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Viruses, Volume 14, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 191 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Metazoans often trigger premature cell death in response to infections by larger DNA viruses as part of an immediate response to counter the viral threat. Many viruses, including Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV), have evolved sophisticated countermeasures to extend the life of an infected host cell to support establishment of infection and virus proliferation. We used the technique of X-ray crystallography to show in atomic detail how KSHV utilizes KsBcl-2 to neutralize host cell death inducing Bcl-2 proteins, including Bid and Puma, to ward off premature death of an infected cell. We also show that in addition to Bid and Puma, KsBcl-2 is able to engage with a broad range of other host cell death inducers, thus making it a potent enabler of viral infection and proliferation. View this paper
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13 pages, 1965 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Molecular Test for the Discrimination of “Naked” DNA from Infectious Parvovirus B19 Particles in Serum and Bone Marrow Samples
by Arthur Daniel Rocha Alves, Barbara Barbosa Langella, Mariana Magaldi de Souza Lima, Wagner Luís da Costa Nunes Pimentel Coelho, Rita de Cássia Nasser Cubel Garcia, Claudete Aparecida Araújo Cardoso, Renato Sergio Marchevsky, Marcelo Alves Pinto and Luciane Almeida Amado
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040843 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
Low levels of parvovirus B19 (B19V) DNA can be detected in the circulation and in different tissue of immunocompetent individuals for months or years, which has been linked to inflammatory diseases such as cardiomyopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, and vasculitis. However, the detection of [...] Read more.
Low levels of parvovirus B19 (B19V) DNA can be detected in the circulation and in different tissue of immunocompetent individuals for months or years, which has been linked to inflammatory diseases such as cardiomyopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, and vasculitis. However, the detection of B19V DNA does not necessarily imply that infectious virions are present. This study aimed to evaluate the method based on the Benzonase® treatment for differentiation between the infectious virions from “naked” DNA in serum and bone marrow (BM) samples to be useful for the B19V routine diagnosis. In addition, we estimated the period of viremia and DNAemia in the sera and bone marrow of nonhuman primates experimentally infected with B19V. Serum samples from ten patients and from four cynomolgus monkeys experimentally infected with B19V followed up for 60 days were used. Most of the human serum samples became negative after pretreatment; however, only decreased viral DNA loads were observed in four patients, indicating that these samples still contained the infectious virus. Reduced B19V DNA levels were observed in animals since 7th dpi. At approximately 45th dpi, B19V DNA levels were below 105 IU/mL after Benzonase® pretreatment, which was not a consequence of active B19V replication. The test based on Benzonase® pretreatment enabled the discrimination of “naked DNA” from B19V DNA encapsidated in virions. Therefore, this test can be used to clarify the role of B19V as an etiological agent associated with atypical clinical manifestations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parvovirus Research 2022)
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18 pages, 2517 KiB  
Article
Human Norovirus Induces Aquaporin 1 Production by Activating NF-κB Signaling Pathway
by Mudan Zhang, Binman Zhang, Rui Chen, Miaomiao Li, Zifeng Zheng, Wanfu Xu, Yifan Zhang, Sitang Gong and Qinxue Hu
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040842 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2658
Abstract
Human norovirus (HuNoV) is one of the major pathogens of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis. Due to the lack of a robust and reproducible in vitro culture system and an appropriate animal model, the mechanism underlying HuNoV-caused diarrhea remains unknown. In the current study, we [...] Read more.
Human norovirus (HuNoV) is one of the major pathogens of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis. Due to the lack of a robust and reproducible in vitro culture system and an appropriate animal model, the mechanism underlying HuNoV-caused diarrhea remains unknown. In the current study, we found that HuNoV transfection induced the expression of aquaporin 1 (AQP1), which was further confirmed in the context of virus infection, whereas the enterovirus EV71 (enterovirus 71) did not have such an effect. We further revealed that VP1, the major capsid protein of HuNoV, was crucial in promoting AQP1 expression. Mechanistically, HuNoV induces AQP1 production through the NF-κB signaling pathway via inducing the expression, phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p65. By using a model of human intestinal epithelial barrier (IEB), we demonstrated that HuNoV and VP1-mediated enhancement of small molecule permeability is associated with the AQP1 channel. Collectively, we revealed that HuNoV induced the production of AQP1 by activating the NF-κB signaling pathway. The findings in this study provide a basis for further understanding the significance of HuNoV-induced AQP1 expression and the potential mechanism underlying HuNoV-caused diarrhea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Norovirus)
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20 pages, 1631 KiB  
Review
Lethal Mutagenesis of RNA Viruses and Approved Drugs with Antiviral Mutagenic Activity
by Ikbel Hadj Hassine, Manel Ben M’hadheb and Luis Menéndez-Arias
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040841 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4155
Abstract
In RNA viruses, a small increase in their mutation rates can be sufficient to exceed their threshold of viability. Lethal mutagenesis is a therapeutic strategy based on the use of mutagens, driving viral populations to extinction. Extinction catastrophe can be experimentally induced by [...] Read more.
In RNA viruses, a small increase in their mutation rates can be sufficient to exceed their threshold of viability. Lethal mutagenesis is a therapeutic strategy based on the use of mutagens, driving viral populations to extinction. Extinction catastrophe can be experimentally induced by promutagenic nucleosides in cell culture models. The loss of HIV infectivity has been observed after passage in 5-hydroxydeoxycytidine or 5,6-dihydro-5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine while producing a two-fold increase in the viral mutation frequency. Among approved nucleoside analogs, experiments with polioviruses and other RNA viruses suggested that ribavirin can be mutagenic, although its mechanism of action is not clear. Favipiravir and molnupiravir exert an antiviral effect through lethal mutagenesis. Both drugs are broad-spectrum antiviral agents active against RNA viruses. Favipiravir incorporates into viral RNA, affecting the G→A and C→U transition rates. Molnupiravir (a prodrug of β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine) has been recently approved for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Its triphosphate derivative can be incorporated into viral RNA and extended by the coronavirus RNA polymerase. Incorrect base pairing and inefficient extension by the polymerase promote mutagenesis by increasing the G→A and C→U transition frequencies. Despite having remarkable antiviral action and resilience to drug resistance, carcinogenic risks and genotoxicity are important concerns limiting their extended use in antiviral therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Molecular Mechanisms)
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9 pages, 1588 KiB  
Article
Low-Cost and Rapid Method of DNA Extraction from Scaled Fish Blood and Skin Mucus
by Lang Gui, Xinyu Li, Shentao Lin, Yun Zhao, Peiyao Lin, Bingqi Wang, Rongkang Tang, Jing Guo, Yao Zu, Yan Zhou and Mingyou Li
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040840 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2851
Abstract
PCR-based DNA amplification has been one of the major methods in aquaculture research for decades, although its use outside the modern laboratory environment is limited due to the relatively complex methods and high costs. To this end, we investigated a swabbing and disc [...] Read more.
