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1.  Evaluation of several adjuvants in avian influenza vaccine to chickens and ducks 
Virology Journal  2011;8:321.
The effects of three different adjuvants, mineral oil, Montanide™ ISA 70M VG, and Montanide™ ISA 206 VG, were evaluated on reverse genetics H5N3 avian influenza virus cell cultured vaccine. The immune results of SPF chickens after challenging with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus demonstrated that mineral oil adjuvant group and 70M adjuvant group provided 100% protection efficiency, but 206 adjuvant group provided only 40%. Statistical analysis indicated that the protection effects of mineral oil adjuvant group and the 70M adjuvant showed no significant difference to each other, but with significant difference to 206 adjuvant group. All three groups could induce high titres of antibody after immunizing SPF ducks, but there was no significant difference among them. The immunization effect of 70M adjuvant group on SPF chickens were the best and showed significant difference compared with optimized 70Mi Montanide™ eight series adjuvants groups. These results suggest that 70M adjuvant could be a novel adjuvant for preparing avian influenza vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3141683  PMID: 21703008
2.  Health care professionals at risk of infection with Borna disease virus – evidence from a large hospital in China (Chongqing) 
Virology Journal  2015;12:39.
Human Borna disease virus (BDV) infections have recently been reported in China. BDV causes cognitive and behavioural disturbances in animals. The impact on human mental disorders is subject to debate, but previous studies worldwide have found neuropsychiatric patients more frequently infected than healthy controls. A few isolates were recovered from severely depressed patients, but contagiousness of BDV strain remains unknown.
We addressed the risk of infection in health care settings at the first affiliated hospital of Chongqing Medical University (CQMU), located in downtown Chongqing, a megacity in Southwest China. Between February 2012 and March 2013, we enrolled 1529 participants, of whom 534 were outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 615 were hospital personnel, and 380 were healthy controls who underwent a health check. Infection was determined through BDV-specific circulating immune complexes (CIC), RNA, and selective antibodies (blood).
One-fifth of the hospital staff (21.8%) were found to be infected (CIC positive), with the highest prevalence among psychiatry and oncology personnel, which is twice as many as were detected in the healthy control group (11.1%), and exceeds the prevalence detected in MDD patients (18.2%).
BDV circulates unnoticed in hospital settings in China, putting medical staff at risk and warranting clarification of infection modes and introduction of prevention measures.
PMCID: PMC4357222  PMID: 25888756
Borna disease virus; Risk of infection at hospital; Health care professionals; Major depressive disorder; Circulating immune complexes; RT-qPCR; China
3.  Multiple microRNAs targeted to internal ribosome entry site against foot-and-mouth disease virus infection in vitro and in vivo 
Virology Journal  2014;11:1.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes a severe vesicular disease in domestic and wild cloven-hoofed animals. Because of the limited early protection induced by current vaccines, emergency antiviral strategies to control the rapid spread of FMD outbreaks are needed.
Here we constructed multiple microRNAs (miRNAs) targeting the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) element of FMDV and investigated the effect of IRES-specific miRNAs on FMDV replication in baby hamster kidney (BHK-21) cells and suckling mice.
Four IRES-specific miRNAs significantly reduced enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression from IRES-EGFP reporter plasmids, which were used with each miRNA expression plasmid in co-transfection of BHK-21 cells. Furthermore, treatment of BHK-21 cells with Bi-miRNA (a mixture of two miRNA expression plasmids) and Dual-miRNA (a co-cistronic expression plasmid containing two miRNA hairpin structures) induced more efficient and greater inhibition of EGFP expression than did plasmids carrying single miRNA sequences.
Stably transformed BHK-21 cells and goat fibroblasts with an integrating IRES-specific Dual-miRNA were generated, and real-time quantitative RT-PCR showed that the Dual-miRNA was able to effectively inhibit the replication of FMDV (except for the Mya98 strain) in the stably transformed BHK-21 cells.
The Dual-miRNA plasmid significantly delayed the deaths of suckling mice challenged with 50× and 100× the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of FMDV vaccine strains of three serotypes (O, A and Asia 1), and induced partial/complete protection against the prevalent PanAsia-1 and Mya98 strains of FMDV serotype O.
These data demonstrate that IRES-specific miRNAs can significantly inhibit FMDV infection in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3903555  PMID: 24393133
Foot-and-mouth disease virus; MicroRNA; Internal ribosome entry site; Transformed cell clones; Antiviral effect; Flow cytometry; Real-time quantitative RT-PCR
4.  Evaluating viral interference between Influenza virus and Newcastle disease virus using real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction in chicken eggs 
Virology Journal  2012;9:128.
Simultaneous and sequential allantoic cavity inoculations of Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chicken eggs with Influenza virus (AIV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) demonstrated that the interaction of AIV and NDV during co-infection was variable. Our research revisited the replication interference potential of AIV and NDV using real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) for AIV and NDV to specifically detect the viral genomes in mixed infections.
