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Viruses, Volume 13, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 160 articles

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Open AccessReview
Viruses with U-DNA: New Avenues for Biotechnology
by , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 875; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050875 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
Deoxyuridine in DNA has recently been in the focus of research due to its intriguing roles in several physiological and pathophysiological situations. Although not an orthodox DNA base, uracil may appear in DNA via either cytosine deamination or thymine-replacing incorporations. Since these alterations [...] Read more.
Deoxyuridine in DNA has recently been in the focus of research due to its intriguing roles in several physiological and pathophysiological situations. Although not an orthodox DNA base, uracil may appear in DNA via either cytosine deamination or thymine-replacing incorporations. Since these alterations may induce mutation or may perturb DNA–protein interactions, free living organisms from bacteria to human contain several pathways to counteract uracilation. These efficient and highly specific repair routes uracil-directed excision repair initiated by representative of uracil-DNA glycosylase families. Interestingly, some bacteriophages exist with thymine-lacking uracil-DNA genome. A detailed understanding of the strategy by which such phages can replicate in bacteria where an efficient repair pathway functions for uracil-excision from DNA is expected to reveal novel inhibitors that can also be used for biotechnological applications. Here, we also review the several potential biotechnological applications already implemented based on inhibitors of uracil-excision repair, such as Crispr-base-editing and detection of nascent uracil distribution pattern in complex genomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Virological Correlates of IgM–IgG Patterns of Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection According to Targeted Antigens
by , , , , , , , , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 874; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050874 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
The virological meaning of the different patterns of serology in COVID-19 has been little examined in clinical settings. Asymptomatic subjects with IgM-spike (S) and IgG-nucleocapsid (N) determinations by chemiluminescence were studied for SARS-CoV-2 shedding in respiratory secretions by transcription-mediated amplification (TMA). In subjects [...] Read more.
The virological meaning of the different patterns of serology in COVID-19 has been little examined in clinical settings. Asymptomatic subjects with IgM-spike (S) and IgG-nucleocapsid (N) determinations by chemiluminescence were studied for SARS-CoV-2 shedding in respiratory secretions by transcription-mediated amplification (TMA). In subjects showing IgM-S positive and IgG-N negative, IgG-S was determined by lateral flow assay. A total of 712 individuals were tested: 30.0% presented IgM-S(+)/IgG-N(−), 25.8% had IgM-S(+)/IgG-N(+) and 44.2% had IgM-S(−)/IgG-N(+); the proportion with TMA(+) were comparable in these three groups: 12.1, 8.7 and 10.5%, respectively. In individuals with IgM-S(+)/IgG-N(−), IgG-S(+) was detected in 66.5%. The frequency of IgM-S(+)/IgG-S(−) in the total population was 10.0%, of whom 24.1% had TMA(+); the chances for TMA(+) in subjects with an IgM-S(+) alone pattern were 2.4%. Targeting of the same SARS-CoV-2 antigen seems to be better for the characterization of IgM/IgG patterns of response. IgM-S(+) alone reactivity is rare, and a small proportion is associated with viral shedding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19—Advances in Clinical and Epidemiological Aspects)
Open AccessArticle
The Repurposed Drugs Suramin and Quinacrine Cooperatively Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro In Vitro
by , , , , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 873; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050873 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
Since the first report of a new pneumonia disease in December 2019 (Wuhan, China) the WHO reported more than 148 million confirmed cases and 3.1 million losses globally up to now. The causative agent of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, resulting in a [...] Read more.
Since the first report of a new pneumonia disease in December 2019 (Wuhan, China) the WHO reported more than 148 million confirmed cases and 3.1 million losses globally up to now. The causative agent of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, resulting in a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude. To date, several clinically safe and efficient vaccines (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines) as well as drugs for emergency use have been approved. However, increasing numbers of SARS-Cov-2 variants make it imminent to identify an alternative way to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. A well-known strategy to identify molecules with inhibitory potential against SARS-CoV-2 proteins is repurposing clinically developed drugs, e.g., antiparasitic drugs. The results described in this study demonstrated the inhibitory potential of quinacrine and suramin against SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CLpro). Quinacrine and suramin molecules presented a competitive and noncompetitive inhibition mode, respectively, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) experiments demonstrated that quinacrine and suramin alone possessed a moderate or weak affinity with SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro but suramin binding increased quinacrine interaction by around a factor of eight. Using docking and molecular dynamics simulations, we identified a possible binding mode and the amino acids involved in these interactions. Our results suggested that suramin, in combination with quinacrine, showed promising synergistic efficacy to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. We suppose that the identification of effective, synergistic drug combinations could lead to the design of better treatments for the COVID-19 disease and repurposable drug candidates offer fast therapeutic breakthroughs, mainly in a pandemic moment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
Open AccessReview
Orthobunyaviruses: From Virus Binding to Penetration into Mammalian Host Cells
by , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 872; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050872 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
With over 80 members worldwide, Orthobunyavirus is the largest genus in the Peribunyaviridae family. Orthobunyaviruses (OBVs) are arthropod-borne viruses that are structurally simple, with a trisegmented, negative-sense RNA genome and only four structural proteins. OBVs are potential agents of emerging and re-emerging diseases [...] Read more.
