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Volume 13, November

Viruses, Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 219 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The archaeal caudovirus HF2 lytically infects Halorubrum coriense. Virus and host were isolated from a saltern crystallizer on the shore of Corio Bay, Australia. The viral genome (77,672 bp, dsDNA) has a compact and modular gene organization similar to many bacterial viruses. The functions of most genes are unknown. A series of intergenic repeat (IR) sequences were discovered that were conjectured to contain viral promoters, and in the current study, this was experimentally confirmed. Some IRs were active in both orientations. Apart from promoter motifs, IRs probably also contain binding sites for regulatory proteins. Viral transcripts were examined by reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), which revealed transcripts (both sense and antisense) ranging from 1.1 kp to 35.8 kb. The results indicate a complex regulatory network in this and other members of the Haloferacalesvirus genus. View this paper
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Article
Microarray-Based Detection of Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 Proteins, Common Respiratory Viruses and Type I Interferons
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2553; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122553 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
A microarray-based assay to detect IgG and IgM antibodies against betacoronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, SARS, MERS, OC43, and HKU1), other respiratory viruses and type I interferons (IFN-Is) was developed. This multiplex assay was applied to track antibody cross-reactivity due to previous contact with similar viruses [...] Read more.
A microarray-based assay to detect IgG and IgM antibodies against betacoronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, SARS, MERS, OC43, and HKU1), other respiratory viruses and type I interferons (IFN-Is) was developed. This multiplex assay was applied to track antibody cross-reactivity due to previous contact with similar viruses and to identify antibodies against IFN-Is as the markers for severe COVID-19. In total, 278 serum samples from convalescent plasma donors, COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and patients who recovered from mild/moderate COVID-19, vaccine recipients, prepandemic and pandemic patients with autoimmune endocrine disorders, and a heterogeneous prepandemic cohort including healthy individuals and chronically ill patients were analyzed. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 microarray results agreed well with the ELISA results. Regarding ICU patients, autoantibodies against IFN-Is were detected in 10.5% of samples, and 10.5% of samples were found to simultaneously contain IgM antibodies against more than two different viruses. Cross-reactivity between IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and IgG against the OC43 and HKU1 spike proteins was observed, resulting in positive signals for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid in prepandemic samples from patients with autoimmune endocrine disorders. The presence of IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid in the absence of IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD should be interpreted with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia)
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Review
Prevention and Control Strategies of African Swine Fever and Progress on Pig Farm Repopulation in China
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2552; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122552 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating disease in domestic and wild pigs. Since the first outbreak of ASF in August 2018 in China, the disease has spread throughout the country with an unprecedented speed, causing heavy losses to the pig and related [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating disease in domestic and wild pigs. Since the first outbreak of ASF in August 2018 in China, the disease has spread throughout the country with an unprecedented speed, causing heavy losses to the pig and related industries. As a result, strategies for managing the disease are urgently needed. This paper summarizes the important aspects of three key elements about African swine fever virus (ASFV) transmission, including the sources of infection, transmission routes, and susceptible animals. It overviews the relevant prevention and control strategies, focusing on the research progress of ASFV vaccines, anti-ASFV drugs, ASFV-resistant pigs, efficient disinfection, and pig farm biosecurity. We then reviewed the key technical points concerning pig farm repopulation, which is critical to the pork industry. We hope to not only provide a theoretical basis but also practical strategies for effective dealing with the ASF epidemic and restoration of pig production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Porcine Virus Research in China)
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Article
Protection against Congenital CMV Infection Conferred by MVA-Vectored Subunit Vaccines Extends to a Second Pregnancy after Maternal Challenge with a Heterologous, Novel Strain Variant
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2551; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122551 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Maternal reinfection of immune women with novel human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) strains acquired during pregnancy can result in symptomatic congenital CMV (cCMV) infection. Novel animal model strategies are needed to explore vaccine-mediated protections against maternal reinfection. To investigate this in the guinea pig cytomegalovirus [...] Read more.
Maternal reinfection of immune women with novel human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) strains acquired during pregnancy can result in symptomatic congenital CMV (cCMV) infection. Novel animal model strategies are needed to explore vaccine-mediated protections against maternal reinfection. To investigate this in the guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) model, a strictly in vivo-passaged workpool of a novel strain, the CIDMTR strain (dose, 1 × 107 pfu) was used to infect dams that had been challenged in a previous pregnancy with the 22122 strain, following either sham-immunization (vector only) or vaccination with MVA-vectored gB, gH/gL, or pentameric complex (PC) vaccines. Maternal DNAemia cleared by day 21 in the glycoprotein-vaccinated dams, but not in the sham-immunized dams. Mean pup birth weights were 72.85 ± 10.2, 80.0 ± 6.9, 81.4 ± 14.1, and 89.38 ± 8.4 g in sham-immunized, gB, gH/gL, and PC groups, respectively (p < 0.01 for control v. PC). Pup mortality in the sham-immunized group was 6/12 (50%), but reduced to 3/35 (8.6%) in combined vaccine groups (p = 0.0048). Vertical CIDMTR transmission occurred in 6/12 pups (50%) in the sham-vaccinated group, compared to 2/34 pups (6%) in the vaccine groups (p = 0.002). We conclude that guinea pigs immunized with vectored vaccines expressing 22122 strain-specific glycoproteins are protected after a reinfection with a novel, heterologous clinical isolate (CIDMTR) in a second pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Concepts of Antiviral Strategies Against HCMV)
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Article
Population Variability Generated during Rescue Process and Passaging of Recombinant Mumps Viruses
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2550; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122550 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 333
Abstract
Recombinant mumps viruses (MuVs) based on established vaccine strains represent attractive vector candidates as they have known track records for high efficacy and the viral genome does not integrate in the host cells. We developed a rescue system based on the consensus sequence [...] Read more.
