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Volume 12, March

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Viruses, Volume 12, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 20 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Polymorphisms in Human APOBEC3H Differentially Regulate Ubiquitination and Antiviral Activity
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040378 (registering DOI) - 30 Mar 2020
Abstract
The APOBEC3 family of cytidine deaminases are an important part of the host innate immune defense against endogenous retroelements and retroviruses like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). APOBEC3H (A3H) is the most polymorphic of the human APOBEC3 genes, with four major haplotypes circulating in [...] Read more.
The APOBEC3 family of cytidine deaminases are an important part of the host innate immune defense against endogenous retroelements and retroviruses like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). APOBEC3H (A3H) is the most polymorphic of the human APOBEC3 genes, with four major haplotypes circulating in the population. Haplotype II is the only antivirally-active variant of A3H, while the majority of the population possess independently destabilizing polymorphisms present in haplotype I (R105G) and haplotypes III and IV (N15del). In this paper, we show that instability introduced by either polymorphism is positively correlated with degradative ubiquitination, while haplotype II is protected from this modification. Inhibiting ubiquitination by mutating all of the A3H lysines increased the expression of haplotypes III and IV, but these stabilized forms of haplotype III and IV had a strict nuclear localization, and did not incorporate into virions, nor exhibit antiviral activity. Fusion chimeras with haplotype II allowed for stabilization, cytoplasmic retention, and packaging of the N15del-containing haplotype III, but the haplotype III component of these chimeras was unable to restrict HIV-1 on its own. Thus, the evolutionary loss of A3H activity in many humans involves functional deficiencies independent of protein stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsic Antiviral Factors)
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Open AccessArticle
IRF7 Is Required for the Second Phase Interferon Induction during Influenza Virus Infection in Human Lung Epithelia
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040377 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Viewed by 148
Abstract
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Retinoic acid-inducible protein I (RIG-I) plays an important role in the recognition of IAV in most cell types, and leads to the activation of interferon (IFN). We investigated mechanisms of [...] Read more.
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Retinoic acid-inducible protein I (RIG-I) plays an important role in the recognition of IAV in most cell types, and leads to the activation of interferon (IFN). We investigated mechanisms of RIG-I and IFN induction by IAV in the BCi-NS1.1 immortalized human airway basal cell line and in the A549 human alveolar epithelial cell line. We found that the basal expression levels of RIG-I and regulatory transcription factor (IRF) 7 were very low in BCi-NS1.1 cells. IAV infection induced robust RIG-I and IRF7, not IRF3, expression. siRNA against IRF7 and mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), but not IRF3, significantly inhibited RIG-I mRNA expression and IFN induction by IAV infection. Most importantly, even without virus infection, IFN-β alone induced RIG-I, and siRNA against IRF7 did not inhibit RIG-I induction by IFN-β. Similar results were found in the alveolar basal epithelial A549 cell line. RIG-I and IRF7 expression in humans is highly inducible and greatly amplified by IFN produced from virus infected cells. IFN induction can be separated into two phases, that initially induced by the virus with basal RIG-I (the first phase), and that induced by the subsequent virus with amplified RIG-I from the first phase IFN (the second phase). The de novo synthesis of IRF7 is required for the second phase IFN induction during influenza virus infection in human lung bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate Immune Sensing of Viruses and Viral Evasion)
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Open AccessReview
Host–Virus Interaction: How Host Cells Defend against Influenza A Virus Infection
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040376 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Viewed by 138
Abstract
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are highly contagious pathogens infecting human and numerous animals. The viruses cause millions of infection cases and thousands of deaths every year, thus making IAVs a continual threat to global health. Upon IAV infection, host innate immune system is [...] Read more.
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are highly contagious pathogens infecting human and numerous animals. The viruses cause millions of infection cases and thousands of deaths every year, thus making IAVs a continual threat to global health. Upon IAV infection, host innate immune system is triggered and activated to restrict virus replication and clear pathogens. Subsequently, host adaptive immunity is involved in specific virus clearance. On the other hand, to achieve a successful infection, IAVs also apply multiple strategies to avoid be detected and eliminated by the host immunity. In the current review, we present a general description on recent work regarding different host cells and molecules facilitating antiviral defenses against IAV infection and how IAVs antagonize host immune responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza A Virus: Host-Virus Relationship)
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Open AccessArticle
Proteome Analysis in a Mammalian Cell line Reveals that PLK2 is Involved in Avian Metapneumovirus Type C (aMPV/C)-Induced Apoptosis
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040375 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 165
Abstract
Avian metapneumovirus subtype C (aMPV/C) causes an acute respiratory disease that has caused serious economic losses in the Chinese poultry industry. In the present study, we first explored the protein profile in aMPV/C-infected Vero cells using iTRAQ quantitative proteomics. A total of 921 [...] Read more.