Data from this survey showed that when different doses of NDV (Lasota or F48E8) and AIV (F98 or H5N1) were simultaneously inoculated into embryonating chicken eggs (ECE), interference with the growth of NDV occurred, while interference with the growth of AIV did not occur. When equal amount of the two viruses were sequentially employed, the degree of interference was dependent upon the time of superinfection and the virulence of virus.
AIV have a negative impact on NDV growth if they are inoculated simultaneously or sequentially and that the degree of interference depended upon the quantity and relative virulence of the virus strains used; however, interference with AIV was not observed. Only if NDV were inoculated at an earlier time will NDV able to interfere with the growth of AIV.
PMCID: PMC3439397  PMID: 22748105
Viral interference; Influenza virus; Newcastle disease virus; Real-time RT-PCR
5.  Molecular epidemiology of dengue viruses in southern China from 1978 to 2006 
Virology Journal  2011;8:322.
To investigate molecular epidemiology of dengue viruses (DENV) in southern China, a total of 14 dengue isolates were collected in southern China during each epidemic year between 1978 and 2006 and their full-length genome sequences were obtained by using RT-PCR method. The E gene sequences from additional 6 dengue fever patients in Guangzhou in 2006 were also obtained by using RT-PCR method. Combined with DENVs sequences published in GenBank, phylogenetic analysis and recombination analysis were performed. One hundred and twenty-five E gene sequences and 60 complete genome sequences published in the GenBank were also involved. Phylogenetic analysis showed that there was a wide genetic diversity of DENVs isolated in southern China. DENV-1 strains exist in almost all of the clades of genotype I and IV except the Asia 1 clade of genotype I; DENV-2 stains are grouped into four of the five genotypes except American genotype. DENV-4 strains are grouped into 2 genotypes (I and II). Phylogenetic analysis also showed that all DENV-4 isolates and two DENV-2 isolates were closely related to the prior isolates from neighboring Southeast Asia countries. The DENV-1 strain isolated during the 2006 epidemic is highly homologous to the strains isolated during the 2001 epidemic.
Recombination analysis showed no inter-serotype recombination, but 22 intra-serotype recombination events were found across the 32 complete genomes of all Chinese isolates. The study suggested that dengue fever epidemic in Southern China over the past 30 years presented two important modes, 1) imported-cases-induced endemic prevalence; 2) endogenous epidemic outbreak with natural epidemic focus. Recombination may play an important role in dengue virus evolution and adaptation.
PMCID: PMC3138434  PMID: 21703015
6.  Distribution of sialic acid receptors and experimental infections with different subtypes of influenza A viruses in Qinghai-Tibet plateau wild pika 
Virology Journal  2015;12:63.
The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a small rabbit-like mammal that lives at high altitudes in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and is in close contact with birds. Following the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 during 2005 in the migratory birds of Qinghai Lake, two clades of H5N1 have been found in pikas. However, the influenza virus receptor distribution in different tissues of this animal and its susceptibility to influenza A viruses have remained unclear.
The sialic acid receptor distribution tropism in pika was investigated using fluorescent Sambucus nigra and biotinylated Maackia amurensis I and II. Furthermore, the replication of three influenza A viruses H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1 in this animal was examined by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Morphological and histopathological changes caused by infection were also analyzed with hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) staining.
Human influenza virus-recognizing SAα2,6Gal receptors are widely expressed in the lung, kidney, liver, spleen, duodenum, ileum, rectum, and heart, whereas avian influenza virus-recognizing SAα2,3Gal receptors are strongly expressed in the trachea and lung of pika. M1 could be detected in the lungs of pikas infected with H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1 by either immunostaining or RT-PCR, and in the brain of H5N1-infected pikas. Additionally, three subtypes of influenza A viruses were able to infect pika and caused varying degrees of pneumonia with epithelial desquamation and alveolar inflammatory cell infiltration. Slight pathological changes were observed in H1N1-infected lungs. A few small bronchi and terminal bronchioles were infiltrated by lymphocytic cells in H3N2-infected lungs. In contrast, serious lung damage, such as alveolar capillary hyperemia, edema, alveolar collapse, and lymphocytic infiltrations was observed in H5N1-infected group. Furthermore, neural system changes were present in the brains of H5N1-infected pikas.
SAα2,6Gal receptors are extensively present in many of the tissues and organs in wild plateau pika, whereas SA2,3Gal-linked receptors are dominant on the tracheal epithelial cells. H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1 were able to infect pika and caused different degrees of pathogenic changes in the lungs. Altogether, these results suggest that wild pika has the potential to be a host for different subtypes of influenza A viruses.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12985-015-0290-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4409991  PMID: 25880060
Sialic acid receptors; Experimental infection; Influenza A viruses; Wild plateau pika; Pathogenic changes
7.  Surveillance of avirulent Newcastle disease viruses at live bird markets in Eastern China during 2008–2012 reveals a new sub-genotype of class I virus 
Virology Journal  2014;11:211.
The strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can be divided into two distinct clades: class I and class II. At present, limited molecular epidemiological data are available for the class I virus at live bird markets (LBMs). Knowing the genomic and antigenic characteristics of class I NDVs might provide important insights into the evolution dynamics of these viruses. In this study class I NDVs isolated from LBMs in Eastern China between 2008 and 2012 were characterized.
We characterized 34 class I NDVs genetically and 15 of the 34 NDVs pathologically which originated from geese, chickens and ducks at live bird markets. Based on the older classification system, twelve of fourteen strains isolated from 2008 to 2010 belonged to sub-genotype 3b. However, the rest 22 strains formed a separate novel cluster in genotype 3, which was designated as sub-genotype 3c. When based on the new classification system, sub-genotype 3b was classified into sub-genotype 1a and the sub-genotype 3c was classified into sub-genotype 1b. Over 62% (21/34) of the viruses were chicken-origin and only 13 isolates were waterfowl-origin. The Cross-neutralization reactions between CK/JS/05/11, CK/JS/06/12 and the vaccine strain LaSota showed significant antigenic differences between them.
Currently, sub-genotype 3c (or 1b) NDVs are the most frequently isolated classI strains at LBMs in Eastern China., and the class I NDVs has transferred from waterfowls to chickens and circulated in chicken flocks extensively.
PMCID: PMC4261539  PMID: 25471313
Class I Newcastle disease virus; Sub-genotype 3c; Sub-genotype 1b; Genetic; Antigenticy
8.  Comprehensive profiling of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded miRNA species associated with specific latency types in tumor cells 
Virology Journal  2013;10:314.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an etiological cause of many human lymphocytic and epithelial malignancies. EBV expresses different genes that are associated with three latency types. To date, as many as 44 EBV-encoded miRNA species have been found, but their comprehensive profiles in the three types of latent infection that are associated with various types of tumors are not well documented.
In the present study, we utilized poly (A)-tailed quantitative real-time RT-PCR in combination with microarray analysis to measure the relative abundances of viral miRNA species in a subset of representative lymphoid and epithelial tumor cells with various EBV latency types.
Our findings showed that the miR-BHRF1 and miR-BART families were expressed differentially in a tissue- and latency type-dependent manner. Specifically, in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) tissues and the EBV-positive cell line C666-1, the miR-BART family accounted for more than 10% of all detected miRNAs, suggesting that these miRNAs have important roles in maintaining latent EBV infections and in driving NPC tumorigenesis. In addition, EBV miRNA-based clustering analysis clearly distinguished between the three distinct EBV latency types, and our results suggested that a switch from type I to type III latency might occur in the Daudi BL cell line.
Our data provide a comprehensive profiling of the EBV miRNA transcriptome that is associated with specific tumor cells in the three types of latent EBV infection states. EBV miRNA species represent a cluster of non-encoding latency biomarkers that are differentially expressed in tumor cells and may help to distinguish between the different latency types.
PMCID: PMC4231337  PMID: 24161012
Epstein-Barr virus; Viral microRNA; Latency types; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Burkitt’s lymphoma
9.  The effects of HIV Tat DNA on regulating the immune response of HIV DNA vaccine in mice 
Virology Journal  2013;10:297.
HIV trans-activator protein (Tat) is the crucial factor to control HIV transcription, and is usually considered as an important immunogen for the design of HIV vaccine. Recent studies reported some special bio-activities of Tat protein on immunoregulation. However, to date, few studies have focused on exploring the effects of Tat expression plasmid (pTat) on regulating the immune responses induced by HIV DNA vaccines. In this study, our main objective is to investigate the immunoregulation mediated by pTat in mice.
Four gene-coding plasmids (pTat, pGag, pEnv and pPol) were constructed, and the gene expression was detected by western blot method. The effects of pTat on regulating the immune responses to antigens Gag, Env, Pol were assessed by enzyme-linked immunospot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The data was analysed by one-way analysis of variance.
After two immunizations, mice vaccinated with antigen expressing plasmid (pGag, pEnv or pPol) plus pTat exhibited significantly stronger IFN-gamma response than that vaccinated with the corresponding antigen alone. Moreover, mice receiving two injections of antigen plus pTat exhibited the same strong IFN-gamma response as those receiving three injections of antigen alone did. Furthermore, addition of pTat not only induced a more balanced Th1 and Th2 response, but also broadened IgG subclass responses to antigens Gag and Pol.
pTat exhibited the appreciable effects on modulating immune responses to HIV antigens Gag, Env and Pol, providing us interesting clues on how to optimize HIV DNA vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3851266  PMID: 24073803
HIV DNA vaccine; Tat expression plasmid; T cell response; IgG subclass; Th polarization
10.  Synergistic effects of sequential infection with highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and porcine circovirus type 2 
Virology Journal  2013;10:265.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is the causative agent of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is associated with postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) in pigs. Coinfection with highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV) and PCV2 in the field has recently become extensive in some Asian countries. A synergistic pathogenicity between PRRSV and PCV2 infections has previously been reported. However, the consequences of the sequential infection of pigs with these two viruses are unknown.