PCR-based DNA amplification has been one of the major methods in aquaculture research for decades, although its use outside the modern laboratory environment is limited due to the relatively complex methods and high costs. To this end, we investigated a swabbing and disc protocol for the collection of DNA samples from fish which could extract DNA from fish skin mucus by a non-invasion technique costing only $0.02 (USD) and requiring less than 30 seconds. The disc method that we chose could use the cheap filter paper to extract DNA from above 104 crucian carp blood cells, which is comparable to the commercial kit. By using skin mucus swabbing and the disc method, we can obtain amplification-ready DNA from mucus to distinguish different species from our smallest fish (medaka, ~2.5 cm and crucian carp, ~7 cm) to our biggest fish (tilapia, ~15 cm). Furthermore, the viral pathogen Carassius auratus herpesvirus (CaHV) of crucian carp was detected using our method, which would make performing molecular diagnostic assays achievable in limited-resource settings including aquafarms and aqua stores outside the laboratory environment. Full article
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19 pages, 5071 KiB  
Article
Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus 3A Hijacks Sar1 and Sec12 for ER Remodeling in a COPII-Independent Manner
by Heng-Wei Lee, Yi-Fan Jiang, Hui-Wen Chang and Ivan-Chen Cheng
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040839 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2345
Abstract
Positive-stranded RNA viruses modify host organelles to form replication organelles (ROs) for their own replication. The enteroviral 3A protein has been demonstrated to be highly associated with the COPI pathway, in which factors operate on the ER-to-Golgi intermediate and the Golgi. However, Sar1, [...] Read more.
Positive-stranded RNA viruses modify host organelles to form replication organelles (ROs) for their own replication. The enteroviral 3A protein has been demonstrated to be highly associated with the COPI pathway, in which factors operate on the ER-to-Golgi intermediate and the Golgi. However, Sar1, a COPII factor exerting coordinated action at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) exit sites rather than COPI factors, is required for the replication of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Therefore, further understanding regarding FMDV 3A could be key to explaining the differences and to understanding FMDV’s RO formation. In this study, FMDV 3A was confirmed as a peripheral membrane protein capable of modifying the ER into vesicle-like structures, which were neither COPII vesicles nor autophagosomes. When the C-terminus of 3A was truncated, it was located at the ER without vesicular modification. This change was revealed using mGFP and APEX2 fusion constructs, and observed by fluorescence microscopy and electron tomography, respectively. For the other 3A truncation, the minimal region for modification was aa 42–92. Furthermore, we found that the remodeling was related to two COPII factors, Sar1 and Sec12; both interacted with 3A, but their binding domains on 3A were different. Finally, we hypothesized that the N-terminus of 3A would interact with Sar1, as its C-terminus simultaneously interacted with Sec12, which could possibly enhance Sar1 activation. On the ER membrane, active Sar1 interacted with regions of aa 42–59 and aa 76–92 from 3A for vesicle formation. This mechanism was distinct from the traditional COPII pathway and could be critical for FMDV RO formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Veterinary Infectious Diseases)
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2 pages, 199 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Wang et al. Development of a Novel Double Antibody Sandwich ELISA for Quantitative Detection of Porcine Deltacoronavirus Antigen. Viruses 2021, 13, 2403
by Ming Li, Chi Zhang and Tianfei Yu
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040838 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1533
Abstract
We were interested in reading an article published by Wang et al. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Porcine Virus Research in China)
21 pages, 2298 KiB  
Article
Identification of Transcription Factors Regulating SARS-CoV-2 Tropism Factor Expression by Inferring Cell-Type-Specific Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Human Lungs
by Haonan Tong, Hao Chen and Cranos M. Williams
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040837 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Though previous studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 cellular tropism depends on the host-cell-expressed proteins, whether transcriptional regulation controls SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors in human lung cells [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Though previous studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 cellular tropism depends on the host-cell-expressed proteins, whether transcriptional regulation controls SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors in human lung cells remains unclear. In this study, we used computational approaches to identify transcription factors (TFs) regulating SARS-CoV-2 tropism for different types of lung cells. We constructed transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) controlling SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors for healthy donors and COVID-19 patients using lung single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. Through differential network analysis, we found that the altered regulatory role of TFs in the same cell types of healthy and SARS-CoV-2-infected networks may be partially responsible for differential tropism factor expression. In addition, we identified the TFs with high centralities from each cell type and proposed currently available drugs that target these TFs as potential candidates for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Altogether, our work provides valuable cell-type-specific TRN models for understanding the transcriptional regulation and gene expression of SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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19 pages, 1986 KiB  
Article
Advancing the Rose Rosette Virus Minireplicon and Encapsidation System by Incorporating GFP, Mutations, and the CMV 2b Silencing Suppressor
by Cesar D. Urrutia, Gustavo Romay, Brian D. Shaw and Jeanmarie Verchot
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040836 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
Plant infecting emaraviruses have segmented negative strand RNA genomes and little is known about their infection cycles due to the lack of molecular tools for reverse genetic studies. Therefore, we innovated a rose rosette virus (RRV) minireplicon containing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) [...] Read more.
Plant infecting emaraviruses have segmented negative strand RNA genomes and little is known about their infection cycles due to the lack of molecular tools for reverse genetic studies. Therefore, we innovated a rose rosette virus (RRV) minireplicon containing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene to study the molecular requirements for virus replication and encapsidation. Sequence comparisons among RRV isolates and structural modeling of the RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and nucleocapsid (N) revealed three natural mutations of the type species isolate that we reverted to the common species sequences: (a) twenty-one amino acid truncations near the endonuclease domain (named delA), (b) five amino acid substitutions near the putative viral RNA binding loop (subT), and (c) four amino acid substitutions in N (NISE). The delA and subT in the RdRp influenced the levels of GFP, gRNA, and agRNA at 3 but not 5 days post inoculation (dpi), suggesting these sequences are essential for initiating RNA synthesis and replication. The NISE mutation led to sustained GFP, gRNA, and agRNA at 3 and 5 dpi indicating that the N supports continuous replication and GFP expression. Next, we showed that the cucumber mosaic virus (CMV strain FNY) 2b singularly enhanced GFP expression and RRV replication. Including agRNA2 with the RRV replicon produced observable virions. In this study we developed a robust reverse genetic system for investigations into RRV replication and virion assembly that could be a model for other emaravirus species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
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17 pages, 683 KiB  
Article
Development and Evaluation of Molecular Pen-Side Assays without Prior RNA Extraction for Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)
by David Edge, Mana Mahapatra, Shona Strachan, James Turton, Ryan Waters, Camilla Benfield, Nathan Nazareth, Felix Njeumi, Nelson Nazareth and Satya Parida
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040835 - 17 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Animal diseases such as peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and foot and mouth disease (FMD) cause significant economic losses in endemic countries and fast, accurate in-field diagnostics would assist with surveillance and outbreak control. The detection of these pathogens is usually performed at [...] Read more.
