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Viruses, Volume 15, Issue 8 (August 2023) – 162 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV) is an emerging tobamovirus, posing a serious threat to the world tomato industry. To prevent a pandemic of this virus, early and accurate detection of infection is essential. In this Special Issue, Kimura et al. developed a novel detection method for ToMMV by reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP). This method achieved higher sensitivity than conventional RT-polymerase chain reaction methods and high specificity without false positives for closely related viruses or healthy plants. With direct toothpick sampling, ToMMV could be easily detected within 30 min from infected tomato leaves without RNA extraction. Based on these features, this RT-LAMP method would make a significant contribution to the management of this virus. View this paper
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16 pages, 3993 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Intense Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Epidemic and Vaccine Effectiveness in the Post-COVID Season in the Russian Federation
by Anna Sominina, Daria Danilenko, Andrey B. Komissarov, Maria Pisareva, Artem Fadeev, Nadezhda Konovalova, Mikhail Eropkin, Polina Petrova, Alyona Zheltukhina, Tamila Musaeva, Veronika Eder, Anna Ivanova, Kseniya Komissarova, Kirill Stolyarov, Ludmila Karpova, Elizaveta Smorodintseva, Anna Dorosh, Vera Krivitskaya, Elena Kuznetzova, Victoria Majorova, Ekaterina Petrova, Anastassia Boyarintseva, Andrey Ksenafontov, Anna Shtro, Julia Nikolaeva, Mikhail Bakaev, Elena Burtseva and Dmitry Lioznovadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081780 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1680
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on influenza activity worldwide. However, as the pandemic progressed, influenza activity resumed. Here, we describe the influenza epidemic of high intensity of the 2022–2023 season. The epidemic had an early start and peaked in week 51.2022. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on influenza activity worldwide. However, as the pandemic progressed, influenza activity resumed. Here, we describe the influenza epidemic of high intensity of the 2022–2023 season. The epidemic had an early start and peaked in week 51.2022. The extremely high intensity of the epidemic may have been due to a significant decrease in herd immunity. The results of PCR-testing of 220,067 clinical samples revealed that the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus dominated, causing 56.4% of positive cases, while A(H3N2) influenza subtype accounted for only 0.6%, and influenza B of Victoria lineage—for 34.3%. The influenza vaccine was found to be highly effective, with an estimated effectiveness of 92.7% in preventing admission with laboratory-confirmed influenza severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases and 54.7% in preventing influenza-like illness/acute respiratory illness (ILI/ARI) cases due to antigenic matching of circulated viruses with influenza vaccine strains for the season. Full genome next-generation sequencing of 1723 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses showed that all of them fell within clade 6B.1A.5.a2; nine of them possessed H275Y substitution in the NA gene, a genetic marker of oseltamivir resistance. Influenza A(H3N2) viruses belonged to subclade 3C.2a1b.2a.2 with the genetic group 2b being dominant. All 433 influenza B viruses belonged to subclade V1A.3a.2 encoding HA1 substitutions A127T, P144L, and K203R, which could be further divided into two subgroups. None of the influenza A(H3N2) and B viruses sequenced had markers of resistance to NA inhibitors. Thus, despite the continuing circulation of Omicron descendant lineages, influenza activity has resumed in full force, raising concerns about the intensity of fore coming seasonal epidemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Immunology, Vaccines, and Antivirals)
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31 pages, 13149 KiB  
Article
Ecological Strategies for Resource Use by Three Bromoviruses in Anthropic and Wild Plant Communities
by Bisola Babalola, Aurora Fraile, Fernando García-Arenal and Michael McLeish
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081779 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Ecological strategies for resource utilisation are important features of pathogens, yet have been overshadowed by stronger interest in genetic mechanisms underlying disease emergence. The purpose of this study is to ask whether host range and transmission traits translate into ecological strategies for host-species [...] Read more.
Ecological strategies for resource utilisation are important features of pathogens, yet have been overshadowed by stronger interest in genetic mechanisms underlying disease emergence. The purpose of this study is to ask whether host range and transmission traits translate into ecological strategies for host-species utilisation in a heterogeneous ecosystem, and whether host utilisation corresponds to genetic differentiation among three bromoviruses. We combine high-throughput sequencing and population genomics with analyses of species co-occurrence to unravel the ecological strategies of the viruses across four habitat types. The results show that the bromoviruses that were more closely related genetically did not share similar ecological strategies, but that the more distantly related pair did. Shared strategies included a broad host range and more frequent co-occurrences, which both were habitat-dependent. Each habitat thus presents as a barrier to gene flow, and each virus has an ecological strategy to navigate limitations to colonising non-natal habitats. Variation in ecological strategies could therefore hold the key to unlocking events that lead to emergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Plant Viruses)
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17 pages, 2507 KiB  
Article
BA.1/BA.5 Immunogenicity, Reactogenicity, and Disease Activity after COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients with ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study
by Claudius Speer, Maximilian Töllner, Louise Benning, Marie Bartenschlager, Heeyoung Kim, Christian Nusshag, Florian Kälble, Marvin Reineke, Paula Reichel, Paul Schnitzler, Martin Zeier, Christian Morath, Wilhelm Schmitt, Raoul Bergner, Ralf Bartenschlager, Hanns-Martin Lorenz and Matthias Schaier
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1778; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081778 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Emerging omicron subtypes with immune escape lead to inadequate vaccine response with breakthrough infections in immunocompromised individuals such as Anti-neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) patients. As AAV is considered an orphan disease, there are still limited data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and prospective [...] Read more.
