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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1992 Sep;8(9):1549-60.

Signature pattern analysis: a method for assessing viral sequence relatedness.

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Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM 87545.


Signature pattern analysis identifies particular sites in amino acid or nucleic acid alignments of variable sequences that are distinctly representative of a query set of sequences relative to a background set. We explore the merits of using signature patterns for analysis of HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus type 1) sequences in cases of epidemiological linkage and potential superinfection. For these purposes, query sets are viral sequences that are all derived from one HIV-1 infected individual, hence the signature pattern is the array of sites that are characteristic of the range of viral variants obtained from that person. Once a signature pattern has been objectively defined, it can be used to examine other viral sequences from other individuals for evidence of genetic relatedness. A computer program to facilitate this analysis, VESPA, is described and applied to sequence data gathered during the investigation of HIV-1 transmission in a dental practice. The implications of signature polymorphisms seen within an infected individual, and shared polymorphisms between linked individuals, are also considered. VESPA may also be applied to the molecular analysis of biological phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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