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Viruses, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) replicates in hepatocytes and often causes liver cirrhosis and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Establishment and Comparison of Pathogenicity and Related Neurotropism in Two Age Groups of Immune Competent Mice, C57BL/6J Using an Indian Isolate of Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV)
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060578
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
Chikungunya (CHIK) is a febrile arboviral illness caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and has been identified in more than 60 countries across the globe. A major public health concern, the infection occurs as an acute febrile phase and a chronic arthralgic phase. The [...] Read more.
Chikungunya (CHIK) is a febrile arboviral illness caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and has been identified in more than 60 countries across the globe. A major public health concern, the infection occurs as an acute febrile phase and a chronic arthralgic phase. The disease manifests differently in different age groups that can range from asymptomatic infection in the younger age group to a prolonged chronic phase in the elderly population. The present study was undertaken to evaluate strain-specific pathogenesis of ECSA genotype of CHIKV strains derived from clinical isolates in adult C57BL/6J mice model. The strain that was pathogenic and developed distinct acute and post–acute phase of CHIK infection was further evaluated for dose-dependent pathogenesis. Upon arriving on the optimal dose to induce clinical symptoms in the mice, the disease progression was evaluated across the acute and the post–acute phase of infection for a period of 15 days post–infection in two age groups of mice, namely eight weeks old and 20 weeks old mice groups. Biochemical, hematological, and virology attributes were measured and correlated to morbidity and linked neurotropism and limb thickness in the two age groups. Our results show that CHIKV exhibit strain-specific pathogenesis in C57BL/6J mice. Distinct dissimilarities were observed between the two age groups in terms of pathogenesis, viral clearance and host response to CHIKV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chikungunya Virus and (Re-) Emerging Alphaviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Victorivirus from a Pakistani Isolate of Alternaria alternata Lacking a Typical Translational Stop/Restart Sequence Signature
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060577
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
The family Totiviridae currently contains five genera Totivirus, Victorivirus, Leishmavirus, Trichomonasvirus, and Giardiavirus. Members in this family generally have a set of two-open reading frame (ORF) elements in their genome with the 5′-proximal ORF (ORF1) encoding a capsid [...] Read more.
The family Totiviridae currently contains five genera Totivirus, Victorivirus, Leishmavirus, Trichomonasvirus, and Giardiavirus. Members in this family generally have a set of two-open reading frame (ORF) elements in their genome with the 5′-proximal ORF (ORF1) encoding a capsid protein (CP) and the 3′-proximal one (ORF2) for RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). How the downstream open reading frames (ORFs) are expressed is genus-specific. All victoriviruses characterized thus far appear to use the stop/restart translation mechanism, allowing for the expression of two separate protein products from bicitronic genome-sized viral mRNA, while the totiviruses use a −1 ribosomal frame-shifting that leads to a fusion product of CP and RdRp. We report the biological and molecular characterization of a novel victorivirus termed Alternaria alternata victorivirus 1 (AalVV1) isolated from Alternaria alternata in Pakistan. The phylogenetic and molecular analyses showed AalVV1 to be distinct from previously reported victoriviruses. AalVV1 appears to have a sequence signature required for the −1 frame-shifting at the ORF1/2 junction region, rather than a stop/restart key mediator. By contrast, SDS–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and peptide mass fingerprinting analyses of purified virion preparations suggested the expression of two protein products, not a CP-RdRp fusion product. How these proteins are expressed is discussed in this study. Possible effects of infection by this virus were tested in two fungal species: A. alternata and RNA silencing proficient and deficient strains of Cryphonectria parasitica, a model filamentous fungus. AalVV1 showed symptomless infection in all of these fungal strains, even in the RNA silencing deficient C. parasitica strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
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Open AccessArticle
A DNA Prime Immuno-Potentiates a Modified Live Vaccine against the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus but Does Not Improve Heterologous Protection
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060576
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), an RNA virus inducing abortion in sows and respiratory disease in young pigs, is a leading infectious cause of economic losses in the swine industry. Modified live vaccines (MLVs) help in controlling the disease, but [...] Read more.
The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), an RNA virus inducing abortion in sows and respiratory disease in young pigs, is a leading infectious cause of economic losses in the swine industry. Modified live vaccines (MLVs) help in controlling the disease, but their efficacy is often compromised by the high genetic diversity of circulating viruses, leading to vaccine escape variants in the field. In this study, we hypothesized that a DNA prime with naked plasmids encoding PRRSV antigens containing conserved T-cell epitopes may improve the protection of MLV against a heterologous challenge. Plasmids were delivered with surface electroporation or needle-free jet injection and European strain-derived PRRSV antigens were targeted or not to the dendritic cell receptor XCR1. Compared to MLV-alone, the DNA-MLV prime- boost regimen slightly improved the IFNγ T-cell response, and substantially increased the antibody response against envelope motives and the nucleoprotein N. The XCR1-targeting of N significantly improved the anti-N specific antibody response. Despite this immuno-potentiation, the DNA-MLV regimen did not further decrease the serum viral load or the nasal viral shedding of the challenge strain over MLV-alone. Finally, the heterologous protection, achieved in absence of detectable effective neutralizing antibodies, was not correlated to the measured antibody or to the IFNγ T-cell response. Therefore, immune correlates of protection remain to be identified and represent an important gap of knowledge in PRRSV vaccinology. This study importantly shows that a naked DNA prime immuno-potentiates an MLV, more on the B than on the IFNγ T-cell response side, and has to be further improved to reach cross-protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Dendritic Cell Targeting of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus E2 Protein Expressed by Lactobacillus casei Effectively Induces Antigen-Specific Immune Responses via Oral Vaccination
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060575
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
Bovine viral diarrhea caused by bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an important disease in cattle, resulting in significant economic losses to the cattle industry worldwide. In order to develop an effective vaccine against BVDV infection, we constructed a dendritic cell (DC)-targeting oral [...] Read more.
