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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: A paradigm shift in HLA sequencing: from exons to high-resolution allele-level HLA yyping

Human MHC class I genes HLA-A, -B, -C, and class II genes HLA -DR, -DQ, and -DP play a critical role in the immune system as primary factors responsible for organ transplant rejection. Additionally, the HLA genes are important targets for clinical and drug sensitivity research because of their direct or linkage-based association with several diseases, including cancer, and autoimmune diseases. HLA genes are highly polymorphic, and their diversity originates from exonic combinations as well as recombination events. With full-length gene sequencing, a significant increase of new alleles in the HLA database is expected, stressing the need for high-resolution sequencing.…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Opportunities for using PacBio Long-read sequencing for COVID-19 research

In this Labroots webinar, Meredith Ashby, Director of Microbial Genomics at PacBio, describes the utility of highly accurate long-read sequencing, known as HiFi sequencing, to understand the SARs-CoV-2 viral genome. HiFi sequencing enables mutation phasing and rare variant detection to understand viral stability and mutation rates, as well as providing insights into viral population structure for monitoring viral evolution. Ashby also shares how HiFi sequencing can be used to explore the host immune response to COVID-19, specifically by providing full-length sequencing of the B cell repertoire, IGH locus and HLA genes. Access additional COVID-19 Sequencing Tools and Resources at at…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Cultured Epidermal Autografts from Clinically Revertant Skin as a Potential Wound Treatment for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Inherited skin disorders have been reported recently to have sporadic normal-looking areas, where a portion of the keratinocytes have recovered from causative gene mutations (revertant mosaicism). We observed a case of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa treated with cultured epidermal autografts (CEAs), whose CEA-grafted site remained epithelized for 16 years. We proved that the CEA product and the grafted area included cells with revertant mosaicism. Based on these findings, we conducted an investigator-initiated clinical trial of CEAs from clinically revertant skin for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. The donor sites were analyzed by genetic analysis, immunofluorescence, electron microscopy, and quantification of the…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Targeting New Sites of Vulnerability in Hepatitis C Virus E1E2.

Increasing evidence indicates that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) play an important role in immune-mediated control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the relative contribution of neutralizing antibodies targeting antigenic sites across the HCV envelope (E1 and E2) proteins is unclear. Here, we isolated thirteen E1E2-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from B cells of a single HCV-infected individual who cleared one genotype 1a infection and then became persistently infected with a second genotype 1a strain. These MAbs bound six distinct discontinuous antigenic sites on the E1 protein, the E2 protein, or the E1E2 heterodimer. Three antigenic sites, designated AS108, AS112 (an…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Highly Unusual V1 Region of Env in an Elite Controller of HIV Infection.

HIV elite controllers represent a remarkable minority of patients who maintain normal CD4+ T-cell counts and low or undetectable viral loads for decades in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. To examine the possible contribution of virus attenuation to elite control, we obtained a primary HIV-1 isolate from an elite controller who had been infected for 19?years, the last 10 of which were in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Full-length sequencing of this isolate revealed a highly unusual V1 domain in Envelope (Env). The V1 domain in this HIV-1 strain was 49 amino acids, placing it in the top 1% of…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Diversification and Evolution of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium during Intestinal Domination.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. This is particularly true in immunocompromised patients, where the damage to the microbiota caused by antibiotics can lead to VRE domination of the intestine, increasing a patient’s risk for bloodstream infection. In previous studies we observed that the intestinal domination by VRE of patients hospitalized to receive allogeneic bone marrow transplantation can persist for weeks, but little is known about subspecies diversification and evolution during prolonged domination. Here we combined a longitudinal analysis of patient data and in vivo experiments to reveal previously unappreciated subspecies dynamics during VRE domination…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Genome-Wide Screening for Enteric Colonization Factors in Carbapenem-Resistant ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae.

A diverse, antibiotic-naive microbiota prevents highly antibiotic-resistant microbes, including carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CR-Kp), from achieving dense colonization of the intestinal lumen. Antibiotic-mediated destruction of the microbiota leads to expansion of CR-Kp in the gut, markedly increasing the risk of bacteremia in vulnerable patients. While preventing dense colonization represents a rational approach to reduce intra- and interpatient dissemination of CR-Kp, little is known about pathogen-associated factors that enable dense growth and persistence in the intestinal lumen. To identify genetic factors essential for dense colonization of the gut by CR-Kp, we constructed a highly saturated transposon mutant library with >150,000 unique mutations…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Dnase1l3 deletion causes aberrations in length and end-motif frequencies in plasma DNA.