Avian metapneumovirus subtype C (aMPV/C) causes an acute respiratory disease that has caused serious economic losses in the Chinese poultry industry. In the present study, we first explored the protein profile in aMPV/C-infected Vero cells using iTRAQ quantitative proteomics. A total of 921 of 7034 proteins were identified as significantly altered by aMPV/C infection. Three selected proteins were confirmed by Western blot analysis. Bioinformatics GO analysis revealed multiple signaling pathways involving cell cycle, endocytosis, and PI3K-Akt, mTOR, MAPK and p53 signaling pathways, which might participate in viral infection. In this analysis, we found that PLK2 expression was upregulated by aMPV/C infection and investigated whether it contributed to aMPV/C-mediated cellular dysfunction. Suppressing PLK2 attenuated aMPV/C-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and p53-dependent apoptosis and reduced virus release. These results in a mammalian cell line suggest that high PLK2 expression correlates with aMPV/C-induced apoptosis and viral replication, providing new insight into the potential avian host cellular response to aMPV/C infection and antiviral targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessArticle
Development of a Honey Bee RNA Virus Vector Based on the Genome of a Deformed Wing Virus
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040374 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 161
Abstract
We developed a honey bee RNA-virus vector based on the genome of a picorna-like Deformed wing virus (DWV), the main viral pathogen of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). To test the potential of DWV to be utilized as a vector, the [...] Read more.
We developed a honey bee RNA-virus vector based on the genome of a picorna-like Deformed wing virus (DWV), the main viral pathogen of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). To test the potential of DWV to be utilized as a vector, the 717 nt sequence coding for the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), flanked by the peptides targeted by viral protease, was inserted into an infectious cDNA clone of DWV in-frame between the leader protein and the virus structural protein VP2 genes. The in vitro RNA transcripts from egfp-tagged DWV cDNA clones were infectious when injected into honey bee pupae. Stable DWV particles containing genomic RNA of the recovered DWV with egfp inserts were produced, as evidenced by cesium chloride density gradient centrifugation. These particles were infectious to honey bee pupae when injected intra-abdominally. Fluorescent microscopy showed GFP expression in the infected cells and Western blot analysis demonstrated accumulation of free eGFP rather than its fusions with DWV leader protein (LP) and/or viral protein (VP) 2. Analysis of the progeny egfp-tagged DWV showed gradual accumulation of genome deletions for egfp, providing estimates for the rate of loss of a non-essential gene an insect RNA virus genome during natural infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Honey Bee Virus Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Antiviral Effects of Menthol on Coxsackievirus B
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040373 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
Coxsackievirus B (CVB) is a common human enterovirus that causes systemic infection but specifically replicates to high titers in the pancreas. It was reported that certain viruses induce mitochondrial fission to support infection. We documented that CVB triggers mitochondrial fission and blocking mitochondrial [...] Read more.
Coxsackievirus B (CVB) is a common human enterovirus that causes systemic infection but specifically replicates to high titers in the pancreas. It was reported that certain viruses induce mitochondrial fission to support infection. We documented that CVB triggers mitochondrial fission and blocking mitochondrial fission limits infection. The transient receptor potential channels have been implicated in regulating mitochondrial dynamics; namely, the heat and capsaicin receptor transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) contributes to mitochondrial depolarization and fission. When we transiently warmed HeLa cells to 39 °C prior to CVB exposure, infection was heightened, whereas cooling cells to 25 °C reduced infection. Inducing “cold” by stimulating transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8 (TRPM8) with menthol led to reduced infection and also resulted in lower levels of mitochondrial fission during infection. Additionally, menthol stabilized levels of mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) which is known to be tied to mitochondrial dynamics. Taken together, this highlights a novel pathway wherein CVB relies on TRPV1 to initiate proviral mitochondrial fission, which may contribute to the disruption of antiviral immunity. TRPM8 has been shown to antagonize TRPV1, and thus we hypothesize that stimulating TRPM8 blocks TRPV1-mediated mitochondrial fragmentation following CVB exposure and attenuates infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Virology, Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Control of COVID-19
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040372 (registering DOI) - 27 Mar 2020
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The outbreak of emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) in China has been brought to global attention and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. Scientific advancements since the pandemic of severe acute [...] Read more.
