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Title: Genomic studies on the impact of host/virus interaction in EBV infection using massively parallel high throughput sequencing
Author: Wegner, Fanny
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 8449
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common viral infections in humans and, once acquired, persists within its host throughout their life. EBV therefore represents an ex- tremely successful virus, having evolved complex strategies to evade the host’s innate and adaptive immune response during both initial and persistent stages of infection. While infection is mostly harmless in the majority of cases, EBV has the ability to be oncogenic in some individuals, and is associated with a wide range of malignancies as well as non-cancerous diseases. To generate new and useful insights into the evolution of EBV interactions with its host, a hybridization-based target enrichment methodology was optimised to enable whole genome sequencing of EBV directly from clinical samples. This allowed the gen- eration of whole genome sequences of EBV directly from blood for the first time. This methodology was subsequently applied to a number of distinct EBV sample col- lections and the resulting data used to investigate the intra- and inter-host variation in various clinical settings, such as infectious mononucleosis and immunosuppression with chronic EBV infection. Additionally, the number of available whole genomes from East Asia is expanded by eleven (unique) novel genomes from primary infection from a NPC- non-endemic area. These sequences were used for a comparative analysis between NPC- and non-NPC-derived EBV genomes and a number of sites were determined differenti- ating these two groups. Finally, comparative genomic analyses of world-wide EBV strain diversity were per- formed using genome sequences generated here in conjunction with a large number of publicly available EBV genome sequences. The comprehensive data sets generated, which included measures of diversity, selection, and linkage, were used to identify poten- tial targets of T cell immunity. In addition, the population structure of EBV was analysed to better understand the forces that have shaped the evolution of EBV.
Supervisor: Breuer, J. ; Chain, B. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available