With over 80 members worldwide, Orthobunyavirus is the largest genus in the Peribunyaviridae family. Orthobunyaviruses (OBVs) are arthropod-borne viruses that are structurally simple, with a trisegmented, negative-sense RNA genome and only four structural proteins. OBVs are potential agents of emerging and re-emerging diseases and overall represent a global threat to both public and veterinary health. The focus of this review is on the very first steps of OBV infection in mammalian hosts, from virus binding to penetration and release of the viral genome into the cytosol. Here, we address the most current knowledge and advances regarding OBV receptors, endocytosis, and fusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Arbovirus in Europe)
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Open AccessArticle
Avian Influenza H7N9 Virus Adaptation to Human Hosts
by , , , , , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 871; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050871 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
Avian influenza virus A (H7N9), after circulating in avian hosts for decades, was identified as a human pathogen in 2013. Herein, amino acid substitutions possibly essential for human adaptation were identified by comparing the 4706 aligned overlapping nonamer position sequences (1–9, 2–10, etc.) [...] Read more.
Avian influenza virus A (H7N9), after circulating in avian hosts for decades, was identified as a human pathogen in 2013. Herein, amino acid substitutions possibly essential for human adaptation were identified by comparing the 4706 aligned overlapping nonamer position sequences (1–9, 2–10, etc.) of the reported 2014 and 2017 avian and human H7N9 datasets. The initial set of virus sequences (as of year 2014) exhibited a total of 109 avian-to-human (A2H) signature amino acid substitutions. Each represented the most prevalent substitution at a given avian virus nonamer position that was selectively adapted as the corresponding index (most prevalent sequence) of the human viruses. The majority of these avian substitutions were long-standing in the evolution of H7N9, and only 17 were first detected in 2013 as possibly essential for the initial human adaptation. Strikingly, continued evolution of the avian H7N9 virus has resulted in avian and human protein sequences that are almost identical. This rapid and continued adaptation of the avian H7N9 virus to the human host, with near identity of the avian and human viruses, is associated with increased human infection and a predicted greater risk of human-to-human transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Pathogenesis of Avian and Animal Influenza Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Type II Grass Carp Reovirus Infects Leukocytes but Not Erythrocytes and Thrombocytes in Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
by and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 870; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050870 - 10 May 2021
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Abstract
Grass carp reovirus (GCRV) causes serious losses to the grass carp industry. At present, infectious tissues of GCRV have been studied, but target cells remain unclear. In this study, peripheral blood cells were isolated, cultured, and infected with GCRV. Using quantitative real-time polymerase [...] Read more.
Grass carp reovirus (GCRV) causes serious losses to the grass carp industry. At present, infectious tissues of GCRV have been studied, but target cells remain unclear. In this study, peripheral blood cells were isolated, cultured, and infected with GCRV. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western Blot, indirect immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and transmission electron microscopy observation, a model of GCRV infected blood cells in vitro was established. The experimental results showed GCRV could be detectable in leukocytes only, while erythrocytes and thrombocytes could not. The virus particles in leukocytes are wrapped by empty membrane vesicles that resemble phagocytic vesicles. The empty membrane vesicles of leukocytes are different from virus inclusion bodies in C. idella kidney (CIK) cells. Meanwhile, the expression levels of IFN1, IL-1β, Mx2, TNFα were significantly up-regulated in leukocytes, indicating that GCRV could cause the production of the related immune responses. Therefore, GCRV can infect leukocytes in vitro, but not infect erythrocytes and thrombocytes. Leukocytes are target cells in blood cells of GCRV infections. This study lays a theoretical foundation for the study of the GCRV infection mechanism and anti-GCRV immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Virus)
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Open AccessArticle
Loperamide Inhibits Replication of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus
by , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 869; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050869 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 48
Abstract
Background: Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging tick-borne infectious disease caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV). SFTS is mainly prevalent in East Asia. It has a mortality rate of up to 30%, and there is no approved treatment against the [...] Read more.
Background: Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging tick-borne infectious disease caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV). SFTS is mainly prevalent in East Asia. It has a mortality rate of up to 30%, and there is no approved treatment against the disease. In this study, we evaluated the effect of loperamide, an antidiarrheal and antihyperalgesic agent, on the propagation of SFTSV in a cell culture system. Methods: SFTSV-infected human cell lines were exposed to loperamide, and viral titers were evaluated. To clarify the mode of action of loperamide, several chemical compounds having shared targets with loperamide were used. Calcium imaging was also performed to understand whether loperamide treatment affected calcium influx. Results: Loperamide inhibited SFTSV propagation in several cell lines. It inhibited SFTSV in the post-entry step and restricted calcium influx into the cell. Furthermore, nifedipine, a calcium channel inhibitor, also blocked post-entry step of SFTSV infection. Conclusions: Loperamide inhibits SFTSV propagation mainly by restraining calcium influx into the cytoplasm. This indicates that loperamide, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug, has the potential for being used as a treatment option against SFTS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus)
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Open AccessArticle
A Semiquantitative Scoring System for Histopathological and Immunohistochemical Assessment of Lesions and Tissue Tropism in Avian Influenza
by , , , , , , , , , , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 868; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050868 - 09 May 2021
Viewed by 178
Abstract
The main findings of the post-mortem examination of poultry infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) include necrotizing inflammation and viral antigen in multiple organs. The lesion profile displays marked variability, depending on viral subtype, strain, and host species. Therefore, in this [...] Read more.