The outbreak of emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) in China has been brought to global attention and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. Scientific advancements since the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002~2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012 have accelerated our understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and the development of therapeutics to treat viral infection. As no specific therapeutics and vaccines are available for disease control, the epidemic of COVID-19 is posing a great threat for global public health. To provide a comprehensive summary to public health authorities and potential readers worldwide, we detail the present understanding of COVID-19 and introduce the current state of development of measures in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Human and Animal Coronaviruses)
Open AccessCommunication
Evidence Supporting That RNA Polymerase II Catalyzes De Novo Transcription Using Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid Circular RNA Templates
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040371 (registering DOI) - 27 Mar 2020
Viewed by 112
Abstract
Transcription is a fundamental process that mediates the interplay between genetic information and phenotype. Emerging evidence indicates that RNA polymerase II (Pol II) can catalyze transcription using both DNA and RNA templates. It is well established that Pol II initiates de novo transcription [...] Read more.
Transcription is a fundamental process that mediates the interplay between genetic information and phenotype. Emerging evidence indicates that RNA polymerase II (Pol II) can catalyze transcription using both DNA and RNA templates. It is well established that Pol II initiates de novo transcription on DNA templates. However, it is unclear whether Pol II performs de novo transcription or relies on primers for initiation (primed transcription) on RNA templates. Using potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) as a model, we presented evidence showing that circular PSTVd templates are critical for the synthesis of longer-than-unit-length (−)-strand products, which supports the de novo transcription based on the asymmetric rolling circle model of PSTVd replication. We further showed that the crucial factor for primed transcription, transcription factor IIS (TFIIS), is dispensable for PSTVd replication in cells. Together, our data support the de novo transcription on PSTVd RNA templates catalyzed by Pol II. This result has significant implications in understanding the mechanism and machinery underlying Pol II-catalyzed transcription using other RNA templates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
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Open AccessArticle
RNA-Binding Domains of Heterologous Viral Proteins Substituted for Basic Residues in the RSV Gag NC Domain Restore Specific Packaging of Genomic RNA
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040370 (registering DOI) - 27 Mar 2020
Viewed by 106
Abstract
The Rous sarcoma virus Gag polyprotein transiently traffics through the nucleus, which is required for efficient incorporation of the viral genomic RNA (gRNA) into virus particles. Packaging of gRNA is mediated by two zinc knuckles and basic residues located in the nucleocapsid (NC) [...] Read more.
The Rous sarcoma virus Gag polyprotein transiently traffics through the nucleus, which is required for efficient incorporation of the viral genomic RNA (gRNA) into virus particles. Packaging of gRNA is mediated by two zinc knuckles and basic residues located in the nucleocapsid (NC) domain in Gag. To further examine the role of basic residues located downstream of the zinc knuckles in gRNA encapsidation, we used a gain-of-function approach. We replaced a basic residue cluster essential for gRNA packaging with heterologous basic residue motif (BR) with RNA-binding activity from either the HIV-1 Rev protein (Rev BR) or the HSV ICP27 protein (ICP27 BR). Compared to wild-type Gag, the mutant ICP27 BR and Rev BR Gag proteins were much more strongly localized to the nucleus and released significantly lower levels of virus particles. Surprisingly, both the ICP27 BR and Rev BR mutants packaged normal levels of gRNA per virus particle when examined in the context of a proviral vector, yet both mutants were noninfectious. These results support the hypothesis that basic residues located in the C-terminal region of NC are required for selective gRNA packaging, potentially by binding non-specifically to RNA via electrostatic interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 11th International Retroviral Nucleocapsid and Assembly Symposium)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of gE/gI- and TK/gE/gI-Gene-Deleted Pseudorabies Virus Vaccines Mediated by CRISPR/Cas9 and Cre/Lox Systems
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040369 (registering DOI) - 27 Mar 2020
Viewed by 134
Abstract
Pseudorabies (PR), caused by pseudorabies virus (PRV), is an acute and febrile infectious disease in swine. To eradicate PR, a more efficacious vaccine needs to be developed. Here, the gE/gI- and TK/gE/gI-gene-deleted recombinant PRV (rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI) are constructed through CRISPR/Cas9 and Cre/Lox [...] Read more.
