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PLoS Comput Biol. 2010 Oct 7;6(10):e1000949. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000949.

A computational framework for influenza antigenic cartography.

Author information

1
Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA.

Abstract

Influenza viruses have been responsible for large losses of lives around the world and continue to present a great public health challenge. Antigenic characterization based on hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay is one of the routine procedures for influenza vaccine strain selection. However, HI assay is only a crude experiment reflecting the antigenic correlations among testing antigens (viruses) and reference antisera (antibodies). Moreover, antigenic characterization is usually based on more than one HI dataset. The combination of multiple datasets results in an incomplete HI matrix with many unobserved entries. This paper proposes a new computational framework for constructing an influenza antigenic cartography from this incomplete matrix, which we refer to as Matrix Completion-Multidimensional Scaling (MC-MDS). In this approach, we first reconstruct the HI matrices with viruses and antibodies using low-rank matrix completion, and then generate the two-dimensional antigenic cartography using multidimensional scaling. Moreover, for influenza HI tables with herd immunity effect (such as those from Human influenza viruses), we propose a temporal model to reduce the inherent temporal bias of HI tables caused by herd immunity. By applying our method in HI datasets containing H3N2 influenza A viruses isolated from 1968 to 2003, we identified eleven clusters of antigenic variants, representing all major antigenic drift events in these 36 years. Our results showed that both the completed HI matrix and the antigenic cartography obtained via MC-MDS are useful in identifying influenza antigenic variants and thus can be used to facilitate influenza vaccine strain selection. The webserver is available at http://sysbio.cvm.msstate.edu/AntigenMap.

PMID:
20949097
PMCID:
PMC2951339
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000949
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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