Emerging omicron subtypes with immune escape lead to inadequate vaccine response with breakthrough infections in immunocompromised individuals such as Anti-neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) patients. As AAV is considered an orphan disease, there are still limited data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and prospective studies that have focused exclusively on AAV patients are lacking. In addition, there are safety concerns regarding the use of highly immunogenic mRNA vaccines in autoimmune diseases, and further studies investigating reactogenicity are urgently needed. In this prospective observational cohort study, we performed a detailed characterization of neutralizing antibody responses against omicron subtypes and provided a longitudinal assessment of vaccine reactogenicity and AAV disease activity. Different vaccine doses were generally well tolerated and no AAV relapses occurred during follow-up. AAV patients had significantly lower anti-S1 IgG and surrogate-neutralizing antibodies after first, second, and third vaccine doses as compared to healthy controls, respectively. Live-virus neutralization assays against omicron subtypes BA.1 and BA.5 revealed that previous SARS-CoV-2 vaccines result in an inadequate neutralizing immune response in immunocompromised AAV patients. These data demonstrate that new vaccination strategies including adapted mRNA vaccines against epitopes of emerging variants are needed to help protect highly vulnerable individuals such as AAV patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 and mRNA Vaccines)
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13 pages, 2193 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Wastewater and Bivalve Mollusk Samples of Campania, Southern Italy
by Annalisa Lombardi, Antonia Voli, Andrea Mancusi, Santa Girardi, Yolande Thérèse Rose Proroga, Biancamaria Pierri, Renato Olivares, Luigi Cossentino, Elisabetta Suffredini, Giuseppina La Rosa, Giovanna Fusco, Antonio Pizzolante, Amalia Porta, Pietro Campiglia, Ida Torre, Francesca Pennino and Alessandra Tosco
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1777; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081777 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1238
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the feces of infected people, consequently in wastewater, and in bivalve mollusks, that are able to accumulate viruses due to their ability to filter large amounts of water. This study aimed to monitor SARS-CoV-2 RNA presence in 168 [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the feces of infected people, consequently in wastewater, and in bivalve mollusks, that are able to accumulate viruses due to their ability to filter large amounts of water. This study aimed to monitor SARS-CoV-2 RNA presence in 168 raw wastewater samples collected from six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and 57 mollusk samples obtained from eight harvesting sites in Campania, Italy. The monitoring period spanned from October 2021 to April 2022, and the results were compared and correlated with the epidemiological situation. In sewage, the ORF1b region of SARS-CoV-2 was detected using RT-qPCR, while in mollusks, three targets—RdRp, ORF1b, and E—were identified via RT-dPCR. Results showed a 92.3% rate of positive wastewater samples with increased genomic copies (g.c.)/(day*inhabitant) in December–January and March–April 2022. In the entire observation period, 54.4% of mollusks tested positive for at least one SARS-CoV-2 target, and the rate of positive samples showed a trend similar to that of the wastewater samples. The lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate in bivalve mollusks compared to sewages is a direct consequence of the seawater dilution effect. Our data confirm that both sample types can be used as sentinels to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the environment and suggest their potential use in obtaining complementary information on SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) in COVID-19 Pandemics)
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15 pages, 510 KiB  
Article
Associations of Serum Calprotectin, Arterial Stiffness and Long COVID Symptoms in Dalmatian Kidney Transplant Recipients
by Tina Đogaš, Ivana Novak, Marija Babić, Marijana Vučković, Leida Tandara and Josipa Radić
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081776 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1186
Abstract
We aimed to explore long COVID symptoms, serum calprotectin levels, and the parameters of arterial stiffness in Dalmatian kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) and their possible associations. A cross-sectional, single-center case-control study on 98 KTRs who had recovered from COVID-19 was performed. Long COVID [...] Read more.
We aimed to explore long COVID symptoms, serum calprotectin levels, and the parameters of arterial stiffness in Dalmatian kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) and their possible associations. A cross-sectional, single-center case-control study on 98 KTRs who had recovered from COVID-19 was performed. Long COVID symptoms were explored via standardized questionnaires assessing quality of life, and serum calprotectin was also measured. Out of 98 KTRs with a mean age of 62 years, 63 (64.3%) were men. Medical history, clinical and laboratory parameters, and arterial stiffness measurements were obtained for each study participant. Difficulties with mobility were present in 44.3% of the KTRs, while difficulties with self-care were present in 6.2%, difficulties with usual activities were demonstrated by 35.1%, pain in the extremities was present in 52.5%, and anxiety and depression were present in 26.8%. Our results showed significant differences regarding serum calprotectin levels in clinical manifestations of acute COVID-19 and follow-up laboratory parameters. The most significant positive predictors of the serum calprotectin value in the KTRs were respiratory insufficiency, acute kidney failure, the prescription of antihypertensives, leukocyte and neutrophil counts, the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio and lactate dehydrogenase levels. Negative predictors were the time since COVID-19, high-density lipoprotein levels, kidney function parameters, and the lymphocyte count. To conclude, serum calprotectin has emerged as a possible promising biomarker for subclinical allograft rejection; however, further studies are needed to better understand this subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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18 pages, 9488 KiB  
Article
The Late Asymptomatic and Terminal Immunodeficiency Phases in Experimentally FIV-Infected Cats—A Long-Term Study
by Brian G. Murphy, Diego Castillo, Sarah Cook, Christina Eckstrand, Samantha Evans, Ellen Sparger and Chris K. Grant
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1775; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081775 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 3874
Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus in the family Retroviridae that infects domestic cats resulting in an immunodeficiency disease featuring a progressive and profound decline in multiple sets of peripheral lymphocytes. Despite compelling evidence of FIV-associated immunopathology, there are conflicting data concerning [...] Read more.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus in the family Retroviridae that infects domestic cats resulting in an immunodeficiency disease featuring a progressive and profound decline in multiple sets of peripheral lymphocytes. Despite compelling evidence of FIV-associated immunopathology, there are conflicting data concerning the clinical effects of FIV infection on host morbidity and mortality. To explore FIV-associated immunopathogenesis and clinical disease, we experimentally inoculated a cohort of four specific pathogen-free kittens with a biological isolate of FIV clade C and continuously monitored these animals along with two uninfected control animals for more than thirteen years from the time of inoculation to the humane euthanasia endpoint. Here, we report the results obtained during the late asymptomatic and terminal phases of FIV infection in this group of experimentally FIV-infected cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Companion Animals: Volume 2)
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12 pages, 4283 KiB  
Article
Seed Transmission of Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus and Triticum Mosaic Virus in Differentially Resistant Wheat Cultivars
by Saurabh Gautam, Senthilraja Chinnaiah, Benjamin Herron, Fekede Workneh, Charles M. Rush and Kiran R. Gadhave
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1774; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081774 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) and Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV) are important viral pathogens of wheat in the Great Plains. These viruses individually or in mixed infections with High Plains wheat mosaic virus cause a devastating wheat streak mosaic (WSM) disease. Although seed [...] Read more.
Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) and Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV) are important viral pathogens of wheat in the Great Plains. These viruses individually or in mixed infections with High Plains wheat mosaic virus cause a devastating wheat streak mosaic (WSM) disease. Although seed transmission of WSMV has been studied, no information is currently available on that of TriMV. Furthermore, no study has explored the implications of mixed infections of WSMV and TriMV on seed transmission of one or both viruses. To study both aspects, seeds from differentially resistant field-grown wheat plants (cv. TAM 304 (susceptible), Joe (WSMV resistant, Wsm2 gene), and Breakthrough (BT) (WSMV and TriMV resistant, Wsm1 gene)) showing characteristic WSM symptoms were collected and analyzed to quantify both viruses using qRT-PCR. The percentage of seeds tested positive for WSMV or TriMV individually and in mixed infection varied with cultivar and virus combinations; 13% of TAM 304 seeds tested positive for WSMV, followed by 8% of BT and 4% of Joe seeds. Similarly, TriMV was detected in 12% of BT seeds, followed by 11% of TAM 304 and 8% of Joe seeds. Lastly, mixed infection was detected in 7% of TAM 304 seeds, followed by 4% in BT, and 2% in Joe. Dissection of field-collected seeds into three parts, embryo, endosperm, and seed coat, revealed both WSMV and TriMV accumulated only in the seed coat. Consistent with seeds, percent infection of WSMV or TriMV in the plants that emerged from infected seeds in each treatment varied with cultivar and virus combinations (WSMV: BT 3%; Joe 2%; TAM 304 9%; TriMV: BT 7%; Joe 8%; and TAM 304 10%). Plants infected with mixed viruses showed more pronounced WSM symptoms compared to individual infections. However, both viruses were present only in a few plants (BT: 2%, Joe: 1%, and TAM 304: 4%). Taken together, this study showed that TriMV was transmitted vertically at a higher frequency than WSMV in resistant cultivars, and the seed transmission of TriMV with WSMV increased the virulence of both pathogens (measured via WSM symptom severity) in the emerged plants. Furthermore, Wsm1 and Wsm2 genes considerably reduced WSMV transmission via infected seeds. However, no such effects were observed on TriMV, especially in progeny plants. These results reiterated the importance of planting clean seeds and highlighted the immediate need to identify/develop new sources of TriMV resistance to effectively manage the recurring WSM epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Plant Viruses)
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15 pages, 3449 KiB  
Article
Antiviral Activities of Streptomyces KSF 103 Methanolic Extracts against Dengue Virus Type-2
by Nurfatihah Zulkifli, Jasmine-Elanie Khairat, Adzzie-Shazleen Azman, Nur-Faralyza Mohd Baharudin, Nurul-Adila Malek, Syafiq-Asnawi Zainal Abidin, Sazaly AbuBakar and Pouya Hassandarvish
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1773; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081773 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Dengue has long been a serious health burden to the global community, especially for those living in the tropics. Despite the availability of vaccines, effective treatment for the infection is still needed and currently remains absent. In the present study, the antiviral properties [...] Read more.
Dengue has long been a serious health burden to the global community, especially for those living in the tropics. Despite the availability of vaccines, effective treatment for the infection is still needed and currently remains absent. In the present study, the antiviral properties of the Streptomyces sp. KSF 103 methanolic extract (Streptomyces KSF 103 ME), which consists of a number of potential antiviral compounds, were investigated against dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2). The effects of this extract against DENV-2 replication were determined using the quantitative Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR). Findings from the study suggested that the Streptomyces KSF 103 ME showed maximum inhibitory properties toward the virus during the virus entry stage at concentrations of more than 12.5 µg/mL. Minimal antiviral activities were observed at other virus replication stages; adsorption (42% reduction at 50 µg/mL), post-adsorption (67.6% reduction at 50 µg/mL), prophylactic treatment (68.4% and 87.7% reductions at 50 µg/mL and 25 µg/mL, respectively), and direct virucidal assay (48% and 56.8% reductions at 50 µg/mL and 25 µg/mL, respectively). The Streptomyces KSF 103 ME inhibited dengue virus replication with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 20.3 µg/mL and an International System of Units (SI) value of 38.9. The Streptomyces KSF 103 ME showed potent antiviral properties against dengue virus (DENV) during the entry stage. Further studies will be needed to deduce the antiviral mechanisms of the Streptomyces KSF 103 ME against DENV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Antiviral Targets against Emerging Viruses)
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17 pages, 2996 KiB  
Article
An Outbred Calf Model for Determining Innate Immune Sensing and Evolutionary Trajectories of a Cell Culture-Adapted Bovine Foamy Virus Variant
by Magdalena Materniak-Kornas, Piotr Kubiś, Bartosz Sell, Georgios Pougialis, Martin Löchelt and Jacek Kuźmak
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1772; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081772 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1092
Abstract
Bovine foamy virus (BFVbta) displays a very high degree of cell-associated replication which is unprecedented even among the other known foamy viruses. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that it can in fact adapt in vitro to high-titer (HT) cell-free transmission due to genetic [...] Read more.