Bovine viral diarrhea caused by bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an important disease in cattle, resulting in significant economic losses to the cattle industry worldwide. In order to develop an effective vaccine against BVDV infection, we constructed a dendritic cell (DC)-targeting oral probiotic vaccine (pPG-E2-DCpep/LC W56) using Lactobacillus casei as antigen delivery carrier to express BVDV glycoprotein E2 fused with DC-targeting peptide, and the immunogenicity of orally administered probiotic vaccine was evaluated in mice model. Our results showed that after immunization with the probiotic vaccine, significantly levels of antigen-specific sera IgG and mucosal sIgA antibodies (p < 0.05) with BVDV-neutralizing activity were induced in vivo. Challenge experiment showed that pPG-E2-DCpep/LC W56 can provide effective immune protection against BVDV, and BVDV could be effectively cleared from the intestine of immunized mice post-challenge. Moreover, the pPG-E2-DCpep/LC W56 could efficiently activate DCs in the intestinal Peyer’s patches, and significantly levels of lymphoproliferative responses, Th1-associated IFN-γ, and Th2-associated IL-4 were observed in mice immunized with pPG-E2-DCpep/LC W56 (p < 0.01). Our results clearly demonstrate that the probiotic vaccine could efficiently induce anti-BVDV mucosal, humoral, and cellular immune responses via oral immunization, indicating a promising strategy for the development of oral vaccine against BVDV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Picobirnaviruses in Respiratory and Alimentary Tracts of Cattle and Monkeys with Large Intra- and Inter-Host Diversity
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060574
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 23 June 2019
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Abstract
Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) are mostly found in animal alimentary samples. In this study, among 576 respiratory specimens from 476 mammals and 100 chickens, genogroup I PBVs were detected in three cattle and three monkeys, and a genogroup II PBV-positive sample was collected from one [...] Read more.
Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) are mostly found in animal alimentary samples. In this study, among 576 respiratory specimens from 476 mammals and 100 chickens, genogroup I PBVs were detected in three cattle and three monkeys, and a genogroup II PBV-positive sample was collected from one cattle specimen. More than one PBV sequence type was observed in two and one genogroup I PBV-positive samples from cattle and monkeys, respectively. Twenty-four complete/near-complete segments 2 (nine from respiratory and 15 from alimentary samples) from the cattle and monkey genogroup I PBVs and one complete segment 2 from the cattle genogroup II PBV were sequenced. Similar to other studies, the cattle PBVs also showed a high diversity. In contrast, the monkey PBVs observed in this study were clustered into three distinct clades. Within each clade, all the sequences showed >99% amino acid identities. This unique phenomenon is probably due to the fact that monkeys in our locality reside in separated troops with minimal inter-troop contact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Susceptibility of Chickens to Porcine Deltacoronavirus Infection
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060573
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 16 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is a novel swine enteropathogenic coronavirus with worldwide distribution. PDCoV belongs to the Deltacoronavirus (DCoV) genus, which mainly includes avian coronaviruses (CoVs). PDCoV has the potential to infect human and chicken cells in vitro, and also has limited infectivity in [...] Read more.
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is a novel swine enteropathogenic coronavirus with worldwide distribution. PDCoV belongs to the Deltacoronavirus (DCoV) genus, which mainly includes avian coronaviruses (CoVs). PDCoV has the potential to infect human and chicken cells in vitro, and also has limited infectivity in calves. However, the origin of PDCoV in pigs, the host range, and cross-species infection of PDCoV still remain unclear. To determine whether PDCoV really has the ability to infect chickens in vivo, the three lines of chicken embryos and specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens were inoculated with PDCoV HNZK-02 strain to investigate PDCoV infection in the current study. Our results indicated that PDCoV can infect chicken embryos and could be continuously passaged on them. Furthermore, we observed that PDCoV-inoculated chickens showed mild diarrhea symptoms and low fecal viral RNA shedding. PDCoV RNA could also be detected in multiple organs (lung, kidney, jejunum, cecum, and rectum) and intestinal contents of PDCoV-inoculated chickens until 17 day post-inoculation by real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR). A histology analysis indicated that PDCoV caused mild lesions in the lung, kidney, and intestinal tissues. These results prove the susceptibility of chickens to PDCoV infection, which might provide more insight about the cross-species transmission of PDCoV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Modulation of Innate Immune Signaling Pathways by Herpesviruses
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060572
Received: 11 May 2019 / Revised: 16 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Herpesviruses can be detected by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which then activate downstream adaptors, kinases and transcription factors (TFs) to induce the expression of interferons (IFNs) and inflammatory cytokines. IFNs further activate the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway, inducing [...] Read more.