Thirty 35-day-old piglets were randomly divided into six groups (n = 5 each): HP-PRRSV/PCV2 (group 1, inoculated with HP-PRRSV, then inoculated with PCV2 one week later), PCV2/HP-PRRSV (group 2, inoculated with PCV2, then inoculated with HP-PRRSV one week later), HP-PRRSV+PCV2 (group 3, inoculated with HP-PRRSV and PCV2 concurrently), HP-PRRSV (group 4, inoculated with HP-PRRSV), PCV2 (group 5, inoculated with PCV2), and the control (group 6, uninfected). This experiment lasted 28 days. Clinical symptoms and rectal temperatures were recorded each day after inoculation, body weight was recorded weekly, and serum samples were obtained for viral nucleic acid quantification and antibody titration. Variations in CD3+, CD4+ CD8–, CD3+, CD4–, and CD8+ cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and mononuclear cells were determined by flow cytometry. The serum concentrations of interferon γ (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 10 (IL-10), and macrophage granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were determined. Pathological changes in different tissues from the experimentally infected pigs were recorded.
The piglets in group 1 had the highest viral loads, the lowest antibody titers, the most-severe clinical signs, and the highest mortality (3/5, 60%; the mortality in the other groups was 0%), and interstitial pneumonia was more severe in this group compare to the other HP-PRRSV infected groups. The serum levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-10, and GM-CSF varied (increased or decreased) most widely in group 1, as did each immunocyte subgroup.
HP-PRRSV infection followed by PCV2 infection enhanced the replication of both viruses in the experimental piglets and led to more-severe clinical signs and lesions, indicating greater synergistic effects during the sequential infection of piglets with HP-PRRSV and then PCV2.
PMCID: PMC3847690  PMID: 23971711
Pigs; Highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus; Porcine circovirus type 2; Sequential infection; Pathogenicity
11.  Three new emerging subgroups of torque teno sus viruses (TTSuVs) and co-infection of TTSuVs with porcine circovirus type 2 in China 
Virology Journal  2013;10:189.
Torque teno sus viruses (TTSuVs) are non-enveloped viruses and have single-stranded, negative sense circular DNA genomes and are widely distributed in pigs. But till now, the prevalence of TTSuVs with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) in pig herds of China is not very clear; and the genetic variation among different TTSuVs isolate is very large and need to divide the subgroups. In this study, the co-infection with TTSuVs and porcine circovrius (PCV) in the pig population of China was investigated and the subgroups of all TTSuVs genomes in Genbank were divided.
Results showed that the rate of co-infection with TTSuV1 and TTSuV2 reached 75% in PCV2-positive samples. Also Two TTSuV1 and four TTSuV2 isolates genome sequences were obtained, and the similarity of all TTSuV1 and TTSuV2 genomic sequences in GenBank were compared. Phylogenetic trees indicated that both the TTSuV1 and TTSuV2 sequences could be divided into four genotypes. Interestingly, the sub-genotypes TTSuV1d, TTSuV2c and TTSuV2d exist only in the pig population of China.
This study demonstrates that co-infection with TTSuVs and PCVs is very common in the pig population of China, in which the viruses maybe contribute to clinical diseases cooperatively. In addition, three new subgroups of TTSuVs emerged in China for the first time and a high level of variation among different isolates of TTSuV1 and TTSuV2 was indicated by their genetic diversity.
PMCID: PMC3691836  PMID: 23758726
Torque teno sus viruses (TTSuVs); Porcine circovirus type 2; Subgroup; Phylogenetic analysis
12.  A one step real-time RT-PCR assay for the quantitation of Wheat yellow mosaic virus (WYMV) 
Virology Journal  2013;10:173.
Wheat yellow mosaic virus (WYMV) is an important pathogen in China and other countries. It is the member of the genus Bymovirus and transmitted primarily by Polymyxa graminis. The incidence of wheat infections in endemic areas has risen in recent years. Prompt and dependable identification of WYMV is a critical component of response to suspect cases.
In this study, a one step real-time RT-PCR, followed by standard curve analysis for the detection and identification of WYMV, was developed. Two reference genes, 18s RNA and β-actin were selected in order to adjust the veracity of the real-time RT-PCR assay.
We developed a one-step Taqman-based real-time quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) assay targeting the conserved region of the 879 bp long full-length WYMV coat protein gene. The accuracy of normalized data was analyzed along with appropriate internal control genes: β-actin and 18s rRNA which were included in detecting of WYMV-infected wheat leaf tissues. The detectable end point sensitivity in RT-qPCR assay was reaching the minimum limit of the quantitative assay and the measurable copy numbers were about 30 at106-fold dilution of total RNA. This value was close to 104-fold more sensitive than that of indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. More positive samples were detected by RT-qPCR assay than gel-based RT-PCR when detecting the suspected samples collected from 8 regions of China. Based on presented results, RT-qPCR will provide a valuable method for the quantitative detection of WYMV.