Animal diseases such as peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and foot and mouth disease (FMD) cause significant economic losses in endemic countries and fast, accurate in-field diagnostics would assist with surveillance and outbreak control. The detection of these pathogens is usually performed at reference laboratories, tested using assays that are recommended by The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), leading to delays in pathogen detection. This study seeks to demonstrate a proof-of-concept approach for a molecular diagnostic assay that is compatible with material direct from nasal swab sampling, without the need for a prior nucleic acid extraction step, that could potentially be applied at pen-side for both PPR and FMD. The use of such a rapid, low-cost assay without the need for a cold chain could permit testing capacity to be established in remote, resource limited areas and support the surveillance activities necessary to meet the goal of eradication of PPR by 2030. Two individual assays were developed that detect > 99% of PPR and FMD sequences available in GenBank, demonstrating pan-serotype FMD and pan-lineage PPR assays. The ability for the BioGene XF reagent that was used in this study to lyse FMD and PPR viruses and amplify their nucleic acids in the presence of unprocessed nasal swab eluate was evaluated. The reagent was shown to be capable of detecting the viral RNA present in nasal swabs collected from naïve and infected target animals. A study was performed comparing the relative specificity and sensitivity of the new assays to the reference assays. The study used nasal swabs collected from animals before and after infection (12 cattle infected with FMDV and 5 goats infected with PPRV) and both PPR and FMD viral RNA were successfully detected two to four days post-infection in all animals using either the XF or reference assay reagents. These data suggest that the assays are at least as sensitive as the reference assays and support the need for further studies in a field setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Foot-and-Mouth Disease Control)
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27 pages, 11404 KiB  
Article
Two Consecutive Prolines in the Fusion Peptide of Murine β-Coronavirus Spike Protein Predominantly Determine Fusogenicity and May Be Essential but Not Sufficient to Cause Demyelination
by Abass Alao Safiriyu, Manmeet Singh, Abhinoy Kishore, Vaishali Mulchandani, Dibyajyoti Maity, Amrutamaya Behera, Bidisha Sinha, Debnath Pal and Jayasri Das Sarma
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040834 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
Combined in silico, in vitro, and in vivo comparative studies between isogenic-recombinant Mouse-Hepatitis-Virus-RSA59 and its proline deletion mutant, revealed a remarkable contribution of centrally located two consecutive prolines (PP) from Spike protein fusion peptide (FP) in enhancing virus fusogenic and hepato-neuropathogenic potential. To [...] Read more.
Combined in silico, in vitro, and in vivo comparative studies between isogenic-recombinant Mouse-Hepatitis-Virus-RSA59 and its proline deletion mutant, revealed a remarkable contribution of centrally located two consecutive prolines (PP) from Spike protein fusion peptide (FP) in enhancing virus fusogenic and hepato-neuropathogenic potential. To deepen our understanding of the underlying factors, we extend our studies to a non-fusogenic parental virus strain RSMHV2 (P) with a single proline in the FP and its proline inserted mutant, RSMHV2 (PP). Comparative in vitro and in vivo studies between virus strains RSA59(PP), RSMHV2 (P), and RSMHV2 (PP) in the FP demonstrate that the insertion of one proline significantly resulted in enhancing the virus fusogenicity, spread, and consecutive neuropathogenesis. Computational studies suggest that the central PP in Spike FP induces a locally ordered, compact, and rigid structure of the Spike protein in RSMHV2 (PP) compared to RSMHV2 (P), but globally the Spike S2-domain is akin to the parental strain RSA59(PP), the latter being the most flexible showing two potential wells in the energy landscape as observed from the molecular dynamics studies. The critical location of two central prolines of the FP is essential for fusogenicity and pathogenesis making it a potential site for designing antiviral. Full article
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14 pages, 4930 KiB  
Article
Detection of Four Porcine Enteric Coronaviruses Using CRISPR-Cas12a Combined with Multiplex Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay
by Jiajia Liu, Dagang Tao, Xinquan Chen, Linyuan Shen, Li Zhu, Bingrong Xu, Hailong Liu, Shuhong Zhao, Xinyun Li, Xiangdong Liu, Shengsong Xie and Lili Niu
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040833 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3209
Abstract
Porcine enteric coronaviruses have caused immense economic losses to the global pig industry, and pose a potential risk for cross-species transmission. The clinical symptoms of the porcine enteric coronaviruses (CoVs) are similar, making it difficult to distinguish between the specific pathogens by symptoms [...] Read more.
Porcine enteric coronaviruses have caused immense economic losses to the global pig industry, and pose a potential risk for cross-species transmission. The clinical symptoms of the porcine enteric coronaviruses (CoVs) are similar, making it difficult to distinguish between the specific pathogens by symptoms alone. Here, a multiplex nucleic acid detection platform based on CRISPR/Cas12a and multiplex reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) was developed for the detection of four diarrhea CoVs: porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV), and swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV). With this strategy, we realized a visual colorimetric readout visible to the naked eye without specialized instrumentation by using a ROX-labeled single-stranded DNA-fluorescence-quenched (ssDNA-FQ) reporter. Our method achieved single-copy sensitivity with no cross-reactivity in the identification and detection of the target viruses. In addition, we successfully detected these four enteric CoVs from RNA of clinical samples. Thus, we established a rapid, sensitive, and on-site multiplex molecular differential diagnosis technology for porcine enteric CoVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Porcine Virus Research in China)
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18 pages, 5208 KiB  
Article
Distinctive High Expression of Antiretroviral APOBEC3 Protein in Mouse Germinal Center B Cells
by Shota Tsukimoto, Yoshiyuki Hakata, Sachiyo Tsuji-Kawahara, Takuji Enya, Tetsuo Tsukamoto, Seiya Mizuno, Satoru Takahashi, Shinichi Nakao and Masaaki Miyazawa
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040832 - 17 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2521
Abstract
Tissue and subcellular localization and its changes upon cell activation of virus-restricting APOBEC3 at protein levels are important to understanding physiological functions of this cytidine deaminase, but have not been thoroughly analyzed in vivo. To precisely follow the possible activation-induced changes in expression [...] Read more.
