Simultaneous Viral Whole-Genome Sequencing and Differential Expression Profiling in Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection of Infants

Lin GL, Golubchik T, Drysdale S, O’Connor D, Jefferies K, Brown A, de Cesare M, Bonsall D, Ansari MA, Aerssens J, Bont L, Openshaw P, Martinón-Torres F, Bowden R, Pollard AJ; RESCEU Investigators.


Targeted metagenomics using strand-specific libraries with target enrichment is a sensitive, generalized approach to pathogen sequencing and transcriptome profiling. Using this method, we recovered 13 (76%) complete human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) genomes from 17 clinical respiratory samples, reconstructed the phylogeny of the infecting viruses, and detected differential gene expression between 2 RSV subgroups, specifically, a lower expression of the P gene and a higher expression of the M2 gene in RSV-A than in RSV-B. This methodology can help to relate viral genetics to clinical phenotype and facilitate ongoing population-level RSV surveillance and vaccine development. Clinical Trials Registration. NCT03627572 and NCT03756766.

Keywords: RNA sequencing; differential gene expression; respiratory syncytial virus; transcriptome profiling; whole-genome sequencing.

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