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A survey of overlooked viral infections in biological experiment systems

Wang, Yajing; Wang, Hui; Xu, Kunhan; Ni, Peixiang; Zhang, Huan; Ma, Jinmin; Yang, Huanming; Xu, Feng. 2014 A survey of overlooked viral infections in biological experiment systems. PLoS ONE, 9 (8), e105348. 7, pp. 10.1371/journal.pone.0105348

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Abstract/Summary

It is commonly accepted that there are many unknown viruses on the planet. For the known viruses, do we know their prevalence, even in our experimental systems? Here we report a virus survey using recently published small (s)RNA sequencing datasets. The sRNA reads were assembled and contigs were screened for virus homologues against the NCBI nucleotide (nt) database using the BLASTn program. To our surprise, approximately 30% (28 out of 94) of publications had highly scored viral sequences in their datasets. Among them, only two publications reported virus infections. Though viral vectors were used in some of the publications, virus sequences without any identifiable source appeared in more than 20 publications. By determining the distributions of viral reads and the antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) pathways using the sRNA profiles, we showed evidence that many of the viruses identified were indeed infecting and generated host RNAi responses. As virus infections affect many aspects of host molecular biology and metabolism, the presence and impact of viruses needs to be actively investigated in experimental systems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0105348
CEH Sections: CEH fellows
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - Official URL link provides full text
NORA Subject Terms: Health
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 06 Nov 2014 16:55 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508768

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