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Viruses, Volume 5, Issue 11 (November 2013), Pages 2624-2919

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Ribavirin Protects Syrian Hamsters against Lethal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome — After Intranasal Exposure to Andes Virus
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2704-2720; doi:10.3390/v5112704
Received: 5 September 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 8 November 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (871 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Andes virus, ANDV, harbored by wild rodents, causes the highly lethal hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) upon transmission to humans resulting in death in 30% to 50% of the cases. As there is no treatment for this disease, we systematically tested the efficacy of
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Andes virus, ANDV, harbored by wild rodents, causes the highly lethal hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) upon transmission to humans resulting in death in 30% to 50% of the cases. As there is no treatment for this disease, we systematically tested the efficacy of ribavirin in vitro and in an animal model. In vitro assays confirmed antiviral activity and determined that the most effective doses were 40 µg/mL and above. We tested three different concentrations of ribavirin for their capability to prevent HPS in the ANDV hamster model following an intranasal challenge. While the highest level of ribavirin (200 mg/kg) was toxic to the hamster, both the middle (100 mg/kg) and the lowest concentration (50 mg/kg) prevented HPS in hamsters without toxicity. Specifically, 8 of 8 hamsters survived intranasal challenge for both of those groups whereas 7 of 8 PBS control-treated animals developed lethal HPS. Further, we report that administration of ribavirin at 50 mg/kg/day starting on days 6, 8, 10, or 12 post-infection resulted in significant protection against HPS in all groups. Administration of ribavirin at 14 days post-infection also provided a significant level of protection against lethal HPS. These data provide in vivo evidence supporting the potential use of ribavirin as a post-exposure treatment to prevent HPS after exposure by the respiratory route. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantaviruses)
Open AccessArticle Large Human Outbreak of West Nile Virus Infection in North-Eastern Italy in 2012
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2825-2839; doi:10.3390/v5112825
Received: 2 November 2013 / Revised: 20 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) disease have been reported in Italy since 2008. So far, most cases have been identified in north-eastern Italy, where, in 2012, the largest outbreak of WNV infection ever recorded in Italy occurred. Most cases of the
[...] Read more.
Human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) disease have been reported in Italy since 2008. So far, most cases have been identified in north-eastern Italy, where, in 2012, the largest outbreak of WNV infection ever recorded in Italy occurred. Most cases of the 2012 outbreak were identified in the Veneto region, where a special surveillance plan for West Nile fever was in place. In this outbreak, 25 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease and 17 cases of fever were confirmed. In addition, 14 WNV RNA-positive blood donors were identified by screening of blood and organ donations and two cases of asymptomatic infection were diagnosed by active surveillance of subjects at risk of WNV exposure. Two cases of death due to WNND were reported. Molecular testing demonstrated the presence of WNV lineage 1 in all WNV RNA-positive patients and, in 15 cases, infection by the novel Livenza strain was ascertained. Surveillance in other Italian regions notified one case of neuroinvasive disease in the south of Italy and two cases in Sardinia. Integrated surveillance for WNV infection remains a public health priority in Italy and vector control activities have been strengthened in areas of WNV circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessArticle HPV Genotyping 9G Membrane Test
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2840-2855; doi:10.3390/v5112840
Received: 21 October 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 19 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1577 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The results of the genital human papillomavirus (HPV) detection in 439 cervical samples by cervical cytology were compared with sequencing analysis and a newly developed HPV genotyping 9G membrane test. The excellent sensitivity and specificity of the HPV genotyping 9G membrane test was
[...] Read more.