The Taqman-based RT-qPCR assay is a faster, simpler, more sensitive and less expensive procedure for detection and quantification of WYMV than other currently used methods.
PMCID: PMC3685539  PMID: 23725024
Wheat yellow mosaic virus (WYMV); RT-qPCR; Quantitation
13.  Excretion of enterovirus 71 in persons infected with hand, foot and mouth disease 
Virology Journal  2013;10:31.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness in young children. It also can be seen in adults occasionally. Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a pathogen that causes not only HFMD but also neurological complications and even death, has caused many HFMD outbreaks in China. However, till now the data about the duration of EV71 shedding is very limited.
A total of 136 throat swabs and fecal samples were collected from 27 children and 3 adults, which includs 7 close contacts, 9 mild cases and 14 severe cases,. The participants were divided into three groups namely, severe case group, mild case group and close contact group. All the samples were assayed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Kruskal-Wallis Test was employed to compare the difference in duration of viral RNA shedding among three groups. The results showed that significant difference in duration of EV71 shedding was found among three groups (P < 0.01). The longest duration of EV71 shedding in fecal samples is 54 days and 30 days in throat swabs.
HFMD is characterized by extended excretion of EV71. Our results suggest that the duration of EV71 shedding is correlated with the severity of the disease. EV71 shedding through feces can persist more than 54 days. Prolonged virus shedding is a potential risk factor of proliferating HFMD epidemic.
PMCID: PMC3560202  PMID: 23343115
Hand, foot and mouth disease; Enterovirus 71; Virus excretion
14.  Characterization of monoclonal antibodies against waterfowl parvoviruses VP3 protein 
Virology Journal  2012;9:288.
The VP3 protein of goose parvovirus (GPV) or Muscovy duck parvovirus (MDPV), a major structural protein, can induce neutralizing antibodies in geese and ducks, but monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against VP3 protein has never been characterized.
Three hybridoma cell lines secreting anti-GPV VP3 MAbs were obtained and designated 4A8, 4E2, and 2D5. Immunoglobulin subclass tests differentiated them as IgG2b (4A8 and 4E2) and IgG2a (2D5). Dot blotting assays showed that three MAbs reacted with His-VP3 protein in a conformation-independent manner. A competitive binding assay indicated that the MAbs delineated two epitopes, A and B of VP3. Immunofluorescence assay showed that MAbs 4A8, 4E2, and 2D5 could specifically bind to goose embryo fibroblast cells (GEF) or duck fibroblast cells (DEF) infected with GPV and MDPV. Dot blotting also showed that the MAbs recognized both nature GPV and MDPV antigen. Western blotting confirmed that the MAbs recognized VP3 proteins derived from purified GPV and MDPV particles. The MAbs 4A8 and 2D5 had universal reactivity to heterologous GPV and MDPV tested in an antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Preparation and characterization of these the MAbs suggests that they may be useful for the development of a MAb-capture ELISA for rapid detection of both GPV and MDPV. Virus isolation and PCR are reliable for detecting GPV and MDPV infection, but these procedures are laborious, time-consuming, and requiring instruments. These diagnosis problems highlight the ongoing demand for rapid, reproducible, and automatic methods for the sensitive detection of both GPV and MDPV infection.
PMCID: PMC3515454  PMID: 23176172
Monoclonal Antibody; GPV; MDPV; VP3
15.  Anti-HBV efficacy of combined siRNAs targeting viral gene and heat shock cognate 70 
Virology Journal  2012;9:275.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major health concern with more than two billion individuals currently infected worldwide. Because of the limited effectiveness of existing vaccines and drugs, development of novel antiviral strategies is urgently needed. Heat stress cognate 70 (Hsc70) is an ATP-binding protein of the heat stress protein 70 family. Hsc70 has been found to be required for HBV DNA replication. Here we report, for the first time, that combined siRNAs targeting viral gene and siHsc70 are highly effective in suppressing ongoing HBV expression and replication.
We constructed two plasmids (S1 and S2) expressing short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting surface open reading frame of HBV(HBVS) and one plasmid expressing shRNA targeting Hsc70 (siHsc70), and we used the EGFP-specific siRNA plasmid (siEGFP) as we had previously described. First, we evaluated the gene-silencing efficacy of both shRNAs using an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter system and flow cytometry in HEK293 and T98G cells. Then, the antiviral potencies of HBV-specific siRNA (siHBV) in combination with siHsc70 in HepG2.2.15 cells were investigated. Moreover, type I IFN and TNF-α induction were measured by quantitative real-time PCR and ELISA.
Cotransfection of either S1 or S2 with an EGFP plasmid produced an 80%–90% reduction in EGFP signal relative to the control. This combinational RNAi effectively and specifically inhibited HBV protein, mRNA and HBV DNA, resulting in up to a 3.36 log10 reduction in HBV load in the HepG2.2.15 cell culture supernatants. The combined siRNAs were more potent than siHBV or siHsc70 used separately, and this approach can enhance potency in suppressing ongoing viral gene expression and replication in HepG2.2.15 cells while forestalling escape by mutant HBV. The antiviral synergy of siHBV used in combination with siHsc70 produced no cytotoxicity and induced no production of IFN-α, IFN-β and TNF-α in transfected cells.
