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Viruses, Volume 14, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 246 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Lysyl-tRNA synthetase (LysRS), which recruits the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) reverse transcription (RT) primer tRNALys3 into virions, is phosphorylated at S207 upon viral infection. The placement of tRNALys3 onto the primer binding site (PBS) is facilitated by phosphorylated LysRS. We show that phosphomimetic S207D LysRS binds in an open conformation preferentially to dimeric HIV-1 genomic RNA (gRNA). Binding occurs at a tRNA-like element (TLE) that is proximal to the PBS and Stem Loop 1 (SL1) of the gRNA packaging signal and increases the flexibility of this region. The extension of the primer triggers a conformational change in the TLE, resulting in the release of LysRS, allowing reverse transcriptase to copy this region of the template. View this paper
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5 pages, 205 KiB  
Case Report
Evidence of Maternal Antibodies Elicited by COVID-19 Vaccination in Amniotic Fluid: Report of Two Cases in Italy
by Francesca Colavita, Alessandra Oliva, Aurora Bettini, Andrea Antinori, Enrico Girardi, Concetta Castilletti, Francesco Vaia and Giuseppina Liuzzi
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071592 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
With SARS-CoV-2 infection, pregnant women may be at a high risk of severe disease and adverse perinatal outcomes. A COVID-19 vaccination campaign represents the key strategy to combat the pandemic; however, public acceptance of maternal immunization has to be improved, which may be [...] Read more.
With SARS-CoV-2 infection, pregnant women may be at a high risk of severe disease and adverse perinatal outcomes. A COVID-19 vaccination campaign represents the key strategy to combat the pandemic; however, public acceptance of maternal immunization has to be improved, which may be achieved by highlighting the promising mechanism of passive immunity as a strategy for protecting newborns against SARS-CoV-2 infection. We tested the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response following COVID-19 full-dose vaccination in the serum and amniotic fluid of two pregnant women who presented between April and June 2021, at the Center for the Treatment and Prevention of Infections in Pregnancy of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “L. Spallanzani”, for antenatal consultancy. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG was found in residual samples of amniotic fluid collected from both women at the 18th week of gestation (63 and 131 days after the second dose’s administration). Titers in amniotic fluid mirrored the levels detected in serum and were inversely linked to the time from vaccination. Our results suggest that antibodies elicited by COVID-19 vaccination can cross the placenta and reach the fetus; therefore, they may offer passive immunity at birth. It is critical to fully understand the kinetics of the maternal response to vaccination, the efficiency of IgG transfer, and the persistence of antibodies in infants to optimize maternal immunization regimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 in Pregnancy and Reproduction)
19 pages, 3295 KiB  
Article
Influenza A Virus Infection Reactivates Human Endogenous Retroviruses Associated with Modulation of Antiviral Immunity
by Hengyuan Liu, Valter Bergant, Goar Frishman, Andreas Ruepp, Andreas Pichlmair, Michelle Vincendeau and Dmitrij Frishman
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071591 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
Human endogenous retrovirus (HERVs), normally silenced by methylation or mutations, can be reactivated by multiple environmental factors, including infections with exogenous viruses. In this work, we investigated the transcriptional activity of HERVs in human A549 cells infected by two wild-type (PR8M, SC35M) and [...] Read more.
Human endogenous retrovirus (HERVs), normally silenced by methylation or mutations, can be reactivated by multiple environmental factors, including infections with exogenous viruses. In this work, we investigated the transcriptional activity of HERVs in human A549 cells infected by two wild-type (PR8M, SC35M) and one mutated (SC35MΔNS1) strains of Influenza A virus (IAVs). We found that the majority of differentially expressed HERVs (DEHERVS) and genes (DEGs) were up-regulated in the infected cells, with the most significantly enriched biological processes associated with the genes differentially expressed exclusively in SC35MΔNS1 being linked to the immune system. Most DEHERVs in PR8M and SC35M are mammalian apparent LTR retrotransposons, while in SC35MΔNS1, more HERV loci from the HERVW9 group were differentially expressed. Furthermore, up-regulated pairs of HERVs and genes in close chromosomal proximity to each other tended to be associated with immune responses, which implies that specific HERV groups might have the potential to trigger specific gene networks and influence host immunological pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endogenous Retroviruses)
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11 pages, 1496 KiB  
Article
Detection of Gyrovirus galga 1 in Cryopreserved Organs from Two Commercial Broiler Flocks in Japan
by Masaji Mase, Yu Yamamoto, Hiroshi Iseki, Taichiro Tanikawa and Aoi Kurokawa
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071590 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Gyrovirus galga 1 (GyVg1, previously recognized as avian gyrovirus 2), which was first reported in chicken in 2011, is a new member of the genus Gyrovirus. The presence of GyVg1 has also been confirmed in different regions of Europe, South America, Africa, and [...] Read more.
Gyrovirus galga 1 (GyVg1, previously recognized as avian gyrovirus 2), which was first reported in chicken in 2011, is a new member of the genus Gyrovirus. The presence of GyVg1 has also been confirmed in different regions of Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia, indicating its global distribution. However, because there are no reports of examining the distribution of GyVg1 in animals in Japan, the epidemiology of this virus is unknown. In this study, we attempted to retrospectively detect GyVg1 in cryopreserved chicken materials derived from different two commercial broiler flocks in 1997. The GyVg1 genome was detected in organ materials derived from both flocks by PCR. GyVg1 detected in both flocks was classified into four genetic groups by analyzing the nucleotide sequences of the detected PCR products. These results suggest that diverse GyVg1 strains were present in commercial chicken flocks as early as 1997 in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Avian Viruses Research in Asia)
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10 pages, 2773 KiB  
Article
Into the Dark: Exploring the Deep Ocean with Single-Virus Genomics
by Francisco Martinez-Hernandez, Oscar Fornas and Manuel Martinez-Garcia
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071589 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
Single-virus genomics (SVGs) has been successfully applied to ocean surface samples allowing the discovery of widespread dominant viruses overlooked for years by metagenomics, such as the uncultured virus vSAG 37-F6 infecting the ubiquitous Pelagibacter spp. In SVGs, one uncultured virus at a time [...] Read more.