Pseudorabies (PR), caused by pseudorabies virus (PRV), is an acute and febrile infectious disease in swine. To eradicate PR, a more efficacious vaccine needs to be developed. Here, the gE/gI- and TK/gE/gI-gene-deleted recombinant PRV (rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI) are constructed through CRISPR/Cas9 and Cre/Lox systems. We found that the rGXΔTK/gE/gI was safer than rGXΔgE/gI in mice. Additionally, the effects of rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI were further evaluated in swine. The rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI significantly increased numbers of IFN-γ-producing CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in swine, whereas there was no difference between rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI. Moreover, rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI promoted a PRV-specific humoral immune response. The PRV-specific humoral immune response induced by rGXΔgE/gI was consistent with that caused by rGXΔTK/gE/gI. After the challenge, swine vaccinated with rGXΔgE/gI and rGXΔTK/gE/gI showed no clinical signs and viral shedding. However, histopathological detection revealed that rGXΔgE/gI, not rGXΔTK/gE/gI, caused pathological lesions in brain and lung tissues. In summary, these results demonstrate that the TK/gE/gI-gene-deleted recombinant PRV was safer compared with rGXΔgE/gI in swine. The data imply that the TK/gE/gI-gene-deleted recombinant PRV may be a more efficacious vaccine candidate for the prevention of PR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessArticle
Rabies in the African Civet: An Incidental Host for Lyssaviruses?
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040368 (registering DOI) - 27 Mar 2020
Viewed by 119
Abstract
In South Africa, canid rabies virus (RABV) infection is maintained in domestic and wildlife species. The identification of rabies in African civets raised the question of whether this wildlife carnivore is a potential reservoir host of RABVs of direct and ancestral dog origin [...] Read more.
In South Africa, canid rabies virus (RABV) infection is maintained in domestic and wildlife species. The identification of rabies in African civets raised the question of whether this wildlife carnivore is a potential reservoir host of RABVs of direct and ancestral dog origin (dog-maintained and dog-derived origins) with an independent cycle of transmission. Genetic analyses of African civet nucleoprotein sequences for 23 African civet RABVs and historically published sequences demonstrated that RABVs from African civets have two origins related to dog and mongoose rabies enzootics. The data support observations of the interaction of civets with domestic dogs and wildlife mongooses, mostly in Northern South Africa and North-East Zimbabwe. Within each host species clade, African civet RABVs group exclusively together, implying intra-species virus transfer occurs readily. The canid RABV clade appears to support virus transfer more readily between hosts than mongoose RABVs. Furthermore, these data probably indicate short transmission chains with conspecifics that may be related to transient rabies maintenance in African civets. Hence, it is important to continue monitoring the emergence of lyssaviruses in this host. Observations from this study are supported by ongoing and independent similar cases, in which bat-eared foxes and black-backed jackal species maintain independent rabies cycles of what were once dog-maintained RABVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rabies Virus: Knowledge Gaps and Challenges to Elimination)
Open AccessReview
Structure-Based Design of Antivirals against Envelope Glycoprotein of Dengue Virus
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040367 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 158
Abstract
Dengue virus (DENV) presents a significant threat to global public health with more than 500,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths annually. Currently, there is no clinically approved antiviral drug to treat DENV infection. The envelope (E) glycoprotein of DENV is a promising target for [...] Read more.
