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Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource Center a comprehensive Poxviridae informational and analyt

Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource Center:a comprehensive Poxviridae informational and analytical resource

Elliot J.Lefkowitz*,Chris Upton 1,Shankar S.Changayil,Charles Buck 2,Paula Traktman 3and R.Mark L.Buller 4

Department of Microbiology,University of Alabama at Birmingham,BBRB 276/11;15303rd Avenue S.,Birmingham,AL 35294-2170,USA,1Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology,University of Victoria,Victoria,BC,Canada V8W 2Y2,2Virology Collection,ATCC,Manassas,VA 20108,USA,3Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics,Medical College of Wisconsin,Room 273–BSB,8701Watertown Plank Road,Milwaukee,WI 53226,USA and 4

Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology,St Louis University Health Sciences Center,1402South Grand Boulevard,St Louis,MO 63104,USA

Received August 12,2004;Revised and Accepted October 18,2004

ABSTRACT

The Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource Center (PBRC)has been established to provide informational and analytical resources to the scientific community to aid research directed at providing a better under-standing of the Poxviridae family of viruses.The PBRC was specifically established as the result of the concern that variola virus,the causative agent of smallpox,as well as related viruses,might be uti-lized as biological weapons.In addition,the PBRC supports research on poxviruses that might be con-sidered new and emerging infectious agents such as monkeypox virus.The PBRC consists of a relational database and web application that supports the data storage,annotation,analysis and information exchange goals of the project.The current release consists of over 35complete genomic sequences of various genera,species and strains of viruses from the Poxviridae family.Sequence and annotation infor-mation for these viruses has been obtained from sequences publicly available from GenBank as well as sequences not yet deposited in GenBank that have been obtained from ongoing sequencing projects.In addition to sequence data,the PBRC provides com-prehensive annotation and curation of virus genes;analytical tools to aid in the understanding of the available sequence data,including tools for the com-parative analysis of different virus isolates;and visua-lization tools to help better display the results of

various analyses.The PBRC represents the initial development of what will become a more comprehen-sive Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center for Biodefense that will be one of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’‘Bioinformatics Resource Centers for Biodefense and Emerging or Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases’.The PBRC website is available at http://www.wendangku.net/doc/4d2af876a417866fb84a8e0e.html.

INTRODUCTION

An effective response to the use of biological organisms as agents of terrorism or warfare,or to the emergence of new infectious diseases requires a multi-disciplinary effort invol-ving various agencies at the local,state and federal levels including public health officials,hospital personnel,epide-miologists and the military.In addition to the public health response,a concerted research effort is necessary to better detect,understand and respond to these threats.Such research requires development of environmental detectors and clinical diagnostic aids to provide us with rapid warning in the event of an outbreak as well as development of vaccines to prevent infection and antiviral or antibacterial drugs to cure infection.These efforts require a comprehensive biological understand-ing of potential threat agents,including their molecular biol-ogy,genetics,pathogenicity,epidemiology and evolution.The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain a list of priority pathogens that are considered potential bio-threat agents and/or are microbes that appear to be new or

*To whom correspondence should be addressed:Tel:+12059341946;Fax:+12059349256;Email:elliotl@http://www.wendangku.net/doc/4d2af876a417866fb84a8e0e.html

The online version of this article has been published under an open access http://www.wendangku.net/doc/4d2af876a417866fb84a8e0e.htmlers are entitled to use,reproduce,disseminate,or display the open access version of this article for non-commercial purposes provided that:the original authorship is properly and fully attributed;the Journal and Oxford University Press are attributed as the original place of publication with the correct citation details given;if an article is subsequently reproduced or disseminated not in its entirety but only in part or as a derivative work this must be clearly indicated.For commercial re-use permissions,please contact journals.permissions@http://www.wendangku.net/doc/4d2af876a417866fb84a8e0e.html.ª2005,the authors

Nucleic Acids Research,Vol.33,Database issue ªOxford University Press 2005;all rights reserved

Nucleic Acids Research,2005,Vol.33,Database issue D311–D316

doi:10.1093/nar/gki110