Herpesviruses can be detected by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which then activate downstream adaptors, kinases and transcription factors (TFs) to induce the expression of interferons (IFNs) and inflammatory cytokines. IFNs further activate the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway, inducing the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). These signaling events constitute host innate immunity to defeat herpesvirus infection and replication. A hallmark of all herpesviruses is their ability to establish persistent infection in the presence of active immune response. To achieve this, herpesviruses have evolved multiple strategies to suppress or exploit host innate immune signaling pathways to facilitate their infection. This review summarizes the key host innate immune components and their regulation by herpesviruses during infection. Also we highlight unanswered questions and research gaps for future perspectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Merkel Cell Polyomavirus DNA Detection in Respiratory Samples: Study of a Cohort of Patients Affected by Cystic Fibrosis
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060571
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: The role of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) as a respiratory pathogen is controversial, and it is still unclear in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The aim of this study was to define the MCPyV prevalence and epidemiology in CF patients in order [...] Read more.
Background: The role of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) as a respiratory pathogen is controversial, and it is still unclear in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The aim of this study was to define the MCPyV prevalence and epidemiology in CF patients in order to gain new insights into the association between MCPyV infection and respiratory diseases. Methods: A one-year study was conducted testing oropharyngeal aspirate samples from 249 and 124 CF and non-CF patients, respectively. Detection of MCPyV was carried out by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, a sequence alignment to examine viral capsid protein 1 (VP1) and a phylogenetic analysis were performed. Results: MCPyV DNA was detected in 65 out of 249 samples analyzed CF (26%), a percentage that was higher than that recorded in non-CF patients (0.8%). There were no statistically significant differences in MCPyV prevalence according to gender, while there was a correlation between MCPyV detection and age. Interestingly, an association between the presence of MCPyV and the concurrent isolation of Staphylococcus aureus was found. Sequence analysis of MCPyV VP1 and phylogenetic analysis revealed a 99% homology with the published sequences of these viruses in GenBank. Conclusions: Detection of MCPyV in CF patient specimens pointed out a possible interaction between the virus and CF. Further studies are necessary to fully understand the involvement of MCPyV in the pathogenesis of respiratory disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Partial Loss of Inheritable Type I Resistance of Codling Moth to Cydia pomonella granulovirus
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060570
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
Current knowledge of the field resistance of codling moth (CM, Cydia pomonella, L) against Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV) is based mainly on the interaction between the Mexican isolate CpGV-M and CpRR1, a genetically homogeneous CM inbreed line carrying type I resistance. The [...] Read more.
Current knowledge of the field resistance of codling moth (CM, Cydia pomonella, L) against Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV) is based mainly on the interaction between the Mexican isolate CpGV-M and CpRR1, a genetically homogeneous CM inbreed line carrying type I resistance. The resistance level of laboratory-reared CpRR1 to CpGV-M was recently found to have decreased considerably, compared to the initially high resistance. To understand the background of this phenomenon, CpRR1 larvae were exposed over several generations to CpGV-M for re-selection of the original resistance level. After five and seven generations of selection, new CpRR1_F5 and CpRR1_F7 lines were established. The resistance ratio of these selected lines was determined by full range bioassays. The CpRR1_F5 strain regained a higher level of resistance against CpGV up to 104-fold based on LC50 values compared to susceptible larvae (CpS), which indicated that the absence of virus selection had resulted in a reduction of resistance under laboratory rearing conditions. In addition, some fitness costs of fecundity were observed in CpRR1_F5. Single-pair crossings between CpRR1_F5 or CpRR1_F7 with susceptible CpS moths revealed a dominant but not fully sex-linked inheritance, which suggests a partial loss of previous resistance traits in CpRR1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Pest Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Frequency of Hepatitis B Virus Resistance Mutations in Women Using Tenofovir Gel as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060569
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
Intermittent use of a single antiretroviral agent in the presence of a replicating virus could potentially increase the development of antiviral resistance. The pericoital, before-and-after sex, dosing regimen used in the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) 004 [...] Read more.
Intermittent use of a single antiretroviral agent in the presence of a replicating virus could potentially increase the development of antiviral resistance. The pericoital, before-and-after sex, dosing regimen used in the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) 004 tenofovir gel trial meant that women who were infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) were exposed intermittently to tenofovir during their participation. The impact of this dosing regimen on HBV resistance was assessed by amplification of the HBV polymerase region from 37 stored plasma samples of women who were HBV surface antigen positive. All samples belonged to HBV genotype A. None of the known tenofovir resistance mutations (M240V/I, L180M, A194T, V214A, N238T) were identified in any individuals. While it is reassuring that no resistance mutations were found among women using topical tenofovir, the rapidly expanding access to oral tenofovir-containing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), with higher systemic exposure to the drug, makes monitoring for potential HBV drug resistance important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Hypsugopoxvirus: A Novel Poxvirus Isolated from Hypsugo savii in Italy
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060568
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
Interest in bat-related viruses has increased considerably during the last decade, leading to the discovery of a rising number of new viruses in several bat species. Poxviridae are a large, diverse family of DNA viruses that can infect a wide range of vertebrates [...] Read more.
