72 research outputs found

    Evidence of CD4+ T cell-mediated immune pressure on the Hepatitis C virus genome

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    Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T cell responses are critical for immune control of infection. Viral adaptation to these responses, via mutations within regions of the virus targeted by CD8+ T cells, is associated with viral persistence. However, identifying viral adaptation to HCV-specific CD4+ T cell responses has been difficult although key to understanding anti-HCV immunity. In this context, HCV sequence and host genotype from a single source HCV genotype 1B cohort (n = 63) were analyzed to identify viral changes associated with specific human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II alleles, as these variable host molecules determine the set of viral peptides presented to CD4+ T cells. Eight sites across the HCV genome were associated with HLA class II alleles implicated in infection outcome in this cohort (p ≤ 0.01; Fisher’s exact test). We extended this analysis to chronic HCV infection (n = 351) for the common genotypes 1A and 3A. Variation at 38 sites across the HCV genome were associated with specific HLA class II alleles with no overlap between genotypes, suggestive of genotype-specific T cell targets, which has important implications for vaccine design. Here we show evidence of HCV adaptation to HLA class II-restricted CD4+ T cell pressure across the HCV genome in chronic HCV infection without a priori knowledge of CD4+ T cell epitopes

    Reconsidering Association Testing Methods Using Single-Variant Test Statistics as Alternatives to Pooling Tests for Sequence Data with Rare Variants

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    Association tests that pool minor alleles into a measure of burden at a locus have been proposed for case-control studies using sequence data containing rare variants. However, such pooling tests are not robust to the inclusion of neutral and protective variants, which can mask the association signal from risk variants. Early studies proposing pooling tests dismissed methods for locus-wide inference using nonnegative single-variant test statistics based on unrealistic comparisons. However, such methods are robust to the inclusion of neutral and protective variants and therefore may be more useful than previously appreciated. In fact, some recently proposed methods derived within different frameworks are equivalent to performing inference on weighted sums of squared single-variant score statistics. In this study, we compared two existing methods for locus-wide inference using nonnegative single-variant test statistics to two widely cited pooling tests under more realistic conditions. We established analytic results for a simple model with one rare risk and one rare neutral variant, which demonstrated that pooling tests were less powerful than even Bonferroni-corrected single-variant tests in most realistic situations. We also performed simulations using variants with realistic minor allele frequency and linkage disequilibrium spectra, disease models with multiple rare risk variants and extensive neutral variation, and varying rates of missing genotypes. In all scenarios considered, existing methods using nonnegative single-variant test statistics had power comparable to or greater than two widely cited pooling tests. Moreover, in disease models with only rare risk variants, an existing method based on the maximum single-variant Cochran-Armitage trend chi-square statistic in the locus had power comparable to or greater than another existing method closely related to some recently proposed methods. We conclude that efficient locus-wide inference using single-variant test statistics should be reconsidered as a useful framework for devising powerful association tests in sequence data with rare variants

    Factors and processes shaping the population structure and distribution of genetic variation across the species range of the freshwater snail radix balthica (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)

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    Background: Factors and processes shaping the population structure and spatial distribution of genetic diversity across a species' distribution range are important in determining the range limits. We comprehensively analysed the influence of recurrent and historic factors and processes on the population genetic structure, mating system and the distribution of genetic variability of the pulmonate freshwater snail Radix balthica. This analysis was based on microsatellite variation and mitochondrial haplotypes using Generalised Linear Statistical Modelling in a Model Selection framework. Results: Populations of R. balthica were found throughout North-Western Europe with range margins marked either by dispersal barriers or the presence of other Radix taxa. Overall, the population structure was characterised by distance independent passive dispersal mainly along a Southwest-Northeast axis, the absence of isolation-by-distance together with rather isolated and genetically depauperated populations compared to the variation present in the entire species due to strong local drift. A recent, climate driven range expansion explained most of the variance in genetic variation, reducing at least temporarily the genetic variability in this area. Other factors such as geographic marginality and dispersal barriers play only a minor role. Conclusions: To our knowledge, such a population structure has rarely been reported before. It might nevertheless be typical for passively dispersed, patchily distributed taxa (e.g. freshwater invertebrates). The strong local drift implied in such a structure is expected to erode genetic variation at both neutral and coding loci and thus probably diminish evolutionary potential. This study shows that the analysis of multiple factors is crucial for the inference of the processes shaping the distribution of genetic variation throughout species ranges. Additional files Additional file 1: Distribution of Radix taxa. Spatial distribution of the Radix MOTU as defined in Pfenninger et al. 2006 plus an additional, newly discovered taxon. This map is the basis for the inference of the species range of R. balthica. Additional file 2: Sampling site table and spatial distribution of diversity indices, selfing estimates and inferred population bottlenecks for R. balthica. Table of sampling site code, geographical position in decimal degrees latitude and longitude, number of individuals analysed with microsatellites (Nnuc), expected heterozygosity (HE) and standard deviation across loci, mean rarefied number of alleles per microsatellite locus (A) and their standard deviation, number of individuals analysed for mitochondrial variation (Nmt), rarefied number of mitochondrial COI haplotypes (Hmt), number of individuals measured for body size (Nsize). Figures A1 - A3 show a graphical representation of the spatial distribution of He, Hmt and, s, respectively. Additional file 3: Assessment of environmental marginality. PCA (principle component analysis) on 35 climatic parameters for the period from 1960 - 2000 from publicly availableWorldClim data. Additional file 4: Inference of a recent climate driven range expansion in R. balthica. Analysis of the freshwater benthos long term monitoring data of the Swedish national monitoring databases at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU with canonical correspondence analysis

    Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Genetic studies have often produced conflicting results on the question of whether distant Jewish populations in different geographic locations share greater genetic similarity to each other or instead, to nearby non-Jewish populations. We perform a genome-wide population-genetic study of Jewish populations, analyzing 678 autosomal microsatellite loci in 78 individuals from four Jewish groups together with similar data on 321 individuals from 12 non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We find that the Jewish populations show a high level of genetic similarity to each other, clustering together in several types of analysis of population structure. Further, Bayesian clustering, neighbor-joining trees, and multidimensional scaling place the Jewish populations as intermediate between the non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These results support the view that the Jewish populations largely share a common Middle Eastern ancestry and that over their history they have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish populations of European descent.</p

    Plasma and urinary catecholamines in salt-sensitive idiopathic hypertension.

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    A Note on Testing for Multivariate Effect Sizes

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