Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Larisa Rudenko
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Interests: Influenza; respiratory viruses; live attenuated vaccines; viral epidemiology; clinical trials; viral immunology
Dr. Irina Isakova-Sivak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Interests: Influenza; respiratory viruses; coronaviruses; vaccines; reverse genetics; viral vectors; gene engineering; viral immunology; cell-based immunity; animal studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Acute respiratory viral infections are the most common group of acute infectious diseases in humans. Their impact on human health and economy became especially important in light of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2. Besides SARS-CoV-2, other important viral pathogens such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, human metapneumovirus and others cause significant socio-economic burden worldwide. Russia occupies a huge geographic territory, which inevitably affects the biodiversity of respiratory viruses circulating among people and in the natural reservoir, especially among domestic and migratory birds.

In this Special Issue, we will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in respiratory viruses research in Russia focusing on surveillance, genetic characterization, antiviral drug resistance, the development of safe and broadly protective vaccines, as well as basic research on the induction of antiviral immunity, including mucosal and cell-based memory immune responses after natural infections and vaccination with licensed or experimental vaccines. Besides, this edition is also opening submission for virologists and other experts in Russia to publish general articles or reviews on any viruses research topic.

Prof. Dr. Larisa Rudenko
Dr. Irina Isakova-Sivak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • human respiratory viruses
  • surveillance
  • viral pathogenesis
  • co-infections
  • vaccines
  • antivirals
  • viral-host interactions
  • viral immunology
  • cell-based immunity
  • animal studies