Interest in bat-related viruses has increased considerably during the last decade, leading to the discovery of a rising number of new viruses in several bat species. Poxviridae are a large, diverse family of DNA viruses that can infect a wide range of vertebrates and invertebrates. To date, only a few documented detections of poxviruses have been described in bat populations on three different continents (America, Africa, and Australia). These viruses are phylogenetically dissimilar and have diverse clinical impacts on their hosts. Herein, we report the isolation, nearly complete genome sequencing, and annotation of a novel poxvirus detected from an insectivorous bat (Hypsugo savii) in Northern Italy. The virus is tentatively named Hypsugopoxvirus (HYPV) after the bat species from which it was isolated. The nearly complete genome size is 166,600 nt and it encodes 161 genes. Genome analyses suggest that HYPV belongs to the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily, with the highest nucleotide identity (85%) to Eptesipoxvirus (EPTV) detected from a microbat Eptesicus fuscus in WA, USA, in 2011. To date, HYPV represents the first poxvirus detected in bats in Europe; thus, its viral ecology and disease associations should be investigated further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats 2019)
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Open AccessReview
Understanding and Exploiting Phage–Host Interactions
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060567
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Initially described a century ago by William Twort and Felix d’Herelle, bacteriophages are bacterial viruses found ubiquitously in nature, located wherever their host cells are present. Translated literally, bacteriophage (phage) means ‘bacteria eater’. Phages interact and infect specific bacteria while not affecting other [...] Read more.
Initially described a century ago by William Twort and Felix d’Herelle, bacteriophages are bacterial viruses found ubiquitously in nature, located wherever their host cells are present. Translated literally, bacteriophage (phage) means ‘bacteria eater’. Phages interact and infect specific bacteria while not affecting other bacteria or cell lines of other organisms. Due to the specificity of these phage–host interactions, the relationship between phages and their host cells has been the topic of much research. The advances in phage biology research have led to the exploitation of these phage–host interactions and the application of phages in the agricultural and food industry. Phages may provide an alternative to the use of antibiotics, as it is well known that the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections has become an epidemic in clinical settings. In agriculture, pre-harvest and/or post-harvest application of phages to crops may prevent the colonisation of bacteria that are detrimental to plant or human health. In addition, the abundance of data generated from genome sequencing has allowed the development of phage-derived bacterial detection systems of foodborne pathogens. This review aims to outline the specific interactions between phages and their host and how these interactions may be exploited and applied in the food industry. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Systematic Review of PCR Proof of Parvovirus B19 Genomes in Endomyocardial Biopsies of Patients Presenting with Myocarditis or Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060566
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Diverse viral infections have been associated with myocarditis (MC) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this meta-analysis, we summarize the published results on the association of parvovirus B19 (B19V) genomes with human MC/DCM versus controls. Methods: n = 197 publications referring to B19V [...] Read more.
Background: Diverse viral infections have been associated with myocarditis (MC) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this meta-analysis, we summarize the published results on the association of parvovirus B19 (B19V) genomes with human MC/DCM versus controls. Methods: n = 197 publications referring to B19V and MC or DCM were retrieved using multiple PubMed search modes. Out of these, n = 29 publications met the inclusion criteria with data from prospective analyses on >10 unselected patients presenting with MC or DCM (dataset: MA01). Data retrieved simultaneously from both controls and MC/DCM patients were available from n = 8 from these publications (dataset: MA02). Results: In the dataset MA01 B19V genomes were detected in 42.6% of the endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) in this cohort by PCR. In the dataset MA02 comprising n = 638 subjects, there was no statistically significant different rate of B19V positivity in myocardial tissues comparing controls (mean: 38.8 + 24.1%) versus the MC/DCM-patients (45.5 + 24.3%; p = 0.58). There was also no statistical difference between the positivity rate of B19V genomes in myocardial tissues of MA01 (46.0 + 19.5%) and the two patient groups of MA02 (p > 0.05). Conclusions: This systematic review reveals that the mean rate of PCR detected B19V genomes in patients presenting with MC/DCM does not differ significantly from the findings in control myocardial tissues. These data imply pathogenetically insignificant latency of B19V genomes in a proportion of myocardial tissues, both in MC-/DCM-patients and in controls. More information (i.e., replicative status, viral protein expression) is pertinent to achieve a comprehensive workup of myocardial B19V infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Parvovirus Research)
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Open AccessCommunication
Isolation of a Novel Reassortant Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N2) Virus in Egypt
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060565
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and H5N8 have become endemic among domestic poultry in Egypt since 2006 and 2016, respectively. In parallel, the low pathogenic avian influenza H9N2 virus has been endemic since 2010. Despite the continuous circulation of these subtypes for [...] Read more.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and H5N8 have become endemic among domestic poultry in Egypt since 2006 and 2016, respectively. In parallel, the low pathogenic avian influenza H9N2 virus has been endemic since 2010. Despite the continuous circulation of these subtypes for several years, no natural reassortant has been detected so far among the domestic poultry population in Egypt. In this study, the HPAI (H5N2) virus was isolated from a commercial duck farm, giving evidence of the emergence of the first natural reassortment event in domestic poultry in Egypt. The virus was derived as a result of genetic reassortment between avian influenza viruses of H5N8 and H9N2 subtypes circulating in Egypt. The exchange of the neuraminidase segment and high number of acquired mutations might be associated with an alteration in the biological propensities of this virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Animal Models for Hepatitis E Virus
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060564
Received: 11 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an underdiagnosed pathogen with approximately 20 million infections each year and currently the most common cause of acute viral hepatitis. HEV was long considered to be confined to developing countries but there is increasing evidence that it is [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an underdiagnosed pathogen with approximately 20 million infections each year and currently the most common cause of acute viral hepatitis. HEV was long considered to be confined to developing countries but there is increasing evidence that it is also a medical problem in the Western world. HEV that infects humans belongs to the Orthohepevirus A species of the Hepeviridae family. Novel HEV-like viruses have been observed in a variety of animals and some have been shown to be able to cross the species barrier, causing infection in humans. Several cell culture models for HEV have been established in the past years, but their efficiency is usually relatively low. With the circulation of this virus and related viruses in a variety of species, several different animal models have been developed. In this review, we give an overview of these animal models, indicate their main characteristics, and highlight how they may contribute to our understanding of the basic aspects of the viral life cycle and cross-species infection, the study of pathogenesis, and the evaluation of novel preventative and therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis E Virus)
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Open AccessArticle
Mammalian orthoreovirus Infection is Enhanced in Cells Pre-Treated with Sodium Arsenite
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060563
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Following reovirus infection, cells activate stress responses that repress canonical translation as a mechanism to limit progeny virion production. Work by others suggests that these stress responses, which are part of the integrated stress response (ISR), may benefit rather than repress reovirus replication. [...] Read more.