Recombinant mumps viruses (MuVs) based on established vaccine strains represent attractive vector candidates as they have known track records for high efficacy and the viral genome does not integrate in the host cells. We developed a rescue system based on the consensus sequence of the L-Zagreb vaccine and generated seven different recombinant MuVs by (a) insertion of one or two additional transcription units (ATUs), (b) lengthening of a noncoding region to the extent that the longest noncoding region in MuV genome is created, or (c) replacement of original L-Zagreb sequences with sequences rich in CG and AT dinucleotides. All viruses were successfully rescued and faithfully matched sequences of input plasmids. In primary rescued stocks, low percentages of heterogeneous positions were found (maximum 0.12%) and substitutions were predominantly obtained in minor variants, with maximally four substitutions seen in consensus. ATUs did not accumulate more mutations than the natural MuV genes. Six substitutions characteristic for recombinant viruses generated in our system were defined, as they repetitively occurred during rescue processes. In subsequent passaging of primary rescue stocks in Vero cells, different inconsistencies within quasispecies structures were observed. In order to assure that unwanted mutations did not emerge and accumulate, sub-consensus variability should be closely monitored. As we show for Pro408Leu mutation in L gene and a stop codon in one of ATUs, positively selected variants can rise to frequencies over 85% in only few passages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Virology Research in Croatia)
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Article
Genomic Epidemiology of Salmonid Alphavirus in Norwegian Aquaculture Reveals Recent Subtype-2 Transmission Dynamics and Novel Subtype-3 Lineages
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2549; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122549 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Viral disease poses a major barrier to sustainable aquaculture, with outbreaks causing large economic losses and growing concerns for fish welfare. Genomic epidemiology can support disease control by providing rapid inferences on viral evolution and disease transmission. In this study, genomic epidemiology was [...] Read more.
Viral disease poses a major barrier to sustainable aquaculture, with outbreaks causing large economic losses and growing concerns for fish welfare. Genomic epidemiology can support disease control by providing rapid inferences on viral evolution and disease transmission. In this study, genomic epidemiology was used to investigate salmonid alphavirus (SAV), the causative agent of pancreas disease (PD) in Atlantic salmon. Our aim was to reconstruct SAV subtype-2 (SAV2) diversity and transmission dynamics in recent Norwegian aquaculture, including the origin of SAV2 in regions where this subtype is not tolerated under current legislation. Using nanopore sequencing, we captured ~90% of the SAV2 genome for n = 68 field isolates from 10 aquaculture production regions sampled between 2018 and 2020. Using time-calibrated phylogenetics, we infer that, following its introduction to Norway around 2010, SAV2 split into two clades (SAV2a and 2b) around 2013. While co-present at the same sites near the boundary of Møre og Romsdal and Trøndelag, SAV2a and 2b were generally detected in non-overlapping locations at more Southern and Northern latitudes, respectively. We provide evidence for recent SAV2 transmission over large distances, revealing a strong connection between Møre og Romsdal and SAV2 detected in 2019/20 in Rogaland. We also demonstrate separate introductions of SAV2a and 2b outside the SAV2 zone in Sognefjorden (Vestland), connected to samples from Møre og Romsdal and Trøndelag, respectively, and a likely 100 km Northward transmission of SAV2b within Trøndelag. Finally, we recovered genomes of SAV2a and SAV3 co-infecting single fish in Rogaland, involving novel SAV3 lineages that diverged from previously characterized strains >25 years ago. Overall, this study demonstrates useful applications of genomic epidemiology for tracking viral disease spread in aquaculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Affecting Salmonids)
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Communication
A Novel High-Throughput Nanopore-Sequencing-Based Strategy for Rapid and Automated S-Protein Typing of SARS-CoV-2 Variants
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2548; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122548 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 566
Abstract
Rapid molecular surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein variants leading to immune escape and/or increased infectivity is of utmost importance. Among global bottlenecks for variant monitoring in diagnostic settings are sequencing and bioinformatics capacities. In this study, we aimed to establish a rapid and user-friendly [...] Read more.
Rapid molecular surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein variants leading to immune escape and/or increased infectivity is of utmost importance. Among global bottlenecks for variant monitoring in diagnostic settings are sequencing and bioinformatics capacities. In this study, we aimed to establish a rapid and user-friendly protocol for high-throughput S-gene sequencing and subsequent automated identification of variants. We designed two new primer pairs to amplify only the immunodominant part of the S-gene for nanopore sequencing. Furthermore, we developed an automated “S-Protein-Typer” tool that analyzes and reports S-protein mutations on the amino acid level including a variant of concern indicator. Validation of our primer panel using SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory specimens covering a broad Ct range showed successful amplification for 29/30 samples. Restriction to the region of interest freed sequencing capacity by a factor of 12–13, compared with whole-genome sequencing. Using either the MinION or Flongle flow cell, our sequencing strategy reduced the time required to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants accordingly. The S-Protein-Typer tool identified all mutations correctly when challenged with our sequenced samples and 50 deposited sequences covering all VOCs (December 2021). Our proposed S-protein variant screening offers a simple, more rapid, and low-cost entry into NGS-based SARS-CoV-2 analysis, compared with current whole-genome approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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Article
Detection of Jingmenviruses in Japan with Evidence of Vertical Transmission in Ticks
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2547; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122547 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Jingmen tick virus (JMTV) and the related jingmenvirus-termed Alongshan virus are recognized as globally emerging human pathogenic tick-borne viruses. These viruses have been detected in various mammals and invertebrates, although their natural transmission cycles remain unknown. JMTV and a novel jingmenvirus, tentatively named [...] Read more.
Jingmen tick virus (JMTV) and the related jingmenvirus-termed Alongshan virus are recognized as globally emerging human pathogenic tick-borne viruses. These viruses have been detected in various mammals and invertebrates, although their natural transmission cycles remain unknown. JMTV and a novel jingmenvirus, tentatively named Takachi virus (TAKV), have now been identified during a surveillance of tick-borne viruses in Japan. JMTV was shown to be distributed across extensive areas of Japan and has been detected repeatedly at the same collection sites over several years, suggesting viral circulation in natural transmission cycles in these areas. Interestingly, these jingmenviruses may exist in a host tick species-specific manner. Vertical transmission of the virus in host ticks in nature was also indicated by the presence of JMTV in unfed host-questing Amblyomma testudinarium larvae. Further epidemiological surveillance and etiological studies are necessary to assess the status and risk of jingmenvirus infection in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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Article
Modeling the Influence of Vaccine Administration on COVID-19 Testing Strategies
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2546; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122546 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Vaccination is considered the best strategy for limiting and eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of this strategy relies on the rate of vaccine deployment and acceptance across the globe. As these efforts are being conducted, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [...] Read more.