Single-virus genomics (SVGs) has been successfully applied to ocean surface samples allowing the discovery of widespread dominant viruses overlooked for years by metagenomics, such as the uncultured virus vSAG 37-F6 infecting the ubiquitous Pelagibacter spp. In SVGs, one uncultured virus at a time is sorted from the environmental sample, whole-genome amplified, and sequenced. Here, we have applied SVGs to deep-ocean samples (200–4000 m depth) from global Malaspina and MEDIMAX expeditions, demonstrating the feasibility of this method in deep-ocean samples. A total of 1328 virus-like particles were sorted from the North Atlantic Ocean, the deep Mediterranean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). For this proof of concept, sixty single viruses were selected at random for sequencing. Genome annotation identified 27 of these genomes as bona fide viruses, and detected three auxiliary metabolic genes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis and sugar metabolism. Massive protein profile analysis confirmed that these viruses represented novel viral groups not present in databases. Although they were not previously assembled by viromics, global fragment recruitment analysis showed a conserved profile of relative abundance of these viruses in all analyzed samples spanning different oceans. Altogether, these results reveal the feasibility in using SVGs in this vast environment to unveil the genomes of relevant viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section General Virology)
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20 pages, 8691 KiB  
Article
Network Pharmacology and Molecular Docking Elucidate the Underlying Pharmacological Mechanisms of the Herb Houttuynia cordata in Treating Pneumonia Caused by SARS-CoV-2
by Junying Liu, Shouli Yuan, Yao Yao, Jinfan Wang, Gaia Scalabrino, Shibo Jiang and Helen Sheridan
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071588 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3522
Abstract
Used in Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Thailand, Houttuynia cordata Thumb (H. cordata; Saururaceae, HC) is a traditional herbal medicine that possesses favorable antiviral properties. As a potent folk therapy used to treat pulmonary infections, further research is required to [...] Read more.
Used in Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Thailand, Houttuynia cordata Thumb (H. cordata; Saururaceae, HC) is a traditional herbal medicine that possesses favorable antiviral properties. As a potent folk therapy used to treat pulmonary infections, further research is required to fully elucidate the mechanisms of its pharmacological activities and explore its therapeutic potential for treating pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. This study explores the pharmacological mechanism of HC on pneumonia using a network pharmacological approach combined with reprocessing expression profiling by high-throughput sequencing to demonstrate the therapeutic mechanisms of HC for treating pneumonia at a systemic level. The integration of these analyses suggested that target factors are involved in four signaling pathways, including PI3K-Akt, Jak-STAT, MAPK, and NF-kB. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation were applied to verify these results, indicating a stable combination between four metabolites (Afzelin, Apigenin, Kaempferol, Quercetin) and six targets (DPP4, ELANE, HSP90AA1, IL6, MAPK1, SERPINE1). These natural metabolites have also been reported to bind with ACE2 and 3CLpro of SARS-CoV-2, respectively. The data suggest that HC exerts collective therapeutic effects against pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 and provides a theoretical basis for further study of the active drug-like ingredients and mechanism of HC in treating pneumonia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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16 pages, 2618 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the HIV-1 Polymerase Gene Sequence Diversity for Prediction of Recent HIV-1 Infections Using Shannon Entropy Analysis
by Paballo Nkone, Shayne Loubser, Thomas C. Quinn, Andrew D. Redd, Oliver Laeyendecker, Caroline T. Tiemessen and Simnikiwe H. Mayaphi
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071587 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1557
Abstract
HIV-1 incidence is an important parameter for assessing the impact of HIV-1 interventions. The aim of this study was to evaluate HIV-1 polymerase (pol) gene sequence diversity for the prediction of recent HIV-1 infections. Complete pol Sanger sequences obtained from 45 [...] Read more.
HIV-1 incidence is an important parameter for assessing the impact of HIV-1 interventions. The aim of this study was to evaluate HIV-1 polymerase (pol) gene sequence diversity for the prediction of recent HIV-1 infections. Complete pol Sanger sequences obtained from 45 participants confirmed to have recent or chronic HIV-1 infection were used. Shannon entropy was calculated for amino acid (aa) sequences for the entire pol and for sliding windows consisting of 50 aa each. Entropy scores for the complete HIV-1 pol were significantly higher in chronic compared to recent HIV-1 infections (p < 0.0001) and the same pattern was observed for some sliding windows (p-values ranging from 0.011 to <0.001), leading to the identification of some aa mutations that could discriminate between recent and chronic infection. Different aa mutation groups were assessed for predicting recent infection and their performance ranged from 64.3% to 100% but had a high false recency rate (FRR), which was decreased to 19.4% when another amino acid mutation (M456) was included in the analysis. The pol-based molecular method identified in this study would not be ideal for use on its own due to high FRR; however, this method could be considered for complementing existing serological assays to further reduce FRR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Virology Research in South Africa)
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2 pages, 161 KiB  
Editorial
Manipulation of the Host Cytoskeleton by Viruses: Insights and Mechanisms
by Dahee Seo and Don B. Gammon
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071586 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
The eukaryotic cytoskeleton comprises a network of actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments that not only provide mechanical support to maintain cell morphology but also serve many other critical roles in cell motility, division, and intracellular transport of cargo such as vesicles and organelles [...] Read more.
The eukaryotic cytoskeleton comprises a network of actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments that not only provide mechanical support to maintain cell morphology but also serve many other critical roles in cell motility, division, and intracellular transport of cargo such as vesicles and organelles [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Manipulation of Host Cytoskeletal Networks)
13 pages, 2579 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Interaction between Viral PB2 and Host SphK1 on H9N2 AIV Replication in Mammals
by Yong Zhou, Weihua Gao, Yan Sun, Yuxin Guo, Yuping Wu and Juan Pu
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071585 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2596
Abstract
The H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) is currently widespread worldwide, posing a severe threat to the poultry industry and public health. Reassortment is an important way for influenza viruses to adapt to a new host. In 2007, the PB2 gene of H9N2 AIV [...] Read more.
The H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) is currently widespread worldwide, posing a severe threat to the poultry industry and public health. Reassortment is an important way for influenza viruses to adapt to a new host. In 2007, the PB2 gene of H9N2 AIV in China was reassorted, and the DK1-like lineage replaced the F/98-like lineage, forming a dominant genotype of G57. This genotype and its reassortants (such as H7N9, H10N8 and H5N6) showed higher mammalian adaptation, and caused increased human infections. However, the adaptive mechanisms of the DK1-like lineage PB2 gene remain unclear. Here, we confirmed that the PB2 lineage of the H9N2 AIV currently prevalent in China still belongs to the DK1-like lineage and, compared with the previously predominant F/98-like lineage, the DK1-like lineage PB2 gene significantly enhances H9N2 AIV to mammalian adaptation. Through transcriptomic analysis and qRT–PCR and western blot experiments, we identified a host factor, sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1), that is closely related to viral replication. SphK1 inhibits the replication of DK1-like PB2 gene H9N2 AIV, but the ability of SphK1 protein to bind DK1-like PB2 protein is weaker than that of F/98-like PB2 protein, which may contribute to H9N2 AIV containing the DK1-like PB2 gene to escape the inhibitory effect of host factor SphK1 for efficient infection. This study broadens our understanding of the adaptive evolution of H9N2 AIV and highlights the necessity to pay close attention to the AIV that contains the adaptive PB2 protein in animals and humans. Full article
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16 pages, 1810 KiB  
Article
Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi Increases the Replication and Dissemination of Coinfecting Powassan Virus in Ixodes scapularis Ticks
by Charles E. Hart, Frank A. Middleton and Saravanan Thangamani
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071584 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
Powassan virus (POWV) is a tick-borne neuroinvasive flavivirus endemic to North America. It is generally transmitted by the tick, Ixodes scapularis. This species also transmits Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Infection with B. burgdorferi can result in arthritis, [...] Read more.
