Viruses2015, 7(2), 456-479; doi:10.3390/v7020456 - published 23 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Thaumetopoea pityocampa (pine processionary moth) is one of the most important pine pests in the forests of Mediterranean countries, Central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Apart from causing significant damage to pinewoods, T. pityocampa occurrence is also an issue for public and animal health, as it is responsible for dermatological reactions in humans and animals by contact with its irritating hairs. High throughput sequencing technologies have allowed the fast and cost-effective generation of genetic information of interest to understand different biological aspects of non-model organisms as well as the identification of potential pathogens. Using these technologies, we have obtained and characterized the transcriptome of T. pityocampa larvae collected in 12 different geographical locations in Turkey. cDNA libraries for Illumina sequencing were prepared from four larval tissues, head, gut, fat body and integument. By pooling the sequences from Illumina platform with those previously published using the Roche 454-FLX and Sanger methods we generated the largest reference transcriptome of T. pityocampa. In addition, this study has also allowed identification of possible viral pathogens with potential application in future biocontrol strategies.
Viruses2015, 7(1), 422-455; doi:10.3390/v7010422 - published 21 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Since the development of methods for inserting and expressing genes in baculoviruses, a line of research has focused on developing recombinant baculoviruses that express insecticidal peptides and proteins. These recombinant viruses have been engineered with the goal of improving their pesticidal potential by shortening the time required for infection to kill or incapacitate insect pests and reducing the quantity of crop damage as a consequence. A wide variety of neurotoxic peptides, proteins that regulate insect physiology, degradative enzymes, and other potentially insecticidal proteins have been evaluated for their capacity to reduce the survival time of baculovirus-infected lepidopteran host larvae. Researchers have investigated the factors involved in the efficient expression and delivery of baculovirus-encoded insecticidal peptides and proteins, with much effort dedicated to identifying ideal promoters for driving transcription and signal peptides that mediate secretion of the expressed target protein. Other factors, particularly translational efficiency of transcripts derived from recombinant insecticidal genes and post-translational folding and processing of insecticidal proteins, remain relatively unexplored. The discovery of RNA interference as a gene-specific regulation mechanism offers a new approach for improvement of baculovirus biopesticidal efficacy through genetic modification.
Viruses2015, 7(1), 394-421; doi:10.3390/v7010394 - published 20 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a major pest in maize crops in Colombia, and affects several regions in America. A granulovirus isolated from S. frugiperda (SfGV VG008) has potential as an enhancer of insecticidal activity of previously described nucleopolyhedrovirus from the same insect species (SfMNPV). The SfGV VG008 genome was sequenced and analyzed showing circular double stranded DNA of 140,913 bp encoding 146 putative ORFs that include 37 Baculoviridae core genes, 88 shared with betabaculoviruses, two shared only with betabaculoviruses from Noctuide insects, two shared with alphabaculoviruses, three copies of own genes (paralogs) and the other 14 corresponding to unique genes without representation in the other baculovirus species. Particularly, the genome encodes for important virulence factors such as 4 chitinases and 2 enhancins. The sequence analysis revealed the existence of eight homologous regions (hrs) and also suggests processes of gene acquisition by horizontal transfer including the SfGV VG008 ORFs 046/047 (paralogs), 059, 089 and 099. The bioinformatics evidence indicates that the genome donors of mentioned genes could be alpha- and/or betabaculovirus species. The previous reported ability of SfGV VG008 to naturally co-infect the same host with other virus show a possible mechanism to capture genes and thus improve its fitness.
Viruses2015, 7(1), 378-393; doi:10.3390/v7010378 - published 20 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Despite substantial interventions in the understanding and case management of acute gastroenteritis, diarrheal diseases are still responsible for a notable amount of childhood deaths. Although the rotavirus is known to cause a considerable burden of pediatric diarrheal cases, the roles of other viruses remain undefined for the Pakistani population. This study was based on tertiary care hospital surveillance, from January 2009 to December 2010, including the detection of rotavirus, norovirus, astrovirus, and human parechovirus in children under the age of five using serological or molecular assays. Rotavirus, human parechovirus, norovirus, and astrovirus were detected in 66%, 21%, 19.5%, and 8.5% subjects, respectively. Human parechovirus genotypes, determined through analysis of VP1 gene sequences, showed a great diversity among co-circulating strains. Eighty percent of hospitalized children had dual or multiple viral infections, while 98% parechovirus positive cases were co-infected with rotavirus. The remarkable diversity of viruses associated with the childhood diarrhea in Pakistan calls for large-scale epidemiological surveys, coupled with case control studies, to ascertain their role in clinical manifestations. In addition, these findings also highlight the need for the implementation of up-to-date health interventions, such as the inclusion of a rotavirus vaccine in routine immunization programs for the improvement of quality in child health care.
Viruses2015, 7(1), 352-377; doi:10.3390/v7010352 - published 20 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Epimedium koreanum Nakai has been extensively used in traditional Korean and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases. Despite the plant’s known immune modulatory potential and chemical make-up, scientific information on its antiviral properties and mode of action have not been completely investigated. In this study, the broad antiviral spectrum and mode of action of an aqueous extract from Epimedium koreanum Nakai was evaluated in vitro, and moreover, the protective effect against divergent influenza A subtypes was determined in BALB/c mice. An effective dose of Epimedium koreanum Nakaimarkedly reduced the replication of Influenza A Virus (PR8), Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) in RAW264.7 and HEK293T cells. Mechanically, we found that an aqueous extract from Epimedium koreanum Nakai induced the secretion of type I IFN and pro-inflammatory cytokines and the subsequent stimulation of the antiviral state in cells. Among various components present in the extract, quercetin was confirmed to have striking antiviral properties. The oral administration of Epimedium koreanum Nakai exhibited preventive effects on BALB/c mice against lethal doses of highly pathogenic influenza A subtypes (H1N1, H5N2, H7N3 and H9N2). Therefore, an extract of Epimedium koreanum Nakai and its components play roles as immunomodulators in the innate immune response, and may be potential candidates for prophylactic or therapeutic treatments against diverse viruses in animal and humans.
Viruses2015, 7(1), 333-351; doi:10.3390/v7010333 - published 20 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) caused by hantaviruses and transmitted by rodents is a significant public health problem in China, and occurs more frequently in selenium-deficient regions. To study the role of selenium concentration in HFRS incidence we used a multidisciplinary approach combining ecological analysis with preliminary experimental data. The incidence of HFRS in humans was about six times higher in severe selenium-deficient and double in moderate deficient areas compared to non-deficient areas. This association became statistically stronger after correction for other significant environment-related factors (low elevation, few grasslands, or an abundance of forests) and was independent of geographical scale by separate analyses for different climate regions. A case-control study of HFRS patients admitted to the hospital revealed increased activity and plasma levels of selenium binding proteins while selenium supplementation in vitro decreased viral replication in an endothelial cell model after infection with a low multiplicity of infection (MOI). Viral replication with a higher MOI was not affected by selenium supplementation. Our findings indicate that selenium deficiency may contribute to an increased prevalence of hantavirus infections in both humans and rodents. Future studies are needed to further examine the exact mechanism behind this observation before selenium supplementation in deficient areas could be implemented for HFRS prevention.