Vaccination is considered the best strategy for limiting and eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of this strategy relies on the rate of vaccine deployment and acceptance across the globe. As these efforts are being conducted, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is continuously mutating, which leads to the emergence of variants with increased transmissibility, virulence, and resistance to vaccines. One important question is whether surveillance testing is still needed in order to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a vaccinated population. In this study, we developed a multi-scale mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a vaccinated population and used it to predict the role of testing in an outbreak with variants of increased transmissibility. We found that, for low transmissibility variants, testing was most effective when vaccination levels were low to moderate and its impact was diminished when vaccination levels were high. For high transmissibility variants, widespread vaccination was necessary in order for testing to have a significant impact on preventing outbreaks, with the impact of testing having maximum effects when focused on the non-vaccinated population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical Modeling of Viral Infection)
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Case Report
Intrauterine Fetal Demise After Uncomplicated COVID-19: What Can We Learn from the Case?
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2545; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122545 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women can lead to placental damage and transplacental infection transfer, and intrauterine fetal demise is an unpredictable event. Case study: A 32-year-old patient in her 38th week of pregnancy reported loss of fetal movements. She overcame mild COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women can lead to placental damage and transplacental infection transfer, and intrauterine fetal demise is an unpredictable event. Case study: A 32-year-old patient in her 38th week of pregnancy reported loss of fetal movements. She overcame mild COVID-19 with positive PCR test 22 days before. A histology of the placenta showed deposition of intervillous fibrinoid, lympho-histiocytic infiltration, scant neutrophils, clumping of villi, and extant infarctions. Immunohistochemistry identified focal SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike protein in the syncytiotrophoblast and isolated in situ hybridization of the virus’ RNA. Low ACE2 and TMPRSS2 contrasted with strong basigin/CD147 and PDL-1 positivity in the trophoblast. An autopsy of the fetus showed no morphological abnormalities except for lung interstitial infiltrate, with prevalent CD8-positive T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization proved the presence of countless dispersed SARS-CoV-2-infected epithelial and endothelial cells in the lung tissue. The potential virus-receptor protein ACE2, TMPRSS2, and CD147 expression was too low to be detected. Conclusion: Over three weeks’ persistence of trophoblast viral infection lead to extensive intervillous fibrinoid depositions and placental infarctions. High CD147 expression might serve as the dominant receptor for the virus, and PDL-1 could limit maternal immunity in placental tissue virus clearance. The presented case indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced changes in the placenta lead to ischemia and consecutive demise of the fetus. The infection of the fetus was without significant impact on its death. This rare complication of pregnancy can appear independently to the severity of COVID-19’s clinical course in the pregnant mother. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Virology Research in Slovakia)
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Article
Prediction of SARS-CoV-2 Variant Lineages Using the S1-Encoding Region Sequence Obtained by PacBio Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2544; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122544 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 565
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the causal agent of the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in late 2019. The outbreak of variants with mutations in the region encoding the spike protein S1 sub-unit that can make them more resistant to [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the causal agent of the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in late 2019. The outbreak of variants with mutations in the region encoding the spike protein S1 sub-unit that can make them more resistant to neutralizing or monoclonal antibodies is the main point of the current monitoring. This study examines the feasibility of predicting the variant lineage and monitoring the appearance of reported mutations by sequencing only the region encoding the S1 domain by Pacific Bioscience Single Molecule Real-Time sequencing (PacBio SMRT). Using the PacBio SMRT system, we successfully sequenced 186 of the 200 samples previously sequenced with the Illumina COVIDSeq (whole genome) system. PacBio SMRT detected mutations in the S1 domain that were missed by the COVIDseq system in 27/186 samples (14.5%), due to amplification failure. These missing positions included mutations that are decisive for lineage assignation, such as G142D (n = 11), N501Y (n = 6), or E484K (n = 2). The lineage of 172/186 (92.5%) samples was accurately determined by analyzing the region encoding the S1 domain with a pipeline that uses key positions in S1. Thus, the PacBio SMRT protocol is appropriate for determining virus lineages and detecting key mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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Review
Immune Dysregulation Is Associated with Neurodevelopment and Neurocognitive Performance in HIV Pediatric Populations—A Scoping Review
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2543; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122543 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 578
Abstract
HIV-1 is known for its complex interaction with the dysregulated immune system and is responsible for the development of neurocognitive deficits and neurodevelopmental delays in pediatric HIV populations. Considering that HIV-1-induced immune dysregulation and its association with neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive impairments in pediatric [...] Read more.
HIV-1 is known for its complex interaction with the dysregulated immune system and is responsible for the development of neurocognitive deficits and neurodevelopmental delays in pediatric HIV populations. Considering that HIV-1-induced immune dysregulation and its association with neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive impairments in pediatric populations are not well understood, we conducted a scoping review on this topic. The study aimed to systematically review the association of blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immune markers with neurocognitive deficits and neurodevelopmental delays in pediatric HIV populations. PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched using a search protocol designed specifically for this study. Studies were selected based on a set eligibility criterion. Titles, abstracts, and full texts were assessed by two independent reviewers. Data from the selected studies were extracted and analyzed by two independent reviewers. Seven studies were considered eligible for use in this context, which included four cross-sectional and three longitudinal studies. An average of 130 (±70.61) children living with HIV, 138 (±65.37) children exposed to HIV but uninfected and 90 (±86.66) HIV-negative participants were included across the seven studies. Results indicate that blood and CSF immune markers are associated with neurocognitive development/performance in pediatric HIV populations. Only seven studies met the inclusion criteria, therefore, these limited the number of significant conclusions which could have been made by using such an approach. All considered, the evidence suggests that immune dysregulation, as in the case of adult HIV populations, also has a significant association with neurocognitive performance in pediatric HIV populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric HIV Infection and AIDS)
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Review
Distinguishing Features Common to Dual Fatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infections That Occur in Both a Pregnant Woman and Her Newborn Infant
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122542 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Deaths from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) are rare. A major exception is perinatally acquired HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection where the neonatal death rate is substantial. Fatal HSV infection also occurs occasionally in pregnant women. [...] Read more.