Dengue virus (DENV) presents a significant threat to global public health with more than 500,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths annually. Currently, there is no clinically approved antiviral drug to treat DENV infection. The envelope (E) glycoprotein of DENV is a promising target for drug discovery as the E protein is important for viral attachment and fusion. Understanding the structure and function of DENV E protein has led to the exploration of structure-based drug discovery of antiviral compounds and peptides against DENV infections. This review summarizes the structural information of the DENV E protein with regards to DENV attachment and fusion. The information enables the development of antiviral agents through structure-based approaches. In addition, this review compares the potency of antivirals targeting the E protein with the antivirals targeting DENV multifunctional enzymes, repurposed drugs and clinically approved antiviral drugs. None of the current DENV antiviral candidates possess potency similar to the approved antiviral drugs which indicates that more efforts and resources must be invested before an effective DENV drug materializes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Viral Fusion and Applications in Antivirals)
Open AccessArticle
Complete Genome Sequencing, Molecular Epidemiological, and Pathogenicity Analysis of Pigeon Paramyxoviruses Type 1 Isolated in Guangxi, China during 2012–2018
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040366 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 163
Abstract
Newcastle disease is an important poultry disease that also affects Columbiform birds. The viruses adapted to pigeons and doves are referred to as pigeon paramyxoviruses 1 (PPMV-1). PPMV-1 are frequently isolated from pigeons worldwide and have the potential to cause disease in chickens. [...] Read more.
Newcastle disease is an important poultry disease that also affects Columbiform birds. The viruses adapted to pigeons and doves are referred to as pigeon paramyxoviruses 1 (PPMV-1). PPMV-1 are frequently isolated from pigeons worldwide and have the potential to cause disease in chickens. The complete genomes of 18 PPMV-1 isolated in China during 2012–2018 were sequenced by next-generation sequencing (NGS). Comprehensive phylogenetic analyses showed that five of the viruses belong to sub-genotype VI1.2.1.1.2.1 and 13 isolates belong to sub-genotype VI.2.1.1.2.2. The results demonstrate that these sub-genotypes have been predominant in China during the last decade. The viruses of these sub-genotypes have been independently maintained and continuously evolved for over 20 years, and differ significantly from those causing outbreaks worldwide during the 1980s to 2010s. The viral reservoir remains unknown and possibilities of the viruses being maintained in both pigeon farms and wild bird populations are viable. In vivo characterization of the isolates’ pathogenicity estimated mean death times between 62 and 114 hours and intracerebral pathogenicity indices between 0.00 and 0.63. Cross-reactivity testing showed minor antigenic differences between the studied viruses and the genotype II LaSota vaccine. These data will facilitate PPMV-1 epidemiology studies, vaccine development, and control of Newcastle disease in pigeons and poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessReview
Key Role of the Influenza A Virus PA Gene Segment in the Emergence of Pandemic Viruses
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040365 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 160
Abstract
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are a significant human pathogen that cause seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics. Avian waterfowl are the natural reservoir of IAVs, but a wide range of species can serve as hosts. Most IAV strains are adapted to one host species [...] Read more.
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are a significant human pathogen that cause seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics. Avian waterfowl are the natural reservoir of IAVs, but a wide range of species can serve as hosts. Most IAV strains are adapted to one host species and avian strains of IAV replicate poorly in most mammalian hosts. Importantly, IAV polymerases from avian strains function poorly in mammalian cells but host adaptive mutations can restore activity. The 2009 pandemic H1N1 (H1N1pdm09) virus acquired multiple mutations in the PA gene that activated polymerase activity in mammalian cells, even in the absence of previously identified host adaptive mutations in other polymerase genes. These mutations in PA localize within different regions of the protein suggesting multiple mechanisms exist to activate polymerase activity. Additionally, an immunomodulatory protein, PA-X, is expressed from the PA gene segment. PA-X expression is conserved amongst many IAV strains but activity varies between viruses specific for different hosts, suggesting that PA-X also plays a role in host adaptation. Here, we review the role of PA in the emergence of currently circulating H1N1pdm09 viruses and the most recent studies of host adaptive mutations in the PA gene that modulate polymerase activity and PA-X function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza A Virus: Host-Virus Relationship)
Open AccessArticle
Survey on Non-Human Primates and Mosquitoes Does not Provide Evidences of Spillover/Spillback between the Urban and Sylvatic Cycles of Yellow Fever and Zika Viruses Following Severe Outbreaks in Southeast Brazil
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040364 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 167
Abstract
In the last decade, Flaviviruses such as yellow fever (YFV) and Zika (ZIKV) have expanded their transmission areas. These viruses originated in Africa, where they exhibit both sylvatic and interhuman transmission cycles. In Brazil, the risk of YFV urbanization has grown, with the [...] Read more.