The main findings of the post-mortem examination of poultry infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) include necrotizing inflammation and viral antigen in multiple organs. The lesion profile displays marked variability, depending on viral subtype, strain, and host species. Therefore, in this study, a semiquantitative scoring system was developed to compare histopathological findings across a wide range of study conditions. Briefly, the severity of necrotizing lesions in brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, and/or lymphocytic depletion in the spleen is scored on an ordinal four-step scale (0 = unchanged, 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe), and the distribution of the viral antigen in parenchymal and endothelial cells is evaluated on a four-step scale (0 = none, 1 = focal, 2 = multifocal, 3 = diffuse). These scores are used for a meta-analysis of experimental infections with H7N7 and H5N8 (clade 2.3.4.4b) HPAIV in chickens, turkeys, and ducks. The meta-analysis highlights the rather unique endotheliotropism of these HPAIV in chickens and a more severe necrotizing encephalitis in H7N7-HPAIV-infected turkeys. In conclusion, the proposed scoring system can be used to condensate HPAIV-typical pathohistological findings into semiquantitative data, thus enabling systematic phenotyping of virus strains and their tissue tropism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections at the Human/Domestic Animal/Wildlife Interface)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Respiratory Viruses in Children with Ataxia-Telangiectasia
by , , , , , , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 867; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050867 - 09 May 2021
Viewed by 134
Abstract
Background: The impact of respiratory virus infection in patients diagnosed with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) has not been well studied. Methods: A prospective case control study was performed at a National Reference Unit for Primary Immunodeficiency in Spain (from November 2018 to July 2019), including [...] Read more.
Background: The impact of respiratory virus infection in patients diagnosed with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) has not been well studied. Methods: A prospective case control study was performed at a National Reference Unit for Primary Immunodeficiency in Spain (from November 2018 to July 2019), including patients younger than 20 years. Symptom questionnaires and nasopharyngeal swabs from multiple respiratory viruses’ polymerase chain reaction were collected monthly, and between visits in case of symptoms. Results: Twenty-two individuals were included (11 patients; 11 controls); 164 samples were obtained (81 patients; 84 controls). Patients presented respiratory symptoms more frequently compared with controls (26.5% vs. 3.5%; p < 0.01). Viral detection was observed in 23 (27.3%) episodes in patients and in 15 (17.8%) episodes in controls (p = 0.1). Rhinovirus was the most frequent virus in patients and controls (60% and 53.3%, respectively). Episodes with positive viral detection had associated symptoms in 54% of patients and 18% of controls (p = 0.07). However, patients with A-T presented a similar rate of symptoms during episodes with positive and negative viral detection (26% vs. 27%). The median points given for each questionnaire during symptomatic episodes with negative viral detection were 13/23 points, and during symptomatic positive detection, 7.5/23 points (p = 0.1). In the control group, all but two were asymptomatic during positive viral episodes (score: 2/23 and 3/23 points). Symptomatic episodes, with either positive or negative viral detection, were associated with lower IgA and higher IgM titers and higher CD8+ counts (p < 0.05), particularly when these episodes were moderate/severe. Conclusions: Patients with A-T more frequently present symptomatic viral infections than controls, especially those with lower IgA and higher IgM titers and higher CD8+ counts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody Responses to Viral Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Low Maternal Immunoglobulin G Avidity and Single Parity as Adverse Implications of Human Cytomegalovirus Vertical Transmission in Pregnant Women with Immunoglobulin M Positivity
by , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 866; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050866 - 09 May 2021
Viewed by 142
Abstract
Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading cause of neurological sequelae in infants. Understanding the risk factors of primary CMV infection is crucial in establishing preventive strategies. Thus, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify risk factors of vertical transmission among pregnant women [...] Read more.
Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading cause of neurological sequelae in infants. Understanding the risk factors of primary CMV infection is crucial in establishing preventive strategies. Thus, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify risk factors of vertical transmission among pregnant women with immunoglobulin (Ig) M positivity. The study included 456 pregnant women with IgM positivity. Information on age, parity, occupation, clinical signs, IgM levels, and IgG avidity index (AI) was collected. The women were divided into infected and non-infected groups. The two groups showed significant differences in IgM level, IgG AI, number of women with low IgG AI, clinical signs, and number of pregnant women with single parity. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, pregnant women with single parity and low IgG AI were independent predictors. Among 40 women who tested negative for IgG antibody in their previous pregnancy, 20 showed low IgG AI in their current pregnancy. Among the 20 women, 4 had vertical transmission. These results provide better understanding of the risk factors of vertical transmission in pregnant women with IgM positivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytomegalovirus Immunity)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Stability of Bacteriophages in Different Solutions Suitable for the Production of Magistral Preparations in Belgium
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 865; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050865 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 158
Abstract
In Belgium, the incorporation of phages into magistral preparations for human application has been permitted since 2018. The stability of such preparations is of high importance to guarantee quality and efficacy throughout treatments. We evaluated the ability to preserve infectivity of four different [...] Read more.
In Belgium, the incorporation of phages into magistral preparations for human application has been permitted since 2018. The stability of such preparations is of high importance to guarantee quality and efficacy throughout treatments. We evaluated the ability to preserve infectivity of four different phages active against three different bacterial species in five different buffer and infusion solutions commonly used in medicine and biotechnological manufacturing processes, at two different concentrations (9 and 7 log pfu/mL), stored at 4 °C. DPBS without Ca2+ and Mg2+ was found to be the best option, compared to the other solutions. Suspensions with phage concentrations of 7 log pfu/mL were unsuited as their activity dropped below the effective therapeutic dose (6–9 log pfu/mL), even after one week of storage at 4 °C. Strong variability between phages was observed, with Acinetobacter baumannii phage Acibel004 being stable in four out of five different solutions. We also studied the long term storage of lyophilized staphylococcal phage ISP, and found that the titer could be preserved during a period of almost 8 years when sucrose and trehalose were used as stabilizers. After rehydration of the lyophilized ISP phage in saline, the phage solutions remained stable at 4 °C during a period of 126 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage-Host Interactions 2021)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Intravenous Tumor Targeting Using the αvβ6 Integrin-Selective Precision Virotherapy Ad5NULL-A20
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 864; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050864 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 180
Abstract
We previously developed a refined, tumor-selective adenovirus, Ad5NULL-A20, harboring tropism ablating mutations in each major capsid protein, to ablate all native means of infection. We incorporated a 20-mer peptide (A20) in the fiber knob for selective infection via αvβ6 integrin, a [...] Read more.
