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MeaNS - Measles Nucleotide Surveillance
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MeaNS FAQ

Who can use MeaNS?

MeaNS is available to anybody on completion of a free registration process. The basic level of access will allow users to view sequence data that has been submitted to GenBank.
Users who wish to submit sequence data to MeaNS can request a higher permission level via the “contact us” page and this will grant access to all publicly available data.

How do I get access to MeaNS?

There is a registration button on the top right of the website (near the login function). Clicking on this will ask the user if they require academic of commercial access and ask for user details. It is important that users give an institutional email address where possible as this allows the administrators to validate that users belong to the institution that they identified.
The registration process will also allow users to set their username and password, which will be required for access to the site once their registration has been approved (see below). The use of non-English characters in the username and password is not encouraged.

I've registered for MeaNS and I have not been contacted about access?

When a user registers with MeaNS, the site administrators are notified and will enable the user account. The system will then send out a confirmation email notifying the user. In some cases there can be a delay in promoting the user or problems sending and/or receiving automatic emails. Where there is a delay in promoting user accounts, individuals should contact the site administrators.

I've forgotten or want to change my password, how can I do this within MeaNS?

At the moment there is no facility within MeaNS to remind users of their password or change a password – sorry. If users need to do either of these things then they should contact the administrators using the “contact us” link.

Why is there a delay in promoting my account to allow submission of sequence data?

Where laboratories are not part of WHO LabNet or are not the WHO national laboratory (NL) for measles, the administrators will inform the NL from that country and seek their approval. This process will usually take a little time.

How do I use MeaNS?

There is a tutorial video on the “About Us” link that walks users through the basic uses of the site.

What sequence data should be submitted to MeaNS?

Users are encouraged to submit all wild-type strains of measles virus. Users should not submit measles vaccine sequences.

Which measles virus sequences can be submitted to MeaNS?

Currently, users can submit full-length haemagglutinin and nucleocapsid gene sequences and the C-terminal 450 nucleotides from the nucleocapsid gene.

Why the C-terminal 450 nucleotides of the nucleocapsid protein?

This region of the measles genome is the minimal fragment used for genotyping the measles virus. This sequence fragment is the one that is routinely generated by WHO Labnet and is the sequence that is most prevalent within MeaNS.

Why won't MeaNS allow me to submit my sequence?

MeaNS checks that the sequence fragment that has been submitted matches the region specified by the user. This checking is done using a pairwise alignment with a genotype reference. Sequences that are shorter in length than the specified fragment will be rejected. Longer sequences are allowed. The alignment is shown on after the sequence has been submitted, so users can check that they have submitted the correct fragment. In some (rare) cases there may be problems with the pairwise alignment, resulting in the erroneous rejection of sequences. Where this happens users should contact the site administrators.

What is the minimum dataset that must be submitted along with a valid measles sequence?

Users must submit the minimal epidemiological dataset required to generate a WHO strain name. The WHO name is formed from:
  • The source of the sequence; direct from sample or from cultured virus
  • The city or state of the patient infected with the sequenced virus
  • The country of the patient infected with the sequenced virus
  • The date of isolation or measles onset (expressed as wk.yr)
  • Replicate number – where there are multiple strains from the same location in the same week
There is a javascript wizard that will assist with the formation of the WHO name. Sequences without a correctly formated WHO name will not be accepted within MeaNS.

What is the relationship between MeaNS and GenBank?

Sequences submitted to MeaNS can be submitted from MeaNS to GenBank using a button which is displayed on the sequence record. This option (within MeaNS) is only available to the user who submitted the sequence to MeaNS. Once GenBank has issued an accession number, the MeaNS record will automatically update to include the GenBank accession.
MeaNS also downloads measles virus sequences from GenBank on a weekly basis and enters these sequences into the database. Therefore records that have been submitted to GenBank do not need to be re-entered into MeaNS.

Should I use non-English characters within the WHO name or my username/password?

No, words containing non-English characters may cause issues for the database search functions and user functions such as logging in. Whilst MeaNS does not enforce the use of English characters, the use of non-English characters is discouraged.

Can I download sequences from MeaNS?

No, as part of the terms and conditions of site usage, downloading sequences is not allowed. This is to ensure that users who submit sequences will not have sequences used by other individuals without permission.

Can I use data derived from MeaNS within my publication?

Yes, but it is important to cite MeaNS using the citation on the home page. It is also advisable to contact the local WHO office to ensure that the data usage is appropriate.

Can I contact the site administrators if I have additional questions?

Yes, the “contact us” link can be used to ask specific questions and you will be contacted by the site administrators via the email address used in that communication.