Our combinational RNAi was sequence-specific, effective against wild-type and mutant drug-resistant HBV strains, without triggering interferon response or producing any side effects. These findings indicate that combinational RNAi has tremendous promise for developing innovative therapy against viral infection.
PMCID: PMC3534549  PMID: 23158906
Hepatitis B virus; RNA interference; Short hairpin RNA; Heat shock cognate 70; Combinational RNAi
16.  Strong innate immune response and cell death in chicken splenocytes infected with genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus 
Virology Journal  2012;9:208.
Genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates induce more severe damage to lymphoid tissues, especially to the spleen, when compared to virulent viruses of other genotypes. However, the biological basis of the unusual pathological changes remains largely unknown.
Virus replication, cytokine gene expression profile and cell death response in chicken splenocytes infected with two genotype VIId NDV strains (JS5/05 and JS3/05), genotype IX NDV strain F48E8 and genotype IV NDV strain Herts/33 were evaluated. Statistical significance of differences between experimental groups was determined using the Independent-Samples T test.
JS5/05 and JS3/05 caused hyperinduction of type I interferons (IFNs) (IFN-α and -β) during detection period compared to F48E8 and Herts/33. JS5/05 increased expression level of IFN-γ gene at 6 h post-inoculation (pi) and JS3/05 initiated sustained activation of IFN-γ within 24 h pi, whereas transcriptional levels of IFN-γ remained unchanged at any of the time points during infection of F48E8 and Herts/33. In addition, compared to F48E8 and Herts/33, JS3/05 and JS5/05 significantly increased the amount of free nucleosomal DNA in splenocytes at 6 and 24 h pi respectively. Annexin-V and Proidium iodid (PI) double staining of infected cells showed that cell death induced by JS3/05 and JS5/05 was characterized by marked necrosis compared to F48E8 and Herts/33 at 24 h pi. These results indicate that genotype VIId NDV strains JS3/05 and JS5/05 elicited stronger innate immune and cell death responses in chicken splenocytes than F48E8 and Herts/33. JS5/05 replicated at a significantly higher efficiency in splenocytes than F48E8 and Herts/33. Early excessive cell death induced by JS3/05 infection partially impaired virus replication.
Viral dysregulaiton of host response may be relevant to the severe pathological manifestation in the spleen following genotype VIId NDV infection.
PMCID: PMC3489799  PMID: 22988907
Innate immune response; Cell death; Splenic necrosis; Genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus
17.  Multiple linear epitopes (B-cell, CTL and Th) of JEV expressed in recombinant MVA as multiple epitope vaccine induces a protective immune response 
Virology Journal  2012;9:204.
Epitope-based vaccination might play an important role in the protective immunity against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the immune characteristics of recombinant MVA carrying multi-epitope gene of JEV (rMVA-mep). The synthetic gene containing critical epitopes (B-cell, CTL and Th) of JEV was cloned into the eukaryotic expression vector pGEM-K1L, and the rMVA-mep was prepared. BALB/c mice were immunized with different dosages of purified rMVA-mep and the immune responses were determined in the form of protective response against JEV, antibodies titers (IgG1 and IgG2a), spleen cell lymphocyte proliferation, and the levels of interferon-γ and interleukin-4 cytokines. The results showed that live rMVA-mep elicited strongly immune responses in dose-dependent manner, and the highest level of immune responses was observed from the groups immunized with 107 TCID50 rMVA-mep among the experimental three concentrations. There were almost no difference of cytokines and neutralizing antibody titers among 107 TCID50 rMVA-mep, recombinant ED3 and inactivated JEV vaccine. It was noteworthy that rMVA-mep vaccination potentiates the Th1 and Th2-type immune responses in dose-dependent manner, and was sufficient to protect the mice survival against lethal JEV challenge. These findings demonstrated that rMVA-mep can produce adequate humoral and cellular immune responses, and protection in mice, which suggested that rMVA-mep might be an attractive candidate vaccine for preventing JEV infection.
PMCID: PMC3511265  PMID: 22985466
Japanese encephalitis virus; rMVA-mep; Immune response; Protection response
18.  Immunization of mice by Hollow Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as carriers of Porcine Circovirus Type 2 ORF2 Protein 
Virology Journal  2012;9:108.
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a primary etiological agent of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), which is a disease of increasing importance to the pig industry worldwide. Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) have gained increasing interest for use in vaccines.
To study the potential of HMSNs for use as a protein delivery system or vaccine carriers. HMSNs were synthesized by a sol–gel/emulsion(oil-in-water/ethanol) method, purified PCV2 GST-ORF2-E protein was loaded into HMSNs, and the resulting HMSN/protein mixture was injected into mice. The uptake and release profiles of protein by HMSNs in vitro were investigated. PCV2 GST-ORF2-E specific antibodies and secretion of IFN-γ were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, spleen lymphocyte proliferation was measured by the MTS method, and the percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ were determined by flow cytometry.
