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1.  The mouse model is suitable for the study of viral factors governing transmission and pathogenesis of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses in mammals 
Veterinary Research  2010;41(5):66.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of the H5 and H7 subtype pose a major public health threat due to their capacity to cross the species barrier and infect mammals, for example dogs, cats and humans. In the present study we tested the capacity of selected H7 and H5 HPAI viruses to infect and to be transmitted from infected BALB/c mice to contact sentinels. Previous experiments have shown that viruses belonging to both H5 and H7 subtypes replicate in the respiratory tract and central nervous system of experimentally infected mice. In this study we show that selected H7N1 and H5N1 HPAI viruses can be transmitted from mouse-to-mouse by direct contact, and that in experimentally infected animals they exhibit a different pattern of replication and transmission. Our results can be considered as a starting point for transmission experiments involving other influenza A viruses with α 2-3 receptor affinity in order to better understand the viral factors influencing transmissibility of these viruses in selected mammalian species.
PMCID: PMC2908239  PMID: 20546698
highly pathogenic avian influenza virus; mouse; transmission; H7; H5
2.  Lyssavirus Detection and Typing Using Pyrosequencing▿#‖ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(5):1932-1938.
Rabies is a fatal zoonosis caused by a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus, namely, rabies virus (RABV). Apart from RABV, at least 10 additional species are known as rabies-related lyssaviruses (RRVs), and some of them are responsible for occasional spillovers into humans. More lyssaviruses have also been detected recently in different bat ecosystems, thanks to the application of molecular diagnostic methods. Due to the variety of the members of the genus Lyssavirus, there is the necessity to develop a reliable molecular assay for rabies diagnosis able to detect and differentiate among the existing rabies and rabies-related viruses. In the present study, a pyrosequencing protocol targeting the 3′ terminus of the nucleoprotein (N) gene was applied for the rapid characterization of lyssaviruses. Correct identification of species was achieved for each sample tested. Results from the pyrosequencing assay were also confirmed by those obtained using the Sanger sequencing method. A pan-lyssavirus one-step reverse transcription (RT)-PCR was developed within the framework of the pyrosequencing procedure. The sensitivity (Se) of the one-step RT-PCR assay was determined by using in vitro-transcribed RNA and serial dilutions of titrated viruses. The assay demonstrated high analytical and relative specificity (Sp) (98.94%) and sensitivity (99.71%). To date, this is the first case in which pyrosequencing has been applied for lyssavirus identification using a cheaper diagnostic approach than the one for all the other protocols for rapid typing that we are acquainted with. Results from this study indicate that this procedure is suitable for lyssavirus detection in samples of both human and animal origin.
PMCID: PMC3122702  PMID: 21389152

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