We previously developed a refined, tumor-selective adenovirus, Ad5NULL-A20, harboring tropism ablating mutations in each major capsid protein, to ablate all native means of infection. We incorporated a 20-mer peptide (A20) in the fiber knob for selective infection via αvβ6 integrin, a marker of aggressive epithelial cancers. Methods: To ascertain the selectivity of Ad5NULL-A20 for αvβ6-positive tumor cell lines of pancreatic and breast cancer origin, we performed reporter gene and cell viability assays. Biodistribution of viral vectors in mice harboring xenografts with low, medium, and high αvβ6 levels was quantified by qPCR for viral genomes 48 h post intravenous administration. Results: Ad5NULL-A20 vector transduced cells in an αvβ6-selective manner, whilst cell killing mediated by oncolytic Ad5NULL-A20 was αvβ6-selective. Biodistribution analysis following intravenous administration into mice bearing breast cancer xenografts demonstrated that Ad5NULL-A20 resulted in significantly reduced liver accumulation coupled with increased tumor accumulation compared to Ad5 in all three models, with tumor-to-liver ratios improved as a function of αvβ6 expression. Conclusions: Ad5NULL-A20-based virotherapies efficiently target αvβ6-integrin-positive tumors following intravenous administration, validating the potential of Ad5NULL-A20 for systemic applications, enabling tumor-selective overexpression of virally encoded therapeutic transgenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses Therapy)
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Open AccessReview
Monkeying around with MAIT Cells: Studying the Role of MAIT Cells in SIV and Mtb Co-Infection
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 863; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050863 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 224
Abstract
There were an estimated 10 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) disease in 2019. While over 90% of individuals successfully control Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection, which causes TB disease, HIV co-infection often leads to active TB disease. Despite the co-endemic nature of HIV [...] Read more.
There were an estimated 10 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) disease in 2019. While over 90% of individuals successfully control Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection, which causes TB disease, HIV co-infection often leads to active TB disease. Despite the co-endemic nature of HIV and TB, knowledge of the immune mechanisms contributing to the loss of control of Mtb replication during HIV infection is lacking. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate-like T cells that target and destroy bacterially-infected cells and may contribute to the control of Mtb infection. Studies examining MAIT cells in human Mtb infection are commonly performed using peripheral blood samples. However, because Mtb infection occurs primarily in lung tissue and lung-associated lymph nodes, these studies may not be fully translatable to the tissues. Additionally, studies longitudinally examining MAIT cell dynamics during HIV/Mtb co-infection are rare, and lung and lymph node tissue samples from HIV+ patients are typically unavailable. Nonhuman primates (NHP) provide a model system to characterize MAIT cell activity during Mtb infection, both in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)-infected and SIV-naïve animals. Using NHPs allows for a more comprehensive understanding of tissue-based MAIT cell dynamics during infection with both pathogens. NHP SIV and Mtb infection is similar to human HIV and Mtb infection, and MAIT cells are phenotypically similar in humans and NHPs. Here, we discuss current knowledge surrounding MAIT cells in SIV and Mtb infection, how SIV infection impairs MAIT cell function during Mtb co-infection, and knowledge gaps to address. Full article
Open AccessReview
Hepatitis B Virus Pre-S Gene Deletions and Pre-S Deleted Proteins: Clinical and Molecular Implications in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 862; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050862 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 163
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent and fatal human cancers worldwide and its development and prognosis are intimately associated with chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). The identification of genetic mutations and molecular mechanisms that mediate HBV-induced tumorigenesis therefore [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent and fatal human cancers worldwide and its development and prognosis are intimately associated with chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). The identification of genetic mutations and molecular mechanisms that mediate HBV-induced tumorigenesis therefore holds promise for the development of potential biomarkers and targets for HCC prevention and therapy. The presence of HBV pre-S gene deletions in the blood and the expression of pre-S deleted proteins in the liver tissues of patients with chronic hepatitis B and HBV-related HCC have emerged as valuable biomarkers for higher incidence rates of HCC development and a higher risk of HCC recurrence after curative surgical resection, respectively. Moreover, pre-S deleted proteins are regarded as important oncoproteins that activate multiple signaling pathways to induce DNA damage and promote growth and proliferation in hepatocytes, leading to HCC development. The signaling molecules dysregulated by pre-S deleted proteins have also been validated as potential targets for the prevention of HCC development. In this review, we summarize the clinical and molecular implications of HBV pre-S gene deletions and pre-S deleted proteins in HCC development and recurrence and highlight their potential applications in HCC prevention and therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of Hepatocellular Injury in Hepatitis A
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 861; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050861 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 171
Abstract
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is a common cause of acute viral hepatitis worldwide. Despite decades of research, the pathogenic mechanisms of hepatitis A remain incompletely understood. As the replication of HAV is noncytopathic in vitro, a widely accepted concept has been that [...] Read more.