Circulating DNA in plasma consists of short DNA fragments. The biological processes generating such fragments are not well understood. DNASE1L3 is a secreted DNASE1-like nuclease capable of digesting DNA in chromatin, and its absence causes anti-DNA responses and autoimmunity in humans and mice. We found that the deletion of Dnase1l3 in mice resulted in aberrations in the fragmentation of plasma DNA. Such aberrations included an increase in short DNA molecules below 120 bp, which was positively correlated with anti-DNA antibody levels. We also observed an increase in long, multinucleosomal DNA molecules and decreased frequencies of the most common end motifs…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Next generation sequencing characterizes HLA diversity in a registry population from the Netherlands.

Next generation DNA sequencing is used to determine the HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DRB3/4/5, and -DQB1 assignments of 1009 unrelated volunteers for the unrelated donor registry in The Netherlands. The analysis characterizes all HLA exons and introns for class I alleles; at least exons 2 to 3 for HLA-DRB1; and exons 2 to 6 for HLA-DQB1. Of the distinct alleles present, there are 229 class I and 71 class II; 36 of these alleles are novel. The majority (approximately 98%) of the cumulative allele frequency at each locus is contributed by alleles that appear three or more times. Alleles encoding…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Patterns of non-ARD variation in more than 300 full-length HLA-DPB1 alleles.

Our understanding of sequence variation in the HLA-DPB1 gene is largely restricted to the hypervariable antigen recognition domain (ARD) encoded by exon 2. Here, we employed a redundant sequencing strategy combining long-read and short-read data to accurately phase and characterise in full length the majority of common and well-documented (CWD) DPB1 alleles as well as alleles with an observed frequency of at least 0.0006% in our predominantly European sample set. We generated 664 DPB1 sequences, comprising 279 distinct allelic variants. This allows us to present the, to date, most comprehensive analysis of the nature and extent of DPB1 sequence variation.…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Recipients receiving better HLA-matched hematopoietic cell transplantation grafts, uncovered by a novel HLA typing method, have superior survival: A retrospective study

HLA matching at an allelic-level resolution for volunteer unrelated donor (VUD) hematopoietic cell transplanta- tion (HCT) results in improved survival and fewer post-transplant complications. Limitations in typing technolo- gies used for the hyperpolymorphic HLA genes have meant that variations outside of the antigen recognition domain (ARD) have not been previously characterized in HCT. Our aim was to explore the extent of diversity out- side of the ARD and determine the impact of this diversity on transplant outcome. Eight hundred ninety-one VUD-HCT donors and their recipients transplanted for a hematologic malignancy in the United Kingdom were ret- rospectively HLA typed at…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A systematic review of the Trypanosoma cruzi genetic heterogeneity, host immune response and genetic factors as plausible drivers of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy.

Chagas disease is a complex tropical pathology caused by the kinetoplastid Trypanosoma cruzi. This parasite displays massive genetic diversity and has been classified by international consensus in at least six Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) that are broadly distributed in the American continent. The main clinical manifestation of the disease is the chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCC) that is lethal in the infected individuals. However, one intriguing feature is that only 30-40% of the infected individuals will develop CCC. Some authors have suggested that the immune response, host genetic factors, virulence factors and even the massive genetic heterogeneity of T. cruzi are…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Sequential evolution of virulence and resistance during clonal spread of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

The past two decades have witnessed an alarming expansion of staphylococcal disease caused by community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). The factors underlying the epidemic expansion of CA-MRSA lineages such as USA300, the predominant CA-MRSA clone in the United States, are largely unknown. Previously described virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes that promote the dissemination of CA-MRSA are carried by mobile genetic elements, including phages and plasmids. Here, we used high-resolution genomics and experimental infections to characterize the evolution of a USA300 variant plaguing a patient population at increased risk of infection to understand the mechanisms underlying the emergence of genetic elements…

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