Deaths from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) are rare. A major exception is perinatally acquired HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection where the neonatal death rate is substantial. Fatal HSV infection also occurs occasionally in pregnant women. The goal of this review is to enumerate the reports that describe dual deaths of both a pregnant woman and her newborn from a herpesvirus infection. A total of 15 reports were found in the medical literature, of which five described pregnant women with HSV encephalitis and 10 described women with disseminated HSV infection. When the virus was typed, most cases of dual mother/newborn deaths were caused by HSV-2. Of interest, in two situations caused by HSV-1, the pregnant woman probably acquired her primary HSV-1 infection from one of her children and not by sexual transmission. Complete genomic sequencing was performed on one set of HSV-1 isolates collected from mother (blood) and newborn (blood and skin). The mother’s strain and the newborn’s skin strain were 98.9% identical. When the newborn’s two strains were compared, they were 97.4% identical. Only one mother was tested by the HerpeSelect IgG antibody kit. During the nine days of her undiagnosed disseminated infection preceding her death, her serology was negative. In summary, although dual mother/newborn deaths from HSV infection are rare, they continue to be reported as recently as 2017. Full article
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Protocol
LABRADOR—A Computational Workflow for Virus Detection in High-Throughput Sequencing Data
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2541; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122541 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) allows detection of known and unknown viruses in samples of broad origin. This makes HTS a perfect technology to determine whether or not the biological products, such as vaccines are free from the adventitious agents, which could support or replace [...] Read more.
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) allows detection of known and unknown viruses in samples of broad origin. This makes HTS a perfect technology to determine whether or not the biological products, such as vaccines are free from the adventitious agents, which could support or replace extensive testing using various in vitro and in vivo assays. Due to bioinformatics complexities, there is a need for standardized and reliable methods to manage HTS generated data in this field. Thus, we developed LABRADOR—an analysis pipeline for adventitious virus detection. The pipeline consists of several third-party programs and is divided into two major parts: (i) direct reads classification based on the comparison of characteristic profiles between reads and sequences deposited in the database supported with alignment of to the best matching reference sequence and (ii) de novo assembly of contigs and their classification on nucleotide and amino acid levels. To meet the requirements published in guidelines for biologicals’ safety we generated a custom nucleotide database with viral sequences. We tested our pipeline on publicly available HTS datasets and showed that LABRADOR can reliably detect viruses in mixtures of model viruses, vaccines and clinical samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus Bioinformatics 2022)
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Article
Coronavirus RNA Synthesis Takes Place within Membrane-Bound Sites
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2540; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122540 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a gammacoronavirus, is an economically important virus to the poultry industry, as well as a significant welfare issue for chickens. As for all positive strand RNA viruses, IBV infection causes rearrangements of the host cell intracellular membranes to form [...] Read more.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a gammacoronavirus, is an economically important virus to the poultry industry, as well as a significant welfare issue for chickens. As for all positive strand RNA viruses, IBV infection causes rearrangements of the host cell intracellular membranes to form replication organelles. Replication organelle formation is a highly conserved and vital step in the viral life cycle. Here, we investigate the localization of viral RNA synthesis and the link with replication organelles in host cells. We have shown that sites of viral RNA synthesis and virus-related dsRNA are associated with one another and, significantly, that they are located within a membrane-bound compartment within the cell. We have also shown that some viral RNA produced early in infection remains within these membranes throughout infection, while a proportion is trafficked to the cytoplasm. Importantly, we demonstrate conservation across all four coronavirus genera, including SARS-CoV-2. Understanding more about the replication of these viruses is imperative in order to effectively find ways to control them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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Article
Genomic Analysis of the First European Bacteriophages with Depolymerase Activity and Biocontrol Efficacy against the Phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2539; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122539 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
Ralstonia solanacearum is the causative agent of bacterial wilt, one of the most destructive plant diseases. While chemical control has an environmental impact, biological control strategies can allow sustainable agrosystems. Three lytic bacteriophages (phages) of R. solanacearum with biocontrol capacity in environmental water [...] Read more.
Ralstonia solanacearum is the causative agent of bacterial wilt, one of the most destructive plant diseases. While chemical control has an environmental impact, biological control strategies can allow sustainable agrosystems. Three lytic bacteriophages (phages) of R. solanacearum with biocontrol capacity in environmental water and plants were isolated from river water in Europe but not fully analysed, their genomic characterization being fundamental to understand their biology. In this work, the phage genomes were sequenced and subjected to bioinformatic analysis. The morphology was also observed by electron microscopy. Phylogenetic analyses were performed with a selection of phages able to infect R. solanacearum and the closely related phytopathogenic species R. pseudosolanacearum. The results indicated that the genomes of vRsoP-WF2, vRsoP-WM2 and vRsoP-WR2 range from 40,688 to 41,158 bp with almost 59% GC-contents, 52 ORFs in vRsoP-WF2 and vRsoP-WM2, and 53 in vRsoP-WR2 but, with only 22 or 23 predicted proteins with functional homologs in databases. Among them, two lysins and one exopolysaccharide (EPS) depolymerase, this type of depolymerase being identified in R. solanacearum phages for the first time. These three European phages belong to the same novel species within the Gyeongsanvirus, Autographiviridae family (formerly Podoviridae). These genomic data will contribute to a better understanding of the abilities of these phages to damage host cells and, consequently, to an improvement in the biological control of R. solanacearum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophage-Based Biocontrol in Agriculture)
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Article
Dynamics of the Enteric Virome in a Swine Herd Affected by Non-PCV2/PRRSV Postweaning Wasting Syndrome
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2538; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122538 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
A commercial pig farm with no history of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) repeatedly reported a significant reduction in body weight gain and wasting symptoms in approximately 20–30% of the pigs in the period between three [...] Read more.
