Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is a clinical concern in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals due to substantial prevalence, difficulties to treat, and severe liver disease outcome. A large nationwide cross-sectional multicentre analysis of HIV-HBV co-infected patients was designed to describe and identify parameters associated with virological and clinical outcome of CHB in HIV-infected individuals with detectable HBV viremia.
A multicenter collaborative cross-sectional study was launched in 19 French University hospitals distributed through the country. From January to December 2007, HBV load, genotype, clinical and epidemiological characteristics of 223 HBV-HIV co-infected patients with an HBV replication over 1000 IU/mL were investigated.
Patients were mostly male (82%, mean age 42 years). Genotype distribution (A 52%; E 23.3%; D 16.1%) was linked to risk factors, geographic origin, and co-infection with other hepatitis viruses. This genotypic pattern highlights divergent contamination event timelines by HIV and HBV viruses. Most patients (74.7%) under antiretroviral treatment were receiving a drug with anti-HBV activity, including 47% receiving TDF. Genotypic lamivudine-resistance detected in 26% of the patients was linked to duration of lamivudine exposure, age, CD4 count and HIV load. Resistance to adefovir (rtA181T/V) was detected in 2.7% of patients. Advanced liver lesions were observed in 54% of cases and were associated with an older age and lower CD4 counts but not with viral load or genotype. Immune escape HBsAg variants were seldom detected.
Despite the detection of advanced liver lesions in most patients, few were not receiving anti-HBV drugs and for those treated with the most potent anti-HBV drugs, persistent replication suggested non-optimal adherence. Heterogeneity in HBV strains reflects epidemiological differences that may impact liver disease progression. These findings are strong arguments to further optimize clinical management and to promote vaccination in HIV-infected patients.
Genotype; HBsAg variants; HBV-HIV co-infection; Resistance mutations; Liver lesions
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Recombinant vectors based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) and lentivirus are promising delivery tools for gene therapy due to low toxicity and long term expression. The efficiency of the gene delivery system is one of the most important factors directly related to the success of gene therapy.
We infected SCLC cell lines, SHP-77, DMS 53, NCI-H82, NCI-H69, NCI-H727, NCI-H1155, and NSCLC cell lines, NCI-H23, NCI-H661, and NCI-H460 with VSV-G pseudo-typed lentivirus or 5 AAV serotypes, AAV2/1, AAV2/2, AAV2/4, AAV2/5, and AAV2/8 expressing the CMV promoter mCherry or green fluorescent protein transgene (EGFP). The transduction efficiency was analyzed by fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry.
Of all the serotypes of AAV examined, AAV2/1 was the optimal serotype in most of the lung cancer cell lines except for NCI-H69 and NCI-H82. The highest transduction rate achieved with AAV2/1 was between 30–50% at MOI 100. Compared to all AAV serotypes, lentivirus had the highest transduction efficiency of over 50% at MOI 1. Even in NCI-H69 cells resistant to all AAV serotypes, lentivirus had a 10-40% transduction rate. To date, AAV2 is the most widely-used serotype to deliver a transgene. Our results showed the transduction efficiency of AAVs tested was AAV2/1 > AA2/5 = AAV2/2> > AAV2/4 and AAV2/8.
This study demonstrated that VSV-G pseudotyped lentivirus and AAV2/1 can mediate expression of a transgene for lung cancer gene therapy. Overall, our results showed that lentivirus is the best candidate to deliver a transgene into lung cancer cells for treatment.
Adeno associated virus; VSV-G pseudotyped lentivirus; Lung cancer; SCLC; NSCLC
Hepatitis C, caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a contagious disease of the liver which infects more than 170 million people world-wide and around 16 million in Pakistan. HCV associated infection spreads mainly by blood-to-blood contact. In recent years, many studies have been conducted to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in Pakistan; however, no data is available on HCV infection from the largest province of Pakistan. Therefore, the present study focuses on the prevalence of HCV infection in the young male blood donor population of Quetta region of Balochistan, Pakistan.
A total of 356 blood samples were collected from blood donors (age range 17–25 years) at Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan. Blood samples were screened for HCV positivity by Immunochromatographic test (ICT) and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA).