Powassan virus (POWV) is a tick-borne neuroinvasive flavivirus endemic to North America. It is generally transmitted by the tick, Ixodes scapularis. This species also transmits Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Infection with B. burgdorferi can result in arthritis, carditis, and neuroborreliosis. These pathogens experience sylvatic overlap. To determine the risk of human exposure to coinfected ticks, the interactions between POWV and B. burgdorferi are assessed in laboratory-infected I. scapularis. Adult male and female I. scapularis ticks are orally inoculated with either both pathogens, POWV only, B. burgdorferi only, or uninfected media. After twenty-one days, the ticks are dissected, and RNA is extracted from their midguts and salivary glands. In infected midguts, the quantity of POWV in coinfected ticks was elevated compared to those with only POWV. In addition, the salivary glands of ticks with infected midguts had increased POWV dissemination to those with only POWV. RNA sequencing is performed to identify the potential mechanism for this pattern, which varies between the organs. Ixodes scapularis ticks are found to be capable of harboring both POWV and B. burgdorferi with a benefit to POWV replication and dissemination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Vector Interactions)
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9 pages, 1264 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Induces Enhanced Mucosal Interferon Response Compared to other Variants of Concern, Associated with Restricted Replication in Human Lung Tissues
by Or Alfi, Marah Hamdan, Ori Wald, Arkadi Yakirevitch, Ori Wandel, Esther Oiknine-Djian, Ben Gvili, Hadas Knoller, Noa Rozendorn, Hadar Golan Berman, Sheera Adar, Olesya Vorontsov, Michal Mandelboim, Zichria Zakay-Rones, Menachem Oberbaum, Amos Panet and Dana G. Wolf
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071583 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2134
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has been characterized by decreased clinical severity, raising the question of whether early variant-specific interactions within the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory tract could mediate its attenuated pathogenicity. Here, we employed ex vivo infection of native human nasal and lung [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has been characterized by decreased clinical severity, raising the question of whether early variant-specific interactions within the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory tract could mediate its attenuated pathogenicity. Here, we employed ex vivo infection of native human nasal and lung tissues to investigate the local-mucosal susceptibility and innate immune response to Omicron compared to Delta and earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC). We show that the replication of Omicron in lung tissues is highly restricted compared to other VOC, whereas it remains relatively unchanged in nasal tissues. Mechanistically, Omicron induced a much stronger antiviral interferon response in infected tissues compared to Delta and earlier VOC-a difference, which was most striking in the lung tissues, where the innate immune response to all other SARS-CoV-2 VOC was blunted. Notably, blocking the innate immune signaling restored Omicron replication in the lung tissues. Our data provide new insights to the reduced lung involvement and clinical severity of Omicron. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses)
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18 pages, 4243 KiB  
Article
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of CMV or 2b-Deficient CMV-Infected dcl2dcl4 Reveals the Effects of Viral Infection on Symptom Induction in Arabidopsis thaliana
by Qian Xu, Li Shen, Liying Jin, Meng Wang, Fenghan Chang and Zhongxin Guo
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071582 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1781
Abstract
Due to the impaired antiviral RNAi, the dcl2dcl4 (dcl2/4) mutant is highly susceptible to viruses deficient of the viral suppressor of the RNA silencing (VSR) contrast to wild-type Arabidopsis. It was found that more severe disease symptoms were induced in dcl2/4 [...] Read more.
Due to the impaired antiviral RNAi, the dcl2dcl4 (dcl2/4) mutant is highly susceptible to viruses deficient of the viral suppressor of the RNA silencing (VSR) contrast to wild-type Arabidopsis. It was found that more severe disease symptoms were induced in dcl2/4 infected with VSR-deficient CMV (CMV-Δ2b or CMV-2aTΔ2b) compared to wild-type Arabidopsis infected with intact CMV. In order to investigate the underlying mechanism, comparative transcriptome analysis was performed with Col-0 and dcl2/4 that were infected by CMV, CMV-Δ2b and CMV-2aTΔ2b, respectively. Our analysis showed that the systematic infection of CMV, CMV-Δ2b and CMV-2aTΔ2b could cause hypoxia response and reduce photosynthesis. Asymptomatic infections of CMV-Δ2b or CMV-2aTΔ2b in Columbia (Col-0) promoted the expression of cell division-related genes and suppressed the transcription of metabolism and acquired resistance genes. On the other hand, immunity and resistance genes were highly induced, but photosynthesis and polysaccharide metabolism-related genes were suppressed in diseased plants. More interestingly, cell wall reorganization was specifically caused in modestly diseased Col-0 infected by CMV and a strong activation of SA signaling were correspondingly induced in severely diseased dcl2/4 by CMV or CMV mutants. Thus, our research revealed the nature of the Arabidopsis–CMV interaction at the transcriptome level and could provide new clues in symptom development and antiviral defense in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Sequencing in Plant Virology)
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17 pages, 1609 KiB  
Article
Implications of the Actin Cytoskeleton on the Multi-Step Process of [PSI+] Prion Formation
by Jane E. Dorweiler, Douglas R. Lyke, Nathan P. Lemoine, Samantha Guereca, Hannah E. Buchholz, Emily R. Legan, Claire M. Radtke and Anita L. Manogaran
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071581 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1709
Abstract
Yeast prions are self-perpetuating misfolded proteins that are infectious. In yeast, [PSI+] is the prion form of the Sup35 protein. While the study of [PSI+] has revealed important cellular mechanisms that contribute to prion propagation, the underlying [...] Read more.
