Event Title

Geographic Differences in Class II MHC-Specific Epitopes of Zika Virus (ZIKV)

Poster Number

003

Faculty Mentor

Kristi Westover, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Location

Rutledge

Start Date

20-4-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 2:00 PM

Description

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA arbovirus belonging to the Flavivirus genus. Zika has spread rapidly since the 2007 outbreak in South America, and more recently, in southern North America. It has also been directly linked to neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly. We collected 129 complete ZIKV genomes for phylogenetic analysis. Nucleotide sequences were aligned and phylogenies constructed with 1000 bootstrap replication, using neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood algorithms. Phylogenetic data significantly supported two major ancestral lineages, Asian and African. Brazilian, Haitian, and Venezuelan strains were derived from the Asian strain, and more specifically, similarities are seen in regards to the French Polynesian strain. Chinese strains were also found in the Asian lineages, with other strains scattered among the different geographical strains of ZIKV. Our results support that recent North American outbreaks originated from South American strains. The U.S. strains from the 2016 outbreak are genetically similar, but are found in two significantly supported clades. To further examine differences between the American strains and those from Africa and Asia, we will measure synonymous and nonsynonymous mutation rates in 50 predicted T-cell class II MHC-specific epitopes of the Zika polyprotein for each geographic region. We hypothesize that the outbreaks in the Americas may be driven by the evolution of novel epitopes. Identification of specific genetic changes in these regions may provide insight for vaccine development.

Previously Presented/Performed?

American Association of Microbiology, South Carolina Branch Meeting, Winthrop University, April 2018

Course Assignment

BIOL 472 – Westover

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Apr 20th, 12:00 PM Apr 20th, 2:00 PM

Geographic Differences in Class II MHC-Specific Epitopes of Zika Virus (ZIKV)

Rutledge

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA arbovirus belonging to the Flavivirus genus. Zika has spread rapidly since the 2007 outbreak in South America, and more recently, in southern North America. It has also been directly linked to neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly. We collected 129 complete ZIKV genomes for phylogenetic analysis. Nucleotide sequences were aligned and phylogenies constructed with 1000 bootstrap replication, using neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood algorithms. Phylogenetic data significantly supported two major ancestral lineages, Asian and African. Brazilian, Haitian, and Venezuelan strains were derived from the Asian strain, and more specifically, similarities are seen in regards to the French Polynesian strain. Chinese strains were also found in the Asian lineages, with other strains scattered among the different geographical strains of ZIKV. Our results support that recent North American outbreaks originated from South American strains. The U.S. strains from the 2016 outbreak are genetically similar, but are found in two significantly supported clades. To further examine differences between the American strains and those from Africa and Asia, we will measure synonymous and nonsynonymous mutation rates in 50 predicted T-cell class II MHC-specific epitopes of the Zika polyprotein for each geographic region. We hypothesize that the outbreaks in the Americas may be driven by the evolution of novel epitopes. Identification of specific genetic changes in these regions may provide insight for vaccine development.