Bovine foamy virus (BFVbta) displays a very high degree of cell-associated replication which is unprecedented even among the other known foamy viruses. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that it can in fact adapt in vitro to high-titer (HT) cell-free transmission due to genetic changes acquired during repeated rounds of cell-free BFVbta passages in immortalized bovine MDBK cells. Molecular clones obtained from the HT BFVbta Riems cell-free variant (HT BFVbta Riems) have been thoroughly characterized in MDBK cell cultures However, during recent years, it has become increasingly clear that the source of the host cells used for virus growth and functional studies of virus replication and virus–cell interactions plays a paramount role. Established cell lines, mostly derived from tumors, but occasionally experimentally immortalized and transformed, frequently display aberrant features relating, for example. to growth, metabolism, and genetics. Even state-of-the-art organoid cultures of primary cells cannot replicate the conditions in an authentic host, especially those concerning cell diversity and the role of innate and adaptive immunity. Therefore, to determine the overall replication characteristics of the cloned wt and HT BFVbta Riems variant, we conducted a small-scale animal pilot study. The replication of the original wt BFVbta Riems isolate, as well as that of its HT variant, were analyzed. Both BFVbta variants established infection in calves, with proviruses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and induced Gag-specific antibodies. In addition, a related pattern in the host innate immune reaction was detected in the peripheral blood leukocytes of the BFV-infected calves. Surprisingly, an analysis of the Gag sequence two weeks post-inoculation revealed that the HT BFVbta variant showed a very high level of genetic reversion to the wild type (parental BFVbta genotype). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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13 pages, 723 KiB  
Article
Detection of West Nile and Usutu Virus RNA in Autumn Season in Wild Avian Hosts in Northern Italy
by Carmela Musto, Marco Tamba, Mattia Calzolari, Arianna Rossi, Annalisa Grisendi, Katia Marzani, Paolo Bonilauri and Mauro Delogu
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081771 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1062
Abstract
West Nile (WNV) and Usutu (USUV) viruses are two mosquito-borne viruses belonging to the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus. The natural transmission cycle of WNV and USUV involves mosquitoes and birds, while mammals are thought to be accidental hosts. The goal of this [...] Read more.
West Nile (WNV) and Usutu (USUV) viruses are two mosquito-borne viruses belonging to the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus. The natural transmission cycle of WNV and USUV involves mosquitoes and birds, while mammals are thought to be accidental hosts. The goal of this study was to report—in the context of “off-season monitoring” and passive surveillance—the detection of WNV and USUV RNA in wild birds. To this end, we analyzed biological samples of wild birds in Northern Italy, from October to May, hence outside of the regional monitoring period (June-September). The virological investigations for the detection of USUV and WNV RNA were performed using real-time PCR on frozen samples of the brain, myocardium, kidney, and spleen. In a total sample of 164 wild birds belonging to 27 different species, sequences of both viruses were detected: four birds (2.44%) were positive for WNV and five (3.05%) for USUV. Off-season infections of WNV and especially USUV are still widely discussed and only a few studies have been published to date. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first report on the detection of USUV RNA until December 22nd. Although further studies are required, our results confirm the viral circulation out-of-season of Flavivirus in wild birds, suggesting reconsidering the epidemiological monitoring period based on each individual climate zone and taking into consideration global warming which will play an important role in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Arbovirus Research in Europe 2023)
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21 pages, 2292 KiB  
Review
Current Achievements and Future Prospects in Virus Elimination Technology for Functional Chrysanthemum
by Kang Gao, Qingbing Chen, Bo Pan, Yahui Sun, Yuran Xu, Dongliang Chen, Hua Liu, Chang Luo, Xi Chen, Haiying Li and Conglin Huang
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081770 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Chrysanthemum is an important functional plant that is used for food, medicine and tea. Functional chrysanthemums become infected with viruses all around the world, seriously lowering their quality and yield. Viral infection has become an important limiting factor in chrysanthemum production. Functional chrysanthemum [...] Read more.
Chrysanthemum is an important functional plant that is used for food, medicine and tea. Functional chrysanthemums become infected with viruses all around the world, seriously lowering their quality and yield. Viral infection has become an important limiting factor in chrysanthemum production. Functional chrysanthemum is often propagated asexually by cutting during production, and viral infection of seedlings is becoming increasingly serious. Chrysanthemums can be infected by a variety of viruses causing different symptoms. With the development of biotechnology, virus detection and virus-free technologies for chrysanthemum seedlings are becoming increasingly effective. In this study, the common virus species, virus detection methods and virus-free technology of chrysanthemum infection are reviewed to provide a theoretical basis for virus prevention, treatment and elimination in functional chrysanthemum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
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19 pages, 2615 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 in Domestic UK Cats from Alpha to Omicron: Swab Surveillance and Case Reports
by Sarah Jones, Grace B. Tyson, Richard J. Orton, Katherine Smollett, Federica Manna, Kirsty Kwok, Nicolás M. Suárez, Nicola Logan, Michael McDonald, Andrea Bowie, Ana Da Silva Filipe, Brian J. Willett, William Weir and Margaret J. Hosie
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1769; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081769 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Although domestic cats are susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2, the role of the virus in causing feline disease is less well defined. We conducted a large-scale study to identify SARS-CoV-2 infections in UK pet cats, using active and passive surveillance. Remnant feline respiratory [...] Read more.
