Phylogenetic evidence against evolutionary stasis and natural abiotic reservoirs of influenza A virus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Zhang et al. (G. Zhang, D. Shoham, D. Gilichinsky, S. Davydov, J. D. Castello, and S. O. Rogers, J. Virol. 80:12229-12235, 2006) have claimed to have recovered influenza A virus RNA from Siberian lake ice, postulating that ice might represent an important abiotic reservoir for the persistence and reemergence of this medically important pathogen. A rigorous phylogenetic analysis of these influenza A virus hemagglutinin gene sequences, however, indicates that they originated from a laboratory reference strain derived from the earliest human influenza A virus isolate, WS/33. Contrary to Zhang et al.'s assertions that the Siberian "ice viruses" are most closely related either to avian influenza virus or to human influenza virus strains from Asia from the 1960s (Zhang et al., J. Virol. 81:2538 [erratum], 2007), they are clearly contaminants from the WS/33 positive control used in their laboratory. There is thus no credible evidence that environmental ice acts as a biologically relevant reservoir for influenza viruses. Several additional cases with findings that seem at odds with the biology of influenza virus, including modern-looking avian influenza virus RNA sequences from an archival goose specimen collected in 1917 (T. G. Fanning, R. D. Siemens, A. H. Reid, T. A. Janczewski, J. Dean, and J. K. Taubenberger, J. Virol. 76:7860-7862, 2002), can also be explained by laboratory contamination or other experimental errors. Many putative examples of evolutionary stasis in influenza A virus appear to be due to laboratory artifacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3769-3774
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume82
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Fingerprint

Influenza A virus
Orthomyxoviridae
Ice
phylogeny
ice
Influenza in Birds
human influenza
Human Influenza
Geese
Hemagglutinins
nucleotide sequences
Lakes
Artifacts
hemagglutinins
geese
RNA
Viruses
Biological Sciences
lakes
viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Phylogenetic evidence against evolutionary stasis and natural abiotic reservoirs of influenza A virus. / Worobey, Michael.

In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 82, No. 7, 04.2008, p. 3769-3774.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a1e24f3c8ddf4e348ec24ad1eae9fd95,
title = "Phylogenetic evidence against evolutionary stasis and natural abiotic reservoirs of influenza A virus",
abstract = "Zhang et al. (G. Zhang, D. Shoham, D. Gilichinsky, S. Davydov, J. D. Castello, and S. O. Rogers, J. Virol. 80:12229-12235, 2006) have claimed to have recovered influenza A virus RNA from Siberian lake ice, postulating that ice might represent an important abiotic reservoir for the persistence and reemergence of this medically important pathogen. A rigorous phylogenetic analysis of these influenza A virus hemagglutinin gene sequences, however, indicates that they originated from a laboratory reference strain derived from the earliest human influenza A virus isolate, WS/33. Contrary to Zhang et al.'s assertions that the Siberian {"}ice viruses{"} are most closely related either to avian influenza virus or to human influenza virus strains from Asia from the 1960s (Zhang et al., J. Virol. 81:2538 [erratum], 2007), they are clearly contaminants from the WS/33 positive control used in their laboratory. There is thus no credible evidence that environmental ice acts as a biologically relevant reservoir for influenza viruses. Several additional cases with findings that seem at odds with the biology of influenza virus, including modern-looking avian influenza virus RNA sequences from an archival goose specimen collected in 1917 (T. G. Fanning, R. D. Siemens, A. H. Reid, T. A. Janczewski, J. Dean, and J. K. Taubenberger, J. Virol. 76:7860-7862, 2002), can also be explained by laboratory contamination or other experimental errors. Many putative examples of evolutionary stasis in influenza A virus appear to be due to laboratory artifacts.",
author = "Michael Worobey",
year = "2008",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1128/JVI.02207-07",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "82",
pages = "3769--3774",
journal = "Journal of Virology",
issn = "0022-538X",
publisher = "American Society for Microbiology",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Phylogenetic evidence against evolutionary stasis and natural abiotic reservoirs of influenza A virus

AU - Worobey, Michael

PY - 2008/4

Y1 - 2008/4

N2 - Zhang et al. (G. Zhang, D. Shoham, D. Gilichinsky, S. Davydov, J. D. Castello, and S. O. Rogers, J. Virol. 80:12229-12235, 2006) have claimed to have recovered influenza A virus RNA from Siberian lake ice, postulating that ice might represent an important abiotic reservoir for the persistence and reemergence of this medically important pathogen. A rigorous phylogenetic analysis of these influenza A virus hemagglutinin gene sequences, however, indicates that they originated from a laboratory reference strain derived from the earliest human influenza A virus isolate, WS/33. Contrary to Zhang et al.'s assertions that the Siberian "ice viruses" are most closely related either to avian influenza virus or to human influenza virus strains from Asia from the 1960s (Zhang et al., J. Virol. 81:2538 [erratum], 2007), they are clearly contaminants from the WS/33 positive control used in their laboratory. There is thus no credible evidence that environmental ice acts as a biologically relevant reservoir for influenza viruses. Several additional cases with findings that seem at odds with the biology of influenza virus, including modern-looking avian influenza virus RNA sequences from an archival goose specimen collected in 1917 (T. G. Fanning, R. D. Siemens, A. H. Reid, T. A. Janczewski, J. Dean, and J. K. Taubenberger, J. Virol. 76:7860-7862, 2002), can also be explained by laboratory contamination or other experimental errors. Many putative examples of evolutionary stasis in influenza A virus appear to be due to laboratory artifacts.

AB - Zhang et al. (G. Zhang, D. Shoham, D. Gilichinsky, S. Davydov, J. D. Castello, and S. O. Rogers, J. Virol. 80:12229-12235, 2006) have claimed to have recovered influenza A virus RNA from Siberian lake ice, postulating that ice might represent an important abiotic reservoir for the persistence and reemergence of this medically important pathogen. A rigorous phylogenetic analysis of these influenza A virus hemagglutinin gene sequences, however, indicates that they originated from a laboratory reference strain derived from the earliest human influenza A virus isolate, WS/33. Contrary to Zhang et al.'s assertions that the Siberian "ice viruses" are most closely related either to avian influenza virus or to human influenza virus strains from Asia from the 1960s (Zhang et al., J. Virol. 81:2538 [erratum], 2007), they are clearly contaminants from the WS/33 positive control used in their laboratory. There is thus no credible evidence that environmental ice acts as a biologically relevant reservoir for influenza viruses. Several additional cases with findings that seem at odds with the biology of influenza virus, including modern-looking avian influenza virus RNA sequences from an archival goose specimen collected in 1917 (T. G. Fanning, R. D. Siemens, A. H. Reid, T. A. Janczewski, J. Dean, and J. K. Taubenberger, J. Virol. 76:7860-7862, 2002), can also be explained by laboratory contamination or other experimental errors. Many putative examples of evolutionary stasis in influenza A virus appear to be due to laboratory artifacts.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=41149146470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=41149146470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1128/JVI.02207-07

DO - 10.1128/JVI.02207-07

M3 - Article

VL - 82

SP - 3769

EP - 3774

JO - Journal of Virology

JF - Journal of Virology

SN - 0022-538X

IS - 7

ER -