Out of 356 blood samples, the overall HCV prevalence was 20.8%. Among the HCV positive cases, the age group with 25 years was more frequently infected with a prevalence of 26.3%.
The present study provides the preliminary information about high HCV prevalence among the young male donor population in Balochistan province. This data may be helpful in formulating public health strategy for the prevention of risk factors associated with spreading of the disease. Furthermore, we recommend that in public sector hospitals and health care units ELISA should be preferred for anti-HCV detection over ICT.
Enzyme linked immunosorbant assay; Hepatitis C virus; Immunochromatography; Quetta; Pakistan
Peste des petits ruminanats (PPR) is an economically important viral disease affecting goats and sheep. Four genetically distinct lineages of peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) have been identified. In Gabon, the virus has not so far been detected.
Epidemiological investigations of Aboumi PPR outbreak revealed a high case fatality rate in sheep (98.9%). We detected and characterized peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), in October 2011, during the suspected outbreak in sheep and goats in Aboumi village located in the south-eastern. PPRV RNA was detected in 10 of 14 samples from three sick animals. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the PPRV strain belonged to lineage IV and was closely related to strain circulating in neighboring Cameroon.
This is the first molecular detection and typing of the PPRV strain associated with fatal PPR infection in these small ruminants and concrete evidence that PPRV is present and circulating in Gabon.
Peste des petits ruminants virus; Molecular typing; Sheep; Gabon
Border disease virus (BDV) is an important pathogen in sheep and goat production. Neither epidemiological investigation nor any reports of BDV infection was available in China. During Jan to Apr, 2012, several herd goats in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces in eastern China suffered unremitting diarrhea, with morbidity and mortality of about 28-37% and 10-15%, respectively. In the present study, sera and tissue samples from diseased goats of four farms were taken for BDV detection, isolation and identification.
Panpesti generic primers and border disease virus (BDV)-specific primers targeting the 5’-UTR region produced RT-PCR positive bands for sera (24/28) and tissue samples (7/30). Twenty positive sera and tissue samples were inoculated onto Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells for virus isolation. Finally, three different strains of BDV, named AH12-01, AH12-02 and JS12/04, were successfully isolated as identified by RT-PCR using 5’-UTR and Npro gene primers, sequencing and electron microscopy. Sequences of 5’-UTR and Npro genes of them were used for phylogenetic analysis and comparison to other reference sequences available in GenBank. The results indicated AH12-01, AH12-02 and JS12/04 possess high relationship with the BDV 3 group viruses and differed with each other.
This is the first detection of BDV from goats with diarrhea and confirmation of BDV infection in China.
Border disease virus; Goat; Diarrhea; Phylogenetic analysis; Eastern China
The carrier status of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is complicated, and the role of carrier animals in virus transmission is controversial. To investigate the carrier status of FMDV in animals that live in high altitude, Bos grunniens yaks were infected experimentally with FMDV O/Akesu/58.
All of the yaks showed clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Total antibody levels against FMDV measured by liquid-phase blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (LPB-ELISA) and antibody levels against nonstructural proteins (NSP) showed dynamic changes. Three of the five yaks were indentified as carrier animals by RT-PCR method, and the OP fluids from carrier yaks can cause cytopathic effect (CPE) on BHK-21 cells. At last, five persistent infection strains were isolated. Nucleotide mutations of VP1 gene were analyzed.
After infected with FMDV, all of the yaks showed typical clinical signs. Yaks can keep carrier status for at least 8 months. Total antibody levels against FMDV measured by LPB-ELISA and antibody levels against NSP were at high level for carrier yaks. Sequence alignment of the five isolated strains showed obvious gene and protein mutations.
FMDV; Yak; Gene mutation; Carrier status
Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV) belongs to the genus Megalocytivirus from the family Iridoviridae. Megalocytivirus causes severe economic losses to tropical freshwater and marine culture industry in Asian countries and is devastating to the mandarin fish farm industry in China particularly.