Following reovirus infection, cells activate stress responses that repress canonical translation as a mechanism to limit progeny virion production. Work by others suggests that these stress responses, which are part of the integrated stress response (ISR), may benefit rather than repress reovirus replication. Here, we report that compared to untreated cells, treating cells with sodium arsenite (SA) to activate the ISR prior to infection enhanced viral protein expression, percent infectivity, and viral titer. SA-mediated enhancement was not strain-specific, but was cell-type specific. While SA pre-treatment of cells offered the greatest enhancement, treatment within the first 4 h of infection increased the percent of cells infected. SA activates the heme-regulated eIF2α (HRI) kinase, which phosphorylates eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α) to induce stress granule (SG) formation. Heat shock (HS), another activator of HRI, also induced eIF2α phosphorylation and SGs in cells. However, HS had no effect on percent infectivity or viral yield but did enhance viral protein expression. These data suggest that SA pre-treatment perturbs the cell in a way that is beneficial for reovirus and that this enhancement is independent of SG induction. Understanding how to manipulate the cellular stress responses during infection to enhance replication could help to maximize the oncolytic potential of reovirus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
H-1 Parvovirus as a Cancer-Killing Agent: Past, Present, and Future
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060562
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
The rat protoparvovirus H-1PV is nonpathogenic in humans, replicates preferentially in cancer cells, and has natural oncolytic and oncosuppressive activities. The virus is able to kill cancer cells by activating several cell death pathways. H-1PV-mediated cancer cell death is often immunogenic and triggers [...] Read more.
The rat protoparvovirus H-1PV is nonpathogenic in humans, replicates preferentially in cancer cells, and has natural oncolytic and oncosuppressive activities. The virus is able to kill cancer cells by activating several cell death pathways. H-1PV-mediated cancer cell death is often immunogenic and triggers anticancer immune responses. The safety and tolerability of H-1PV treatment has been demonstrated in early clinical studies in glioma and pancreatic carcinoma patients. Virus treatment was associated with surrogate signs of efficacy including immune conversion of tumor microenvironment, effective virus distribution into the tumor bed even after systemic administration, and improved patient overall survival compared with historical control. However, monotherapeutic use of the virus was unable to eradicate tumors. Thus, further studies are needed to improve H-1PV’s anticancer profile. In this review, we describe H-1PV’s anticancer properties and discuss recent efforts to improve the efficacy of H-1PV and, thereby, the clinical outcome of H-1PV-based therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Parvovirus Research)
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Open AccessReview
Influenza A in Bovine Species: A Narrative Literature Review
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060561
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
It is quite intriguing that bovines were largely unaffected by influenza A, even though most of the domesticated and wild animals/birds at the human–animal interface succumbed to infection over the past few decades. Influenza A occurs on a very infrequent basis in bovine [...] Read more.
It is quite intriguing that bovines were largely unaffected by influenza A, even though most of the domesticated and wild animals/birds at the human–animal interface succumbed to infection over the past few decades. Influenza A occurs on a very infrequent basis in bovine species and hence bovines were not considered to be susceptible hosts for influenza until the emergence of influenza D. This review describes a multifaceted chronological review of literature on influenza in cattle which comprises mainly of the natural infections/outbreaks, experimental studies, and pathological and seroepidemiological aspects of influenza A that have occurred in the past. The review also sheds light on the bovine models used in vitro and in vivo for influenza-related studies over recent years. Despite a few natural cases in the mid-twentieth century and seroprevalence of human, swine, and avian influenza viruses in bovines, the evolution and host adaptation of influenza A virus (IAV) in this species suffered a serious hindrance until the novel influenza D virus (IDV) emerged recently in cattle across the world. Supposedly, certain bovine host factors, particularly some serum components and secretory proteins, were reported to have anti-influenza properties, which could be an attributing factor for the resilient nature of bovines to IAV. Further studies are needed to identify the host-specific factors contributing to the differential pathogenetic mechanisms and disease progression of IAV in bovines compared to other susceptible mammalian hosts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Establishment of a Cell Culture Model of Persistent Flaviviral Infection: Usutu Virus Shows Sustained Replication during Passages and Resistance to Extinction by Antiviral Nucleosides
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060560
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 15 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
Chronic viral disease constitutes a major global health problem, with several hundred million people affected and an associated elevated number of deaths. An increasing number of disorders caused by human flaviviruses are related to their capacity to establish a persistent infection. Here we [...] Read more.