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is a common cause of acute viral hepatitis worldwide. Despite decades of research, the pathogenic mechanisms of hepatitis A remain incompletely understood. As the replication of HAV is noncytopathic in vitro, a widely accepted concept has been that virus-specific cytotoxic T cells are responsible for liver injury. However, accumulating evidence suggests that natural killer (NK) cells, NKT cells, and even non-HAV-specific CD8+ T cells contribute to liver damage during HAV infection. In addition, intrinsic death of virus-infected hepatocytes has been implicated as a cause of liver injury in a murine model of hepatitis A. Furthermore, genetic variations in host factors such as T cell immunoglobulin-1 (TIM1) and IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) have been linked to hepatitis A severity. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the mechanisms of hepatocellular injury in hepatitis A. Different mechanisms may be involved under different conditions and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. A better understanding of these mechanisms would aid in diagnosis and treatment of diseases associated with HAV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Hepatitis A Virus Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Bat Flies of the Family Strebildae (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea) Host Relatives of Medically and Agriculturally Important “Bat-Associated” Viruses
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 860; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050860 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 159
Abstract
Bat flies (Hippoboscoidea: Nycteribiidae and Streblidae) are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites of bats. We collected streblid bat flies from the New World (México) and the Old World (Uganda), and used metagenomics to identify their viruses. In México, we found méjal virus (Rhabdoviridae [...] Read more.
Bat flies (Hippoboscoidea: Nycteribiidae and Streblidae) are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites of bats. We collected streblid bat flies from the New World (México) and the Old World (Uganda), and used metagenomics to identify their viruses. In México, we found méjal virus (Rhabdoviridae; Vesiculovirus), Amate virus (Reoviridae: Orbivirus), and two unclassified viruses of invertebrates. Méjal virus is related to emerging zoonotic encephalitis viruses and to the agriculturally important vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSV). Amate virus and its sister taxon from a bat are most closely related to mosquito- and tick-borne orbiviruses, suggesting a previously unrecognized orbivirus transmission cycle involving bats and bat flies. In Uganda, we found mamucuso virus (Peribunyaviridae: Orthobunyavirus) and two unclassified viruses (a rhabdovirus and an invertebrate virus). Mamucuso virus is related to encephalitic viruses of mammals and to viruses from nycteribiid bat flies and louse flies, suggesting a previously unrecognized orthobunyavirus transmission cycle involving hippoboscoid insects. Bat fly virus transmission may be neither strictly vector-borne nor strictly vertical, with opportunistic feeding by bat flies occasionally leading to zoonotic transmission. Many “bat-associated” viruses, which are ecologically and epidemiologically associated with bats but rarely or never found in bats themselves, may actually be viruses of bat flies or other bat ectoparasites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Regulation of the Macroautophagic Machinery, Cellular Differentiation, and Immune Responses by Human Oncogenic γ-Herpesviruses
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 859; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050859 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 181
Abstract
The human γ-herpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encode oncogenes for B cell transformation but are carried by most infected individuals without symptoms. For this purpose, they manipulate the anti-apoptotic pathway macroautophagy, cellular proliferation and apoptosis, as well as immune [...] Read more.
The human γ-herpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encode oncogenes for B cell transformation but are carried by most infected individuals without symptoms. For this purpose, they manipulate the anti-apoptotic pathway macroautophagy, cellular proliferation and apoptosis, as well as immune recognition. The mechanisms and functional relevance of these manipulations are discussed in this review. They allow both viruses to strike the balance between efficient persistence and dissemination in their human hosts without ever being cleared after infection and avoiding pathologies in most of their carriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herpesvirus Manipulation of Cellular Processes)
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Open AccessObituary
Sir Peter J. Lachmann and Prof. Robert B. Sim: Gone But Will Never Be Forgotten!
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 858; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050858 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 216
Abstract
In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought an unexpected global gloom, the beginning of this year was also particularly cruel to the complement field, as two of our greatest and dearest members—Sir Peter Lachmann and Prof [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Bluetongue Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) Vaccine Platform Based on Deletion NS3/NS3a Protein Is Safe and Protective in Cattle and Enables DIVA
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 857; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050857 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 224
Abstract
The bluetongue virus (BTV) is transmitted by Culicoides biting midges and causes bluetongue (BT), an OIE-notifiable disease of ruminants. At least 29 BTV serotypes are described as determined by the outer shell proteins VP2 and VP5. Vaccination is the most effective control measure. [...] Read more.
The bluetongue virus (BTV) is transmitted by Culicoides biting midges and causes bluetongue (BT), an OIE-notifiable disease of ruminants. At least 29 BTV serotypes are described as determined by the outer shell proteins VP2 and VP5. Vaccination is the most effective control measure. Inactivated and live-attenuated vaccines (LAVs) are currently available. These vaccines have their specific pros and cons, and both are not DIVA vaccines. The BT Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) vaccine platform is based on LAV without nonessential NS3/NS3a expression and is applicable for many serotypes by the exchange of outer shell proteins. The DISA vaccine is effective and completely safe. Further, transmission of the DISA vaccine by midges is blocked (DISA principle). Finally, the DISA vaccine enables DIVA because of a lack of antibodies against the immunogenic NS3/NS3a protein (DIVA principle). The deletion of 72 amino acids (72aa) in NS3/NS3a is sufficient to block virus propagation in midges. Here, we show that a prototype DISA vaccine based on LAV with the 72aa deletion enables DIVA, is completely safe and induces a long-lasting serotype-specific protection in cattle. In conclusion, the in-frame deletion of 72-aa codons in the BT DISA/DIVA vaccine platform is sufficient to fulfil all the criteria for modern veterinary vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bluetongue Virus: Pathogenesis and Vaccines)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Characterization and Pathogenesis of Avian Influenza Virus H7N3 Isolated from Spot-Billed Ducks in South Korea, Early 2019
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 856; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050856 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 125
Abstract
Low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) introduced by migratory birds circulate in wild birds and can be transmitted to poultry. These viruses can mutate to become highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses causing severe disease and death in poultry. In March 2019, an H7N3 avian [...] Read more.