We investigated the involvement of microfilaments in the early and late stages of ISKNV infection in MFF-1 cells by selectively perturbing their architecture using well-characterized inhibitors of actin dynamics. The effect of disruption of actin cytoskeleton on ISKNV infection was evaluated by indirect immunofluorescence analysis or real-time quantitative PCR.
The depolymerization of the actin filaments with cytochalasin D, cytochalasin B, or latrunculin A reduced ISKNV infection. Furthermore, depolymerization of filamentous actin by inhibitors did not inhibit binding of the virus but affected virus internalization in the early stages of infection. In addition, the depolymerization of actin filaments reduced total ISKNV production in the late stages of ISKNV.
This study demonstrated that ISKNV required an intact actin network during infection. The findings will help us to better understand how iridoviruses exploit the cytoskeleton to facilitate their infection and subsequent disease.
Iridovirus; Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus; Microfilaments
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of most contagious animal diseases. It affects millions of cloven-hoofed animals and causes huge economic losses in many countries of the world. There are seven serotypes of which three (O, A and Asia 1) are endemic in China. Efficient control of FMD in China is crucial for the prevention and control of FMD in Asia and throughout the world. For the control of FMD, a powerful veterinary administration, a well-trained veterinary staff, a system of rapid and accurate diagnostic procedures and, in many countries, compulsory vaccination of susceptible animals are indispensable. This article strives to outline the Chinese animal disease control and prevention system, in particular for FMD, with the emphasis on diagnostic procedures applied in Chinese laboratories. In addition, new technologies for FMD diagnosis, which are currently in the phase of development or in the process of validation in Chinese laboratories, are described, such as lateral flow devices (LFD), Mab-based ELISAs, reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and gold nanopariticle immuno-PCR (GNP-IPCR).
Foot-and-mouth disease; Control strategy; Chinese veterinary administrative system for FMD; Diagnostic technique
Human T-cell Leukemia Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of tropical spastic paraparesis/HTLV-associated myelopathy (HAM/TSP) that can be identified in around 0.25%–3.8% of the infected population. Disease progression can be monitored by the proviral load and may depend on genetic factors, however, it is not well understood why some HTLV-1 infected people develop the disease while others do not. The present study attempts to assess the molecular diversity of gp46 glycoprotein in HAM/TSP patients and Health Carrier (HC) individuals.
Blood samples were collected from 10 individuals, and DNA was extracted from PBMCs to measure the HTLV-1 proviral load. The gp46 coding sequences were amplified PCR, cloned and sequenced. The molecular characterization was performed using bioinformatics tools.
The median HTLV-1 proviral load of HC (n = 5) and HAM/TSP (n = 5) patients was similar (average 316,227 copies/106 PBMCs). The gp46 molecular characterization of 146 clones (70 HC and 76 HAM/TSP) revealed an overall diversity, within HC and HAM/TSP clones, of 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively. Five frequent mutations were detected among groups (HAM/TSP and HC clone sequences). A single amino acid (aa) substitution (S35L) was exclusive for the HC group, and three gp46 substitutions (F14S, N42H, G72S) were exclusive for the HAM/TSP group. The remaining frequent mutation (V247I) was present in both groups (p = 0.0014). The in silico protein analysis revealed that the mutated alleles F14S and N42H represent more hydrophilic and flexible protein domains that are likely to be less antigenic. The Receptor Binding Domain is quite variable in the HAM/TSP group. Two other domains (aa 53–75 and 175–209) that contain multiple linear T-cell epitopes showed genetic diversity in both HAM/TSP and HC groups. Further analysis revealed 27 and 13 T-cell epitopes for class I HLA alleles and class II HLA alleles, when analyzing the entire gp46.
The most common gp46 mutations were not associated clinical status because they were found in only one individual, except for the V247I mutation, that was found at viral clones from HAM/TSP ad HC individuals. Because of this, we cannot associate any of the gp46 found mutations with the clinical profile.
HTLV-1; HAM/TSP; Gp46; Mutation
Nowadays, dried blood spots (DBS) are primarily used to obtain diagnostic access to risk collectives such as intravenous drug users, who are prone to infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Before DBS analyses can be used in this diagnostic context, however, a comprehensive evaluation of its performance characteristics must be conducted. To the best of our knowledge, the current study presents for the first time such essential data for the Abbott ARCHITECT system, which is currently the worldwide leading platform in this field of infection diagnostics.