Although domestic cats are susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2, the role of the virus in causing feline disease is less well defined. We conducted a large-scale study to identify SARS-CoV-2 infections in UK pet cats, using active and passive surveillance. Remnant feline respiratory swab samples, submitted for other pathogen testing between May 2021 and February 2023, were screened using RT-qPCR. In addition, we appealed to veterinarians for swab samples from cats suspected of having clinical SARS-CoV-2 infections. Bespoke testing for SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies was also performed, on request, in suspected cases. One RT-qPCR-positive cat was identified by active surveillance (1/549, 0.18%), during the Delta wave (1/175, 0.57%). Passive surveillance detected one cat infected with the Alpha variant, and two of ten cats tested RT-qPCR-positive during the Delta wave. No cats tested RT-qPCR-positive after the emergence of Omicron BA.1 and its descendants although 374 were tested by active and eleven by passive surveillance. We describe four cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pet cats, identified by RT-qPCR and/or serology, that presented with a range of clinical signs, as well as their SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences. These cases demonstrate that, although uncommon in cats, a variety of clinical signs can occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Companion Animals: Volume 2)
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4 pages, 195 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue “Chikungunya Virus and Emerging Alphaviruses”
by Mylena R. Pereira and Rafael F. O. Franca
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1768; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081768 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 996
Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an alphavirus transmitted by mosquitoes, has experienced a recent re-emergence in various regions of the world, leading to large-scale outbreaks [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chikungunya Virus and Emerging Alphaviruses)
11 pages, 1491 KiB  
Article
Dynamics of Infection of Atypical Porcine Pestivirus in Commercial Pigs from Birth to Market: A Longitudinal Study
by Alexandra C. Buckley, Juan-Carlos Mora-Díaz, Ronaldo L. Magtoto, Amberly Van Hulzen, Franco Matias Ferreyra, Shollie M. Falkenberg, Luis G. Giménez-Lirola and Bailey L. Arruda
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081767 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1284
Abstract
Atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) was found to be associated with pigs demonstrating congenital tremors (CT), and clinical signs in pigs have been reproduced after experimental challenge. Subsequently, APPV has been identified in both symptomatic and asymptomatic swine of all ages globally. The objective [...] Read more.
Atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) was found to be associated with pigs demonstrating congenital tremors (CT), and clinical signs in pigs have been reproduced after experimental challenge. Subsequently, APPV has been identified in both symptomatic and asymptomatic swine of all ages globally. The objective of this research was to perform a longitudinal study following two cohorts of pigs, those born in litters with pigs exhibiting CT and those born in litters without CT, to analyze the virus and antibody dynamics of APPV infection in serum from birth to market. There was a wide range in the percentage of affected pigs (8–75%) within CT-positive litters. After co-mingling with CT-positive litters at weaning, pigs from CT-negative litters developed viremia that was cleared after approximately 2 months, with the majority seroconverting by the end of the study. In contrast, a greater percentage of pigs exhibiting CT remained PCR positive throughout the growing phase, with less than one-third of these animals seroconverting. APPV RNA was present in multiple tissues from pigs in both groups at the time of marketing. This study improved our understanding of the infection dynamics of APPV in swine and the impact that the immune status and timing of infection have on the persistence of APPV in serum and tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pestivirus 2023)
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27 pages, 3978 KiB  
Article
Ecological Interactions among Thrips, Soybean Plants, and Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus in Pennsylvania, USA
by Asifa Hameed, Cristina Rosa, Cheryle A. O’Donnell and Edwin G. Rajotte
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081766 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1184
Abstract
Analysis of ecological and evolutionary aspects leading to durability of resistance in soybean cultivars against species Soybean vein necrosis orthotospovirus (SVNV) (Bunyavirales: Tospoviridae) is important for the establishment of integrated pest management (IPM) across the United States, which is a leading exporter of [...] Read more.
Analysis of ecological and evolutionary aspects leading to durability of resistance in soybean cultivars against species Soybean vein necrosis orthotospovirus (SVNV) (Bunyavirales: Tospoviridae) is important for the establishment of integrated pest management (IPM) across the United States, which is a leading exporter of soybeans in the world. SVNV is a seed- and thrips- (vector)-borne plant virus known from the USA and Canada to Egypt. We monitored the resistance of soybean cultivars against SVNV, surveyed thrips species on various crops including soybeans in Pennsylvania, and studied thrips overwintering hibernation behavior under field conditions. Field and lab experiments determined disease incidence and vector abundance in soybean genotypes. The impact of the virus, vector, and their combination on soybean physiology was also evaluated. Seed protein, fiber, oil, and carbohydrate content were analyzed using near infra-red spectroscopy. We found that the variety Channel3917R2x had higher numbers of thrips; hence, it was categorized as preferred, while results showed that no variety was immune to SVNV. We found that thrips infestation alone or in combination with SVNV infection negatively impacted soybean growth and physiological processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Resistance to Viral Infections)
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14 pages, 2613 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Seasonal Variation of Windborne Transmission of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus between Swine Farms
by Seunghyun Lim, Andres M. Perez and Kaushi S. T. Kanankege
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081765 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Modeling the windborne transmission of aerosolized pathogens is challenging. We adapted an atmospheric dispersion model named the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to simulate the windborne dispersion of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv) between swine farms and incorporated the [...] Read more.