Yeast prions are self-perpetuating misfolded proteins that are infectious. In yeast, [PSI+] is the prion form of the Sup35 protein. While the study of [PSI+] has revealed important cellular mechanisms that contribute to prion propagation, the underlying cellular factors that influence prion formation are not well understood. Prion formation has been described as a multi-step process involving both the initial nucleation and growth of aggregates, followed by the subsequent transmission of prion particles to daughter cells. Prior evidence suggests that actin plays a role in this multi-step process, but actin’s precise role is unclear. Here, we investigate how actin influences the cell’s ability to manage newly formed visible aggregates and how actin influences the transmission of newly formed aggregates to future generations. At early steps, using 3D time-lapse microscopy, several actin mutants, and Markov modeling, we find that the movement of newly formed aggregates is random and actin independent. At later steps, our prion induction studies provide evidence that the transmission of newly formed prion particles to daughter cells is limited by the actin cytoskeletal network. We suspect that this limitation is because actin is used to possibly retain prion particles in the mother cell. Full article
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20 pages, 4230 KiB  
Article
Histopathological and Immunological Findings in the Common Marmoset Following Exposure to Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2
by Rachel E. Ireland, Carwyn D. Davies, Emma Keyser, James S. F. Findlay, Lin Eastaugh, Thomas R. Laws, Francisco J. Salguero, Laura Hunter and Michelle Nelson
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071580 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
There is an enduring requirement to develop animal models of COVID-19 to assess the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics that can be used to treat the disease in humans. In this study, six marmosets were exposed to a small particle aerosol (1–3 µm) [...] Read more.
There is an enduring requirement to develop animal models of COVID-19 to assess the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics that can be used to treat the disease in humans. In this study, six marmosets were exposed to a small particle aerosol (1–3 µm) of SARS-CoV-2 VIC01 that delivered the virus directly to the lower respiratory tract. Following the challenge, marmosets did not develop clinical signs, although a disruption to the normal diurnal temperature rhythm was observed in three out of six animals. Early weight loss and changes to respiratory pattern and activity were also observed, yet there was limited evidence of viral replication or lung pathology associated with infection. There was a robust innate immunological response to infection, which included an early increase in circulating neutrophils and monocytes and a reduction in the proportion of circulating T-cells. Expression of the ACE2 receptor in respiratory tissues was almost absent, but there was ubiquitous expression of TMPRSS2. The results of this study indicate that exposure of marmosets to high concentrations of aerosolised SARS-CoV-2 did not result in the development of clear, reproducible signs of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 and Animal Models)
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12 pages, 1800 KiB  
Case Report
Identification of a Virulent Newcastle Disease Virus Strain Isolated from Pigeons (Columbia livia) in Northeastern Brazil Using Next-Generation Genome Sequencing
by Mylena Ribeiro Pereira, Lais Ceschini Machado, Rodrigo Dias de Oliveira Carvalho, Thaise Yasmine Vasconcelos de Lima Cavalcanti, Givaldo Bom da Silva Filho, Telma de Sousa Lima, Silvio Miguel Castillo Fonseca, Francisco de Assis Leite Souza, Gabriel da Luz Wallau, Fábio de Souza Mendonça and Rafael Freitas de Oliveira Franca
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071579 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3882
Abstract
Newcastle disease virus (NDV), also known as avian paramyxoviruses 1 (APMV-1) is among the most important viruses infecting avian species. Given its widespread circulation, there is a high risk for the reintroduction of virulent strains into the domestic poultry industry, making the surveillance [...] Read more.
Newcastle disease virus (NDV), also known as avian paramyxoviruses 1 (APMV-1) is among the most important viruses infecting avian species. Given its widespread circulation, there is a high risk for the reintroduction of virulent strains into the domestic poultry industry, making the surveillance of wild and domestic birds a crucial process to appropriately respond to novel outbreaks. In the present study, we investigated an outbreak characterized by the identification of sick pigeons in a large municipality in Northeastern Brazil in 2018. The affected pigeons presented neurological signs, including motor incoordination, torticollis, and lethargy. Moribund birds were collected, and through a detailed histopathological analysis we identified severe lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalitis with perivascular cuffs and gliosis in the central nervous system, and lymphoplasmacytic inflammation in the liver, kidney, and intestine. A total of five pigeons tested positive for NDV, as assessed by rRT-PCR targeted to the M gene. Laboratory virus isolation on Vero E6 cells confirmed infection, after the recovery of infectious NVD from brain and kidney tissues. We next characterized the isolated NDV/pigeon/PE-Brazil/MP003/2018 by next-generation sequencing (NGS). Phylogenetic analysis grouped the virus with other NDV class II isolates from subgenotype VI.2.1.2, including two previous NDV isolates from Brazil in 2014 and 2019. The diversity of aminoacid residues at the fusion F protein cleavage site was analyzed identifying the motif RRQKR↓F, typical of virulent strains. Our results all highlight the importance of virus surveillance in wild and domestic birds, especially given the risk of zoonotic NDV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newcastle Disease Virus and Other Avian Paramyxoviruses)
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12 pages, 4005 KiB  
Article
Transmission of Raccoon-Passaged Chronic Wasting Disease Agent to White-Tailed Deer
by Eric D. Cassmann, Alexis J. Frese, S. Jo Moore and Justin J. Greenlee
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071578 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
The transmission characteristics of prion diseases are influenced by host prion protein sequence and, therefore, the host species. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease of cervids, has widespread geographical distribution throughout North America and occurs in both wild and farmed populations. CWD [...] Read more.
The transmission characteristics of prion diseases are influenced by host prion protein sequence and, therefore, the host species. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease of cervids, has widespread geographical distribution throughout North America and occurs in both wild and farmed populations. CWD prions contaminate the environment through scattered excrement and decomposing carcasses. Fresh carcasses with CWD prions are accessible by free-ranging mesopredators such as raccoons and may provide a route of exposure. Previous studies demonstrated the susceptibility of raccoons to CWD from white-tailed deer. In this study, we demonstrate that white-tailed deer replicate raccoon-passaged CWD prions which results in clinical disease similar to intraspecies CWD transmission. Six white-tailed deer were oronasally inoculated with brain homogenate from a raccoon with CWD. All six deer developed clinical disease, had widespread lymphoid distribution of misfolded CWD prions (PrPSc), and had neuropathologic lesions with PrPSc accumulation in the brain. The presence of PrPSc was confirmed by immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunoassay, and western blot. The western blot migration pattern of raccoon-passaged CWD was different from white-tailed deer CWD. Transmission of raccoon CWD back to white-tailed deer resulted in an interposed molecular phenotype that was measurably different from white-tailed deer CWD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of the Chronic Wasting Disease Epizootic)
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26 pages, 2388 KiB  
Review
Epidemiology of Mosquito-Borne Viruses in Egypt: A Systematic Review
by Yuan Fang, Emad I. M. Khater, Jing-Bo Xue, Enas H. S. Ghallab, Yuan-Yuan Li, Tian-Ge Jiang and Shi-Zhu Li
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1577; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071577 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2853
Abstract
There are at least five common mosquito-borne viruses (MBVs) recorded in Egypt, including dengue virus (DENV), Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), West Nile virus (WNV), Chikungunya virus, and Sindbis virus. Unexpected outbreaks caused by MBVs reflect the deficiencies of the MBV surveillance system [...] Read more.