The investigation comprised 1,762 paired serum/DBS samples and a total of 3,524 determinations with the Abbott ARCHITECT HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs, anti-HCV and HIV-1-p24-antigen/anti-HIV 1/2 assays as well as with the artus HBV LC PCR and VERSANT HCV RNA qualitative (TMA) tests.
In the context of DBS testing, a specificity of 100% was recorded for the seven serological and molecular biological assays. The analytical sensitivity of HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs, anti-HCV, HIV-1-p24-antigen/anti-HIV 1/2, HBV DNA, and HCV RNA detections in DBS eluates was 98.6%, 97.1%, 97.5%, 97.8%, 100%, 93%, and 100%, respectively.
The results obtained indicate that it is today possible to reliably detect HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs, anti-HCV and HIV-1-p24 antigen/anti-HIV 1/2 with state-of-the-art analytical systems such as the Abbott ARCHITECT in DBS eluates even when a comparatively high elution volume of 1,000 μl is used. They also provide evidence for the inherent analytical limits of DBS testing, which primarily concern the anti-HBc/anti-HBs system for individuals with HIV infections and nucleic acid tests with relatively low analytical sensitivity.
Hepatitis B virus infection; Hepatitis C virus infection; Human immunodeficiency virus infection; Dried blood spots; Intravenous drug users; Serological testing; Molecular testing; Real-time PCR; Transcription-mediated amplification
Bluetongue virus (BTV), a member of Orbivirus genus in the Reoviridae family is a double capsid virus enclosing a genome of 10 double-stranded RNA segments. A non-structural protein of BTV, NS3, which is associated with cellular membranes and interacts with outer capsid proteins, has been shown to be involved in virus morphogenesis in infected cells. In addition, studies have also shown that during the later stages of virus infection NS3 behaves similarly to HIV protein Gag, an enveloped viral protein. Since Gag protein is known to interact with membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] and one of the known binding partners of NS3, cellular protein p11 also interacts with annexin a PI(4,5)P2 interacting protein, this study was designed to understand the role of this negatively charged membrane lipid in BTV assembly and maturation.
Over expression of cellular enzymes that either depleted cells of PI(4,5)P2 or altered the distribution of PI(4,5)P2, were used to analyze the effect of the lipid on BTV maturation at different times post-infection. The production of mature virus particles was monitored by plaque assay. Microscopic techniques such as confocal microscopy and electron microscopy (EM) were also undertaken to study localization of virus proteins and virus particles in cells, respectively.
Initially, confocal microscopic analysis demonstrated that PI(4,5)P2 not only co-localized with NS3, but it also co-localized with VP5, one of the outer capsid proteins of BTV. Subsequently, experiments involving depletion of cellular PI(4,5)P2 or its relocation demonstrated an inhibitory effect on normal BTV maturation and it also led to a redistribution of BTV proteins within the cell. The data was supported further by EM visualization showing that modulation of PI(4,5)P2 in cells indeed resulted in less particle production.
This study to our knowledge, is the first report demonstrating involvement of PI(4,5)P2 in a non-enveloped virus assembly and release. As BTV does not have lipid envelope, this finding is unique for this group of viruses and it suggests that the maturation of capsid and enveloped viruses may be more closely related than previously thought.
BTV; Lipids; PI(4,5)P2; Assembly; Maturation; NS3; Membrane
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a causative agent of acute central nervous system disease in humans. It has three subtypes, far eastern (FE), Siberian (Sib) and European (Eu) subtypes, which are distributed over a wide area of Europe and Asia. The objective of this study was to develop a simple and rapid assay for the detection of TBEV RNA by using reverse-transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) method that can differentiate the three subtypes of TBEV and can be used for clinical diagnosis and epidemiological study.