Modeling the windborne transmission of aerosolized pathogens is challenging. We adapted an atmospheric dispersion model named the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to simulate the windborne dispersion of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv) between swine farms and incorporated the findings into an outbreak investigation. The risk was estimated semi-quantitatively based on the cumulative daily deposition of windborne particles and the distance to the closest emitting farm with an ongoing outbreak. Five years of data (2014:2018) were used to study the seasonal differences of the deposition thresholds of the airborne particles containing PRRSv and to evaluate the model in relation to risk prediction and barn air filtration. When the 14-day cumulative deposition was considered, in winter, above-threshold particle depositions would reach up to 30 km from emitting farms with 84% of them being within 10 km. Long-distance pathogen transmission was highest in winter and fall, lower in spring, and least in summer. The model successfully replicated the observed seasonality of PRRSv, where fall and winter posed a higher risk for outbreaks. Reaching the humidity and temperature thresholds tolerated by the virus in spring and summer reduced the survival and infectivity of aerosols beyond 10–20 km. Within the data limitations of voluntary participation, when wind was assumed to be the sole route of PRRSv transmission, the predictive performance of the model was fair with >0.64 AUC. Barn air filtration was associated with fewer outbreaks, particularly when exposed to high levels of viral particles. This study confirms the usefulness of the HYSPLIT model as a tool when determining seasonal effects and distances and informs the near real-time risk of windborne PRRSv transmission that can be useful in future outbreak investigations and for implementing timely control measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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25 pages, 2975 KiB  
Article
Characterizing Risk Factors for Hospitalization and Clinical Characteristics in a Cohort of COVID-19 Patients Enrolled in the GENCOV Study
by Gregory Morgan, Selina Casalino, Sunakshi Chowdhary, Erika Frangione, Chun Yiu Jordan Fung, Simona Haller, Elisa Lapadula, Mackenzie Scott, Dawit Wolday, Juliet Young, Saranya Arnoldo, Navneet Aujla, Erin Bearss, Alexandra Binnie, Yvonne Bombard, Bjug Borgundvaag, Laurent Briollais, Marc Dagher, Luke Devine, Hanna Faghfoury, Steven M. Friedman, Anne-Claude Gingras, Lee W. Goneau, Zeeshan Khan, Tony Mazzulli, Shelley L. McLeod, Romina Nomigolzar, Abdul Noor, Trevor J. Pugh, David Richardson, Harpreet Kaur Satnam Singh, Jared Simpson, Seth Stern, Lisa Strug, Ahmed Taher, Jordan Lerner-Ellis and Jennifer Taheradd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1764; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081764 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1735
Abstract
The GENCOV study aims to identify patient factors which affect COVID-19 severity and outcomes. Here, we aimed to evaluate patient characteristics, acute symptoms and their persistence, and associations with hospitalization. Participants were recruited at hospital sites across the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, [...] Read more.
The GENCOV study aims to identify patient factors which affect COVID-19 severity and outcomes. Here, we aimed to evaluate patient characteristics, acute symptoms and their persistence, and associations with hospitalization. Participants were recruited at hospital sites across the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. Patient-reported demographics, medical history, and COVID-19 symptoms and complications were collected through an intake survey. Regression analyses were performed to identify associations with outcomes including hospitalization and COVID-19 symptoms. In total, 966 responses were obtained from 1106 eligible participants (87% response rate) between November 2020 and May 2022. Increasing continuous age (aOR: 1.05 [95%CI: 1.01–1.08]) and BMI (aOR: 1.17 [95%CI: 1.10–1.24]), non-White/European ethnicity (aOR: 2.72 [95%CI: 1.22–6.05]), hypertension (aOR: 2.78 [95%CI: 1.22–6.34]), and infection by viral variants (aOR: 5.43 [95%CI: 1.45–20.34]) were identified as risk factors for hospitalization. Several symptoms including shortness of breath and fever were found to be more common among inpatients and tended to persist for longer durations following acute illness. Sex, age, ethnicity, BMI, vaccination status, viral strain, and underlying health conditions were associated with developing and having persistent symptoms. By improving our understanding of risk factors for severe COVID-19, our findings may guide COVID-19 patient management strategies by enabling more efficient clinical decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
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17 pages, 3106 KiB  
Article
MDM2 Influences ACE2 Stability and SARS-CoV-2 Uptake
by Quirin Emslander, Karsten Krey, Sabri Hamad, Susanne Maidl, Lila Oubraham, Joshua Hesse, Alexander Henrici, Katharina Austen, Julia Mergner, Vincent Grass and Andreas Pichlmair
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1763; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081763 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the central entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. However, surprisingly little is known about the effects of host regulators on ACE2 localization, expression, and the associated influence on SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we identify that ACE2 expression levels are regulated by [...] Read more.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the central entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. However, surprisingly little is known about the effects of host regulators on ACE2 localization, expression, and the associated influence on SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we identify that ACE2 expression levels are regulated by the E3 ligase MDM2 and that MDM2 levels indirectly influence infection with SARS-CoV-2. Genetic depletion of MDM2 elevated ACE2 expression levels, which strongly promoted infection with all SARS-CoV-2 isolates tested. SARS-CoV-2 spike-pseudotyped viruses and the uptake of non-replication-competent virus-like particles showed that MDM2 affects the viral uptake process. MDM2 ubiquitinates Lysine 788 of ACE2 to induce proteasomal degradation, and degradation of this residue led to higher ACE2 expression levels and superior virus particle uptake. Our study illustrates that cellular regulators of ACE2 stability, such as MDM2, play an important role in defining the infection capabilities of SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Secret Life of ACE2 as a Receptor for the Coronaviruses)