HMSNs were found to yield better binding capacities and delivery profiles of proteins; the specific immune response induced by PCV2 GST-ORF2-E was maintained for a relatively long period of time after immunization with the HMSN/protein complex.
The findings suggest that HMSNs are good protein carriers and have high potential for use in future applications in therapeutic drug delivery.
PMCID: PMC3443011  PMID: 22691538
Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs); Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2): ORF2; Delivery; Immunization; Mice
19.  Isolation and identification of a distinct strain of Culex Flavivirus from mosquitoes collected in Mainland China 
Virology Journal  2012;9:73.
Culexflavivirus (CxFV) is an insect specific virus that has been isolated from Culexpipiens, Culexquinquefasciatus, Culextritaeniorhynchus and other Culex mosquitoes. It is a novel flavivirus isolated in Asia, North America, Central America and Africa. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that, based on the envelope gene (E gene) sequence, the worldwide CxFV strains can be divided into two genotypes.
A virus (SDDM06-11) was isolated from Culexpipiens collected in Shandong Province, China in 2006. The strain caused cytopathic effect (CPE) in Aedesalbopictus (C6/36) cells by 3 days post-infection and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) showed a reaction with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) polyclonal antibodies. Phylogenetic analysis of the E gene sequence showed CxFV formed two genotypes with the SDDM06-11 strain assigned to genotype 1. Analysis of the E gene nucleotide homology showed the virus possessed characteristic amino acids at specific sites. The nucleotide homology of the open reading frame (ORF) was 94.8%-95.1% between SDDM06-11 and isolates from Japan, Iowa and Texas, and 90.2%-90.5% between SDDM06-11 and isolates from Uganda and Mexico.
In this paper we report the first isolation and identification of an isolate of CxFV in mainland China. Phylogenetic analysis indicates the isolate belongs to genotype 1. Our findings provide insight into the occurrence of CxFV in Culex mosquito populations and its distribution on a global scale.
PMCID: PMC3349510  PMID: 22452813
CulexFlavivirus; Genotype; Mosquitoes
20.  Construction and characterization of an infectious clone of coxsackievirus A16 
Virology Journal  2011;8:534.
Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) is a member of the Enterovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family and it is a major etiological agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which is a common illness affecting children. CVA16 possesses a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome containing approximately 7410 bases. Current understanding of the replication, structure and virulence determinants of CVA16 is very limited, partly due to difficulties in directly manipulating its RNA genome.
Two overlapping cDNA fragments were amplified by RT-PCR from the genome of the shzh05-1 strain of CVA16, encompassing the nucleotide regions 1-4392 and 4381-7410, respectively. These two fragments were then joined via a native XbaI site to yield a full-length cDNA. A T7 promoter and poly(A) tail were added to the 5' and 3' ends, respectively, forming a full CVA16 cDNA clone. Transfection of RD cells in vitro with RNA transcribed directly from the cDNA clone allowed the recovery of infectious virus in culture. The CVA16 virus recovered from these cultures was functionally and genetically identical to its parent strain.
We report the first construction and characterization of an infectious cDNA clone of CVA16. The availability of this infectious clone will greatly enhance future virological investigations and vaccine development for CVA16.
PMCID: PMC3283524  PMID: 22165961
Coxsackievirus A16; Infectious cDNA clone; In vitro transcription; Recovered virus
21.  Detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus rna by reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification 
Virology Journal  2011;8:510.
A reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay was developed for foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) RNA. The amplification was able to finish in 45 min under isothermal condition at 64°C by employing a set of four primers targeting FMDV 2B. The assay showed higher sensitivity than RT-PCR. No cross reactivity was observed from other RNA viruses including classical swine fever virus, swine vesicular disease, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Japanese encephalitis virus. Furthermore, the assay correctly detected 84 FMDV positive samples but not 65 FMDV negative specimens. The result indicated the potential usefulness of the technique as a simple and rapid procedure for the detection of FMDV infection.
PMCID: PMC3222687  PMID: 22070774
Foot-and-mouth disease virus; Detection; Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification; Sensitivity; Specificity
22.  Novel genetic reassortants in H9N2 influenza A viruses and their diverse pathogenicity to mice 
Virology Journal  2011;8:505.
H9N2 influenza A viruses have undergone extensive reassortments in different host species, and could lead to the epidemics or pandemics with the potential emergence of novel viruses.
To understand the genetic and pathogenic features of early and current circulating H9N2 viruses, 15 representative H9N2 viruses isolated from diseased chickens in northern China between 1998 and 2010 were characterized and compared with all Chinese H9N2 viruses available in the NCBI database. Then, the representative viruses of different genotypes were selected to study the pathogenicity in mice with the aim to investigate the adaptation and the potential pathogenicity of the novel H9N2 reassortants to mammals.