Primers for TBEV-specific and subtype-specific RT-LAMP assay were designed to target the consensus sequence in NS1 of all subtypes and the consensus sequence in the E gene of each subtype, respectiveluy. In vitro transcribed RNA of Oshima strain that belongs to FE subtype was serially diluted and used to examine the sensitivity of the assay. Cross-reactivity of subtype-specific RT-LAMP assay was tested by using the RNA of Oshima and Sofjin (FE), IR-99 (Sib) and Hochosterwitz (Eu) strains. RNA extracted from the mixtures of TBEV and ticks, and of TBEV and human blood, and the mouse tissues infected with TBEV, were evaluated in the assay. Positive amplification was observed by real-time monitoring of turbidity and by visual detection of color change.
The sensitivity of TBEV-specific RT-LAMP assay was 102 copies of target RNA per reaction volume. FE-specific RT-LAMP assay amplified viral genes of Oshima and Sofjin strains but not of IR-99 and Hochosterwitz strains, and of Japanese encephalitis virus. RT-LAMP assay for Sib and for Eu specifically amplified viral genes of IR-99 and Hochosterwitz strains, respectively. We also showed that tick or human blood extract did not inhibit the amplification of viral gene during the assay. Furthermore, we confirmed that the TBEV RT-LAMP could detect virus RNA from peripheral and central nervous system tissues of laboratory mice infected with TBEV.
TBEV RT-LAMP assay offers a sensitive, specific, rapid and easy-to-handle method for the detection of TBEV RNA in tick samples and this may be applied in the clinical samples collected from TBE-suspected patients.
TBEV; RT-LAMP; Far-eastern subtype; Siberian subtype; European subtype
Malpais Spring virus (MSPV) is a mosquito-borne rhabdovirus that infects a variety of wild and feral ungulates in New Mexico, including horses and deer. Although, initial serologic tests and electron microscopy at the time of isolation nearly 25 years ago provided evidence that MSPV is a novel virus, possibly related to vesiculoviruses, the virus still has not been approved as a new species.
Use of the illumina platform allowed us to obtain the complete genome of MSPV. Analysis of the complete 11019 nt genome sequence of the prototype 85-488NM strain of MSPV indicates that it encodes the five common rhabdovirus structural proteins (N, P, M, G and L) with alternative ORFs (> 180 nt) in the N, M and G genes, including a 249 nt ORF in the G gene predicted to encode a 9.26 kDa highly basic transmembrane protein. Although antigenically very distant, phylogenetic analysis of the L gene indicates that MSPV is most closely related to Jurona virus, also isolated from mosquitoes in Brazil, as well as a number of other vesiculoviruses.
In sum, our analysis indicates MSPV should be classified as a member of the genus Vesiculovirus, family Rhabdoviridae. The complete genome sequence of MSPV will be helpful in the development of a reverse genetics system to study the unique aspects of this vesiculovirus in vivo and in vitro, and will assist development of specific diagnostic tests to study the epidemiology of MSPV infection.
Malpais spring virus (MSPV); Family rhabdoviridae; Genus vesiculovirus; Genome sequence; Phylogeny
Measles virus (MeV) is monotypic, but genetic variation in the hemagglutinin H and nucleoprotein N genes can be analyzed by molecular epidemiologic techniques and used to study virus transmission patterns. The World Health Organization currently recognizes 8 clades (A-H) within which are 24 genotypes of MeV and one provisional genotype, d11. Genotype B3 is clearly the endemic genotype in most of African continent where it is widely distributed. We provide an update on the molecular characterization of wild-type MeVs that circulated in Cameroon between 2010 and 2011.
Viral RNA was extracted directly from samples obtained from clinically diagnosed measles patients using QIAamp viral RNA Mini Kit. Reverse transcription and PCR amplification of 634 nucleotides of the N gene was performed using the SuperScript™ III One-Step. Sequence analysis of 450 of the 634 nucleotides using Clustal X 2.0 program for multiple alignments and Mega version 5 for phylogenic analysis indicated that all the viruses belonged to genotype B3 with two distinct clusters. Twenty three (77%) belonged to subgroup B3.1 and the other 7 (23%) belonged to B3.3 a recently described subtype. Circulation of cluster 3 was detected in the Far-North Region (5/7) particularly along the Chad-Cameroon border in 2010 and later in Yaounde (2/7 in Biyem-assi Health District) the capital city of Cameroon in 2011.