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16 pages, 5480 KiB  
Article
Development of Zika Virus Mini-Replicon Based Single-Round Infectious Particles as Gene Delivery Vehicles
by Joh-Sin Wu, Ju-Ying Kan, Hsueh-Chou Lai and Cheng-Wen Lin
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081762 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a type of RNA virus that belongs to the Flaviviridae family. We have reported the construction of a DNA-launched replicon of the Asian-lineage Natal RGN strain and the production of single-round infectious particles (SRIPs) via the combination of prM/E [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a type of RNA virus that belongs to the Flaviviridae family. We have reported the construction of a DNA-launched replicon of the Asian-lineage Natal RGN strain and the production of single-round infectious particles (SRIPs) via the combination of prM/E virus-like particles with the replicon. The main objective of the study was to engineer the ZIKV replicon as mammalian expression vectors and evaluate the potential of ZIKV mini-replicon-based SRIPs as delivery vehicles for heterologous gene expression in vitro and in vivo. The mini-replicons contained various genetic elements, including NS4B, an NS5 methyltransferase (MTase) domain, and an NS5 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) domain. Among these mini-replicons, only ZIKV mini-replicons 2 and 3, which contained the full NS5 and NS4B-NS5 genetic elements, respectively, exhibited the expression of reporters (green fluorescent protein (GFP) and cyan fluorescent protein–yellow fluorescent fusion protein (CYP)) and generated self-replicating RNAs. When the mini-replicons were transfected into the cells expressing ZIKV prM/E, this led to the production of ZIKV mini-replicon-based SRIPs. ZIKV mini-replicon 3 SRIPs showed a significantly higher yield titer and a greater abundance of self-replicating replicon RNAs when compared to ZIKV mini-replicon 2 SRIPs. Additionally, there were disparities in the dynamics of CYP expression and cytotoxic effects observed in various infected cell types between ZIKV mini-replicon 2-CYP and 3-CYP SRIPs. In particular, ZIKV mini-replicon 3-CYP SRIPs led to a substantial decrease in the survival rates of infected cells at a MOI of 2. An in vivo gene expression assay indicated that hACE2 expression was detected in the lung and brain tissues of mice following the intravenous administration of ZIKV mini-replicon 3-hACE2 SRIPs. Overall, this study highlights the potential of ZIKV mini-replicon-based SRIPs as promising vehicles for gene delivery applications in vitro and in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Alphavirus and Flavivirus Research)
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15 pages, 3317 KiB  
Article
Deubiquitinase OTUD6A Regulates Innate Immune Response via Targeting UBC13
by Zhiwei Li, Guanwen Li, Yunfei Li, Yujie Luo, Yuhan Jiang, Ziyu Zhang, Ziyi Zhou, Shengde Liu, Chen Wu and Fuping You
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1761; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081761 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
OTUD6A is a deubiquitinase that plays crucial roles in various human diseases. However, the precise regulatory mechanism of OTUD6A remains unclear. In this study, we found that OTUD6A significantly inhibited the production of type I interferon. Consistently, peritoneal macrophages and bone marrow-derived macrophages [...] Read more.
OTUD6A is a deubiquitinase that plays crucial roles in various human diseases. However, the precise regulatory mechanism of OTUD6A remains unclear. In this study, we found that OTUD6A significantly inhibited the production of type I interferon. Consistently, peritoneal macrophages and bone marrow-derived macrophages from Otud6a−/− mice produced more type I interferon after virus infection compared to cells from WT mice. Otud6a−/− mice also exhibited increased resistance to lethal HSV-1 and VSV infections, as well as LPS attacks due to decreased inflammatory responses. Mechanistically, mass spectrometry results revealed that UBC13 was an OTUD6A-interacting protein, and the interaction was significantly enhanced after HSV-1 stimulation. Taken together, our findings suggest that OTUD6A plays a crucial role in the innate immune response and may serve as a potential therapeutic target for infectious disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Immunology, Vaccines, and Antivirals)
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19 pages, 1558 KiB  
Review
Vaccines’ New Era-RNA Vaccine
by Wenshuo Zhou, Linglei Jiang, Shimiao Liao, Feifei Wu, Guohuan Yang, Li Hou, Lan Liu, Xinping Pan, William Jia and Yuntao Zhang
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1760; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081760 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3187
Abstract
RNA vaccines, including conventional messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, circular RNA (circRNA) vaccines, and self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vaccines, have ushered in a promising future and revolutionized vaccine development. The success of mRNA vaccines in combating the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that [...] Read more.