Chronic viral disease constitutes a major global health problem, with several hundred million people affected and an associated elevated number of deaths. An increasing number of disorders caused by human flaviviruses are related to their capacity to establish a persistent infection. Here we show that Usutu virus (USUV), an emerging zoonotic flavivirus linked to sporadic neurologic disease in humans, can establish a persistent infection in cell culture. Two independent lineages of Vero cells surviving USUV lytic infection were cultured over 82 days (41 cell transfers) without any apparent cytopathology crisis associated. We found elevated titers in the supernatant of these cells, with modest fluctuations during passages but no overall tendency towards increased or decreased infectivity. In addition to full-length genomes, viral RNA isolated from these cells at passage 40 revealed the presence of defective genomes, containing different deletions at the 5’ end. These truncated transcripts were all predicted to encode shorter polyprotein products lacking membrane and envelope structural proteins, and most of non-structural protein 1. Treatment with different broad-range antiviral nucleosides revealed that USUV is sensitive to these compounds in the context of a persistent infection, in agreement with previous observations during lytic infections. The exposure of infected cells to prolonged treatment (10 days) with favipiravir and/or ribavirin resulted in the complete clearance of infectivity in the cellular supernatants (decrease of ~5 log10 in virus titers and RNA levels), although modest changes in intracellular viral RNA levels were recorded (<2 log10 decrease). Drug withdrawal after treatment day 10 resulted in a relapse in virus titers. These results encourage the use of persistently-infected cultures as a surrogate system in the identification of improved antivirals against flaviviral chronic disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Arboviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Cellular Interleukin Enhancer-Binding Factor 2, ILF2, Inhibits Japanese Encephalitis Virus Replication In Vitro
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060559
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 16 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a zoonotic mosquito-borne flavivirus which is the leading causative agent of viral encephalitis in endemic regions. JEV NS3 is a component of the viral replicase complex and is a multifunctional protein. In this study, interleukin enhancer-binding factor 2 [...] Read more.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a zoonotic mosquito-borne flavivirus which is the leading causative agent of viral encephalitis in endemic regions. JEV NS3 is a component of the viral replicase complex and is a multifunctional protein. In this study, interleukin enhancer-binding factor 2 (ILF2) is identified as a novel cellular protein interacting with NS3 through co-immunoprecipitation assay and LC-MS/MS. The expression of ILF2 is decreased in JEV-infected human embryonic kidney (293T) cells. The knockdown of endogenous ILF2 by special short hairpin RNA (shRNA) positively regulates JEV propagation, whereas the overexpression of ILF2 results in a significantly reduced JEV genome synthesis. Further analysis revealed that the knockdown of ILF2 positively regulates viral replication by JEV replicon system studies. These results suggest that ILF2 may act as a potential antiviral agent against JEV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavivirus Replication and Pathogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle
Host Immune Response to ZIKV in an Immunocompetent Embryonic Mouse Model of Intravaginal Infection
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060558
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) only induces mild symptoms in adults; however, it can cause congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), including microcephaly. Most of the knowledge on ZIKV pathogenesis was gained using immunocompromised mouse models, which do not fully recapitulate human pathology. Moreover, the study of [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) only induces mild symptoms in adults; however, it can cause congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), including microcephaly. Most of the knowledge on ZIKV pathogenesis was gained using immunocompromised mouse models, which do not fully recapitulate human pathology. Moreover, the study of the host immune response to ZIKV becomes challenging in these animals. Thus, the main goal of this study was to develop an immunocompetent mouse model to study the ZIKV spread and teratogeny. FVB/NJ immune competent dams were infected intravaginally with ZIKV during the early stage of pregnancy. We found that the placentae of most fetuses were positive for ZIKV, while the virus was detected in the brain of only about 42% of the embryos. To investigate the host immune response, we measured the expression of several inflammatory factors. Embryos from ZIKV-infected dams had an increased level of inflammatory factors, as compared to Mock. Next, we compared the gene expression levels in embryos from ZIKV-infected dams that were either negative or positive for ZIKV in the brain. The mRNA levels of viral response genes and cytokines were increased in both ZIKV-positive and negative brains. Interestingly, the levels of chemokines associated with microcephaly in humans, including CCL2 and CXCL10, specifically increased in embryos harboring ZIKV in the embryo brains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Arboviruses)
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Open AccessEditorial
Hurdles for Phage Therapy to Become a Reality—An Editorial Comment
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060557
Received: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
This special issue of Viruses asks experts in the field about “Hurdles to phage therapy (PT) to become a reality” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hurdles for Phage Therapy (PT) to Become a Reality)
Open AccessArticle
Modelling Ranavirus Transmission in Populations of Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) in the United Kingdom
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060556
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
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Abstract
Ranaviruses began emerging in common frogs (Rana temporaria) in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s and early 1990s, causing severe disease and declines in the populations of these animals. Herein, we explored the transmission dynamics of the ranavirus(es) present in [...] Read more.