A commercial pig farm with no history of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) repeatedly reported a significant reduction in body weight gain and wasting symptoms in approximately 20–30% of the pigs in the period between three and six weeks after weaning. As standard clinical interventions failed to tackle symptomatology, viral metagenomics were used to describe and monitor the enteric virome at birth, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 9 weeks of age. The latter four sampling points were 7 days, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks post weaning, respectively. Fourteen distinct enteric viruses were identified within the herd, which all have previously been linked to enteric diseases. Here we show that wasting is associated with alterations in the enteric virome of the pigs, characterized by: (1) the presence of enterovirus G at 3 weeks of age, followed by a higher prevalence of the virus in wasting pigs at 6 weeks after weaning; (2) rotaviruses at 3 weeks of age; and (3) porcine sapovirus one week after weaning. However, the data do not provide a causal link between specific viral infections and the postweaning clinical problems on the farm. Together, our results offer evidence that disturbances in the enteric virome at the preweaning stage and early after weaning have a determining role in the development of intestinal barrier dysfunctions and nutrient uptake in the postweaning growth phase. Moreover, we show that the enteric viral load sharply increases in the week after weaning in both healthy and wasting pigs. This study is also the first to report the dynamics and co-infection of porcine rotavirus species and porcine astrovirus genetic lineages during the first 9 weeks of the life of domestic pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Next-Generation Sequencing in Virus Discovery)
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Article
Differential Effect of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein 1 on Human Bronchial and Alveolar Lung Mucosa Models: Implications for Pathogenicity
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2537; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122537 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 686
Abstract
Background: The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mediates attachment of the virus to the host cell receptor and fusion between the virus and the cell membrane. The S1 subunit of the spike glycoprotein (S1 protein) contains the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain. [...] Read more.
Background: The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mediates attachment of the virus to the host cell receptor and fusion between the virus and the cell membrane. The S1 subunit of the spike glycoprotein (S1 protein) contains the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain. The SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern contain mutations in the S1 subunit. The spike protein is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies generated following infection, and constitutes the viral component of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Methods: Therefore, in this work we assessed the effect of exposure (24 h) to 10 nM SARS-CoV-2 recombinant S1 protein on physiologically relevant human bronchial (bro) and alveolar (alv) lung mucosa models cultured at air–liquid interface (ALI) (n = 6 per exposure condition). Corresponding sham exposed samples served as a control. The bro-ALI model was developed using primary bronchial epithelial cells and the alv-ALI model using representative type II pneumocytes (NCI-H441). Results: Exposure to S1 protein induced the surface expression of ACE2, toll like receptor (TLR) 2, and TLR4 in both bro-ALI and alv-ALI models. Transcript expression analysis identified 117 (bro-ALI) and 97 (alv-ALI) differentially regulated genes (p ≤ 0.01). Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of canonical pathways such as interferon (IFN) signaling, influenza, coronavirus, and anti-viral response in the bro-ALI. Secreted levels of interleukin (IL) 4 and IL12 were significantly (p < 0.05) increased, whereas IL6 decreased in the bro-ALI. In the case of alv-ALI, enriched terms involving p53, APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) tight junction, integrin kinase, and IL1 signaling were identified. These terms are associated with lung fibrosis. Further, significantly (p < 0.05) increased levels of secreted pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ, IL1ꞵ, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL13, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were detected in alv-ALI, whereas IL12 was decreased. Altered levels of these cytokines are also associated with lung fibrotic response. Conclusions: In conclusion, we observed a typical anti-viral response in the bronchial model and a pro-fibrotic response in the alveolar model. The bro-ALI and alv-ALI models may serve as an easy and robust platform for assessing the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern at different lung regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 and Other Coronaviruses)
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Article
Efficacy of Ventilation, HEPA Air Cleaners, Universal Masking, and Physical Distancing for Reducing Exposure to Simulated Exhaled Aerosols in a Meeting Room
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2536; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122536 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 741
Abstract
There is strong evidence associating the indoor environment with transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 can spread by exposure to droplets and very fine aerosol particles from respiratory fluids that are released by infected persons. Layered mitigation strategies, including but [...] Read more.
There is strong evidence associating the indoor environment with transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 can spread by exposure to droplets and very fine aerosol particles from respiratory fluids that are released by infected persons. Layered mitigation strategies, including but not limited to maintaining physical distancing, adequate ventilation, universal masking, avoiding overcrowding, and vaccination, have shown to be effective in reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within the indoor environment. Here, we examine the effect of mitigation strategies on reducing the risk of exposure to simulated respiratory aerosol particles within a classroom-style meeting room. To quantify exposure of uninfected individuals (Recipients), surrogate respiratory aerosol particles were generated by a breathing simulator with a headform (Source) that mimicked breath exhalations. Recipients, represented by three breathing simulators with manikin headforms, were placed in a meeting room and affixed with optical particle counters to measure 0.3–3 µm aerosol particles. Universal masking of all breathing simulators with a 3-ply cotton mask reduced aerosol exposure by 50% or more compared to scenarios with simulators unmasked. While evaluating the effect of Source placement, Recipients had the highest exposure at 0.9 m in a face-to-face orientation. Ventilation reduced exposure by approximately 5% per unit increase in air change per hour (ACH), irrespective of whether increases in ACH were by the HVAC system or portable HEPA air cleaners. The results demonstrate that mitigation strategies, such as universal masking and increasing ventilation, reduce personal exposure to respiratory aerosols within a meeting room. While universal masking remains a key component of a layered mitigation strategy of exposure reduction, increasing ventilation via system HVAC or portable HEPA air cleaners further reduces exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol Transmission of Viral Disease)
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Article
Influence of Ribavirin on Mumps Virus Population Diversity
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2535; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122535 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Frequent mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations and the occurrence of neurological complications (e.g., aseptic meningitis or encephalitis) in patients with mumps indicate the need for the development of more efficient vaccines as well as specific antiviral therapies. RNA viruses are genetically highly heterogeneous [...] Read more.