Our results demonstrated that most of the 15 isolates were reassortants and generated four novel genotypes (B62-B65), which incorporated the gene segments from Eurasian H9N2 lineage, North American H9N2 branch, and H5N1 viruses. It was noteworthy that the newly identified genotype B65 has been prevalent in China since 2007, and more importantly, different H9N2 influenza viruses displayed a diverse pathogenicity to mice. The isolates of the 2008-2010 epidemic (genotypes B55 and B65) were lowly infectious, while two representative viruses of genotypes B0 and G2 isolated from the late 1990s were highly pathogenic to mice. In addition, Ck/SD/LY-1/08 (genotype 63, containing H5N1-like NP and PA genes) was able to replicate well in mouse lungs with high virus titers but caused mild clinical signs.
Several lines of evidence indicated that the H9N2 influenza viruses constantly change their genetics and pathogenicity. Thus, the genetic evolution of H9N2 viruses and their pathogenicity to mammals should be closely monitored to prevent the emergence of novel pandemic viruses.
PMCID: PMC3236014  PMID: 22050764
avian influenza virus; H9N2; reassortant; genotype; pathogenicity
23.  Rapid typing of foot-and-mouth disease serotype Asia 1 by reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification 
Virology Journal  2011;8:489.
A reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay was rapidly used to detect serotype Asia 1 of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) within 45 min at 61°C. All FMDV serotype Asia 1 reference strains were positive by RT-LAMP, while other viruses such as FMDV serotypes O, C, A and classical swine fever virus, swine vesicular disease virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and Japanese encephalitis virus remained negative. Furthermore, FMDV sreotype Asia 1 positive samples were able to detect by RT-LAMP assay. This RT-LAMP assay may be suitable particularly for diagnosis of FMDV serotype Asia 1 infection in field stations.
PMCID: PMC3217980  PMID: 22040459
Foot-and-mouth disease; Serotype Asia 1; Detection; Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification
24.  Fusion with extracellular domain of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated-antigen 4 leads to enhancement of immunogenicity of Hantaan virus DNA vaccines in C57BL/6 mice 
Virology Journal  2011;8:448.
Hantaan virus (HTNV) is the causative agent of the most severe form of a rodent-borne disease known as hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). A safe and effective HTNV vaccine is needed. Vaccination with DNA constructs expressing fused antigen with bioactive factors, has shown promising improvement of immunogenicity for viral agents in animal models, but the effect of fusion strategy on HTNV DNA vaccine has not been investigated.
DNA plasmids encoding the HTNV nucleocapsid protein (N) and glycoprotein (Gn and Gc) in fusion to the extracellular domain of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated-antigen 4 (eCTLA-4) targeting to antigen presenting cells (APCs) were constructed. Intramuscular immunization of mice with plasmids expressing eCTLA-4-HTNV-N/GP fusion proteins leads to a significant enhancement of the specific antibody response as well as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, this effect could be further augmented when co-administered with CpG motifs.
Modification of viral antigen in fusion to bioactive factor will be promising to confer efficient antigen presentation and improve the potency of DNA vaccine in mice.
PMCID: PMC3204296  PMID: 21943202
25.  Compare the differences of synonymous codon usage between the two species within cardiovirus 
Virology Journal  2011;8:325.
Cardioviruses are positive-strand RNA viruses in the Picornaviridae family that can cause enteric infection in rodents and also been detected at lower frequencies in other mammals such as pigs and human beings. The Cardiovirus genus consists two distinct species: Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and Theilovirus (ThV). There are a lot differences between the two species. In this study, the differences of codon usage in EMCV and ThV were compared.
The mean ENC values of EMCV and ThV are 54.86 and 51.08 respectively, higher than 40.And there are correlations between (C+G)12% and (C+G)3% for both EMCV and ThV (r = -0.736;r = 0.986, P < 0.01, repectively). For ThV the (C+G)12%, (C+G)3%, axis f'1 and axis f'2 had a significant correlations respectively but not for EMCV. According to the RSCU values, the EMCV species seemed to prefer U, G and C ending codon, while the ThV spice seemed to like using U and A ending codon. However, in both genus AGA for Arg, AUU for Ile, UCU for Ser, and GGA for Gly were chosen preferentially. Correspondence analysis detected one major trend in the first axis (f'1) which accounted for 22.89% of the total variation, and another major trend in the second axis (f'2) which accounted for 17.64% of the total variation. And the plots of the same serotype seemed at the same region at the coordinate.
The overall extents of codon usage bias in both EMCV and ThV are low. The mutational pressure is the main factor that determines the codon usage bias, but the (C+G) content plays a more important role in codon usage bias for ThV than for EMCV. The synonymous codon usage pattern in both EMCV and ThV genes is gene function and geography specific, but not host specific. Maybe the serotype is one factor effected the codon bias for ThV, and location has no significant effect on the variations of synonymous codon usage in these virus genes.
PMCID: PMC3148564  PMID: 21708006

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