Ranaviruses began emerging in common frogs (Rana temporaria) in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s and early 1990s, causing severe disease and declines in the populations of these animals. Herein, we explored the transmission dynamics of the ranavirus(es) present in common frog populations, in the context of a simple susceptible-infected (SI) model, using parameters derived from the literature. We explored the effects of disease-induced population decline on the dynamics of the ranavirus. We then extended the model to consider the infection dynamics in populations exposed to both ulcerative and hemorrhagic forms of the ranaviral disease. The preliminary investigation indicated the important interactions between the forms. When the ulcerative form was present in a population and the hemorrhagic form was later introduced, the hemorrhagic form of the disease needed to be highly contagious, to persist. We highlighted the areas where further research and experimental evidence is needed and hope that these models would act as a guide for further research into the amphibian disease dynamics. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Porcine Interferon Complex and Co-Evolution with Increasing Viral Pressure after Domestication
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060555
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
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Abstract
Consisting of nearly 60 functional genes, porcine interferon (IFN)-complex represents an evolutionary surge of IFN evolution in domestic ungulate species. To compare with humans and mice, each of these species contains about 20 IFN functional genes, which are better characterized using the conventional [...] Read more.
Consisting of nearly 60 functional genes, porcine interferon (IFN)-complex represents an evolutionary surge of IFN evolution in domestic ungulate species. To compare with humans and mice, each of these species contains about 20 IFN functional genes, which are better characterized using the conventional IFN-α/β subtypes as examples. Porcine IFN-complex thus represents an optimal model for studying IFN evolution that resulted from increasing viral pressure during domestication and industrialization. We hypothesize and justify that porcine IFN-complex may extend its functionality in antiviral and immunomodulatory activity due to its superior molecular diversity. Furthermore, these unconventional IFNs could even confer some functional and signaling novelty beyond that of the well-studied IFN-α/β subtypes. Investigations into porcine IFN-complex will further our understanding of IFN biology and promote IFN-based therapeutic designs to confront swine viral diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Hepatitis E Virus Infections among Patients with Acute Febrile Jaundice in Burkina Faso
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060554
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Hepatitis E virus infection is a significant public health problem in many parts of the world including Africa. We tested serum samples from 900 patients in Burkina Faso presenting with febrile icterus. They all tested negative for yellow fever, but those from 23/900 [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus infection is a significant public health problem in many parts of the world including Africa. We tested serum samples from 900 patients in Burkina Faso presenting with febrile icterus. They all tested negative for yellow fever, but those from 23/900 (2.6%) patients contained markers of acute HEV infection (anti-HEV IgM and HEV RNA positive). Genotyping indicated that 14 of the strains were HEV genotype 2b. There was an overall HEV IgG seroprevalence of 18.2% (164/900). In a bivariate analysis, the factors linked to HEV exposure were climate and patient age. Older patients and those living in arid regions were more likely to have HEV infection. HEV genotype 2b circulating only in humans can be involved in some acute febrile icterus cases in Burkina Faso. Better access to safe water, sanitation, and improved personal hygiene should improve control of HEV infection in this country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis E Virus)
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Open AccessArticle
Immunogenicity in Rabbits of Virus-Like Particles from a Contemporary Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (GI.2/RHDV2/b) Isolated in The Netherlands
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060553
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) type 2 (GI.2/RHDV2/b) is an emerging pathogen in wild rabbits and in domestic rabbits vaccinated against RHDV (GI.1). Here we report the genome sequence of a contemporary RHDV2 isolate from the Netherlands and investigate the immunogenicity of virus-like [...] Read more.
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) type 2 (GI.2/RHDV2/b) is an emerging pathogen in wild rabbits and in domestic rabbits vaccinated against RHDV (GI.1). Here we report the genome sequence of a contemporary RHDV2 isolate from the Netherlands and investigate the immunogenicity of virus-like particles (VLPs) produced in insect cells. RHDV2 RNA was isolated from the liver of a naturally infected wild rabbit and the complete viral genome sequence was assembled from sequenced RT-PCR products. Phylogenetic analysis based on the VP60 capsid gene demonstrated that the RHDV2 NL2016 isolate clustered with other contemporary RHDV2 strains. The VP60 gene was cloned in a baculovirus expression vector to produce VLPs in Sf9 insect cells. Density-gradient purified RHDV2 VLPs were visualized by transmission electron microscopy as spherical particles of around 30 nm in diameter with a morphology resembling authentic RHDV. Immunization of rabbits with RHDV2 VLPs resulted in high production of serum antibodies against VP60, and the production of cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-4) was significantly elevated in the immunized rabbits compared to the control group. The results demonstrate that the recombinant RHDV2 VLPs are highly immunogenic and may find applications in serological detection assays and might be further developed as a vaccine candidate to protect domestic rabbits against RHDV2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Viral Strain Determines Disease Symptoms, Pathology, and Immune Response in Neonatal Rats with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Infection
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060552
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
When infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) occurs during pregnancy, the virus can infect the fetus and injure the fetal brain. However, type, location, and severity of neuropathology differ among cases. One possible explanation for this diversity is that fetuses are infected with different [...] Read more.
When infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) occurs during pregnancy, the virus can infect the fetus and injure the fetal brain. However, type, location, and severity of neuropathology differ among cases. One possible explanation for this diversity is that fetuses are infected with different viral strains. Using a rat model of congenital LCMV infection, we investigated how differences in LCMV strain (E350, WE2.2, and Clone 13) affect outcome. Rat pups received intracranial inoculations on postnatal day 4. E350 initially targeted glial cells, while WE2.2 and Clone 13 targeted neurons. The E350 strain induced focal destructive lesions, while the other strains induced global microencephaly. E350 attracted large numbers of CD8+ lymphocytes early in the disease course, while Clone 13 attracted CD4+ lymphocytes, and the infiltration occurred late. The E350 and WE2.2 strains induced large increases in expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while Clone 13 did not. The animals infected with E350 and WE2.2 became ataxic and performed poorly on the negative geotaxis assay, while the Clone 13 animals had profound growth failure. Thus, in the developing brain, different LCMV strains have different patterns of infection, neuropathology, immune responses and disease symptoms. In humans, different outcomes from congenital LCMV may reflect infection with different strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LCMV – A Pillar for Immunology Research)
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Open AccessArticle
A DNA-Modified Live Vaccine Prime–Boost Strategy Broadens the T-Cell Response and Enhances the Antibody Response against the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060551
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
The Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) induces reproductive disorders in sows and respiratory illnesses in growing pigs and is considered as one of the main pathogenic agents responsible for economic losses in the porcine industry worldwide. Modified live PRRSV vaccines (MLVs) [...] Read more.
The Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) induces reproductive disorders in sows and respiratory illnesses in growing pigs and is considered as one of the main pathogenic agents responsible for economic losses in the porcine industry worldwide. Modified live PRRSV vaccines (MLVs) are very effective vaccine types against homologous strains but they present only partial protection against heterologous viral variants. With the goal to induce broad and cross-protective immunity, we generated DNA vaccines encoding B and T antigens derived from a European subtype 1 strain that include T-cell epitope sequences known to be conserved across strains. These antigens were expressed either in a native form or in the form of vaccibodies targeted to the endocytic receptor XCR1 and CD11c expressed by different types of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). When delivered in skin with cationic nanoparticles and surface electroporation, multiple DNA vaccinations as a stand-alone regimen induced substantial antibody and T-cell responses, which were not promoted by targeting antigens to APCs. Interestingly, a DNA-MLV prime–boost strategy strongly enhanced the antibody response and broadened the T-cell responses over the one induced by MLV or DNA-only. The anti-nucleoprotein antibody response induced by the DNA-MLV prime–boost was clearly promoted by targeting the antigen to CD11c and XCR1, indicating a benefit of APC-targeting on the B-cell response. In conclusion, a DNA-MLV prime–boost strategy, by enhancing the potency and breadth of MLV vaccines, stands as a promising vaccine strategy to improve the control of PRRSV in infected herds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses 2019)
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Open AccessReview
Chikungunya Virus Infections in Military Deployments in Tropical Settings—A Narrative Minireview
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060550
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Chikungunya fever is a vector-borne viral disease in subtropical and tropical areas of endemicity. Apart from the burden on local populations, chikungunya virus infection also poses a risk for travelers and, in particular, soldiers during prolonged deployment-associated outdoor activities. The absence of rapid [...] Read more.
Chikungunya fever is a vector-borne viral disease in subtropical and tropical areas of endemicity. Apart from the burden on local populations, chikungunya virus infection also poses a risk for travelers and, in particular, soldiers during prolonged deployment-associated outdoor activities. The absence of rapid diagnostic tests makes surveillance challenging during military deployments in war and crisis zones with restricted medical infrastructure. Consequently, both historical and up-to-date surveillance data from battlefields are scarce. From several studies and postdeployment assessments, some information on the epidemiology of chikungunya virus infections in deployed military personnel is nevertheless available. The few published data homogeneously suggest a low infection risk in the endemic setting. During outbreaks, however, the infection risk of military personnel is comparable to that of the local population. Infection clusters of soldiers without pronounced outdoor activity have been reported under such circumstances as well. In spite of efforts focusing on the development of a chikungunya virus vaccine, no licensed product is available so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chikungunya Virus and (Re-) Emerging Alphaviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Lnc-ITM2C-1 and GPR55 Are Proviral Host Factors for Hepatitis C Virus
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060549
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
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Abstract
Multiple host factors are known to play important roles in hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication, in immune responses induced by HCV infection, or in processes that facilitate virus escape from immune clearance, while yet only few studies examined the contribution of long non-coding [...] Read more.
Multiple host factors are known to play important roles in hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication, in immune responses induced by HCV infection, or in processes that facilitate virus escape from immune clearance, while yet only few studies examined the contribution of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs/lncRs). Using microarrays, we identified lncRNAs with altered expression levels in HCV replicating Huh-7.5 hepatoma cells. Of these, lncR 8(Lnc-ITM2C-1/LOC151484) was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to be upregulated early after HCV infection. After suppressing the expression of lncR 8, HCV RNA and protein were downregulated, confirming a positive correlation between lncR 8 expression and HCV replication. lncR 8 knockdown in Huh-7.5 cells reduced expression of the neighboring gene G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) mRNA level at early times, and leads to increased levels of several Interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) including ISG15, Mx1 and IFITM1. Importantly, the effect of lncR 8 on ISGs and GPR55 precedes its effect on HCV replication. Furthermore, knockdown of GPR55 mRNA induces ISG expression, providing a possible link between lncR 8 and ISGs. We conclude that HCV induces lncR 8 expression, while lncR 8 indirectly favors HCV replication by stimulating expression of its neighboring gene GPR55, which in turn downregulates expression of ISGs. The latter fact is also consistent with an anti-inflammatory role of GPR55. These events may contribute to the failure to eliminate ongoing HCV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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