Tissue and subcellular localization and its changes upon cell activation of virus-restricting APOBEC3 at protein levels are important to understanding physiological functions of this cytidine deaminase, but have not been thoroughly analyzed in vivo. To precisely follow the possible activation-induced changes in expression levels of APOBEC3 protein in different mouse tissues and cell populations, genome editing was utilized to establish knock-in mice that express APOBEC3 protein with an in-frame FLAG tag. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemical analyses were performed prior to and after an immunological stimulation. Cultured B cells expressed higher levels of APOBEC3 protein than T cells. All differentiation and activation stages of freshly prepared B cells expressed significant levels of APOBEC3 protein, but germinal center cells possessed the highest levels of APOBEC3 protein localized in their cytoplasm. Upon immunological stimulation with sheep red blood cells in vivo, germinal center cells with high levels of APOBEC3 protein expression increased in their number, but FLAG-specific fluorescence intensity in each cell did not change. T cells, even those in germinal centers, did not express significant levels of APOBEC3 protein. Thus, mouse APOBEC3 protein is expressed at distinctively high levels in germinal center B cells. Antigenic stimulation did not affect expression levels of cellular APOBEC3 protein despite increased numbers of germinal center cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Immunology, Vaccines, and Antivirals)
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13 pages, 2663 KiB  
Article
Two Novel Lytic Bacteriophages Infecting Enterococcus spp. Are Promising Candidates for Targeted Antibacterial Therapy
by Pavel V. Tkachev, Ivan M. Pchelin, Daniil V. Azarov, Andrey N. Gorshkov, Olga V. Shamova, Alexander V. Dmitriev and Artemiy E. Goncharov
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040831 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2716
Abstract
The rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance is of major concern globally. Among the most worrying pathogenic bacteria are vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Phage therapy is a highly promising method for controlling enterococcal infections. In this study, we described two virulent tailed bacteriophages possessing lytic activity [...] Read more.
The rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance is of major concern globally. Among the most worrying pathogenic bacteria are vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Phage therapy is a highly promising method for controlling enterococcal infections. In this study, we described two virulent tailed bacteriophages possessing lytic activity against Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium isolates. The SSsP-1 bacteriophage belonged to the Saphexavirus genus of the Siphoviridae family, and the GVEsP-1 bacteriophage belonged to the Schiekvirus genus of Herelleviridae. The genomes of both viruses carried putative components of anti-CRISPR systems and did not contain known genes coding for antibiotic-resistance determinants and virulence factors. The conservative arrangement of protein-coding sequences in Saphexavirus and Schiekvirus genomes taken together with positive results of treating enterococcal peritonitis in an animal infection model imply the potential suitability of GVEsP-1 and SSsP-1 bacteriophages for clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Viruses)
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17 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Development of Dog Vaccination Strategies to Maintain Herd Immunity against Rabies
by Ahmed Lugelo, Katie Hampson, Elaine A. Ferguson, Anna Czupryna, Machunde Bigambo, Christian Tetteh Duamor, Rudovick Kazwala, Paul C. D. Johnson and Felix Lankester
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040830 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3031
Abstract
Human rabies can be prevented through mass dog vaccination campaigns; however, in rabies endemic countries, pulsed central point campaigns do not always achieve the recommended coverage of 70%. This study describes the development of a novel approach to sustain high coverage based on [...] Read more.
Human rabies can be prevented through mass dog vaccination campaigns; however, in rabies endemic countries, pulsed central point campaigns do not always achieve the recommended coverage of 70%. This study describes the development of a novel approach to sustain high coverage based on decentralized and continuous vaccination delivery. A rabies vaccination campaign was conducted across 12 wards in the Mara region, Tanzania to test this approach. Household surveys were used to obtain data on vaccination coverage as well as factors influencing dog vaccination. A total 17,571 dogs were vaccinated, 2654 using routine central point delivery and 14,917 dogs using one of three strategies of decentralized continuous vaccination. One month after the first vaccination campaign, coverage in areas receiving decentralized vaccinations was higher (64.1, 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) 62.1–66%) than in areas receiving pulsed vaccinations (35.9%, 95% CIs 32.6–39.5%). Follow-up surveys 10 months later showed that vaccination coverage in areas receiving decentralized vaccinations remained on average over 60% (60.7%, 95% CIs 58.5–62.8%) and much higher than in villages receiving pulsed vaccinations where coverage was on average 32.1% (95% CIs 28.8–35.6%). We conclude that decentralized continuous dog vaccination strategies have the potential to improve vaccination coverage and maintain herd immunity against rabies. Full article
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20 pages, 4553 KiB  
Article
Characterization of HIV-1 Infection in Microglia-Containing Human Cerebral Organoids
by Stephanie B. H. Gumbs, Amber Berdenis van Berlekom, Raphael Kübler, Pauline J. Schipper, Lavina Gharu, Marco P. Boks, Paul R. Ormel, Annemarie M. J. Wensing, Lot D. de Witte and Monique Nijhuis
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040829 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3909
Abstract
The achievement of an HIV cure is dependent on the eradication or permanent silencing of HIV-latent viral reservoirs, including the understudied central nervous system (CNS) reservoir. This requires a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms of HIV’s entry into the CNS, latency establishment, [...] Read more.
The achievement of an HIV cure is dependent on the eradication or permanent silencing of HIV-latent viral reservoirs, including the understudied central nervous system (CNS) reservoir. This requires a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms of HIV’s entry into the CNS, latency establishment, persistence, and reversal. Therefore, representative CNS culture models that reflect the intercellular dynamics and pathophysiology of the human brain are urgently needed in order to study the CNS viral reservoir and HIV-induced neuropathogenesis. In this study, we characterized a human cerebral organoid model in which microglia grow intrinsically as a CNS culture model to study HIV infection in the CNS. We demonstrated that both cerebral organoids and isolated organoid-derived microglia (oMG), infected with replication-competent HIVbal reporter viruses, support productive HIV infection via the CCR5 co-receptor. Productive HIV infection was only observed in microglial cells. Fluorescence analysis revealed microglia as the only HIV target cell. Susceptibility to HIV infection was dependent on the co-expression of microglia-specific markers and the CD4 and CCR5 HIV receptors. Altogether, this model will be a valuable tool within the HIV research community to study HIV–CNS interactions, the underlying mechanisms of HIV-associated neurological disorders (HAND), and the efficacy of new therapeutic and curative strategies on the CNS viral reservoir. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Virology)
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16 pages, 1640 KiB  
Article
Investigations on SARS-CoV-2 Susceptibility of Domestic and Wild Animals Using Primary Cell Culture Models Derived from the Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract
by Iris Färber, Johannes Krüger, Cheila Rocha, Federico Armando, Maren von Köckritz-Blickwede, Stefan Pöhlmann, Armin Braun, Wolfgang Baumgärtner, Sandra Runft and Nadine Krüger
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040828 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2908
Abstract
Several animal species are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, as documented by case reports and serological and in vivo infection studies. However, the susceptibility of many animal species remains unknown. Furthermore, the expression patterns of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors, such as the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme [...] Read more.
