Onions D, Kolman J
There has been an upsurge of interest in developing new veterinary and human vaccines and, in turn, this has involved the development of new mammalian and insect cell substrates. Excluding adventitious agents from these cells can be problematic, particularly for cells derived from species with limited virological investigation. Massively parallel sequencing is a powerful new method for the identification of viruses and other adventitious agents, without prior knowledge of the nature of the agent. We have developed methods using random priming to detect viruses in the supernatants from cell substrates or in virus seed stocks. Using these methods we have recently discovered a new parvovirus in bovine serum. When applied to sequencing the transcriptome, massively parallel sequencing can reveal latent or silent infections. Enormous amounts of data are developed in this process usually between 100 and 400 Mbp. Consequently, sophisticated bioinformatic algorithms are required to analyse and verify virus targets.