MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 2013-2015 West African Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic is the largest outbreak in human history. The World Health Organization (WHO) documented 26,648 cases and 11,017 deaths as of May 8, 2015. The outbreak started in Guinea, quickly spreading to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia, and eventually spanning nine countries across the globe. Never before has an Ebola virus variant been transmitted among humans for such a sustained period.
Early in the epidemic, genome sequencing provided insights into the virus evolution and transmission, and offered important information for outbreak response. A multi-effort collaboration between public and private organizations and institutions was formed to analyze over 300 sequences: 232 from patients sampled over 7 months in Sierra Leone and 86 previously-released genomes from earlier in the epidemic. The complete overview of this expansive collaboration and project has been published today in the journal Cell.
DNAnexus today announced work with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to make data analysis methods for Ebola virus genome sequencing available to the global biomedical community. The Broad Institute’s bioinformatics pipeline is now available on the DNAnexus platform, a secure and unified environment enabling consistent analysis and comparisons across laboratories with limited computational resources.
DNAnexus and the Broad Institute have sponsored this service, which has been used at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, to analyze samples from the recent Ebola virus outbreak.
"The availability of our pipeline facilitates consistent analysis across disparate facilities along with rapid response by streaming sequencing data from the field in Africa directly to the cloud," according to Pardis Sabeti, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University. "The DNAnexus platform lets everyone work from the same playbook."
"The Broad Institute’s bioinformatics pipeline on the DNAnexus platform is a model for how co-development of NGS bioinformatics pipelines and cloud-based services for infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response can inform public health efforts, shorten outbreak timespans, and save lives," said Richard Daly, CEO of DNAnexus. "Our hope is that real-time genomic sequencing and analysis of Ebola genomes from the field in Africa immediately available to researchers across the globe can not only provide insight into how the outbreak likely originated, but track the evolutionary rate of the virus over time to make predictions about candidate vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics."
DNAnexus combines expertise in cloud computing and bioinformatics to create the global network for genomic medicine. DNAnexus provides security, scalability and collaboration for enterprises and organizations that are pursuing genomic-based approaches to health in order to accelerate medical discovery. DNAnexus is supporting customers around the world that are tackling some of the most challenging and exciting opportunities in human health. For more information, please visit: https://dnanexus.com and follow us at @DNAnexus.