Low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) introduced by migratory birds circulate in wild birds and can be transmitted to poultry. These viruses can mutate to become highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses causing severe disease and death in poultry. In March 2019, an H7N3 avian influenza virus—A/Spot-billed duck/South Korea/WKU2019-1/2019 (H7N3)—was isolated from spot-billed ducks in South Korea. This study aimed to evaluate the phylogenetic and mutational analysis of this isolate. Molecular analysis revealed that the genes for HA (hemagglutinin) and NA (neuraminidase) of this strain belonged to the Central Asian lineage, whereas genes for other internal proteins such as polymerase basic protein 1 (PB1), PB2, nucleoprotein, polymerase acidic protein, matrix protein, and non-structural protein belonged to that of the Korean lineage. In addition, a monobasic amino acid (PQIEPR/GLF) at the HA cleavage site, and the non-deletion of the stalk region in the NA gene indicated that this isolate was a typical LPAIV. Nucleotide sequence similarity analysis of HA revealed that the highest homology (99.51%) of this isolate is to that of A/common teal/Shanghai/CM1216/2017 (H7N7), and amino acid sequence of NA (99.48%) was closely related to that of A/teal/Egypt/MB-D-487OP/2016 (H7N3). An in vitro propagation of the A/Spot-billed duck/South Korea/WKU2019-1/2019 (H7N3) virus showed highest (7.38 Log10 TCID50/mL) virus titer at 60 h post-infection, and in experimental mouse lungs, the virus was detected at six days’ post-infection. Our study characterizes genetic mutations, as well as pathogenesis in both in vitro and in vivo model of a new Korea H7N3 viruses in 2019, carrying multiple potential mutations to become highly pathogenic and develop an ability to infect humans; thus, emphasizing the need for routine surveillance of avian influenza viruses in wild birds. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Epidemiological Impact of STIs among General and Vulnerable Populations of the Amazon Region of Brazil: 30 years of Surveillance
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 855; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050855 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 122
Abstract
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) represent a worldwide public health problem and, although many of them are curable, they continue to be neglected, especially in areas with a low human development index, such as in the northern region of Brazil. This review describes the [...] Read more.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) represent a worldwide public health problem and, although many of them are curable, they continue to be neglected, especially in areas with a low human development index, such as in the northern region of Brazil. This review describes the results of 30 years of studies at the Virus Laboratory at the Federal University of Pará, including the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1, HTLV-1/2, HPV, HBV, Treponema pallidum and Chlamydia trachomatis among urban and non-urban populations, and also in vulnerable groups in the Brazilian Amazon. Control strategies and challenges in preventing STIs are discussed considering this immense geographic region, where essential health services are unable to reach the entire population, especially the most vulnerable, such as female sex workers, people who use illicit drugs, remnants of quilombolos and indigenous communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle
Will SARS-CoV-2 Become Just Another Seasonal Coronavirus?
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 854; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050854 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 251
Abstract
The future prevalence and virulence of SARS-CoV-2 is uncertain. Some emerging pathogens become avirulent as populations approach herd immunity. Although not all viruses follow this path, the fact that the seasonal coronaviruses are benign gives some hope. We develop a general mathematical model [...] Read more.
The future prevalence and virulence of SARS-CoV-2 is uncertain. Some emerging pathogens become avirulent as populations approach herd immunity. Although not all viruses follow this path, the fact that the seasonal coronaviruses are benign gives some hope. We develop a general mathematical model to predict when the interplay among three factors, correlation of severity in consecutive infections, population heterogeneity in susceptibility due to age, and reduced severity due to partial immunity, will promote avirulence as SARS-CoV-2 becomes endemic. Each of these components has the potential to limit severe, high-shedding cases over time under the right circumstances, but in combination they can rapidly reduce the frequency of more severe and infectious manifestation of disease over a wide range of conditions. As more reinfections are captured in data over the next several years, these models will help to test if COVID-19 severity is beginning to attenuate in the ways our model predicts, and to predict the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical Modeling of Viral Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Pregnancy Outcomes and SARS-CoV-2 Infection: The Spanish Obstetric Emergency Group Study
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 853; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050853 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Pregnant women who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. With this study, we aimed to better understand the relationship between maternal infection and perinatal outcomes, especially preterm births, and the underlying medical and interventionist factors. This [...] Read more.