Several animal species are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, as documented by case reports and serological and in vivo infection studies. However, the susceptibility of many animal species remains unknown. Furthermore, the expression patterns of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors, such as the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), as well as transmembrane protease serine subtype 2 (TMPRSS2) and cathepsin L (CTSL), cellular proteases involved in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein activation, are largely unexplored in most species. Here, we generated primary cell cultures from the respiratory tract of domestic and wildlife animals to assess their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, the presence of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL within respiratory tract compartments was investigated in a range of animals, some with unknown susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Productive viral replication was observed in the nasal mucosa explants and precision-cut lung slices from dogs and hamsters, whereas culture models from ferrets and multiple ungulate species were non-permissive to infection. Overall, whereas TMPRSS2 and CTSL were equally expressed in the respiratory tract, the expression levels of ACE2 were more variable, suggesting that a restricted availability of ACE2 may contribute to reduced susceptibility. Summarized, the experimental infection of primary respiratory tract cell cultures, as well as an analysis of entry-factor distribution, enable screening for SARS-CoV-2 animal reservoirs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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21 pages, 3042 KiB  
Review
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Variants of Concern: A Perspective for Emerging More Transmissible and Vaccine-Resistant Strains
by Anacleto Silva de Souza, Vitor Martins de Freitas Amorim, Gabriela D. A. Guardia, Filipe F. dos Santos, Henning Ulrich, Pedro A. F. Galante, Robson Francisco de Souza and Cristiane Rodrigues Guzzo
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040827 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7362
Abstract
Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC) are constantly threatening global public health. With no end date, the pandemic persists with the emergence of novel variants that threaten the effectiveness of diagnostic tests and vaccines. Mutations in the [...] Read more.
Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC) are constantly threatening global public health. With no end date, the pandemic persists with the emergence of novel variants that threaten the effectiveness of diagnostic tests and vaccines. Mutations in the Spike surface protein of the virus are regularly observed in the new variants, potentializing the emergence of novel viruses with different tropism from the current ones, which may change the severity and symptoms of the disease. Growing evidence has shown that mutations are being selected in favor of variants that are more capable of evading the action of neutralizing antibodies. In this context, the most important factor guiding the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is its interaction with the host’s immune system. Thus, as current vaccines cannot block the transmission of the virus, measures complementary to vaccination, such as the use of masks, hand hygiene, and keeping environments ventilated remain essential to delay the emergence of new variants. Importantly, in addition to the involvement of the immune system in the evolution of the virus, we highlight several chemical parameters that influence the molecular interactions between viruses and host cells during invasion and are also critical tools making novel variants more transmissible. In this review, we dissect the impacts of the Spike mutations on biological parameters such as (1) the increase in Spike binding affinity to hACE2; (2) bound time for the receptor to be cleaved by the proteases; (3) how mutations associate with the increase in RBD up-conformation state in the Spike ectodomain; (4) expansion of uncleaved Spike protein in the virion particles; (5) increment in Spike concentration per virion particles; and (6) evasion of the immune system. These factors play key roles in the fast spreading of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the Omicron. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses)
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20 pages, 2839 KiB  
Article
Development of Robust Varicella Zoster Virus Luciferase Reporter Viruses for In Vivo Monitoring of Virus Growth and Its Antiviral Inhibition in Culture, Skin, and Humanized Mice
by Megan G. Lloyd, Michael B. Yee, Joseph S. Flot, Dongmei Liu, Brittany W. Geiler, Paul R. Kinchington and Jennifer F. Moffat
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040826 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2711
Abstract
There is a continued need to understand varicella-zoster virus (VZV) pathogenesis and to develop more effective antivirals, as it causes chickenpox and zoster. As a human-restricted alphaherpesvirus, the use of human skin in culture and mice is critical in order to reveal the [...] Read more.
There is a continued need to understand varicella-zoster virus (VZV) pathogenesis and to develop more effective antivirals, as it causes chickenpox and zoster. As a human-restricted alphaherpesvirus, the use of human skin in culture and mice is critical in order to reveal the important VZV genes that are required for pathogenesis but that are not necessarily observed in the cell culture. We previously used VZV-expressing firefly luciferase (fLuc), under the control of the constitutively active SV40 promoter (VZV-BAC-Luc), to measure the VZV spread in the same sample. However, the fLuc expression was independent of viral gene expression and viral DNA replication programs. Here, we developed robust reporter VZV viruses by using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) technology, expressing luciferase from VZV-specific promoters. We also identified two spurious mutations in VZV-BAC that were corrected for maximum pathogenesis. VZV with fLuc driven by ORF57 showed superior growth in cells, human skin explants, and skin xenografts in mice. The ORF57-driven luciferase activity had a short half-life in the presence of foscarnet. This background was then used to investigate the roles for ORF36 (thymidine kinase (TK)) and ORF13 (thymidylate synthase (TS)) in skin. The studies reveal that VZV-∆TS had increased sensitivity to brivudine and was highly impaired for skin replication. This is the first report of a phenotype that is associated with the loss of TS. Full article
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12 pages, 2387 KiB  
Article
A Single Amino Acid Residue R144 of SNX16 Affects Its Ability to Inhibit the Replication of Influenza A Virus
by Wenjun Shi, Li Jiang, Miaomiao Ye, Bo Wang, Yu Chang, Zhibo Shan, Xuyuan Wang, Yuzhen Hu, Hualan Chen and Chengjun Li
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040825 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2010
Abstract
Influenza A virus (IAV) is an important zoonotic pathogen, posing a severe burden for the health of both animals and humans. Many host factors are involved in the life cycle of IAV to regulate its replication. Herein, we identified sorting nexin-16 (SNX16) as [...] Read more.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is an important zoonotic pathogen, posing a severe burden for the health of both animals and humans. Many host factors are involved in the life cycle of IAV to regulate its replication. Herein, we identified sorting nexin-16 (SNX16) as a new host factor that negatively modulates the replication of IAV. When transiently overexpressed in cells, SNX16 appears to be expressed as two obvious bands. Mutagenesis analysis indicated that the amino acid residue R144 of SNX16 was responsible for its two-band expression phenotype. We found that the R144A mutation of SNX16 changed its cellular distribution in A549 cells and partially weakened the inhibitory effect of SNX16 on IAV replication. Further investigation revealed that SNX16 could negatively regulate the early stage of the replication cycle of IAV. Taken together, our results demonstrated that SNX16 is a novel restriction host factor for the replication of IAV by engaging in the early stage of IAV life cycle, and a single amino acid residue at position 144 plays an important role in the cellular distribution and anti-influenza function of SNX16. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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18 pages, 3604 KiB  
Article
Specific Interaction of DARPin with HIV-1 CANTD Disturbs the Distribution of Gag, RNA Packaging, and Tetraspanin Remodelling in the Membrane
by Sutpirat Moonmuang, Rawiwan Maniratanachote, Paninee Chetprayoon, Kanokporn Sornsuwan, Weeraya Thongkum, Koollawat Chupradit and Chatchai Tayapiwatana
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040824 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2094
Abstract
A designed repeat scaffold protein (AnkGAG1D4) recognizing the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) capsid (CA) was formerly established with antiviral assembly. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of AnkGAG1D4 function during the late stages of the HIV-1 replication cycle. By [...] Read more.
