Monday, February 21, 2011
Statistical Analysis of Pair Mutations in the Influenza Genome May Predict the Evolution of the Virus
A study based on 40 years of flu genome data showed that a statistical analysis can be used to show where influenza genome is likely to have mutations occur. This can be used to predict emerging strains of the virus that are likely to be prevalent. The data that was used in the study came from the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the Protein Data Bank at the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics. The study revealed that mutations are more likely to occur in epistatic pairs and a mutation in one-half of the pair means that there is a high probability that a mutation will occur elsewhere in the genome. This predictability of mutations could help in vaccine selection for influenza.