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Publications

Pandemics: Focus on Surveillance

By | Publications

Over the past 15 years, outbreaks caused by viruses such as Ebola, SARS, and Zika have cost governments billions of US dollars. Combined with a perception among scientists, health workers and citizens that responses to outbreaks have been inadequate, this has fueled what seems like a compelling idea. Namely, that if researchers can identify the next pandemic virus before the…

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Malaria paper in Cell

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Hereditary xerocytosis is thought to be a rare genetic condition characterized by red blood cell (RBC) dehydration with mild hemolysis. RBC dehydration is linked to reduced Plasmodium infection in vitro; however, the role of RBC dehydration in protection against malaria in vivo is unknown. Most cases of hereditary xerocytosis are associated with gain-of-function mutations in PIEZO1, a mechanically activated ion channel. We…

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Zika genomics commentary in Cell

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The emergence and spread of Zika virus in the Americas continues to challenge our disease surveillance systems. Virus genome sequencing during the epidemic uncovered the timescale of Zika virus transmission and spread. Yet, we are only beginning to explore how genomics can enhance our responses to emerging viruses. Together with our colleagues Nuno Faria and Oliver Pybus at the University…

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Zika papers in Nature

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In a series of papers in the journals Nature and Nature Protocols, we used Zika virus sequencing from patients and mosquitos to show how the virus has spread across South America and into Florida. This work was performed as a large (huge!) collaboration of national and international institutions, which was made possible because of open science and open data.

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Ebola paper in Cell

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In a recent study published in Cell together with colleagues from UMass Worcester and the Broad, we show how a single mutation that occurred during the 2013-2016 Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa increased the ability of the virus to infect human cells. The mutation occurred in the Ebola virus glycoprotein and is located in the receptor binding domain of…

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Review on Ebola evolution in Nature

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The 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa was of unprecedented size and devastation, but also stands a landmark for infectious disease genomics. By sequencing virus genomes directly from patient samples, scientists are now able to investigate how viruses evolve, transmit between individuals, and spread across country borders during outbreaks, directly informing infection control.

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Flawed Ebola study in Science

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In a technical comment in Science, we show how a study published in 2015 by Hoenen, Feldmann, and others was based on faulty analyzes and a misunderstanding of the findings. The original article by the authors, as well as a later published erratum, failed to account for significant data analysis errors performed by Hoenen and colleagues. 

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Navigating the Zika panic

By | News, Publications

The epidemics of Ebola virus in West Africa and Zika virus in America highlight how viruses can explosively emerge into new territories. These epidemics also exposed how unprepared we are to handle infectious disease emergencies. This is also true when we consider hypothesized new clinical features of infection, such as the associations between Zika virus infection and severe neurological disease,…

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