Frequent mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations and the occurrence of neurological complications (e.g., aseptic meningitis or encephalitis) in patients with mumps indicate the need for the development of more efficient vaccines as well as specific antiviral therapies. RNA viruses are genetically highly heterogeneous populations that exist on the edge of an error threshold, such that additional increases in mutational burden can lead to extinction of the virus population. Deliberate modulation of their natural mutation rate is being exploited as an antiviral strategy and a possibility for rational vaccine design. The aim of this study was to examine the ability of ribavirin, a broad-spectrum antiviral agent, to introduce mutations in the mumps virus (MuV) genome and to investigate if resistance develops during long-term in vitro exposure to ribavirin. An increase in MuV population heterogeneity in the presence of ribavirin has been observed after one passage in cell culture, as well as a bias toward C-to-U and G-to-A transitions, which have previously been defined as ribavirin-related. At higher ribavirin concentration, MuV loses its infectivity during serial passaging and does not recover. At low ribavirin concentration, serial passaging leads to a more significant increase in population diversity and a stronger bias towards ribavirin-related transitions, independently of viral strain or cell culture. In these conditions, the virus retains its initial growth capacity, without development of resistance at a whole-virus population level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Virology Research in Croatia)
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Article
Emergence of a Distinct Picobirnavirus Genotype Circulating in Patients Hospitalized with Acute Respiratory Illness
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2534; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122534 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Picobirnaviruses (PBV) are found in a wide range of hosts and typically associated with gastrointestinal infections in immunocompromised individuals. Here, a divergent PBV genome was assembled from a patient hospitalized for acute respiratory illness (ARI) in Colombia. The RdRp protein branched with sequences [...] Read more.
Picobirnaviruses (PBV) are found in a wide range of hosts and typically associated with gastrointestinal infections in immunocompromised individuals. Here, a divergent PBV genome was assembled from a patient hospitalized for acute respiratory illness (ARI) in Colombia. The RdRp protein branched with sequences previously reported in patients with ARI from Cambodia and China. Sputa from hospitalized individuals (n = 130) were screened by RT-qPCR which enabled detection and subsequent metagenomic characterization of 25 additional PBV infections circulating in Colombia and the US. Phylogenetic analysis of RdRp highlighted the emergence of two dominant lineages linked to the index case and Asian strains, which together clustered as a distinct genotype. Bayesian inference further established capsid and RdRp sequences as both significantly associated with ARI. Various respiratory-tropic pathogens were detected in PBV+ patients, yet no specific bacteria was common among them and four individuals lacked co-infections, suggesting PBV may not be a prokaryotic virus nor exclusively opportunistic, respectively. Competing models for the origin and transmission of this PBV genotype are presented that attempt to reconcile vectoring by a bacterial host with human pathogenicity. A high prevalence in patients with ARI, an ability to reassort, and demonstrated global spread indicate PBV warrant greater public health concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Next-Generation Sequencing in Virus Discovery)
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Article
Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), a Green Tea Polyphenol, Reduces Coronavirus Replication in a Mouse Model
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2533; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122533 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1046
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge number of deaths from 2020 to 2021; however, effective antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 are currently under development. Recent studies have demonstrated that green tea polyphenols, particularly EGCG, inhibit coronavirus enzymes as well as coronavirus replication [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge number of deaths from 2020 to 2021; however, effective antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 are currently under development. Recent studies have demonstrated that green tea polyphenols, particularly EGCG, inhibit coronavirus enzymes as well as coronavirus replication in vitro. Herein, we examined the inhibitory effect of green tea polyphenols on coronavirus replication in a mouse model. We used epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and green tea polyphenols containing more than 60% catechin (GTP60) and human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43) as a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2. Scanning electron microscopy analysis results showed that HCoV-OC43 infection resulted in virion particle production in infected cells. EGCG and GTP60 treatment reduced coronavirus protein and virus production in the cells. Finally, EGCG- and GTP60-fed mice exhibited reduced levels of coronavirus RNA in mouse lungs. These results demonstrate that green tea polyphenol treatment is effective in decreasing the level of coronavirus in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Therapeutics against Coronaviruses)
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Article
Cryo-EM Structures of Two Bacteriophage Portal Proteins Provide Insights for Antimicrobial Phage Engineering
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2532; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122532 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Widespread antibiotic resistance has returned attention to bacteriophages as a means of managing bacterial pathogenesis. Synthetic biology approaches to engineer phages have demonstrated genomic editing to broaden natural host ranges, or to optimise microbicidal action. Gram positive pathogens cause serious pastoral animal and [...] Read more.
Widespread antibiotic resistance has returned attention to bacteriophages as a means of managing bacterial pathogenesis. Synthetic biology approaches to engineer phages have demonstrated genomic editing to broaden natural host ranges, or to optimise microbicidal action. Gram positive pathogens cause serious pastoral animal and human infections that are especially lethal in newborns. Such pathogens are targeted by the obligate lytic phages of the Salasmaviridae and Guelinviridae families. These phages have relatively small ~20 kb linear protein-capped genomes and their compact organisation, relatively few structural elements, and broad host range, are appealing from a phage-engineering standpoint. In this study, we focus on portal proteins, which are core elements for the assembly of such tailed phages. The structures of dodecameric portal complexes from Salasmaviridae phage GA1, which targets Bacillus pumilus, and Guelinviridae phage phiCPV4 that infects Clostridium perfringens, were determined at resolutions of 3.3 Å and 2.9 Å, respectively. Both are found to closely resemble the related phi29 portal protein fold. However, the portal protein of phiCPV4 exhibits interesting differences in the clip domain. These structures provide new insights on structural diversity in Caudovirales portal proteins and will be essential for considerations in phage structural engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rosalind Franklin's 100th Birthday)
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Article
Nanopore-Based Direct RNA-Sequencing Reveals a High-Resolution Transcriptional Landscape of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2531; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122531 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
The TRS-mediated discontinuous transcription process is a hallmark of Arteriviruses. Precise assessment of the intricate subgenomic RNA (sg mRNA) populations is required to understand the kinetics of viral transcription. It is difficult to reconstruct and comprehensively quantify splicing events using short-read sequencing, making [...] Read more.