Pregnant women who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. With this study, we aimed to better understand the relationship between maternal infection and perinatal outcomes, especially preterm births, and the underlying medical and interventionist factors. This was a prospective observational study carried out in 78 centers (Spanish Obstetric Emergency Group) with a cohort of 1347 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive pregnant women registered consecutively between 26 February and 5 November 2020, and a concurrent sample of PCR-negative mothers. The patients’ information was collected from their medical records, and the association of SARS-CoV-2 and perinatal outcomes was evaluated by univariable and multivariate analyses. The data from 1347 SARS-CoV-2-positive pregnancies were compared with those from 1607 SARS-CoV-2-negative pregnancies. Differences were observed between both groups in premature rupture of membranes (15.5% vs. 11.1%, p < 0.001); venous thrombotic events (1.5% vs. 0.2%, p < 0.001); and severe pre-eclampsia incidence (40.6 vs. 15.6%, p = 0.001), which could have been overestimated in the infected cohort due to the shared analytical signs between this hypertensive disorder and COVID-19. In addition, more preterm deliveries were observed in infected patients (11.1% vs. 5.8%, p < 0.001) mainly due to an increase in iatrogenic preterm births. The prematurity in SARS-CoV-2-affected pregnancies results from a predisposition to end the pregnancy because of maternal disease (pneumonia and pre-eclampsia, with or without COVID-19 symptoms). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Virus Infections in Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes)
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Open AccessReview
HIV-1 Envelope Conformation, Allostery, and Dynamics
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 852; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050852 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 221
Abstract
The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) mediates host cell fusion and is the primary target for HIV-1 vaccine design. The Env undergoes a series of functionally important conformational rearrangements upon engagement of its host cell receptor, CD4. As the sole target for broadly neutralizing [...] Read more.
The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) mediates host cell fusion and is the primary target for HIV-1 vaccine design. The Env undergoes a series of functionally important conformational rearrangements upon engagement of its host cell receptor, CD4. As the sole target for broadly neutralizing antibodies, our understanding of these transitions plays a critical role in vaccine immunogen design. Here, we review available experimental data interrogating the HIV-1 Env conformation and detail computational efforts aimed at delineating the series of conformational changes connecting these rearrangements. These studies have provided a structural mapping of prefusion closed, open, and transition intermediate structures, the allosteric elements controlling rearrangements, and state-to-state transition dynamics. The combination of these investigations and innovations in molecular modeling set the stage for advanced studies examining rearrangements at greater spatial and temporal resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Biology of HIV-1 Entry)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Morogoro Virus Infection in Its Natural Host, Mastomys natalensis
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 851; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050851 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 169
Abstract
Natural hosts of most arenaviruses are rodents. The human-pathogenic Lassa virus and several non-pathogenic arenaviruses such as Morogoro virus (MORV) share the same host species, namely Mastomys natalensis (M. natalensis). In this study, we investigated the history of infection and virus [...] Read more.
Natural hosts of most arenaviruses are rodents. The human-pathogenic Lassa virus and several non-pathogenic arenaviruses such as Morogoro virus (MORV) share the same host species, namely Mastomys natalensis (M. natalensis). In this study, we investigated the history of infection and virus transmission within the natural host population. To this end, we infected M. natalensis at different ages with MORV and measured the health status of the animals, virus load in blood and organs, the development of virus-specific antibodies, and the ability of the infected individuals to transmit the virus. To explore the impact of the lack of evolutionary virus–host adaptation, experiments were also conducted with Mobala virus (MOBV), which does not share M. natalensis as a natural host. Animals infected with MORV up to two weeks after birth developed persistent infection, seroconverted and were able to transmit the virus horizontally. Animals older than two weeks at the time of infection rapidly cleared the virus. In contrast, MOBV-infected neonates neither developed persistent infection nor were able to transmit the virus. In conclusion, we demonstrate that MORV is able to develop persistent infection in its natural host, but only after inoculation shortly after birth. A related arenavirus that is not evolutionarily adapted to M. natalensis is not able to establish persistent infection. Persistently infected animals appear to be important to maintain virus transmission within the host population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bunyavirus 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling the Effect of MUC1 on Influenza Virus Infection Kinetics and Macrophage Dynamics
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 850; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050850 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 175
Abstract
MUC1 belongs to the family of cell surface (cs-) mucins. Experimental evidence indicates that its presence reduces in vivo influenza viral infection severity. However, the mechanisms by which MUC1 influences viral dynamics and the host immune response are not yet well understood, limiting [...] Read more.
MUC1 belongs to the family of cell surface (cs-) mucins. Experimental evidence indicates that its presence reduces in vivo influenza viral infection severity. However, the mechanisms by which MUC1 influences viral dynamics and the host immune response are not yet well understood, limiting our ability to predict the efficacy of potential treatments that target MUC1. To address this limitation, we use available in vivo kinetic data for both virus and macrophage populations in wildtype and MUC1 knockout mice. We apply two mathematical models of within-host influenza dynamics to this data. The models differ in how they categorise the mechanisms of viral control. Both models provide evidence that MUC1 reduces the susceptibility of epithelial cells to influenza virus and regulates macrophage recruitment. Furthermore, we predict and compare some key infection-related quantities between the two mice groups. We find that MUC1 significantly reduces the basic reproduction number of viral replication as well as the number of cumulative macrophages but has little impact on the cumulative viral load. Our analyses suggest that the viral replication rate in the early stages of infection influences the kinetics of the host immune response, with consequences for infection outcomes, such as severity. We also show that MUC1 plays a strong anti-inflammatory role in the regulation of the host immune response. This study improves our understanding of the dynamic role of MUC1 against influenza infection and may support the development of novel antiviral treatments and immunomodulators that target MUC1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical Modeling of Viral Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Convalescent Plasma Transfusion for the Treatment of COVID-19 in Adults: A Global Perspective
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 849; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050849 - 07 May 2021
Viewed by 233
Abstract
More than one year into the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, healthcare systems across the world continue to be overwhelmed with soaring daily cases. The treatment spectrum primarily includes ventilation support augmented with repurposed drugs and/or convalescent plasma transfusion (CPT) from recovered [...] Read more.
