection of the source.

Improvements in sequencing techniques and computing now make it easier to obtain whole viral genomes and the phylogenetic analysis of RNA viruses, especially the molecular clock technique, is increasingly used today to analyze disease outbreaks in order to help plan control measures.

Prof Gonzßlez Candelas continued, "Naturally, there are very limited possibilities for a single infected patient of infecting so many recipients, but the recent case of a medical technician in New Hampshire (USA), and eight other states, shows that more such events might be revealed."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Imaging Software Could Speed Up Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Researchers use high speed optical microscopy of intact breast tissue specimens to analyze breast tissue.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Detecting and Identifying Candida Species in Blood Samples of Critically Ill Paediatric Patients
The study aimed to develop a multiplex nested PCR method to detect and identify seven Candida species in peripheral blood samples of critically ill paediatric patients.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Researchers Identify Urgent Need for Alzheimer's Disease Drug Development
Analysis of clinical trials published in the journal Alzheimer's Research & Therapy shows that the pipeline for potential treatments of AD is small and rate of success is limited.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Showing Your Age: Your DNA Doesn't Lie
Using thousands of tissue samples from open access datasets, a scientist has created a calculator which predicts the age of tissue using chemical changes to DNA.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Leukaemia Drug Could Help Treat Breast Cancer
A drug currently used to treat leukaemia might also help prevent breast cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
Friday, August 23, 2013
A Possible Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease
A new blood test can be used to discriminate between people with Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Is Enough Being Done to Make Drinking Water Safe?
Arsenic in water is threatening the lives of several hundred million people.
Monday, June 03, 2013
Women’s Immune Systems Remain Younger for Longer
The slower decline in a woman’s immune system may contribute to women living longer than men.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Testing the Water – Urine Test Identifies Babies at Most Risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Abnormal gut bacteria in premature babies can be found days before the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) finds new research in BioMed Central’s open access journal Microbiome.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Gene Signature Can Predict Who Will Survive Chemotherapy
An eight gene ‘signature’ can predict length of relapse-free survival after chemotherapy, finds new research in Biomed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The Tulip Tree Reveals Mitochondrial Genome of Ancestral Flowering Plant
The extraordinary level of conservation of the tulip tree mitochondrial genome has redefined our interpretation of evolution of the angiosperms (flowering plants).
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Organizing Human Specimen Collections: Getting the Best out of Biobanks
The diversity of biobanks, collections of human specimens from a variety of sources, raises questions about the best way to manage and govern them.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Oxygen-Free Energy Designed to Fuel Brain Development Spurs on Growth of Cancer
The metabolic process which fuels the growth of many cancers has its origins in normal brain growth finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Cancer & Metabolism.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
What Did Our Ancestors Look Like?
A new method of establishing hair and eye colour from modern forensic samples can also be used to identify details from ancient human remains.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Microevolutionary Analysis of C. difficile Genomes to Investigate Transmission
Recent study took a genomics approach to assess the incidence of patient-to-patient transmission of C. difficile.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Scientific News
Platelets are the Pathfinders for Leukocyte Extravasation During Inflammation
Findings from the study could help in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory pathologies.
ASMS 2016: Targeting Mass Spectrometry Tools for the Masses
The expanding application range of MS in life sciences, food, energy, and health sciences research was highlighted at this year's ASMS meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Manufactured Stem Cells to Advance Clinical Research
Clinical-grade cell line will enable development of new therapies and accelerate early-stage clinical research.
Dengue Virus Exposure May Amplify Zika Infection
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of Zika infection.
Gender Determination in Forensic Investigations
This study investigated the effectiveness of lip print analysis as a tool in gender determination.
Identifying Novel Types of Forensic Markers in Degraded DNA
Scientists have tried to verify the nucleosome protection hypothesis by discovering STRs within nucleosome core regions, using whole genome sequencing.
Proteins in Blood of Heart Disease Patients May Predict Adverse Events
Nine-protein test shown superior to conventional assessments of risk.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Starving Stem Cells May Enable Scientists To Build Better Blood Vessels
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have uncovered how changes in metabolism of human embryonic stem cells help coax them to mature into specific cell types — and may improve their function in engineered organs or tissues.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!