The results of the genital human papillomavirus (HPV) detection in 439 cervical samples by cervical cytology were compared with sequencing analysis and a newly developed HPV genotyping 9G membrane test. The excellent sensitivity and specificity of the HPV genotyping 9G membrane test was assured by a signal to noise ratio of more than 300 and a target hybridization to non-target hybridization ratio of 300 ~ 400 at 25 °C. The final results can be obtained in 29 min by simple loading of the hybridization and washing solutions and scanning the membranes without any drying steps or special handling. The 100% identical results of the HPV genotyping 9G membrane test with sequencing results in 439 clinical samples demonstrate significant clinical application for this test. HPV genotyping 9G membrane tests can identify and discriminate five HR-HPV genotypes which are prevalent in almost 87% of cervical cancer cases. Its simple handling makes the HPV genotyping 9G membrane test a very convenient platform for accurate HPV genotyping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessArticle Differential Virulence and Pathogenesis of West Nile Viruses
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2856-2880; doi:10.3390/v5112856
Received: 29 August 2013 / Revised: 13 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic flavivirus that cycles between mosquitoes and birds but that can also infect humans, horses, and other vertebrate animals. In most humans, WNV infection remains subclinical. However, 20%–40% of those infected may develop WNV disease, with symptoms
[...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic flavivirus that cycles between mosquitoes and birds but that can also infect humans, horses, and other vertebrate animals. In most humans, WNV infection remains subclinical. However, 20%–40% of those infected may develop WNV disease, with symptoms ranging from fever to meningoencephalitis. A large variety of WNV strains have been described worldwide. Based on their genetic differences, they have been classified into eight lineages; the pathogenic strains belong to lineages 1 and 2. Ten years ago, Beasley et al. (2002) found that dramatic differences exist in the virulence and neuroinvasion properties of lineage 1 and lineage 2 WNV strains. Further insights on how WNV interacts with its hosts have recently been gained; the virus acts either at the periphery or on the central nervous system (CNS), and these observed differences could help explain the differential virulence and neurovirulence of WNV strains. This review aims to summarize the current state of knowledge on factors that trigger WNV dissemination and CNS invasion as well as on the inflammatory response and CNS damage induced by WNV. Moreover, we will discuss how WNV strains differentially interact with the innate immune system and CNS cells, thus influencing WNV pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessArticle Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Memphis 37 Grown in HEp-2 Cells Causes more Severe Disease in Lambs than Virus Grown in Vero Cells
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2881-2897; doi:10.3390/v5112881
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (920 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in infants and young children. A small percentage of these individuals develop severe and even fatal disease. To better understand the pathogenesis of severe disease and develop therapies unique to the less-developed
[...] Read more.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in infants and young children. A small percentage of these individuals develop severe and even fatal disease. To better understand the pathogenesis of severe disease and develop therapies unique to the less-developed infant immune system, a model of infant disease is needed. The neonatal lamb pulmonary development and physiology is similar to that of infants, and sheep are susceptible to ovine, bovine, or human strains of RSV. RSV grown in Vero (African green monkey) cells has a truncated attachment G glycoprotein as compared to that grown in HEp-2 cells. We hypothesized that the virus grown in HEp-2 cells would cause more severe clinical symptoms and cause more severe pathology. To confirm the hypothesis, lambs were inoculated simultaneously by two different delivery methods (intranasal and nebulized inoculation) with either Vero-grown or HEp-2-grown RSV Memphis 37 (M37) strain of virus to compare viral infection and disease symptoms. Lambs infected with HEp-2 cell-derived virus by either intranasal or nebulization inoculation had significantly higher levels of viral RNA in lungs as well as greater clinical disease including both gross and histopathologic lesions compared to lambs similarly inoculated with Vero-grown virus. Thus, our results provide convincing in vivo evidence for differences in viral infectivity that corroborate previous in vitro mechanistic studies demonstrating differences in the G glycoprotein expression by RSV grown in Vero cells. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Based Gene Therapy for HIV-1 Infection: Considerations for Proof of Concept Studies and Translation to Standard Medical Practice
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2898-2919; doi:10.3390/v5112898
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the past 15 years we have been investigating an alternative approach to treating HIV-1/AIDS, based on the creation of a disease-resistant immune system through transplantation of autologous, gene-modified (HIV-1-resistant) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (GM-HSPC). We propose that the expression of selected
[...] Read more.
Over the past 15 years we have been investigating an alternative approach to treating HIV-1/AIDS, based on the creation of a disease-resistant immune system through transplantation of autologous, gene-modified (HIV-1-resistant) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (GM-HSPC). We propose that the expression of selected RNA-based HIV-1 inhibitors in the CD4+ cells derived from GM-HSPC will protect them from HIV-1 infection and results in a sufficient immune repertoire to control HIV-1 viremia resulting in a functional cure for HIV-1/AIDS. Additionally, it is possible that the subset of protected T cells will also be able to facilitate the immune-based elimination of latently infected cells if they can be activated to express viral antigens. Thus, a single dose of disease resistant GM-HSPC could provide an effective treatment for HIV-1+ patients who require (or desire) an alternative to lifelong antiretroviral chemotherapy. We describe herein the results from several pilot clinical studies in HIV-1 patients and our strategies to develop second generation vectors and clinical strategies for HIV-1+ patients with malignancy who require ablative chemotherapy as part of treatment and others without malignancy. The important issues related to stem cell source, patient selection, conditioning regimen and post-infusion correlative studies become increasingly complex and are discussed herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy for Retroviral Infections)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Role of Innate Immunity against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infections and Effect of Adjuvants in Promoting Specific Immune Response
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2624-2642; doi:10.3390/v5112624
Received: 9 September 2013 / Revised: 30 September 2013 / Accepted: 15 October 2013 / Published: 28 October 2013
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (2259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the early stages of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, the innate immune system creates a pro-inflammatory microenvironment by recruiting innate immune cells to eliminate the infected cells, initiating an effective acquired immune response. However, HPV exhibits a wide range of strategies for evading
[...] Read more.