The TRS-mediated discontinuous transcription process is a hallmark of Arteriviruses. Precise assessment of the intricate subgenomic RNA (sg mRNA) populations is required to understand the kinetics of viral transcription. It is difficult to reconstruct and comprehensively quantify splicing events using short-read sequencing, making the identification of transcription-regulatory sequences (TRS) particularly problematic. Here, we applied long-read direct RNA sequencing to characterize the recombined RNA molecules produced in porcine alveolar macrophages during early passage infection of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Based on sequencing two PRRSV isolates, namely XM-2020 and GD, we revealed a high-resolution and diverse transcriptional landscape in PRRSV. The data revealed intriguing differences in subgenomic recombination types between the two PRRSVs while also demonstrating TRS-independent heterogeneous subpopulation not previously observed in Arteriviruses. We find that TRS usage is a regulated process and share the common preferred TRS in both strains. This study also identified a substantial number of TRS-mediated transcript variants, including alternative-sg mRNAs encoding the same annotated ORF, as well as putative sg mRNAs encoded nested internal ORFs, implying that the genetic information encoded in PRRSV may be more intensively expressed. Epigenetic modifications have emerged as an essential regulatory layer in gene expression. Here, we gained a deeper understanding of m5C modification in poly(A) RNA, elucidating a potential link between methylation and transcriptional regulation. Collectively, our findings provided meaningful insights for redefining the transcriptome complexity of PRRSV. This will assist in filling the research gaps and developing strategies for better control of the PRRS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Veterinary Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Integrating High throughput Sequencing into Survey Design Reveals Turnip Yellows Virus and Soybean Dwarf Virus in Pea (Pisum Sativum) in the United Kingdom
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2530; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122530 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 659
Abstract
There is only limited knowledge of the presence and incidence of viruses in peas within the United Kingdom, therefore high-throughput sequencing (HTS) in combination with a bulk sampling strategy and targeted testing was used to determine the virome in cultivated pea crops. Bulks [...] Read more.
There is only limited knowledge of the presence and incidence of viruses in peas within the United Kingdom, therefore high-throughput sequencing (HTS) in combination with a bulk sampling strategy and targeted testing was used to determine the virome in cultivated pea crops. Bulks of 120 leaves collected from twenty fields from around the UK were initially tested by HTS, and presence and incidence of virus was then determined using specific real-time reverse-transcription PCR assays by testing smaller mixed-bulk size samples. This study presents the first finding of turnip yellows virus (TuYV) in peas in the UK and the first finding of soybean dwarf virus (SbDV) in the UK. While TuYV was not previously known to be present in UK peas, it was found in 13 of the 20 sites tested and was present at incidences up to 100%. Pea enation mosaic virus-1, pea enation mosaic virus-2, pea seed-borne mosaic virus, bean yellow mosaic virus, pea enation mosaic virus satellite RNA and turnip yellows virus associated RNA were also identified by HTS. Additionally, a subset of bulked samples were re-sequenced at greater depth to ascertain whether the relatively low depth of sequencing had missed any infections. In each case the same viruses were identified as had been identified using the lower sequencing depth. Sequencing of an isolate of pea seed-borne mosaic virus from 2007 also revealed the presence of TuYV and SbDV, showing that both viruses have been present in the UK for at least a decade, and represents the earliest whole genome of SbDV from Europe. This study demonstrates the potential of HTS to be used as a surveillance tool, or for crop-specific field survey, using a bulk sampling strategy combined with HTS and targeted diagnostics to indicate both presence and incidence of viruses in a crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Surveillance and Metagenomics)
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Article
Molecular Characterization of Small Ruminant Lentiviruses in Polish Mixed Flocks Supports Evidence of Cross Species Transmission, Dual Infection, a Recombination Event, and Reveals the Existence of New Subtypes within Group A
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2529; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122529 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) are a group of highly divergent viruses responsible for global infection in sheep and goats. In a previous study we showed that SRLV strains found in mixed flocks in Poland belonged to subtype A13 and A18, but this study [...] Read more.
Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) are a group of highly divergent viruses responsible for global infection in sheep and goats. In a previous study we showed that SRLV strains found in mixed flocks in Poland belonged to subtype A13 and A18, but this study was restricted only to the few flocks from Małopolska region. The present work aimed at extending earlier findings with the analysis of SRLVs in mixed flocks including larger numbers of animals and flocks from different part of Poland. On the basis of gag and env sequences, Polish SRLVs were assigned to the subtypes B2, A5, A12, and A17. Furthermore, the existence of a new subtypes, tentatively designed as A23 and A24, were described for the first time. Subtypes A5 and A17 were only found in goats, subtype A24 has been detected only in sheep while subtypes A12, A23, and B2 have been found in both sheep and goats. Co-infection with strains belonging to different subtypes was evidenced in three sheep and two goats originating from two flocks. Furthermore, three putative recombination events were identified within gag and env SRLVs sequences derived from three sheep. Amino acid (aa) sequences of immunodominant epitopes in CA protein were well conserved while Major Homology Region (MHR) had more alteration showing unique mutations in sequences of subtypes A5 and A17. In contrast, aa sequences of surface glycoprotein exhibited higher variability confirming type-specific variation in the SU5 epitope. The number of potential N-linked glycosylation sites (PNGS) ranged from 3 to 6 in respective sequences and were located in different positions. The analysis of LTR sequences revealed that sequences corresponding to the TATA box, AP-4, AML-vis, and polyadenylation signal (poly A) were quite conserved, while considerable alteration was observed in AP-1 sites. Interestingly, our results revealed that all sequences belonging to subtype A17 had unique substitution T to A in the fifth position of TATA box and did not have a 11 nt deletion in the R region which was noted in other sequences from Poland. These data revealed a complex picture of SRLVs population with ovine and caprine strains belonging to group A and B. We present strong and multiple evidence of dually infected sheep and goats in mixed flocks and present evidence that these viruses can recombine in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Primate Lentiviruses 2021)
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Brief Report
Incidence and Outcome of Coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 and Rhinovirus
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2528; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122528 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Background: We aimed to compare the clinical severity in patients who were coinfected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and rhinovirus or monoinfected with a single one of these viruses. Methods: The study period ranged from 1 March 2020 to 28 [...] Read more.