There are at least five common mosquito-borne viruses (MBVs) recorded in Egypt, including dengue virus (DENV), Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), West Nile virus (WNV), Chikungunya virus, and Sindbis virus. Unexpected outbreaks caused by MBVs reflect the deficiencies of the MBV surveillance system in Egypt. This systematic review characterized the epidemiology of MBV prevalence in Egypt. Human, animal, and vector prevalence studies on MBVs in Egypt were retrieved from Web of Science, PubMed, and Bing Scholar, and 33 eligible studies were included for further analyses. The monophyletic characterization of the RVFV and WNV strains found in Egypt, which spans about half a century, suggests that both RVFV and WNV are widely transmitted in this nation. Moreover, the seropositive rates of DENV and WNV in hosts were on the rise in recent years, and spillover events of DENV and WNV to other countries from Egypt have been recorded. The common drawback for surveillance of MBVs in Egypt is the lack of seroprevalence studies on MBVs, especially in this century. It is necessary to evaluate endemic transmission risk, establish an early warning system for MBVs, and develop a sound joint system for medical care and public health for managing MBVs in Egypt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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17 pages, 3397 KiB  
Article
EpiRegress: A Method to Estimate and Predict the Time-Varying Effective Reproduction Number
by Shihui Jin, Borame Lee Dickens, Jue Tao Lim and Alex R. Cook
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071576 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
The time-varying reproduction (Rt) provides a real-time estimate of pathogen transmissibility and may be influenced by exogenous factors such as mobility and mitigation measures which are not directly related to epidemiology parameters and observations. Meanwhile, evaluating the impacts of these [...] Read more.
The time-varying reproduction (Rt) provides a real-time estimate of pathogen transmissibility and may be influenced by exogenous factors such as mobility and mitigation measures which are not directly related to epidemiology parameters and observations. Meanwhile, evaluating the impacts of these factors is vital for policy makers to propose and adjust containment strategies. Here, we developed a Bayesian regression framework, EpiRegress, to provide Rt estimates and assess impacts of diverse factors on virus transmission, utilising daily case counts, mobility, and policy data. To demonstrate the method’s utility, we used simulations as well as data in four regions from the Western Pacific with periods of low COVID-19 incidence, namely: New South Wales, Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; and Taiwan, China. We found that imported cases had a limited contribution on the overall epidemic dynamics but may degrade the quality of the Rt estimate if not explicitly accounted for. We additionally demonstrated EpiRegress’s capability in nowcasting disease transmissibility before contemporaneous cases diagnosis. The approach was proved flexible enough to respond to periods of atypical local transmission during epidemic lulls and to periods of mass community transmission. Furthermore, in epidemics where travel restrictions are present, it is able to distinguish the influence of imported cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Transmission Dynamics)
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11 pages, 1108 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Specific Immune Response and Inflammatory Profile in Advanced HIV-Infected Persons during a COVID-19 Outbreak
by Alessandra Vergori, Antonio Boschini, Stefania Notari, Patrizia Lorenzini, Concetta Castilletti, Francesca Colavita, Giulia Matusali, Eleonora Tartaglia, Roberta Gagliardini, Andrea Boschi, Eleonora Cimini, Markus Maeurer, Pierluca Piselli, Leila Angeli, Andrea Antinori, Chiara Agrati and Enrico Girardi
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071575 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
The main aim of this study was to describe the clinical and immunological outcomes, as well as the inflammatory profile, of patients with advanced HIV in an assisted-living facility in which an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 occurred. SARS-CoV-2 humoral and specific T-cell response were [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study was to describe the clinical and immunological outcomes, as well as the inflammatory profile, of patients with advanced HIV in an assisted-living facility in which an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 occurred. SARS-CoV-2 humoral and specific T-cell response were analyzed in patients with HIV infection and COVID-19; as a secondary objective of the analysis, levels of the inflammatory markers (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα) were tested in the HIV/COVID-19 group, in HIV-positive patients without COVID-19, and in HIV-negative patients with mild/moderate COVID-19. Antibody kinetics and ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated by ELISA assay, as well as the inflammatory cytokines; SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell response was quantified by ELISpot assay. Mann–Whitney or Kruskal–Wallis tests were used for comparisons. Thirty patients were included with the following demographics: age, 57 years old (IQR, 53–62); 76% male; median HIV duration of infection, 18 years (15–29); nadir of CD4, 57/mmc (23–100) current CD4 count, 348/mmc (186–565). Furthermore, 83% had at least one comorbidity. The severity of COVID-19 was mild/moderate, and the overall mortality rate was 10% (3/30). Additionally, 90% of patients showed positive antibody titers and neutralizing activity, with a 100% positive SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell response over time, suggesting the ability to induce an effective specific immunity. Significantly higher levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α in COVID-19 without HIV vs. HIV/COVID-19 patients (p < 0.05) were observed. HIV infection did not seem to negatively impact COVID-19-related inflammatory state and immunity. Further data are mandatory to evaluate the persistence of these immunity and its ability to expand after exposure and/or vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV and Co-infections: Updates and Insights)
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13 pages, 3770 KiB  
Article
Is the Glycoprotein Responsible for the Differences in Dispersal Rates between Lettuce Necrotic Yellows Virus Subgroups?
by Eko Y. Prabowo, Gardette R. Valmonte-Cortes, Toni Louise Darling, Elizabeth Buckley, Mark Duxbury, Brent Seale and Colleen M. Higgins
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071574 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1902
Abstract
Lettuce necrotic yellows virus is a type of species in the Cytorhabdovirus genus and appears to be endemic to Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ). The population of lettuce necrotic yellows virus (LNYV) is made up of two subgroups, SI and SII. Previous [...] Read more.
