And now Zika.
Dengue, Ebola, West Nile, MERS coronavirus, and influenza viruses each have their own resource for virus data retrieval at NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Data scientists at NCBI are working 24/7 to make information about Zika as accessible and searchable as possible—as quickly as possible.
They know that making bioinformatics resources public is necessary for leveraging benefits from large-scale sequencing efforts and building specialized computer pipelines, retrieval interfaces, and analysis tools to support Zika virus research and vaccine development.
The ongoing Zika virus outbreak in Central and South America is expected to produce significant health and economic impacts across the Americas.
Public health and research groups in the US and across the affected region have been ramping up efforts to better understand the biology of Zika virus and prevent its spread.
NCBI is collaborating with stakeholders to establish standards for including clinical information with Zika virus sequence submissions to support detailed assessment of samples.
Not all current Zika virus genome sequences include annotated viral proteins, so NCBI is working with other experts in the field to create an up-to-date reference sequence to guide the annotation of Zika virus genes and proteins.
NCBI is preparing for an onslaught of publicly available viral genome sequences. Providing public infrastructure for the submission, sharing, and analysis of viral genome sequence data will improve the quality and usability of this data.
With the Viral Genome Annotation Standards Working Group, NCBI proposed a standardized Zika virus isolate naming scheme that was just published in the scientific journal Nature.
You can keep up with NCBI’s efforts through its Zika Virus Resource pages.