In the last decade, Flaviviruses such as yellow fever (YFV) and Zika (ZIKV) have expanded their transmission areas. These viruses originated in Africa, where they exhibit both sylvatic and interhuman transmission cycles. In Brazil, the risk of YFV urbanization has grown, with the sylvatic transmission approaching the most densely populated metropolis, while concern about ZIKV spillback to a sylvatic cycle has risen. To investigate these health threats, we carried out extensive collections and arbovirus screening of 144 free-living, non-human primates (NHPs) and 5219 mosquitoes before, during, and after ZIKV and YFV outbreaks (2015–2018) in southeast Brazil. ZIKV infection was not detected in any NHP collected at any time. In contrast, current and previous YFV infections were detected in NHPs sampled between 2017 and 2018, but not before the onset of the YFV outbreak. Mosquito pools screened by high-throughput PCR were positive for YFV when captured in the wild and during the YFV outbreak, but were negative for 94 other arboviruses, including ZIKV, regardless of the time of collection. In conclusion, there was no evidence of YFV transmission in coastal southeast Brazil before the current outbreak, nor the spread or establishment of an independent sylvatic cycle of ZIKV or urban Aedes aegypti transmission of YFV in the region. In view of the region’s receptivity and vulnerability to arbovirus transmission, surveillance of NHPs and mosquitoes should be strengthened and continuous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Arboviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
The Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) Genome is Differentially Targeted in TSWV-Infected Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) with or without Sw-5 Gene
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040363 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Tospoviruses cause significant losses to a wide range of agronomic and horticultural crops worldwide. The type member, Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (TSWV), causes systemic infection in susceptible tomato cultivars, whereas its infection is localized in cultivars carrying the Sw-5 resistance gene. The [...] Read more.
Tospoviruses cause significant losses to a wide range of agronomic and horticultural crops worldwide. The type member, Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (TSWV), causes systemic infection in susceptible tomato cultivars, whereas its infection is localized in cultivars carrying the Sw-5 resistance gene. The response to TSWV infection in tomato cultivars with or without Sw-5 was determined at the virus small RNA level in the locally infected leaf. Predicted reads were aligned to TSWV reference sequences. The TSWV genome was found to be differentially processed among each of the three-viral genomic RNAs—Large (L), Medium (M) and Small (S)—in the Sw-5(+) compared to Sw-5(−) genotypes. In the Sw-5(+) cultivar, the L RNA had the highest number of viral small-interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs), whereas in the Sw-5(−) cultivar the number was higher in the S RNA. Among the three-viral genomic RNAs, the distribution of hotspots showed a higher number of reads per million reads of vsiRNAs of 21 and 22 nt class at the 5′ and 3′ ends of the L and the S RNAs, with less coverage in the M RNA. In the Sw-5(−) cultivar, the nature of the 5′ nucleotide-end in the siRNAs varied significantly; reads with 5′-adenine-end were most abundant in the mock control, whereas cytosine and uracil were more abundant in the infected plants. No such differences were seen in case of the resistant genotype. Findings provided insights into the response of tomato cultivars to TSWV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Characterisation of Alongshan Virus in Russia
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040362 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 150
Abstract
In recent decades, many new flavi-like viruses have been discovered predominantly in different invertebrates and, as was recently shown, some of them may cause disease in humans. The Jingmenvirus (JMV) group holds a special place among flaviviruses and flavi-like viruses because they have [...] Read more.
In recent decades, many new flavi-like viruses have been discovered predominantly in different invertebrates and, as was recently shown, some of them may cause disease in humans. The Jingmenvirus (JMV) group holds a special place among flaviviruses and flavi-like viruses because they have a segmented ssRNA(+) genome. We detected Alongshan virus (ALSV), which is a representative of the JMV group, in ten pools of adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks collected in two geographically-separated Russian regions. Three of the ten strains were isolated in the tick cell line IRE/CTVM19. One of the strains persisted in the IRE/CTVM19 cells without cytopathic effect for three years. Most ALSV virions purified from tick cells were spherical with a diameter of approximately 40.5 nm. In addition, we found smaller particles of approximately 13.1 nm in diameter. We obtained full genome sequences of all four segments of two of the isolated ALSV strains, and partial sequences of one segment from the third strain. Phylogenetic analysis on genome segment 2 of the JMV group clustered our novel strains with other ALSV strains. We found evidence for the existence of a novel upstream open reading frame in the glycoprotein-coding segment of ALSV and other members of the JMV group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Adaptations, Biases, and Evolutionary Analysis of Canine Distemper Virus Asia-4 Lineage in a Fatal Outbreak of Wild-Caught Civets in Thailand
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040361 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Canine morbillivirus (CDV) is a serious pathogen that can cause fatal systemic disease in a wide range of domestic and wildlife carnivores. Outbreaks of CDV in wildlife species lead to questions regarding the dispersal of the CDV origin. In the present study, we [...] Read more.