Lettuce necrotic yellows virus is a type of species in the Cytorhabdovirus genus and appears to be endemic to Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ). The population of lettuce necrotic yellows virus (LNYV) is made up of two subgroups, SI and SII. Previous studies demonstrated that SII appears to be outcompeting SI and suggested that SII may have greater vector transmission efficiency and/or higher replication rate in its host plant or insect vector. Rhabdovirus glycoproteins are important for virus–insect interactions. Here, we present an analysis of LNYV glycoprotein sequences to identify key features and variations that may cause SII to interact with its aphid vector with greater efficiency than SI. Phylogenetic analysis of glycoprotein sequences from NZ isolates confirmed the existence of two subgroups within the NZ LNYV population, while predicted 3D structures revealed the LNYV glycoproteins have domain architectures similar to Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV). Importantly, changing amino acids at positions 244 and 247 of the post-fusion form of the LNYV glycoprotein altered the predicted structure of Domain III, glycosylation at N248 and the overall stability of the protein. These data support the glycoprotein as having a role in the population differences of LNYV observed between Australia and New Zealand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Plant Virus Research in Australasia)
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11 pages, 658 KiB  
Review
Kathryn V. Holmes: A Career of Contributions to the Coronavirus Field
by Aurelio Bonavia, Samuel R. Dominguez, Gabriela Dveksler, Sara Gagneten, Megan Howard, Scott Jeffers, Zhaohui Qian, Mary Kathryn Smith, Larissa B. Thackray, Dina B. Tresnan, David E. Wentworth, David R. Wessner, Richard K. Williams and Tanya A. Miura
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1573; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071573 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2547
Abstract
Over the past two years, scientific research has moved at an unprecedented rate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid development of effective vaccines and therapeutics would not have been possible without extensive background knowledge on coronaviruses developed over decades by researchers, [...] Read more.
Over the past two years, scientific research has moved at an unprecedented rate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid development of effective vaccines and therapeutics would not have been possible without extensive background knowledge on coronaviruses developed over decades by researchers, including Kathryn (Kay) Holmes. Kay’s research team discovered the first coronavirus receptors for mouse hepatitis virus and human coronavirus 229E and contributed a wealth of information on coronaviral spike glycoproteins and receptor interactions that are critical determinants of host and tissue specificity. She collaborated with several research laboratories to contribute knowledge in additional areas, including coronaviral pathogenesis, epidemiology, and evolution. Throughout her career, Kay was an extremely dedicated and thoughtful mentor to numerous graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. This article provides a review of her contributions to the coronavirus field and her exemplary mentoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Virology)
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19 pages, 5420 KiB  
Article
A Reverse Mutation E143K within the PrM Protein of Zika Virus Asian Lineage Natal RGN Strain Increases Infectivity and Cytopathicity
by Chen-Sheng Lin, Wei-Jing Li, Chih-Yi Liao, Ju-Ying Kan, Szu-Hao Kung, Su-Hua Huang, Hsueh-Chou Lai and Cheng-Wen Lin
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071572 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus in the Flaviviridae, which is classified into two different lineages Asian and African. The outbreak of ZIKV Asian lineage isolates in 2015–2016 is associated with the increase in cases with prenatal microcephaly and Guillain–Barré [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus in the Flaviviridae, which is classified into two different lineages Asian and African. The outbreak of ZIKV Asian lineage isolates in 2015–2016 is associated with the increase in cases with prenatal microcephaly and Guillain–Barré syndrome, and has sparked attention throughout the world. Genome sequence alignment and the analysis of Asian and African lineage isolates indicate that amino acid changes, particular in positively charged amino acid substitutions in the pr region of prM protein might involve a phenotypic change that links with the global outbreak of ZIKV Asian-lineage. The study generated and characterized the virological properties of wild type and mutants of single-round infectious particles (SRIPs) and infectious clones (i.c.s) of ZIKV Asian-lineage Natal RGN strain, and then identified the function of amino acid substitutions at the positions 139 [Asn139→Ser139 (N139S)] and 143 [Glu143→Lys143 (E143K)] in ZIKV polyproteins (located within the pr region of prM protein) in the infectivity and cytopathogenicity. The E143K SRIP and i.c. of Natal RGN strain exhibited relatively higher levels of cytopathic effect, EGFP reporter, viral RNA and protein synthesis, and virus yield in three types of human cell lines, TE617, SF268 and HMC3, compared to wild type (WT), N139S SRIPs and i.c.s, which displayed more efficiency in replication kinetics. Additionally, E143K Natal RGN i.c. had greater activities of virus attachment and entry, yielded higher titers of intracellular and extracellular virions, and assembled the E proteins near to the plasma membrane in infected cells than the other i.c.s. The results indicate that the positively charged amino acid residue Lys143, a conserved residue in the pr region of prM of ZIKV African lineages, plays a crucial role in viral replication kinetics, including viral attachment, entry, assembly and egress. Thus, the negatively charged amino acid residue Glu143 within the pr region of prM leads to an alteration of the phenotypes, in particular, a lower replication efficiency of ZIKV Asian-lineage isolates with the attenuation of infectivity and cytopathicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virology Research in Taiwan)
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12 pages, 4475 KiB  
Article
Off-Target Effect of Activation of NF-κB by HIV Latency Reversal Agents on Transposable Elements Expression
by Gislaine Curty, Luis P. Iniguez, Marcelo A. Soares, Douglas F. Nixon and Miguel de Mulder Rougvie
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071571 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Many drugs have been evaluated to reactivate HIV-1 from cellular reservoirs, but the off-target effects of these latency reversal agents (LRA) remain poorly defined. Transposable elements (TEs) are reactivated during HIV-1 infection, but studies of potential off-target drug effects on TE expression have [...] Read more.
Many drugs have been evaluated to reactivate HIV-1 from cellular reservoirs, but the off-target effects of these latency reversal agents (LRA) remain poorly defined. Transposable elements (TEs) are reactivated during HIV-1 infection, but studies of potential off-target drug effects on TE expression have been limited. We analyzed the differential expression of TEs induced by canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling. We evaluated the effect of PKC agonists (Bryostatin and Ingenol B) on the expression of TEs in memory CD4+ T cells. Ingenol B induced 38 differentially expressed TEs (17 HERV (45%) and 21 L1 (55%)). Interestingly, TE expression in effector memory CD4+ T cells was more affected by Bryostatin compared to other memory T-cell subsets, with 121 (107 upregulated and 14 downregulated) differentially expressed (DE) TEs. Of these, 31% (n = 37) were HERVs, and 69% (n = 84) were LINE-1 (L1). AZD5582 induced 753 DE TEs (406 HERV (54%) and 347 L1 (46%)). Together, our findings show that canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling activation leads to retroelement expressions as an off-target effect. Furthermore, our data highlights the importance of exploring the interaction between LRAs and the expression of retroelements in the context of HIV-1 eradication strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endogenous Retroviruses)
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19 pages, 2793 KiB  
Article
Omicron BA.1 Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Spike Lead to Reduced T-Cell Response in Vaccinated and Convalescent Individuals
by Maarten E. Emmelot, Martijn Vos, Mardi C. Boer, Nynke Y. Rots, Jelle de Wit, Cécile A. C. M. van Els and Patricia Kaaijk
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071570 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3877
Abstract
Omicron BA.1 variant can readily infect people with vaccine-induced or naturally acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity facilitated by escape from neutralizing antibodies. In contrast, T-cell reactivity against the Omicron BA.1 variant seems relatively well preserved. Here, we studied the preexisting T cells elicited by either [...] Read more.