A designed repeat scaffold protein (AnkGAG1D4) recognizing the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) capsid (CA) was formerly established with antiviral assembly. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of AnkGAG1D4 function during the late stages of the HIV-1 replication cycle. By applying stimulated emission-depletion (STED) microscopy, Gag polymerisation was interrupted at the plasma membrane. Disturbance of Gag polymerisation triggered Gag accumulation inside producer cells and trapping of the CD81 tetraspanin on the plasma membrane. Moreover, reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) experiments were performed to validate the packaging efficiency of RNAs. Our results advocated that AnkGAG1D4 interfered with the Gag precursor protein from selecting HIV-1 and cellular RNAs for encapsidation into viral particles. These findings convey additional information on the antiviral activity of AnkGAG1D4 at late stages of the HIV-1 life cycle, which is potential for an alternative anti-HIV molecule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Molecular Mechanisms)
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16 pages, 7664 KiB  
Article
Expression Profile of Human Renal Mesangial Cells Is Altered by Infection with Pathogenic Puumala Orthohantavirus
by Christian Nusshag, Lukas Boegelein, Pamela Schreiber, Sandra Essbauer, Anja Osberghaus, Martin Zeier and Ellen Krautkrämer
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040823 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
Acute kidney injury (AKI) with proteinuria is a hallmark of infections with Eurasian orthohantaviruses. Different kidney cells are identified as target cells of hantaviruses. Mesangial cells may play a central role in the pathogenesis of AKI by regulation of inflammatory mediators and signaling [...] Read more.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) with proteinuria is a hallmark of infections with Eurasian orthohantaviruses. Different kidney cells are identified as target cells of hantaviruses. Mesangial cells may play a central role in the pathogenesis of AKI by regulation of inflammatory mediators and signaling cascades. Therefore, we examined the characteristics of hantavirus infection on human renal mesangial cells (HRMCs). Receptor expression and infection with pathogenic Puumala virus (PUUV) and low-pathogenic Tula virus (TULV) were explored. To analyze changes in protein expression in infected mesangial cells, we performed a proteome profiler assay analyzing 38 markers of kidney damage. We compared the proteome profile of in vitro-infected HRMCs with the profile detected in urine samples of 11 patients with acute hantavirus infection. We observed effective productive infection of HRMCs with pathogenic PUUV, but only poor abortive infection for low-pathogenic TULV. PUUV infection resulted in the deregulation of proteases, adhesion proteins, and cytokines associated with renal damage. The urinary proteome profile of hantavirus patients demonstrated also massive changes, which in part correspond to the alterations observed in the in vitro infection of HRMCs. The direct infection of mesangial cells may induce a local environment of signal mediators that contributes to AKI in hantavirus infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
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16 pages, 3249 KiB  
Article
Molecular Epidemiology and Evolution of Coxsackievirus A9
by Hehe Zhao, Jianxing Wang, Jianhua Chen, Ruifang Huang, Yong Zhang, Jinbo Xiao, Yang Song, Tianjiao Ji, Qian Yang, Shuangli Zhu, Dongyan Wang, Huanhuan Lu, Zhenzhi Han, Guoyan Zhang, Jichen Li and Dongmei Yan
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040822 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
Nineteen CVA9 isolates were obtained between 2010 and 2019 from six provinces of mainland China, using the HFMD surveillance network established in China. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that the full-length VP1 of 19 CVA9 isolates was 906 bases encoding 302 amino acids. The combination [...] Read more.
Nineteen CVA9 isolates were obtained between 2010 and 2019 from six provinces of mainland China, using the HFMD surveillance network established in China. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that the full-length VP1 of 19 CVA9 isolates was 906 bases encoding 302 amino acids. The combination of the thresholds of the phylogenetic tree and nucleotide divergence of different genotypes within the same serotype led to a value of 15–25%, and enabled CVA9 worldwide to be categorized into ten genotypes: A–J. The phylogenetic tree showed that the prototype strain was included in genotype A, and that the B, C, D, E, H, and J genotypes disappeared during virus evolution, whereas the F, I, and G genotypes showed co-circulation. Lineage G was the dominant genotype of CVA9 and included most of the strains from nine countries in Asia, North America, Oceania, and Europe. Most Chinese strains belonged to the G genotype, suggesting that the molecular epidemiology of China is consistent with that observed worldwide. The 165 partial VP1 strains (723 nt) showed a mean substitution rate of 3.27 × 10−3 substitution/site/year (95% HPD range 2.93–3.6 × 10−3), dating the tMRCA of CVA9 back to approximately 1922 (1911–1932). The spatiotemporal dynamics of CVA9 showed the spread of CVA9 obviously increased in recent years. Most CVA9 isolates originated in USA, but the epidemic areas of CVA9 are now concentrated in the Asia–Pacific region, European countries, and North America. Recombination analysis within the enterovirus B specie (59 serotypes) revealed eight recombination patterns in China at present, CVB4, CVB5, E30, CVB2, E11, HEV106, HEV85, and HEV75. E14, and E6 may act as recombinant donors in multiple regions. Comparison of temperature sensitivity revealed that temperature-insensitive strains have more amino acid substitutions in the RGD motif of the VP1 region, and the sites T283S, V284M, and R288K in the VP1 region may be related to the temperature tolerance of CVA9. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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5 pages, 783 KiB  
Communication
Reproduction Number of the Omicron Variant Triples That of the Delta Variant
by Zhanwei Du, Huaping Hong, Shuqi Wang, Lijia Ma, Caifen Liu, Yuan Bai, Dillon C. Adam, Linwei Tian, Lin Wang, Eric H. Y. Lau and Benjamin J. Cowling
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040821 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4051
Abstract
COVID-19 remains a persistent threat, especially with the predominant Omicron variant emerging in early 2022, presenting with high transmissibility, immune escape, and waning. There is a need to rapidly ramp up global vaccine coverage while enhancing public health and social measures. Timely and [...] Read more.
