As a segmented RNA virus, Influenza is a frequently changing its genome. Each year, this leads to pandemic strains and continuous efforts to adapt vaccines to newly emerging antigens of Influenza. To improve the understanding of this antigenic diversity, researchers from the European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC) are analysing the specific RNA-RNA interactions that play an essential role in the packaging and the corresponding selective reassortment of Influenza (A) genomes.
In this lecture, EVBC scientist Gabriel Lencioni Lovate will present "RNAswarm", a new software pipeline that is expanding the scope of high-throughput analyses of RNA-RNA interactions. In particular, RNAswarm allows for statistically comparing the frequency of RNA interactions among different strains or experimental settings. Thus, RNAswarm offers virologists an automated and consistent method for prioritising and comparing the RNA-RNA interactions, a time-consuming job prone to individual biases when performed manually.