Omicron BA.1 variant can readily infect people with vaccine-induced or naturally acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity facilitated by escape from neutralizing antibodies. In contrast, T-cell reactivity against the Omicron BA.1 variant seems relatively well preserved. Here, we studied the preexisting T cells elicited by either vaccination with the mRNA-based BNT162b2 vaccine or by natural infection with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 for their cross-reactive potential to 20 selected CD4+ T-cell epitopes of spike-protein-harboring Omicron BA.1 mutations. Although the overall memory CD4+ T-cell responses primed by the ancestral spike protein was still preserved generally, we show here that there is also a clear loss of memory CD4+ T-cell cross-reactivity to immunodominant epitopes across the spike protein due to Omicron BA.1 mutations. Complete or partial loss of preexisting T-cell responsiveness was observed against 60% of 20 nonconserved CD4+ T-cell epitopes predicted to be presented by a broad set of common HLA class II alleles. Monitoring such mutations in circulating strains helps predict which virus variants may escape previously induced cellular immunity and could be of concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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18 pages, 4041 KiB  
Article
Genetic Adaptation by Dengue Virus Serotype 2 to Enhance Infection of Aedes aegypti Mosquito Midguts
by Steven M. Erb, Siritorn Butrapet, John T. Roehrig, Claire Y.-H. Huang and Carol D. Blair
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071569 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
Dengue viruses (DENVs), serotypes 1–4, are arthropod-borne viruses transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti. The transmission cycle begins when Ae. aegypti ingest blood from a viremic human and the virus infects midgut epithelial cells. In studying viruses derived from the DENV2 [...] Read more.
Dengue viruses (DENVs), serotypes 1–4, are arthropod-borne viruses transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti. The transmission cycle begins when Ae. aegypti ingest blood from a viremic human and the virus infects midgut epithelial cells. In studying viruses derived from the DENV2 infectious clone 30P-NBX, we found that when the virus was delivered to female Ae. aegypti in an infectious blood meal, the midgut infection rate (MIR) was very low. To determine if adaptive mutations in the DENV2 envelope (E) glycoprotein could be induced to increase the MIR, we serially passed 30P-NBX in Ae. aegypti midguts. After four passages, a single, non-conservative mutation in E protein domain II (DII) nucleotide position 1300 became dominant, resulting in replacement of positively-charged amino acid lysine (K) at position 122 with negatively-charged glutamic acid (E; K122E) and a significantly-enhanced MIR. Site directed mutagenesis experiments showed that reducing the positive charge of this surface-exposed region of the E protein DII correlated with improved Ae. aegypti midgut infection. Full article
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16 pages, 5812 KiB  
Article
Largemouth Bass Virus Infection Induced Non-Apoptotic Cell Death in MsF Cells
by Jiahui Yang, Weihua Xu, Wenji Wang, Zanbin Pan, Qiwei Qin, Xiaohong Huang and Youhua Huang
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071568 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2265
Abstract
Largemouth bass virus (LMBV), belonging to the genus Ranavirus, causes high mortality and heavy economic losses in largemouth bass aquaculture. In the present study, a novel cell line, designated as MsF, was established from the fin of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides [...] Read more.
Largemouth bass virus (LMBV), belonging to the genus Ranavirus, causes high mortality and heavy economic losses in largemouth bass aquaculture. In the present study, a novel cell line, designated as MsF, was established from the fin of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), and applied to investigate the characteristics of cell death induced by LMBV. MsF cells showed susceptibility to LMBV, evidenced by the occurrence of a cytopathic effect (CPE), increased viral gene transcription, protein synthesis, and viral titers. In LMBV-infected MsF cells, two or more virus assembly sites were observed around the nucleus. Notably, no apoptotic bodies occurred in LMBV-infected MsF cells after nucleus staining, suggesting that cell death induced by LMBV in host cells was distinct from apoptosis. Consistently, DNA fragmentation was not detected in LMBV-infected MsF cells. Furthermore, only caspase-8 and caspase-3 were significantly activated in LMBV-infected MsF cells, suggesting that caspases were involved in non-apoptotic cell death induced by LMBV in host cells. In addition, the disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation were detected in both LMBV-infected MsF cells and fathead minnow (FHM) cells. Combined with our previous study, we propose that cell death induced by LMBV infection was cell type dependent. Although LMBV-infected MsF cells showed the characteristics of non-apoptotic cell death, the signal pathways might crosstalk and interconnect between apoptosis and other PCD during LMBV infection. Together, our results not only established the in vitro LMBV infection model for the study of the interaction between LMBV and host cells but also shed new insights into the mechanisms of ranavirus pathogenesis. Full article
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31 pages, 8617 KiB  
Article
A Novel Framework for Modeling Person-to-Person Transmission of Respiratory Diseases
by Jason Rodriguez, Owen Price, Rachel Jennings, Amy Creel, Sarah Eaton, Jennifer Chesnutt, Gene McClellan and Sweta R. Batni
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071567 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2031
Abstract
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers assessed the impact of the disease in terms of loss of life, medical load, economic damage, and other key metrics of resiliency and consequence mitigation; these studies sought to parametrize the critical components of a [...] Read more.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers assessed the impact of the disease in terms of loss of life, medical load, economic damage, and other key metrics of resiliency and consequence mitigation; these studies sought to parametrize the critical components of a disease transmission model and the resulting analyses were informative but often lacked critical parameters or a discussion of parameter sensitivities. Using SARS-CoV-2 as a case study, we present a robust modeling framework that considers disease transmissibility from the source through transport and dispersion and infectivity. The framework is designed to work across a range of particle sizes and estimate the generation rate, environmental fate, deposited dose, and infection, allowing for end-to-end analysis that can be transitioned to individual and population health models. In this paper, we perform sensitivity analysis on the model framework to demonstrate how it can be used to advance and prioritize research efforts by highlighting critical parameters for further analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol Transmission of Viral Disease)
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29 pages, 2223 KiB  
Review
Hemagglutinin Subtype Specificity and Mechanisms of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Genesis
by Anja C. M. de Bruin, Mathis Funk, Monique I. Spronken, Alexander P. Gultyaev, Ron A. M. Fouchier and Mathilde Richard
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071566 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4470
Abstract
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses (HPAIVs) arise from low pathogenic precursors following spillover from wild waterfowl into poultry populations. The main virulence determinant of HPAIVs is the presence of a multi-basic cleavage site (MBCS) in the hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein. The MBCS allows for [...] Read more.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses (HPAIVs) arise from low pathogenic precursors following spillover from wild waterfowl into poultry populations. The main virulence determinant of HPAIVs is the presence of a multi-basic cleavage site (MBCS) in the hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein. The MBCS allows for HA cleavage and, consequently, activation by ubiquitous proteases, which results in systemic dissemination in terrestrial poultry. Since 1959, 51 independent MBCS acquisition events have been documented, virtually all in HA from the H5 and H7 subtypes. In the present article, data from natural LPAIV to HPAIV conversions and experimental in vitro and in vivo studies were reviewed in order to compile recent advances in understanding HA cleavage efficiency, protease usage, and MBCS acquisition mechanisms. Finally, recent hypotheses that might explain the unique predisposition of the H5 and H7 HA sequences to obtain an MBCS in nature are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Emergence)
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16 pages, 1850 KiB  
Article
Predictive Models of within- and between-Species SARS-CoV-2 Transmissibility
by Ricardo Soares, Cristina P. Vieira and Jorge Vieira
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071565 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2031
Abstract
Viruses from the Coronaviridae family have been reported to infect a large range of hosts, including humans. The latest human-infecting coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, turned into a pandemic and subtypes with different transmissibility have appeared since then. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein interacts with the [...] Read more.
