Genomic sequencing reveals more than 300 mutations in 2014 Ebola virus

Rapid sequencing and analysis of 99 genomes have enabled researchers to identify more than 300 genetic changes in the Ebola virus genome, according to results published in Science.

With collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Pardis Sabeti, MD, DPhil, of the Broad Institute and Harvard University, and colleagues sequenced Ebola virus genomes collected from 78 patients with the virus in Sierra Leone during the first 24 days of the outbreak. Along with the mutations, which make the 2014 Ebola virus distinct from the viral genomes tied to previous Ebola outbreaks, the researchers found sequence variations indicating that the outbreak started from a single introduction into humans.

To accelerate response efforts, the research team released the full-length sequences on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s DNA sequence database in advance of publication. Continue reading