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Title: Rule-based meta-analysis reveals the major role of PB2 in influencing influenza A virus virulence in mice
Authors: Ivan, Fransiskus Xaverius
Kwoh, Chee Keong
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Ivan, F. X., & Kwoh, C. K. (2019). Rule-based meta-analysis reveals the major role of PB2 in influencing influenza A virus virulence in mice. BMC Genomics, 20, 973-. doi:10.1186/s12864-019-6295-8
Project: MOE2014-T2–2-023
Journal: BMC Genomics
Abstract: Background: Influenza A virus (IAV) poses threats to human health and life. Many individual studies have been carried out in mice to uncover the viral factors responsible for the virulence of IAV infections. Nonetheless, a single study may not provide enough confident about virulence factors, hence combining several studies for a meta-analysis is desired to provide better views. For this, we documented more than 500 records of IAV infections in mice, whose viral proteins could be retrieved and the mouse lethal dose 50 or alternatively, weight loss and/or survival data, was/were available for virulence classification. Results: IAV virulence models were learned from various datasets containing aligned IAV proteins and the corresponding two virulence classes (avirulent and virulent) or three virulence classes (low, intermediate and high virulence). Three proven rule-based learning approaches, i.e., OneR, JRip and PART, and additionally random forest were used for modelling. PART models achieved the best performance, with moderate average model accuracies ranged from 65.0 to 84.4% and from 54.0 to 66.6% for the two-class and three-class problems, respectively. PART models were comparable to or even better than random forest models and should be preferred based on the Occam’s razor principle. Interestingly, the average accuracy of the models was improved when host information was taken into account. For model interpretation, we observed that although many sites in HA were highly correlated with virulence, PART models based on sites in PB2 could compete against and were often better than PART models based on sites in HA. Moreover, PART had a high preference to include sites in PB2 when models were learned from datasets containing the concatenated alignments of all IAV proteins. Several sites with a known contribution to virulence were found as the top protein sites, and site pairs that may synergistically influence virulence were also uncovered. Conclusion: Modelling IAV virulence is a challenging problem. Rule-based models generated using viral proteins are useful for its advantage in interpretation, but only achieve moderate performance. Development of more advanced approaches that learn models from features extracted from both viral and host proteins shall be considered for future works.
ISSN: 1471-2164
DOI: 10.1186/s12864-019-6295-8
DOI (Related Dataset): 10.21979/N9/ILQBAB
Schools: School of Computer Science and Engineering 
Research Centres: Biomedical Informatics Lab 
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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