Viruses from the Coronaviridae family have been reported to infect a large range of hosts, including humans. The latest human-infecting coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, turned into a pandemic and subtypes with different transmissibility have appeared since then. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein interacts with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) host receptor, and thus, in silico models, based on the structural features of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein–ACE2 receptor complex, as well as ACE2 amino acid patterns, may be used to predict the within- and between-species transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 subtypes. Here, it is shown that at the beginning of the pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 S protein was, as expected for a virus that just jumped the species barrier, ill-adapted to the human ACE2 receptor, and that the replacement of one SARS-CoV-2 variant by another is partially due to a better fitting of the S protein–human ACE2 complex. Moreover, it is shown that mutations that are predicted to lead to a better fit have increased in the population due to positive selection. It is also shown that the number of ACE2-interfacing residues is positively correlated with the transmissibility rate of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Finally, it is shown that the number of species that are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, and that could be a reservoir for this virus, is likely higher than previously thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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18 pages, 2954 KiB  
Article
Crocodilepox Virus Protein 157 Is an Independently Evolved Inhibitor of Protein Kinase R
by M. Julhasur Rahman, Loubna Tazi, Sherry L. Haller and Stefan Rothenburg
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071564 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Crocodilepox virus (CRV) belongs to the Poxviridae family and mainly infects hatchling and juvenile Nile crocodiles. Most poxviruses encode inhibitors of the host antiviral protein kinase R (PKR), which is activated by viral double-stranded (ds) RNA formed during virus replication, resulting in the [...] Read more.
Crocodilepox virus (CRV) belongs to the Poxviridae family and mainly infects hatchling and juvenile Nile crocodiles. Most poxviruses encode inhibitors of the host antiviral protein kinase R (PKR), which is activated by viral double-stranded (ds) RNA formed during virus replication, resulting in the phosphorylation of eIF2α and the subsequent shutdown of general mRNA translation. Because CRV lacks orthologs of known poxviral PKR inhibitors, we experimentally characterized one candidate (CRV157), which contains a predicted dsRNA-binding domain. Bioinformatic analyses indicated that CRV157 evolved independently from other poxvirus PKR inhibitors. CRV157 bound to dsRNA, co-localized with PKR in the cytosol, and inhibited PKR from various species. To analyze whether CRV157 could inhibit PKR in the context of a poxvirus infection, we constructed recombinant vaccinia virus strains that contain either CRV157, or a mutant CRV157 deficient in dsRNA binding in a strain that lacks PKR inhibitors. The presence of wild-type CRV157 rescued vaccinia virus replication, while the CRV157 mutant did not. The ability of CRV157 to inhibit PKR correlated with virus replication and eIF2α phosphorylation. The independent evolution of CRV157 demonstrates that poxvirus PKR inhibitors evolved from a diverse set of ancestral genes in an example of convergent evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poxvirus)
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26 pages, 5460 KiB  
Article
Generation of Reporter-Expressing New World Arenaviruses: A Systematic Comparison
by Lucie Fénéant, Anne Leske, Karla Günther and Allison Groseth
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071563 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Replication-competent reporter-expressing viruses are crucial tools in molecular virology with applications that range from antiviral screening to live-cell imaging of protein spatiotemporal dynamics. However, there is currently little information available regarding viable strategies to develop reporter-expressing arenaviruses. To address this, we used Tacaribe [...] Read more.
Replication-competent reporter-expressing viruses are crucial tools in molecular virology with applications that range from antiviral screening to live-cell imaging of protein spatiotemporal dynamics. However, there is currently little information available regarding viable strategies to develop reporter-expressing arenaviruses. To address this, we used Tacaribe virus (TCRV), an apathogenic BSL2 arenavirus, to assess the feasibility of different reporter expression approaches. We first generated trisegmented TCRV viruses with either the glycoprotein (GP) or nucleoprotein (NP) replaced by a reporter (GFP, mCherry, or nanoluciferase). These viruses were all viable, but showed marked differences in brightness and attenuation. Next, we generated terminal fusions with each of the TCRV proteins (i.e., NP, GP, polymerase (L), matrix protein (Z)) either with or without a T2A self-cleavage site. We tested both the function of the reporter-fused proteins alone, and the viability of corresponding recombinant TCRVs. We successfully rescued viruses with both direct and cleavable reporter fusions at the C-terminus of Z, as well as cleavable N-terminal fusions with NP. These viruses all displayed detectable reporter activity, but were also moderately attenuated. Finally, reporter proteins were inserted into a flexible hinge region within L. These viruses were also viable and showed moderate attenuation; however, reporter expression was only detectable for the luminescent virus. These strategies provide an exciting range of new tools for research into the molecular biology of TCRV that can likely also be adapted to other arenaviruses. Full article
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