This study highlights the endemic circulation in Cameroon of MeV B3 subtype 1, which probably has its source in the neighboring Nigeria, and the presence of the new subtype B3.3, suggesting a possible importation from Northern Africa where it was first described between 2008 and 2009.
Measles virus; Genotype B3; Nucleoprotein N; Cameroon
In September 2012, a novel coronavirus was isolated from a patient in Saudi Arabia who had died of an acute respiratory illness and renal failure. The clinical presentation was reminiscent of the outbreak caused by the SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) exactly ten years ago that resulted in over 8000 cases. Sequence analysis of the new virus revealed that it was indeed a member of the same genus as SARS-CoV. By mid-February 2013, 12 laboratory-confirmed cases had been reported with 6 fatalities. The first 9 cases were in individuals resident in the Middle East, while the most recent 3 cases were in family members resident in the UK. The index case in the UK family cluster had travel history to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Although the current evidence suggests that this virus is not highly transmissible among humans, there is a real danger that it may spread to other parts of the world. Here, a brief review of the events is provided to summarize the rapidly emerging picture of this new virus.
Coronavirus (CoV); Severe respiratory infection; Renal failure
It has been predicted that the UL31 gene originates from the positive strand of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genome, whereas the UL30 and UL32 genes originate from the complementary strand. Except for the UL32 gene, the transcription of this gene region has not been investigated extensively.
Northern blotting, cDNA library screening, RACE-PCR,and RT-PCR were used.
At least eight transcripts of the antisense orientation of UL31 were transcribed from the UL30–UL32 region during the late phase of HCMV infection. The 3′ coterminus of these transcripts was located within the predicted UL30 gene. The longest 6.0-kb transcript was initiated upstream of the predicted UL32 gene. Other transcripts were derived from the predicted UL30 and UL31 gene region. Except for the previously predicted UL32 open reading frame (ORF), three novel ORFs, named UL31anti-1, UL31anti-2 and UL31anti-3, were located in the transcripts from the UL31anti-UL32 transcription unit. No transcription was found in UL31.
A family of novel 3′ coterminal transcripts was transcribed from the UL30–UL32 gene region.
Human cytomegalovirus; UL30; UL31; UL32; Gene transcription
Subviral particles of hepatitis B virus (HBV) composed of L protein deletion variants with the 48 N-terminal amino acids of preS joined to the N-terminus of S protein (1-48preS/S) induced broadly neutralizing antibodies after immunization of mice with a Semliki Forest virus vector. A practical limitation for use as vaccine is the suboptimal secretion of such particles. The role of the N-terminal preS myristoylation in the cellular retention of full-length L protein is described controversially in the literature and the relation of these data to the truncated L protein was unknown. Thus, we studied the effect of preS myristoylation signal suppression on 1-48preS/S secretion efficiency, glycosylation and subcellular distribution.
The findings are that 1-48preS/S is secreted, and that removal of the N-terminal myristoylation signal in its G2A variant reduced secretion slightly, but significantly. The glycosylation pattern of 1-48preS/S was not affected by the removal of the myristoylation signal (G2A mutant) but was different than natural L protein, whereby N4 of the preS and N3 of the S domain were ectopically glycosylated. This suggested cotranslational translocation of 1-48preS in contrast to natural L protein. The 1-48preS/S bearing a myristoylation signal was localized in a compact, perinuclear pattern with strong colocalization of preS and S epitopes, while the non-myristoylated mutants demonstrated a dispersed, granular cytoplasmic distribution with weaker colocalization.
The large deletion in 1-48preS/S in presence of the myristoylation site facilitated formation and secretion of protein particles with neutralizing preS1 epitopes at their surface and could be a useful feature for future hepatitis B vaccines.
L protein; PreS1 domain; N-terminal myristoylation; Secretion; Glycosylation
The editors of Virology Journal would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 9 (2012). The success of any scientific journal depends on an effective and strict peer review process and Virology Journal could not operate without your contribution. We look forward to your continuous support to this journal either as an invited reviewer or a contributing author in the years to come.
