Preparing for the next wave
The FluSurver is a research tool developed to help the influenza research community with the identification, analysis and interpretation of mutations in influenza sequences.
The FluSurver allows researchers, clinician scientists and surveillance labs to rapidly screen their influenza sequences for potentially interesting mutations to identify candidates for phenotypic changes or special epidemiological relevance. For the latter, FluSurver provides geographic and temporal frequency of occurrence as well as co-occurrence of mutations. For phenotypic changes we utilize our in-house database of curated literature annotations for mutation effects such as drug resistance, host receptor specificity, virulence, antigenic drift and antibody escape mutants. FluSurver also shows the positions of mutations in structural models and highlights if mutations are close to common drug, host receptor or antibody binding sites or if a glycosylation motif is lost or created through a mutation. The FluSurver has already been instrumental in the discovery of new influenza strain variants with altered antiviral susceptibility, host specificity, glycosylation and antigenic properties.
We are very grateful to our collaborators that provided sequences for analysis and helped shape FluSurver into a tool useful for the influenza community. These include, in chronological order, the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), INMEGEN Mexico City, National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) of the Ministry of Health Singapore, IAL Sao Paulo, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne and the GISAID Initiative.