During the early stages of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, the innate immune system creates a pro-inflammatory microenvironment by recruiting innate immune cells to eliminate the infected cells, initiating an effective acquired immune response. However, HPV exhibits a wide range of strategies for evading immune-surveillance, generating an anti-inflammatory microenvironment. The administration of new adjuvants, such as TLR (Toll-like receptors) agonists and alpha-galactosylceramide, has been demonstrated to reverse the anti-inflammatory microenvironment by down-regulating a number of adhesion molecules and chemo-attractants and activating keratinocytes, dendritic (DC), Langerhans (LC), natural killer (NK) or natural killer T (NKT) cells; thus, promoting a strong specific cytotoxic T cell response. Therefore, these adjuvants show promise for the treatment of HPV generated lesions and may be useful to elucidate the unknown roles of immune cells in the natural history of HPV infection. This review focuses on HPV immune evasion mechanisms and on the proposed response of the innate immune system, suggesting a role for the surrounding pro-inflammatory microenvironment and the NK and NKT cells in the clearance of HPV infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Current Threats and Findings in Virology)
Open AccessReview The Innate Immune Playbook for Restricting West Nile Virus Infection
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2643-2658; doi:10.3390/v5112643
Received: 8 September 2013 / Revised: 19 October 2013 / Accepted: 22 October 2013 / Published: 30 October 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes annual epidemics of encephalitic disease throughout the world. Despite the ongoing risk to public health, no approved vaccines or therapies exist for use in humans to prevent or combat WNV infection. The
[...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes annual epidemics of encephalitic disease throughout the world. Despite the ongoing risk to public health, no approved vaccines or therapies exist for use in humans to prevent or combat WNV infection. The innate immune response is critical for controlling WNV replication, limiting virus-induced pathology, and programming protective humoral and cell-mediated immunity to WNV infection. The RIG-I like receptors, Toll-like receptors, and Nod-like receptors detect and respond to WNV by inducing a potent antiviral defense program, characterized by production of type I IFN, IL-1β and expression of antiviral effector genes. Recent research efforts have focused on uncovering the mechanisms of innate immune sensing, antiviral effector genes that inhibit WNV, and countermeasures employed by WNV to antagonize innate immune cellular defenses. In this review, we highlight the major research findings pertaining to innate immune regulation of WNV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue West Nile Virus)
Open AccessReview Involvement of Eukaryotic Small RNA Pathways in Host Defense and Viral Pathogenesis
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2659-2678; doi:10.3390/v5112659
Received: 23 September 2013 / Revised: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 30 October 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Post-transcriptional gene regulation by small RNAs is now established as an important branch of the gene regulatory system. Many different classes of small RNAs have been discovered; among these are short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNA (miRNAs). Though differences in the processing and
[...] Read more.
Post-transcriptional gene regulation by small RNAs is now established as an important branch of the gene regulatory system. Many different classes of small RNAs have been discovered; among these are short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNA (miRNAs). Though differences in the processing and function of small RNAs exist between plants and animals, both groups utilize small RNA-mediated gene regulation in response to pathogens. Host encoded miRNAs and siRNAs are generated from viral RNA function in host defense and pathogenic resistance in plants. In animals, miRNAs are key regulators in both immune system development and in immune function. Pathogens, in particular viruses, have evolved mechanisms to usurp the host’s small RNA-mediated regulatory system. Overall, small RNAs are a major component of host defense and immunity in eukaryotes. The goal of this review is to summarize our current knowledge of the involvement of eukaryotic small RNA pathways in host defense and viral pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and miRNAs)
Open AccessReview Roles of microRNAs in the Hepatitis B Virus Infection and Related Diseases
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2690-2703; doi:10.3390/v5112690
Received: 22 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 29 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (920 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small enveloped DNA virus that belongs to the Hepadnaviridae family. HBV can cause acute and persistent infection which can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a crucial role in the main cellular events. The
[...] Read more.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small enveloped DNA virus that belongs to the Hepadnaviridae family. HBV can cause acute and persistent infection which can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a crucial role in the main cellular events. The dysregulation of their expression has been linked to the development of the cancer as well as to viral interference. This chapter will describe the involvement of miRNAs in the case of HBV infection and their implication in the development of the HBV-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and miRNAs)
Open AccessReview Genome Scale Transcriptomics of Baculovirus-Insect Interactions
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2721-2747; doi:10.3390/v5112721
Received: 10 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 4 November 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Baculovirus-insect cell technologies are applied in the production of complex proteins, veterinary and human vaccines, gene delivery vectors‚ and biopesticides. Better understanding of how baculoviruses and insect cells interact would facilitate baculovirus-based production. While complete genomic sequences are available for over 58 baculovirus
[...] Read more.
