Utah demonstrates Hypermorphic Behaviour at HA 225

A/Utah/42/2009 either demonstrates a profound series of lab errors or a population of sub-species that is essentially hypermorphic at 225.   The original sample was taken from a 28F on 2009-07-24 who has been confirmed as a fatality.

rrT is the representation of the tri-nucleotide (codon) that encodes the amino acid value(s) found in the mixed peaks of the sequencing trace at amino acid position 225 in Utah42.  "R" is a nucleotide Ambiguity Code that represents a Purine.  The Utah42 HA sequence carries the Purine Ambiguity Code at two adjacent nucleotide positions. 

Adjacent mixed peaks are more than rare within PF11.  We have not witnessed the event previously in any sequence that was not suggestive of lab error . . . until now.  Significant selective pressure would have credence as a driver for this type of multiple mixed peak scenario.  A genetic acquisition event of this type may be considered more probable at an antigenic position like 225 in the Receptor Binding Domain than at non-epitope. 

The Purine group includes Adenine (A) and Guanine (G).  4 permutations are demonstrated in the sample according to the output of the sequencing, not 4 possible values, but 4 actual differing values encoding at position 225.

Permutations of RRT Detected at Amino Acid 225 for Utah42

  • GAT=D
  • GGT=G
  • AAT=N
  • AGT=S

In this single original sample notated as Utah42, sub-species are detected that code for 225G, 225N, 225S and wt 225D.

Questions occur:

  • Hypermorphic
  • Special case indicating viral genetic acquisition direction
  • Anomaly

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