COVID-19 remains a persistent threat, especially with the predominant Omicron variant emerging in early 2022, presenting with high transmissibility, immune escape, and waning. There is a need to rapidly ramp up global vaccine coverage while enhancing public health and social measures. Timely and reliable estimation of the reproduction number throughout a pandemic is critical for assessing the impact of mitigation efforts and the potential need to adjust for control measures. We conducted a systematic review on the reproduction numbers of the Omicron variant and gave the pooled estimates. We identified six studies by searching PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for articles published between 1 January 2020 and 6 March 2022. We estimate that the effective reproduction number ranges from 2.43 to 5.11, with a pooled estimate of 4.20 (95% CI: 2.05, 6.35). The Omicron variant has an effective reproduction number which is triple (2.71 (95% CI: 1.86, 3.56)) that of the Delta variant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Transmission Dynamics)
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12 pages, 1102 KiB  
Article
Immunogenicity of an AAV-Based COVID-19 Vaccine in Murine Models of Obesity and Aging
by Dawid Maciorowski, Cheikh Diop, Urja Bhatt, Reynette Estelien, Dan Li, Ruchi Chauhan, Luk H. Vandenberghe and Nerea Zabaleta
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040820 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2549
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a disastrous impact on global health. Although some vaccine candidates have been effective in combating SARS-CoV-2, logistical, economical, and sociological aspects still limit vaccine access globally. Recently, we reported on two room-temperature stable AAV-based COVID-19 vaccines that induced [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a disastrous impact on global health. Although some vaccine candidates have been effective in combating SARS-CoV-2, logistical, economical, and sociological aspects still limit vaccine access globally. Recently, we reported on two room-temperature stable AAV-based COVID-19 vaccines that induced potent and protective immunogenicity following a single injection in murine and primate models. Obesity and old age are associated with increased mortality in COVID-19, as well as reduced immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines. Here, we investigated the effectiveness of the AAVCOVID vaccine candidates in murine models of obesity and aging. Results demonstrate that obesity did not significantly alter the immunogenicity of either vaccine candidate. In aged mice, vaccine immunogenicity was impaired. These results suggest that AAV-based vaccines may have limitations in older populations and may be equally applicable in obese and non-obese populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 and Animal Models)
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17 pages, 2161 KiB  
Article
Intermediate Monocytes with PD-L1 and CD62L Expression as a Possible Player in Active SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Elżbieta Rutkowska, Iwona Kwiecień, Krzysztof Kłos, Piotr Rzepecki and Andrzej Chciałowski
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040819 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2579
Abstract
Monocytes play a role in viral biology, but little is known about the monocyte subpopulation in the course of COVID-19 disease. The aim of the study was the analysis of classical, intermediate and non-classical monocytes with expression of PD-L1 and CD62L, TIM-3 and [...] Read more.
Monocytes play a role in viral biology, but little is known about the monocyte subpopulation in the course of COVID-19 disease. The aim of the study was the analysis of classical, intermediate and non-classical monocytes with expression of PD-L1 and CD62L, TIM-3 and CD86 molecules in peripheral blood (PB) to distinguish patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection from convalescent patients. The study group consisted of 55 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and 51 convalescent patients. The cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. The number and proportion of monocytes were lower in patients with COVID-19 than convalescent patients. We observed a lower proportion of non-classical monocytes in COVID-19 patients than convalescent ones. There was a higher proportion of PDL-1-positive intermediate monocytes in COVID-19 patients than convalescent ones. We noticed a higher geometric mean fluorescence intensity (GeoMean) of PD-L1 on intermediate monocytes in COVID-19 patients than convalescent patients, and a higher proportion of CD62L-positive monocytes in COVID-19 patients in comparison with convalescent ones. We found a higher GeoMean of CD62L on monocytes in COVID-19 patients than convalescent ones. Assessment of PD-L1- and CD62L-positive monocyte subsets may identify patients with a possible predisposition for rapid recovery. The monitoring of monocyte subsets in PB might be a useful test in COVID-19 patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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11 pages, 1443 KiB  
Hypothesis
Enteric Chromosomal Islands: DNA Packaging Specificity and Role of λ-like Helper Phage Terminase
by Helios Murialdo and Michael Feiss
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040818 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1850
Abstract
The phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICIs) of Gram-negative bacteria are analogous to defective prophages that have lost the ability to propagate without the aid of a helper phage. PICIs have acquired genes that alter the genetic repertoire of the bacterial host, including supplying virulence [...] Read more.
The phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICIs) of Gram-negative bacteria are analogous to defective prophages that have lost the ability to propagate without the aid of a helper phage. PICIs have acquired genes that alter the genetic repertoire of the bacterial host, including supplying virulence factors. Recent work by the Penadés laboratory elucidates how a helper phage infection or prophage induction induces the island to excise from the bacterial chromosome, replicate, and become packaged into functional virions. PICIs lack a complete set of morphogenetic genes needed to construct mature virus particles. Rather, PICIs hijack virion assembly functions from an induced prophage acting as a helper phage. The hijacking strategy includes preventing the helper phage from packaging its own DNA while enabling PICI DNA packaging. In the case of recently described Gram-negative PICIs, the PICI changes the specificity of DNA packaging. This is achieved by an island-encoded protein (Rpp) that binds to the phage protein (TerS), which normally selects phage DNA for packaging from a DNA pool that includes the helper phage and host DNAs. The Rpp–TerS interaction prevents phage DNA packaging while sponsoring PICI DNA packaging. Our communication reviews published data about the hijacking mechanism and its implications for phage DNA packaging. We propose that the Rpp–TerS complex binds to a site in the island DNA that is positioned analogous to that of the phage DNA but has a completely different sequence. The critical role of TerS in the Rpp–TerS complex is to escort TerL to the PICI cosN, ensuring appropriate DNA cutting and packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Assembly Pathways - to the Memory of Lindsay Black)
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18 pages, 2260 KiB  
Article
Novel Compound Inhibitors of HIV-1NL4-3 Vpu
by Carolyn A. Robinson, Terri D. Lyddon, Hwi Min Gil, David T. Evans, Yury V. Kuzmichev, Jonathan Richard, Andrés Finzi, Sarah Welbourn, Lynn Rasmussen, N. Miranda Nebane, Vandana V. Gupta, Sam Ananthan, Zhaohui Cai, Elizabeth R. Wonderlich, Corinne E. Augelli-Szafran, Robert Bostwick, Roger G. Ptak, Susan M. Schader and Marc C. Johnson
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040817 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2712
Abstract
HIV-1 Vpu targets the host cell proteins CD4 and BST-2/Tetherin for degradation, ultimately resulting in enhanced virus spread and host immune evasion. The discovery and characterization of small molecules that antagonize Vpu would further elucidate the contribution of Vpu to pathogenesis and lay [...] Read more.