Baculovirus-insect cell technologies are applied in the production of complex proteins, veterinary and human vaccines, gene delivery vectors‚ and biopesticides. Better understanding of how baculoviruses and insect cells interact would facilitate baculovirus-based production. While complete genomic sequences are available for over 58 baculovirus species, little insect genomic information is known. The release of the Bombyx mori and Plutella xylostella genomes, the accumulation of EST sequences for several Lepidopteran species, and especially the availability of two genome-scale analysis tools, namely oligonucleotide microarrays and next generation sequencing (NGS), have facilitated expression studies to generate a rich picture of insect gene responses to baculovirus infections. This review presents current knowledge on the interaction dynamics of the baculovirus-insect system‚ which is relatively well studied in relation to nucleocapsid transportation, apoptosis, and heat shock responses, but is still poorly understood regarding responses involved in pro-survival pathways, DNA damage pathways, protein degradation, translation, signaling pathways, RNAi pathways, and importantly metabolic pathways for energy, nucleotide and amino acid production. We discuss how the two genome-scale transcriptomic tools can be applied for studying such pathways and suggest that proteomics and metabolomics can produce complementary findings to transcriptomic studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
Open AccessReview Newer Gene Editing Technologies toward HIV Gene Therapy
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2748-2766; doi:10.3390/v5112748
Received: 17 September 2013 / Revised: 2 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 14 November 2013
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (559 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the great success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in ameliorating the course of HIV infection, alternative therapeutic approaches are being pursued because of practical problems associated with life-long therapy. The eradication of HIV in the so-called “Berlin patient” who received a
[...] Read more.
Despite the great success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in ameliorating the course of HIV infection, alternative therapeutic approaches are being pursued because of practical problems associated with life-long therapy. The eradication of HIV in the so-called “Berlin patient” who received a bone marrow transplant from a CCR5-negative donor has rekindled interest in genome engineering strategies to achieve the same effect. Precise gene editing within the cells is now a realistic possibility with recent advances in understanding the DNA repair mechanisms, DNA interaction with transcription factors and bacterial defense mechanisms. Within the past few years, four novel technologies have emerged that can be engineered for recognition of specific DNA target sequences to enable site-specific gene editing: Homing Endonuclease, ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas9 system. The most recent CRISPR/Cas9 system uses a short stretch of complementary RNA bound to Cas9 nuclease to recognize and cleave target DNA, as opposed to the previous technologies that use DNA binding motifs of either zinc finger proteins or transcription activator-like effector molecules fused to an endonuclease to mediate sequence-specific DNA cleavage. Unlike RNA interference, which requires the continued presence of effector moieties to maintain gene silencing, the newer technologies allow permanent disruption of the targeted gene after a single treatment. Here, we review the applications, limitations and future prospects of novel gene-editing strategies for use as HIV therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy for Retroviral Infections)
Open AccessReview Nuclear Trafficking of Retroviral RNAs and Gag Proteins during Late Steps of Replication
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2767-2795; doi:10.3390/v5112767
Received: 12 October 2013 / Revised: 31 October 2013 / Accepted: 12 November 2013 / Published: 18 November 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Retroviruses exploit nuclear trafficking machinery at several distinct stages in their replication cycles. In this review, we will focus primarily on nucleocytoplasmic trafficking events that occur after the completion of reverse transcription and proviral integration. First, we will discuss nuclear export of unspliced
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Retroviruses exploit nuclear trafficking machinery at several distinct stages in their replication cycles. In this review, we will focus primarily on nucleocytoplasmic trafficking events that occur after the completion of reverse transcription and proviral integration. First, we will discuss nuclear export of unspliced viral RNA transcripts, which serves two essential roles: as the mRNA template for the translation of viral structural proteins and as the genome for encapsidation into virions. These full-length viral RNAs must overcome the cell’s quality control measures to leave the nucleus by co-opting host factors or encoding viral proteins to mediate nuclear export of unspliced viral RNAs. Next, we will summarize the most recent findings on the mechanisms of Gag nuclear trafficking and discuss potential roles for nuclear localization of Gag proteins in retrovirus replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessReview Human Cytomegalovirus Manipulation of Latently Infected Cells
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2803-2824; doi:10.3390/v5112803
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 11 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Primary infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) results in the establishment of a lifelong infection of the host which is aided by the ability of HCMV to undergo a latent infection. One site of HCMV latency in vivo is in haematopoietic progenitor cells, resident
[...] Read more.
