MiSeq protocol for Zika virus sequencing

Amplicon-based protocol for Zika virus sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq The protocol can be found here. Figure 1. Sequencing coverage of the Zika virus genome. Zika virus strain PRVABC59 spiked with Hela RNA was PCR amplified using 70 virus-specific primers in two reactions, prepared for sequencing using the Kapa Hyper prep kit, and sequenced using the MiSeq v2 500 cycle…
August 26, 2016

Flawed Ebola study in Science

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.  (more…)
August 12, 2016

Navigating the Zika panic

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,…
August 4, 2016

Zika virus pilot (update)

We have now received several hundred de-identified clinical samples from the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Unfortunately, they all have extremely low viral lows (Ct values > 38 in the few that are positive), so we’re continuing our technology development. We are following a couple of different strategies: (more…)
July 21, 2016

Roots, Not Parachutes

Infectious disease outbreaks continue to pose challenges to global health and security, prompting reactive countermeasures. Recently, severe outbreaks of Ebola and Zika virus were designated by the World Health Organization as “Public Health Emergencies of International Concern.” Other emerging viral pathogens have warranted similar attention, including virus outbreaks from Lassa, Chikungunya, avian influenza, Nipah, SARS, and MERS. (more…)
June 30, 2016

Zika virus pilot

We recently received plasma samples from Zika virus (ZIKV) patients in Colombia. We performed QC on the samples and unfortunately very few had detectable levels of ZIKV by qPCR. We extracted RNA from two of these patient samples (Z184 and Z186), as well as a positive control (seed stock of the Malaysian strain P6-740 passaged once on BHK-21 cells) kindly…
April 5, 2016

Feature in Politiken

The leading Danish newspaper Politiken had a feature on our work in the September 20th 2015 Sunday section. The article discusses our past and ongoing work with Lassa and Ebola. The full feature describes how we have investigated both Lassa and Ebola virus evolution based on our most recent papers in Cell and Science. (more…)
September 20, 2015

Lassa paper on the front page of Cell

In a large multi-disciplinary collaboration between partners in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, USA, and Europe, we have published our first study on Lassa virus evolution. The paper - which appears on the front page of the August issue of Cell - is the result of seven years of work on Lassa fever across West Africa. (more…)
August 13, 2015