Canine morbillivirus (CDV) is a serious pathogen that can cause fatal systemic disease in a wide range of domestic and wildlife carnivores. Outbreaks of CDV in wildlife species lead to questions regarding the dispersal of the CDV origin. In the present study, we identified a fatal CDV outbreak in caged wild-caught civets in Thailand. Full-length genetic analysis revealed that CDV from the Asia-4 lineage served as the likely causative agent, which was supported by the viral localization in tissues. Evolutionary analysis based on the CDV hemagglutinin (H) gene revealed that the present civet CDV has co-evolved with CDV strains in dogs in Thailand since about 2014. The codon usage pattern of the CDV H gene revealed that the CDV genome has a selective bias of an A/U-ended codon preference. Furthermore, the codon usage pattern of the CDV Asia-4 strain from potential hosts revealed that the usage pattern was related more to the codon usage of civets than of dogs. This finding may indicate the possibility that the discovered CDV had initially adapted its virulence to infect civets. Therefore, the CDV Asia-4 strain might pose a potential risk to civets. Further epidemiological, evolutionary, and codon usage pattern analyses of other CDV-susceptible hosts are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal and Wildlife Viruses)
Open AccessArticle
Structural Genomics of SARS-CoV-2 Indicates Evolutionary Conserved Functional Regions of Viral Proteins
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040360 - 25 Mar 2020
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Abstract
During its first two and a half months, the recently emerged 2019 novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has already infected over one-hundred thousand people worldwide and has taken more than four thousand lives. However, the swiftly spreading virus also caused an unprecedentedly rapid response from [...] Read more.
During its first two and a half months, the recently emerged 2019 novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has already infected over one-hundred thousand people worldwide and has taken more than four thousand lives. However, the swiftly spreading virus also caused an unprecedentedly rapid response from the research community facing the unknown health challenge of potentially enormous proportions. Unfortunately, the experimental research to understand the molecular mechanisms behind the viral infection and to design a vaccine or antivirals is costly and takes months to develop. To expedite the advancement of our knowledge, we leveraged data about the related coronaviruses that is readily available in public databases and integrated these data into a single computational pipeline. As a result, we provide comprehensive structural genomics and interactomics roadmaps of SARS-CoV-2 and use this information to infer the possible functional differences and similarities with the related SARS coronavirus. All data are made publicly available to the research community Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Human and Animal Coronaviruses)
Open AccessArticle
Modelling Lyssavirus Infections in Human Stem Cell-Derived Neural Cultures
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040359 - 25 Mar 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
Rabies is a zoonotic neurological infection caused by lyssavirus that continues to result in devastating loss of human life. Many aspects of rabies pathogenesis in human neurons are not well understood. Lack of appropriate ex-vivo models for studying rabies infection in human neurons [...] Read more.
Rabies is a zoonotic neurological infection caused by lyssavirus that continues to result in devastating loss of human life. Many aspects of rabies pathogenesis in human neurons are not well understood. Lack of appropriate ex-vivo models for studying rabies infection in human neurons has contributed to this knowledge gap. In this study, we utilize advances in stem cell technology to characterize rabies infection in human stem cell-derived neurons. We show key cellular features of rabies infection in our human neural cultures, including upregulation of inflammatory chemokines, lack of neuronal apoptosis, and axonal transmission of viruses in neuronal networks. In addition, we highlight specific differences in cellular pathogenesis between laboratory-adapted and field strain lyssavirus. This study therefore defines the first stem cell-derived ex-vivo model system to study rabies pathogenesis in human neurons. This new model system demonstrates the potential for enabling an increased understanding of molecular mechanisms in human rabies, which could lead to improved control methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rabies Virus: Knowledge Gaps and Challenges to Elimination)
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