Animal-borne orthopoxviruses, like monkeypox, vaccinia and the closely related cowpox virus, are all capable of causing zoonotic infections in humans, representing a potential threat to human health. The disease caused by each virus differs in terms of symptoms and severity, but little is yet know about the reasons for these varying phenotypes. They may be explained by the unique repertoire of immune and host cell modulating factors encoded by each virus. In this study, we analysed the specific modulation of the host cell’s gene expression profile by cowpox, monkeypox and vaccinia virus infection. We aimed to identify mechanisms that are either common to orthopoxvirus infection or specific to certain orthopoxvirus species, allowing a more detailed description of differences in virus-host cell interactions between individual orthopoxviruses. To this end, we analysed changes in host cell gene expression of HeLa cells in response to infection with cowpox, monkeypox and vaccinia virus, using whole-genome gene expression microarrays, and compared these to each other and to non-infected cells.
Despite a dominating non-responsiveness of cellular transcription towards orthopoxvirus infection, we could identify several clusters of infection-modulated genes. These clusters are either commonly regulated by orthopoxvirus infection or are uniquely regulated by infection with a specific orthopoxvirus, with major differences being observed in immune response genes. Most noticeable was an induction of genes involved in leukocyte migration and activation in cowpox and monkeypox virus-infected cells, which was not observed following vaccinia virus infection.
Despite their close genetic relationship, the expression profiles induced by infection with different orthopoxviruses vary significantly. It may be speculated that these differences at the cellular level contribute to the individual characteristics of cowpox, monkeypox and vaccinia virus infections in certain host species.
Orthopoxvirus; Cowpox virus; Vaccinia virus; Monkeypox virus; Microarray; Gene expression; Host cell response
Dengue epidemics have been reported in Brazil since 1981. In Manaus, a large city in the Amazon region, dengue is endemic with all four-virus serotypes (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) simultaneously causing human disease. In 2008, during a surveillance of dengue virus in mosquitoes in the district of Tancredo Neves in Manaus, 260 mosquitoes of Aedes genus were captured, identified and grouped into pools of 10 mosquitoes.
RNA extracts of mosquito pools were tested by a RT-Hemi-Nested-PCR for detection of flaviviruses. One amplicon of 222 bp, compatible with dengue virus serotype 4, was obtained from a pool of Aedes aegypti. The nucleotide sequence of the amplicon indicated that the mosquitoes were infected with DENV-4 of genotype I. This virus of Asian origin has been described in Manaus in 2008 infecting acute febrile illness patients.
This is the first report of dengue virus serotype 4 genotype I infecting Aedes aegypti in the Americas.
Emerging flavivirus; Dengue serotype 4 in Brazil; RT-Hemi-Nested-PCR for Flavivirus
About sixty thousand new cases of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are recorded in Brazil each year. These cases are currently treated with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) with an overall success rate of 50%. New compounds for anti-HCV therapy targeted to the HCV NS3 protease are being developed and some already form the components of licensed therapies. Mapping NS3 protease resistance mutations to protease inhibitors or anti-viral drug candidates is important to direct anti-HCV drug treatment.
Sequence analysis of the HCV NS3 protease was conducted in a group of 68 chronically infected patients harboring the HCV genotype 1. The patients were sampled before, during and after a course of PEG-IFN-RBV treatment.
Resistance mutations to the protease inhibitors, Boceprevir and Telaprevir were identified in HCV isolated from three patients (4.4%); the viral sequences contained at least one of the following mutations: V36L, T54S and V55A. In one sustained virological responder, the T54S mutation appeared during the course of PEG-IFN and RBV therapy. In contrast, V36L and V55A mutations were identified in virus isolated from one relapsing patient before, during, and after treatment, whereas the T54S mutation was identified in virus isolated from one non-responding patient, before and during the treatment course.
The incidence and persistence of protease resistance mutations occurring in HCV from chronically infected patients in Brazil should be considered when using protease inhibitors to treat HCV disease. In addition, patients treated with the current therapy (PEG-IFN and RBV) that are relapsing or are non-responders should be considered candidates for protease inhibitor therapy.