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Different Neutralization Sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 Cell-to-Cell and Cell-Free Modes of Infection to Convalescent Sera
by , , and
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13061133 (registering DOI) - 12 Jun 2021
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a global threat to human lives and economics. One of the best ways to determine protection against the infection is to quantify the neutralizing activity of serum antibodies. Multiple assays have been developed to validate [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a global threat to human lives and economics. One of the best ways to determine protection against the infection is to quantify the neutralizing activity of serum antibodies. Multiple assays have been developed to validate SARS-CoV-2 neutralization; most of them utilized lentiviral or vesicular stomatitis virus-based particles pseudotyped with the spike (S) protein, making them safe and acceptable to work with in many labs. However, these systems are only capable of measuring infection with purified particles. This study has developed a pseudoviral assay with replication-dependent reporter vectors that can accurately quantify the level of infection directly from the virus producing cell to the permissive target cell. Comparative analysis of cell-free and cell-to-cell infection revealed that the neutralizing activity of convalescent sera was more than tenfold lower in cell cocultures than in the cell-free mode of infection. As the pseudoviral system could not properly model the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, similar experiments were performed with replication-competent coronavirus, which detected nearly complete SARS-CoV-2 cell-to-cell infection resistance to neutralization by convalescent sera. These findings suggest that the cell-to-cell mode of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, for which the mechanisms are largely unknown, could be of great importance for treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia)
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Communication
Characterization of a Novel SARS-CoV-2 Genetic Variant with Distinct Spike Protein Mutations
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1029; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13061029 - 29 May 2021
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Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in Wuhan (Hubei, China), has been ongoing for about a year and a half. An unprecedented number of people around the world have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19. Despite the fact that the mortality [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in Wuhan (Hubei, China), has been ongoing for about a year and a half. An unprecedented number of people around the world have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19. Despite the fact that the mortality rate for COVID-19 is relatively low, the total number of deaths has currently already reached more than three million and continues to increase due to high incidence. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a large number of sequences have been obtained and many genetic variants have been identified. Some of them bear significant mutations that affect biological properties of the virus. These genetic variants, currently Variants of Concern (VoC), include the so-called United Kingdom variant (20I/501Y), the Brazilian variant (20J/501Y.V3), and the South African variant (20H/501Y.V2). We describe here a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant with distinct spike protein mutations, first obtained at the end of January 2021 in northwest Russia. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the dynamics of its spread among patients with COVID-19, as well as to study in detail its biological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia)
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Article
Diversity and Reassortment Rate of Influenza A Viruses in Wild Ducks and Gulls
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1010; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13061010 - 27 May 2021
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Abstract
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) evolve via point mutations and reassortment of viral gene segments. The patterns of reassortment in different host species differ considerably. We investigated the genetic diversity of IAVs in wild ducks and compared it with the viral diversity in gulls. [...] Read more.
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) evolve via point mutations and reassortment of viral gene segments. The patterns of reassortment in different host species differ considerably. We investigated the genetic diversity of IAVs in wild ducks and compared it with the viral diversity in gulls. The complete genomes of 38 IAVs of H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, H3N6, H3N8, H4N6, H5N3, H6N2, H11N6, and H11N9 subtypes isolated from wild mallard ducks and gulls resting in a city pond in Moscow, Russia were sequenced. The analysis of phylogenetic trees showed that stable viral genotypes do not persist from year to year in ducks owing to frequent gene reassortment. For comparison, similar analyses were carried out using sequences of IAVs isolated in the same period from ducks and gulls in The Netherlands. Our results revealed a significant difference in diversity and rates of reassortment of IAVs in ducks and gulls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia)
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Article
The Photosensitizer Octakis(cholinyl)zinc Phthalocyanine with Ability to Bind to a Model Spike Protein Leads to a Loss of SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity In Vitro When Exposed to Far-Red LED
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 643; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13040643 - 09 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Photodynamic inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms can be successfully used to eradicate pathogens in localized lesions, infected liquid media, and on various surfaces. This technique utilizes the photosensitizer (PS), light, and molecular oxygen to produce reactive oxygen species that kill pathogens. Here, we used [...] Read more.
Photodynamic inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms can be successfully used to eradicate pathogens in localized lesions, infected liquid media, and on various surfaces. This technique utilizes the photosensitizer (PS), light, and molecular oxygen to produce reactive oxygen species that kill pathogens. Here, we used the PS, water soluble octakis(cholinyl)zinc phthalocyanine (Zn-PcChol8+), to inactivate an initial 4.75–5.00 IgTCID50/mL titer of SARS-CoV-2, thereby preventing viral infection when tested in Vero E6 cell cultures. Zn-PcChol8+ in a minimally studied concentration, 1 µM and LED 3.75 J/cm2, completely destroyed the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. To detect possible PS binding sites on the envelope of SARS-CoV-2, we analyzed electrostatic potential and simulated binding of Zn-PcChol8+ to the spike protein of this coronavirus by means of Brownian dynamics software, ProKSim (Protein Kinetics Simulator). Most of the Zn-PcChol8+ molecules formed clusters at the upper half of the stalk within a vast area of negative electrostatic potential. Positioning of the PS on the surface of the spike protein at a distance of no more than 10 nm from the viral membrane may be favorable for the oxidative damage. The high sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 to photodynamic inactivation by Zn-PcChol8+ is discussed with respect to the application of this PS to control the spread of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia)
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Brief Report
The Significance of Phenotyping and Quantification of Plasma Extracellular Vesicles Levels Using High-Sensitivity Flow Cytometry during COVID-19 Treatment
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 767; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13050767 - 27 Apr 2021
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Abstract
New investigation results point to the potential participation of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the pathogenesis of coronavirus infection, its progression, and mechanisms of the therapy effectiveness. This dictates the necessity to transfer scientific testing technologies to medical practice. Here, we demonstrated the method [...] Read more.
New investigation results point to the potential participation of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the pathogenesis of coronavirus infection, its progression, and mechanisms of the therapy effectiveness. This dictates the necessity to transfer scientific testing technologies to medical practice. Here, we demonstrated the method of phenotyping and quantitative analysis of plasma EVs based on differential centrifugation, immunostaining, and high-sensitivity multicolor flow cytometry. We used EV markers that were potentially associated with SARS-CoV-2 dissemination via vesicles and cell-origination markers, characterizing objects from different cell types that could influence clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Plasma levels of CD235a+ and CD14+ EVs in patients with moderate infection were significantly increased while CD8+ and CD19+ EVs were decreased comparing with HD. Patients with severe infection had lower levels of CD4+, CD19+, and CD146+ EVs than HD. These findings demonstrate that EV concentrations in COVID-19 are severity related. Moreover, the three-point dynamic assessment demonstrated significant loss of CD63+ and CD147+ plasma EVs. The used method can be a convenient tool for vital infection pathogenesis investigation and for COVID-19 diagnostics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Respiratory Viruses Research in Russia)
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