Background: We aimed to compare the clinical severity in patients who were coinfected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and rhinovirus or monoinfected with a single one of these viruses. Methods: The study period ranged from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 (one year). SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses were identified by real-time reverse-transcription-PCR as part of the routine work at Marseille University hospitals. Bacterial and fungal infections were detected by standard methods. Clinical data were retrospectively collected from medical files. This study was approved by the ethical committee of our institute. Results: A total of 6034/15,157 (40%) tested patients were positive for at least one respiratory virus. Ninety-three (4.3%) SARS-CoV-2-infected patients were coinfected with another respiratory virus, with rhinovirus being the most frequent (62/93, 67%). Patients coinfected with SARS-CoV-2 and rhinovirus were significantly more likely to report a cough than those with SARS-CoV-2 monoinfection (62% vs. 31%; p = 0.0008). In addition, they were also significantly more likely to report dyspnea than patients with rhinovirus monoinfection (45% vs. 36%; p = 0.02). They were also more likely to be transferred to an intensive care unit and to die than patients with rhinovirus monoinfection (16% vs. 5% and 7% vs. 2%, respectively) but these differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: A close surveillance and investigation of the co-incidence and interactions of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses is needed. The possible higher risk of increased clinical severity in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients coinfected with rhinovirus warrants further large scale studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Respiratory Viral Coinfection)
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Article
Antiviral Activities of Carbazole Derivatives against Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus In Vitro
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2527; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122527 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), an enteric coronavirus, causes neonatal pig acute gastrointestinal infection with a characterization of severe diarrhea, vomiting, high morbidity, and high mortality, resulting in tremendous damages to the swine industry. Neither specific antiviral drugs nor effective vaccines are available, [...] Read more.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), an enteric coronavirus, causes neonatal pig acute gastrointestinal infection with a characterization of severe diarrhea, vomiting, high morbidity, and high mortality, resulting in tremendous damages to the swine industry. Neither specific antiviral drugs nor effective vaccines are available, posing a high priority to screen antiviral drugs. The aim of this study is to investigate anti-PEDV effects of carbazole alkaloid derivatives. Eighteen carbazole derivatives (No.1 to No.18) were synthesized, and No.5, No.7, and No.18 were identified to markedly reduce the replication of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) inserted-PEDV, and the mRNA level of PEDV N. Flow cytometry assay, coupled with CCK8 assay, confirmed No.7 and No.18 carbazole derivatives displayed high inhibition effects with low cell toxicity. Furthermore, time course analysis indicated No.7 and No.18 carbazole derivatives exerted inhibition at the early stage of the viral life cycle. Collectively, the analysis underlines the benefit of carbazole derivatives as potential inhibitors of PEDV, and provides candidates for the development of novel therapeutic agents. Full article
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Case Report
First Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) Variant of Concern in a Dog with Clinical Signs in Spain
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2526; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122526 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Several cases of naturally infected dogs with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported despite the apparently low susceptibility of this species. Here, we document the first reported case of infection caused by the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of concern (VOC) [...] Read more.
Several cases of naturally infected dogs with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported despite the apparently low susceptibility of this species. Here, we document the first reported case of infection caused by the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of concern (VOC) in a dog in Spain that lived with several household members suffering from Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The animal displayed mild digestive and respiratory clinical signs and had a low viral load in the oropharyngeal swab collected at the first sampling. Whole-genome sequencing indicated infection with the Delta variant, coinciding with the predominant variant during the fifth pandemic wave in Spain. The dog seroconverted, as detected 21 days after the first sampling, and developed neutralizing antibodies that cross-neutralized different SARS-CoV-2 variants. This study further emphasizes the importance of studying the susceptibility of animal species to different VOCs and their potential role as reservoirs in the context of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 and Animal Models)
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Article
Detailed Evolutionary Analyses of the F Gene in the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Subgroup A
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2525; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122525 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
We performed evolution, phylodynamics, and reinfection-related antigenicity analyses of respiratory syncytial virus subgroup A (RSV-A) fusion (F) gene in globally collected strains (1465 strains) using authentic bioinformatics methods. The time-scaled evolutionary tree using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method estimated that a [...] Read more.
We performed evolution, phylodynamics, and reinfection-related antigenicity analyses of respiratory syncytial virus subgroup A (RSV-A) fusion (F) gene in globally collected strains (1465 strains) using authentic bioinformatics methods. The time-scaled evolutionary tree using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method estimated that a common ancestor of the RSV-A, RSV-B, and bovine-RSV diverged at around 450 years ago, and RSV-A and RSV-B diverged around 250 years ago. Finally, the RSV-A F gene formed eight genotypes (GA1-GA7 and NA1) over the last 80 years. Phylodynamics of RSV-A F gene, including all genotype strains, increased twice in the 1990s and 2010s, while patterns of each RSV-A genotype were different. Phylogenetic distance analysis suggested that the genetic distances of the strains were relatively short (less than 0.05). No positive selection sites were estimated, while many negative selection sites were found. Moreover, the F protein 3D structure mapping and conformational epitope analysis implied that the conformational epitopes did not correspond to the neutralizing antibody binding sites of the F protein. These results suggested that the RSV-A F gene is relatively conserved, and mismatches between conformational epitopes and neutralizing antibody binding sites of the F protein are responsible for the virus reinfection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Viruses: Structure, Adaptation, and Evolution)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Associations and Molecular Evolution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A H7N9 Virus in China from 2017 to 2021
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2524; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13122524 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Highly pathogenic (HP) H7N9 avian influenza virus (AIV) emerged in China in 2016. HP H7N9 AIV caused at least 33 human infections and has been circulating in poultry farms continuously since wave 5. The genetic divergence, geographic patterns, and hemagglutinin adaptive and parallel [...] Read more.
Highly pathogenic (HP) H7N9 avian influenza virus (AIV) emerged in China in 2016. HP H7N9 AIV caused at least 33 human infections and has been circulating in poultry farms continuously since wave 5. The genetic divergence, geographic patterns, and hemagglutinin adaptive and parallel molecular evolution of HP H7N9 AIV in China since 2017 are still unclear. Here, 10 new strains of HP H7N9 AIVs from October 2019 to April 2021 were sequenced. We found that HP H7N9 was primarily circulating in Northern China, particularly in the provinces surrounding the Bohai Sea (Liaoning, Hebei, and Shandong) since wave 6. Of note, HP H7N9 AIV phylogenies exhibit a geographical structure compatible with high levels of local transmission after unidirectional rapid geographical expansion towards the north of China in 2017. In addition, we showed that two major subclades were continually expanding with the viral population size undergoing a sharp increase after 2018 with an obvious seasonal tendency. Notably, the hemagglutinin gene showed signs of parallel evolution and positive selection. Our research sheds light on the current epidemiology, evolution, and diversity of HP H7N9 AIV that can help prevent and control the spreading of HP H7N9 AIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Veterinary Infectious Diseases)
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