HCV NS3 protease; Drug resistance persistency; Selection pressure; Antiviral drugs; Chronic Hepatitis C infection
Bocaviruses are classified as a genus within the Parvoviridae family of single-stranded DNA viruses and are pathogenic in some mammalian species. Two species have been previously reported in dogs, minute virus of canines (MVC), associated with neonatal diseases and fertility disorders; and Canine bocavirus (CBoV), associated with respiratory disease.
In this study using deep sequencing of enriched viral particles from the liver of a dog with severe hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, necrotizing vasculitis, granulomatous lymphadenitis and anuric renal failure, we identified and characterized a novel bocavirus we named Canine bocavirus 3 (CnBoV3). The three major ORFs of CnBoV3 (NS1, NP1 and VP1) shared less than 60% aa identity with those of other bocaviruses qualifying it as a novel species based on ICTV criteria. Inverse PCR showed the presence of concatemerized or circular forms of the genome in liver.
We genetically characterized a bocavirus in a dog liver that is highly distinct from prior canine bocaviruses found in respiratory and fecal samples. Its role in this animal’s complex disease remains to be determined.
Canine bocavirus 3; Episome; Coinfection
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a primary cause of infectious mononucleosis (IM) throughout the world, and the positive serology rate changes over time in infected individuals. The aim of this study was to explore the serological and clinical features among Chinese children with EBV infections. A retrospective study of children suspected of having IM was conducted. Peripheral blood samples were analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence to detect any EBV-specific antibodies. Samples were classed as positive (+) or negative (−) to immunoglobulins M (IgM) or G (IgG) to the viral capsid antigen (VCA) or EBV nuclear antigen (EBNA). A standard medical history was taken, including epidemiological data and noting any clinical manifestations.
Of 317 children, 37 were aged <8 months; 10 of these were VCA-IgM+, and the youngest was aged 1 month; 280 were aged >8 months. The EBV infection rate ranged from 21.4% among subjects aged 8–12 months to 84.2% in those aged >9 years. Serologically, children who tested as VCA-IgM+ together with VCA-IgG and EBNA-IgG– had longer hospital stays with more palatal petechiae and lymphadenopathy, especially among those with an atypical lymphocyte count of >10%. Children with the serological patterns [VCA-IgM–, VCA-IgG+ and EBNA-IgG–] and [VCA-IgM+ VCA-IgG+ and EBNA-IgG+] did not show specific clinical features.
Infants aged <8 months could be infected with EBV. About 84% of these Chinese children aged >9 years had serological evidence of EBV infection, whereas IM peaked in patients aged 2–3 years.
Epstein–Barr virus; Children; Primary or post infection
Direct-acting antiviral (DAAs) agents for hepatitis C virus (HCV) span a variety of targets, including proteins encoded by the NS3/4A, NS4B, NS5A, and NS5B genes. Treatment with DAAs has been shown to select variants with sequence changes in the HCV genome encoding amino acids that may confer resistance to the treatment. In order to assess these effects in patients, a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) method was developed to sequence these regions of HCV from patient plasma.
A method was developed to amplify and sequence genotype 1 HCV RNA from patient plasma. Optimization of HCV RNA isolation, cDNA synthesis, and nested PCR steps were performed. The optimization of HCV RNA isolation, design of RT-PCR primers, optimization of RT-PCR amplification conditions and reagents, and the evaluation of the RT-PCR method performance is described.
The optimized method is able to successfully, accurately, and reproducibly amplify near full-length genotype 1 HCV RNA containing a wide range of concentrations (103 to 108 IU/mL) with a success rate of 97%. The lower limit of detection was determined to be 1000 IU/mL HCV RNA.
This assay allows viral sequencing of all regions targeted by the most common DAAs currently in development, as well as the possibility to determine linkage between variants conferring resistance to multiple DAAs used in combination therapy.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV); Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR); Genotype; Direct Acting Antiviral Agents (DAA); Lower Limit of Detection (LLOD); Quasispecies; Sequencing; Resistance; NS (Non-structural); NS3/4A; NS4B; NS5A; NS5B