HIV-1 Vpu targets the host cell proteins CD4 and BST-2/Tetherin for degradation, ultimately resulting in enhanced virus spread and host immune evasion. The discovery and characterization of small molecules that antagonize Vpu would further elucidate the contribution of Vpu to pathogenesis and lay the foundation for the study of a new class of novel HIV-1 therapeutics. To identify novel compounds that block Vpu activity, we have developed a cell-based ‘gain of function’ assay that produces a positive signal in response to Vpu inhibition. To develop this assay, we took advantage of the viral glycoprotein, GaLV Env. In the presence of Vpu, GaLV Env is not incorporated into viral particles, resulting in non-infectious virions. Vpu inhibition restores infectious particle production. Using this assay, a high throughput screen of >650,000 compounds was performed to identify inhibitors that block the biological activity of Vpu. From this screen, we identified several positive hits but focused on two compounds from one structural family, SRI-41897 and SRI-42371. We developed independent counter-screens for off target interactions of the compounds and found no off target interactions. Additionally, these compounds block Vpu-mediated modulation of CD4, BST-2/Tetherin and antibody dependent cell-mediated toxicity (ADCC). Unfortunately, both SRI-41897 and SRI-42371 were shown to be specific to the N-terminal region of NL4-3 Vpu and did not function against other, more clinically relevant, strains of Vpu; however, this assay may be slightly modified to include more significant Vpu strains in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes as Antiviral Targets)
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24 pages, 4022 KiB  
Article
Unique Mode of Antiviral Action of a Marine Alkaloid against Ebola Virus and SARS-CoV-2
by Mai Izumida, Osamu Kotani, Hideki Hayashi, Chris Smith, Tsutomu Fukuda, Koushirou Suga, Masatomo Iwao, Fumito Ishibashi, Hironori Sato and Yoshinao Kubo
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040816 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3024
Abstract
Lamellarin α 20-sulfate is a cell-impenetrable marine alkaloid that can suppress infection that is mediated by the envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. We explored the antiviral action and mechanisms of this alkaloid against emerging enveloped RNA viruses that use endocytosis [...] Read more.
Lamellarin α 20-sulfate is a cell-impenetrable marine alkaloid that can suppress infection that is mediated by the envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. We explored the antiviral action and mechanisms of this alkaloid against emerging enveloped RNA viruses that use endocytosis for infection. The alkaloid inhibited the infection of retroviral vectors that had been pseudotyped with the envelope glycoprotein of Ebola virus and SARS-CoV-2. The antiviral effects of lamellarin were independent of the retrovirus Gag-Pol proteins. Interestingly, although heparin and dextran sulfate suppressed the cell attachment of vector particles, lamellarin did not. In silico structural analyses of the trimeric glycoprotein of the Ebola virus disclosed that the principal lamellarin-binding site is confined to a previously unappreciated cavity near the NPC1-binding site and fusion loop, whereas those for heparin and dextran sulfate were dispersed across the attachment and fusion subunits of the glycoproteins. Notably, lamellarin binding to this cavity was augmented under conditions where the pH was 5.0. These results suggest that the final action of the alkaloid against Ebola virus is specific to events following endocytosis, possibly during conformational glycoprotein changes in the acidic environment of endosomes. Our findings highlight the unique biological and physicochemical features of lamellarin α 20-sulfate and should lead to the further use of broadly reactive antivirals to explore the structural mechanisms of virus replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Viruses: Structure, Adaptation, and Evolution)
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5 pages, 209 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue “Emerging Viruses 2021: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control”
by Fabrício Souza Campos, Maité Freitas Silva Vaslin and Luciana Barros de Arruda
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040815 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Virus replication frequently results in the accumulation, re-assortment and re-combination of mutations, which contributes to their rapid adaptation to environmental changes and often advances the emergence of new virus variants or species [...] Full article
9 pages, 1718 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Gamma and Delta Variants of Concern Might Undermine Neutralizing Activity Generated in Response to BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination
by Luigia Trabace, Lorenzo Pace, Maria Grazia Morgese, Isabel Bianca Santo, Domenico Galante, Stefania Schiavone, Dora Cipolletta, Anna Maria Rosa, Pierluigi Reveglia, Antonio Parisi, Paolo Tucci, Giovanni Pepe, Rodolfo Sacco, Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro, Gaetano Corso and Antonio Fasanella
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040814 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1775
Abstract
The Delta variant raised concern regarding its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. We evaluated a serum neutralizing response of 172 Italian healthcare workers, three months after complete Comirnaty (BNT162b2 mRNA, BioNTech-Pfizer) vaccination, testing their sera against viral isolates of Alpha, Gamma and Delta [...] Read more.
The Delta variant raised concern regarding its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. We evaluated a serum neutralizing response of 172 Italian healthcare workers, three months after complete Comirnaty (BNT162b2 mRNA, BioNTech-Pfizer) vaccination, testing their sera against viral isolates of Alpha, Gamma and Delta variants, including 36 subjects with a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. We assessed whether IgG anti-spike TRIM levels and serum neutralizing activity by seroneutralization assay were associated. Concerning Gamma variant, a two-fold reduction in neutralizing titres compared to the Alpha variant was observed, while a four-fold reduction of Delta virus compared to Alpha was found. A gender difference was observed in neutralizing titres only for the Gamma variant. The serum samples of 36 previously infected SARS-CoV-2 individuals neutralized Alpha, Gamma and Delta variants, demonstrating respectively a nearly three-fold and a five-fold reduction in neutralizing titres compared to Alpha variant. IgG anti-spike TRIM levels were positively correlated with serum neutralizing titres against the three variants. The Comirnaty vaccine provides sustained neutralizing antibody activity towards the Alpha variant, but it is less effective against Gamma and even less against Delta variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies)
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