More than one year into the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, healthcare systems across the world continue to be overwhelmed with soaring daily cases. The treatment spectrum primarily includes ventilation support augmented with repurposed drugs and/or convalescent plasma transfusion (CPT) from recovered COVID-19 patients. Despite vaccine variants being recently developed and administered in several countries, challenges in global supply chain logistics limit their timely availability to the wider world population, particularly in developing countries. Given the measured success of conventional CPT in treating several infections over the past decade, recent studies have reported its effectiveness in decreasing the duration and severity of COVID-19 symptoms. In this review, we conduct a literature search of published studies investigating the use of CPT to treat COVID-19 patients from January 2020 to January 2021. The literature search identified 181 records of which 39 were included in this review. A random-effects model was used to aggregate data across studies, and mortality rates of 17 vs. 32% were estimated for the CPT and control patient groups, respectively, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.49. The findings indicate that CPT shows potential in reducing the severity and duration of COVID-19 symptoms. However, early intervention (preferably within 3 days), recruitment of donors, and plasma potency introduce major challenges for its scaled-up implementation. Given the low number of existing randomized clinical trials (RCTs, four with a total of 319 patients), unanticipated risks to CPT recipients are highlighted and discussed. Nevertheless, CPT remains a promising COVID-19 therapeutic option that merits internationally coordinated RCTs to achieve a scientific risk–benefit consensus. Full article
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Open AccessReview
In Vivo Models to Study the Pathogenesis of Extra-Respiratory Complications of Influenza A Virus Infection
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 848; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050848 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 283
Abstract
Animal models are an inimitable method to study the systemic pathogenesis of virus-induced disease. Extra-respiratory complications of influenza A virus infections are not extensively studied even though they are often associated with severe disease and mortality. Here we review and recommend mammalian animal [...] Read more.
Animal models are an inimitable method to study the systemic pathogenesis of virus-induced disease. Extra-respiratory complications of influenza A virus infections are not extensively studied even though they are often associated with severe disease and mortality. Here we review and recommend mammalian animal models that can be used to study extra-respiratory complications of the central nervous system and cardiovascular system as well as involvement of the eye, placenta, fetus, lacteal gland, liver, pancreas, intestinal tract, and lymphoid tissues during influenza A virus infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Models for Influenza Virus Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiplex PCR-Based Nanopore Sequencing and Epidemiological Surveillance of Hantaan orthohantavirus in Apodemus agrarius, Republic of Korea
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 847; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050847 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Whole-genome sequencing of infectious agents enables the identification and characterization of emerging viruses. The MinION device is a portable sequencer that allows real-time sequencing in fields or hospitals. Hantaan orthohantavirus (Hantaan virus, HTNV), harbored by Apodemus agrarius, causes hemorrhagic fever with renal [...] Read more.
Whole-genome sequencing of infectious agents enables the identification and characterization of emerging viruses. The MinION device is a portable sequencer that allows real-time sequencing in fields or hospitals. Hantaan orthohantavirus (Hantaan virus, HTNV), harbored by Apodemus agrarius, causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and poses a critical public health threat worldwide. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using nanopore sequencing for whole-genome sequencing of HTNV from samples having different viral copy numbers. Amplicon-based next-generation sequencing was performed in A. agrarius lung tissues collected from the Republic of Korea. Genomic sequences of HTNV were analyzed based on the viral RNA copy numbers. Amplicon-based nanopore sequencing provided nearly full-length genomic sequences of HTNV and showed sufficient read depth for phylogenetic analysis after 8 h of sequencing. The average identity of the HTNV genome sequences for the nanopore sequencer compared to those of generated from Illumina MiSeq revealed 99.8% (L and M segments) and 99.7% (S segment) identities, respectively. This study highlights the potential of the portable nanopore sequencer for rapid generation of accurate genomic sequences of HTNV for quicker decision making in point-of-care testing of HFRS patients during a hantavirus outbreak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantavirus)
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Open AccessReview
Inflammasome, the Constitutive Heterochromatin Machinery, and Replication of an Oncogenic Herpesvirus
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 846; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050846 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 179
Abstract
The success of long-term host–virus partnerships is predicated on the ability of the host to limit the destructive potential of the virus and the virus’s skill in manipulating its host to persist undetected yet replicate efficiently when needed. By mastering such skills, herpesviruses [...] Read more.
The success of long-term host–virus partnerships is predicated on the ability of the host to limit the destructive potential of the virus and the virus’s skill in manipulating its host to persist undetected yet replicate efficiently when needed. By mastering such skills, herpesviruses persist silently in their hosts, though perturbations in this host–virus equilibrium can result in disease. The heterochromatin machinery that tightly regulates endogenous retroviral elements and pericentromeric repeats also silences invading genomes of alpha-, beta-, and gammaherpesviruses. That said, how these viruses disrupt this constitutive heterochromatin machinery to replicate and spread, particularly in response to disparate lytic triggers, is unclear. Here, we review how the cancer-causing gammaherpesvirus Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) uses the inflammasome as a security system to alert itself of threats to its cellular home as well as to flip the virus-encoded lytic switch, allowing it to replicate and escape in response to a variety of lytic triggers. EBV provides the first example of an infectious agent able to actively exploit the inflammasome to spark its replication. Revealing an unexpected link between the inflammasome and the epigenome, this further brings insights into how the heterochromatin machinery uses differential strategies to maintain the integrity of the cellular genome whilst guarding against invading pathogens. These recent insights into EBV biology and host–viral epigenetic regulation ultimately point to the NLRP3 inflammasome as an attractive target to thwart herpesvirus reactivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epstein Barr Virus)
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