Apr 17, 2015

Ebolavirus is evolving but not changing: No evidence for functional change in EBOV from 1976 to the 2014 outbreak

Virology
Abayomi S OlabodeS C Lovell

Abstract

The 2014 epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has had a devastating impact in West Africa. Sequencing of ebolavirus (EBOV) from infected individuals has revealed extensive genetic variation, leading to speculation that the virus may be adapting to humans, accounting for the scale of the 2014 outbreak. We computationally analyze the variation associated with all EVD outbreaks, and find none of the amino acid replacements lead to identifiable functional changes. These changes have minimal effect on protein structure, being neither stabilizing nor destabilizing, are not found in regions of the proteins associated with known functions and tend to cluster in poorly constrained regions of proteins, specifically intrinsically disordered regions. We find no evidence that the difference between the current and previous outbreaks is due to evolutionary changes associated with transmission to humans. Instead, epidemiological factors are likely to be responsible for the unprecedented spread of EVD.

  • References38
  • Citations11

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Immune System
Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola
Virus
Virus Diseases
Acropectoral Syndrome
Ebola virus
Genome
Valine
Aspartate

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