Primary infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) results in the establishment of a lifelong infection of the host which is aided by the ability of HCMV to undergo a latent infection. One site of HCMV latency in vivo is in haematopoietic progenitor cells, resident in the bone marrow, with genome carriage and reactivation being restricted to the cells of the myeloid lineage. Until recently, HCMV latency has been considered to be relatively quiescent with the virus being maintained essentially as a “silent partner” until conditions are met that trigger reactivation. However, advances in techniques to study global changes in gene expression have begun to show that HCMV latency is a highly active process which involves expression of specific latency-associated viral gene products which orchestrate major changes in the latently infected cell. These changes are argued to help maintain latent infection and to modulate the cellular environment to the benefit of latent virus. In this review, we will discuss these new findings and how they impact not only on our understanding of the biology of HCMV latency but also how they could provide tantalising glimpses into mechanisms that could become targets for the clearance of latent HCMV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent CMV Research) Print Edition available

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessBrief Report Detection of Coronaviruses in Bats of Various Species in Italy
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2679-2689; doi:10.3390/v5112679
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 31 October 2013
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bats are natural reservoirs for many mammalian coronaviruses, which have received renewed interest after the discovery of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) CoV in humans. This study describes the identification and molecular characterization of alphacoronaviruses
[...] Read more.
Bats are natural reservoirs for many mammalian coronaviruses, which have received renewed interest after the discovery of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) CoV in humans. This study describes the identification and molecular characterization of alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses in bats in Italy, from 2010 to 2012. Sixty-nine faecal samples and 126 carcasses were tested using pan-coronavirus RT-PCR. Coronavirus RNAs were detected in seven faecal samples and nine carcasses. A phylogenetic analysis of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence fragments aided in identifying two alphacoronaviruses from Kuhl’s pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii), three clade 2b betacoronaviruses from lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros), and 10 clade 2c betacoronaviruses from Kuhl’s pipistrelle, common noctule (Nyctalus noctula), and Savi’s pipistrelle (Hypsugo savii). This study fills a substantive gap in the knowledge on bat-CoV ecology in Italy, and extends the current knowledge on clade 2c betacoronaviruses with new sequences obtained from bats that have not been previously described as hosts of these viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessLetter Large Scale Genome Analysis Shows that the Epitopes for Broadly Cross-Reactive Antibodies Are Predominant in the Pandemic 2009 Influenza Virus A H1N1 Strain
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2796-2802; doi:10.3390/v5112796
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 10 October 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 19 November 2013
PDF Full-text (144 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The past pandemic strain H1N1 (A (H1N1)pdm09) has now become a common component of current seasonal influenza viruses. It has changed the pre-existing immunity of the human population to succeeding infections. In the present study, a total of 14,210 distinct sequences downloaded from
[...] Read more.
The past pandemic strain H1N1 (A (H1N1)pdm09) has now become a common component of current seasonal influenza viruses. It has changed the pre-existing immunity of the human population to succeeding infections. In the present study, a total of 14,210 distinct sequences downloaded from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database were used for the analysis. The epitope compositions in A (H1N1)pdm09, classic seasonal strains, swine strains as well as highly virulent avian strain H5N1, identified with the aid of the Immune Epitope DataBase (IEDB), were compared at genomic level. The result showed that A (H1N1) pdm09 contains the 90% of B-cell epitopes for broadly cross-reactive antibodies (EBCA), which is in consonance with the recent reports on the experimental identification of new epitopes or antibodies for this virus and the binding tests with influenza virus protein HA of different subtypes. Our analysis supports that high proportional EBCA depends on the epitope pattern of A (H1N1)pdm09 virus. This study may be helpful for better understanding of A (H1N1)pdm09 and the production of new influenza vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)

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