RNA vaccines, including conventional messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, circular RNA (circRNA) vaccines, and self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vaccines, have ushered in a promising future and revolutionized vaccine development. The success of mRNA vaccines in combating the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in 2019 has highlighted the potential of RNA vaccines. These vaccines possess several advantages, such as high efficacy, adaptability, simplicity in antigen design, and the ability to induce both humoral and cellular immunity. They also offer rapid and cost-effective manufacturing, flexibility to target emerging or mutant pathogens and a potential approach for clearing immunotolerant microbes by targeting bacterial or parasitic survival mechanisms. The self-adjuvant effect of mRNA-lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations or circular RNA further enhances the potential of RNA vaccines. However, some challenges need to be addressed. These include the technology’s immaturity, high research expenses, limited duration of antibody response, mRNA instability, low efficiency of circRNA cyclization, and the production of double-stranded RNA as a side product. These factors hinder the widespread adoption and utilization of RNA vaccines, particularly in developing countries. This review provides a comprehensive overview of mRNA, circRNA, and saRNA vaccines for infectious diseases while also discussing their development, current applications, and challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 and mRNA Vaccines)
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8 pages, 1116 KiB  
Communication
Dynamic Evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in a Patient on Chemotherapy
by Weihua Huang, Changhong Yin, Kimberly P. Briley, William A. B. Dalzell and John T. Fallon
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1759; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081759 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1347
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved significantly during the pandemic and resulted in daunting numbers of genomic sequences. Tracking SARS-CoV-2 evolution during persistent cases could provide insight into the origins and dynamics of new variants. We report here a case [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved significantly during the pandemic and resulted in daunting numbers of genomic sequences. Tracking SARS-CoV-2 evolution during persistent cases could provide insight into the origins and dynamics of new variants. We report here a case of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia on chemotherapy with infection of SARS-CoV-2 for more than two months. Genomic surveillance of his serial SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens revealed two unprecedented large deletions, Δ15–26 and Δ138–145, in the viral spike protein N-terminal domain (NTD) and demonstrated their dynamic shifts in generating these new variants. Located at antigenic supersites, these large deletions are anticipated to dramatically change the spike protein NTD in three-dimensional protein structure prediction, which may lead to immune escape but reduce their viral transmissibility. In summary, we present here a new viral evolutionary trajectory in a patient on chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Coronaviruses)
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11 pages, 680 KiB  
Review
From Mimivirus to Mirusvirus: The Quest for Hidden Giants
by Morgan Gaïa and Patrick Forterre
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1758; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081758 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1628
Abstract
Our perception of viruses has been drastically evolving since the inception of the field of virology over a century ago. In particular, the discovery of giant viruses from the Nucleocytoviricota phylum marked a pivotal moment. Their previously concealed diversity and abundance unearthed an [...] Read more.
Our perception of viruses has been drastically evolving since the inception of the field of virology over a century ago. In particular, the discovery of giant viruses from the Nucleocytoviricota phylum marked a pivotal moment. Their previously concealed diversity and abundance unearthed an unprecedented complexity in the virus world, a complexity that called for new definitions and concepts. These giant viruses underscore the intricate interactions that unfold over time between viruses and their hosts, and are themselves suspected to have played a significant role as a driving force in the evolution of eukaryotes since the dawn of this cellular domain. Whether they possess exceptional relationships with their hosts or whether they unveil the actual depths of evolutionary connections between viruses and cells otherwise hidden in smaller viruses, the attraction giant viruses exert on the scientific community and beyond continues to grow. Yet, they still hold surprises. Indeed, the recent identification of mirusviruses connects giant viruses to herpesviruses, each belonging to distinct viral realms. This discovery substantially broadens the evolutionary landscape of Nucleocytoviricota. Undoubtedly, the years to come will reveal their share of surprises. Full article
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11 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
What Is the Efficacy of Sotrovimab in Reducing Disease Progression and Death in People with COVID-19 during the Omicron Era? Answers from a Real-Life Study
by Andrea De Vito, Agnese Colpani, Mariacristina Poliseno, Lucia Diella, Francesco Rosario Paolo Ieva, Alessandra Belati, Roberto Papale, Sergio Babudieri, Laura De Santis, Annalisa Saracino, Sergio Lo Caputo and Giordano Madeddu
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1757; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081757 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
(1) Introduction: Since May 2021, sotrovimab has been available in Italy for early treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and to prevent disease progression. However, some in vitro studies have questioned its efficacy on Omicron variants. Therefore, we aim to further investigate the efficacy of [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: Since May 2021, sotrovimab has been available in Italy for early treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and to prevent disease progression. However, some in vitro studies have questioned its efficacy on Omicron variants. Therefore, we aim to further investigate the efficacy of sotrovimab in real-life settings. (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective study collecting medical records of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection evaluated in the infectious diseases units of Sassari, Foggia, and Bari, Italy. We included people with SARS-CoV-2 infection treated with sotrovimab and people who did not receive any treatment in 2022. The primary study outcome was to evaluate the efficacy of sotrovimab in reducing disease progression (defined as the necessity of starting oxygen supplementation) and COVID-19-related death. The secondary outcome was to evaluate the safety of sotrovimab. (3) Results: We included 689 people; of them, 341 were treated with sotrovimab, while 348 did not receive any treatment. Overall, we registered 161 (23.4%) disease progressions and 65 (9.4%) deaths, with a significant difference between treated and not-treated people (p < 0.001). In the multivariate logistic regression, increasing age [OR for ten years increasing age 1.23 (95%CI 1.04–1.45)] was associated with a higher risk of disease progression. In addition, cardiovascular disease [OR 1.69 (1.01–2.80), fever [OR 3.88 (95%CI 2.35–6.38)], and dyspnea [OR 7.24 (95%CI 4.17–12.58)] were associated with an increased risk of disease progression. In contrast, vaccination [OR 0.21 (95%CI 0.12–0.37)] and sotrovimab administration [OR 0.05 (95%CI 0.02–0.11)] were associated with a lower risk of developing severe COVID-19. Regarding mortality, people with older age [OR for ten years increasing age 1.36 (95%CI 1.09–1.69)] had a higher risk of death. In addition, in the multivariate analysis, cardiovascular disease lost statistical significance, while people on chemotherapy for haematological cancer [OR 4.07 (95%CI 1.45–11.4)] and those with dyspnea at diagnosis [OR 3.63 (95%CI 2.02–6.50)] had an increased risk of death. In contrast, vaccination [OR 0.37 (95%CI 0.20–0.68)] and sotrovimab treatment [OR 0.16 (95%CI 0.06–0.42)] were associated with lower risk. Only two adverse events were reported; one person complained of diarrhoea a few hours after sotrovimab administration, and one had an allergic reaction with cutaneous rash and itching. (4) Conclusions: Our study showed that sotrovimab treatment was associated with a reduction of the risk of disease progression and death in SARS-CoV-2-infected people, 70% of whom were over 65 years and a with high vaccination rate, with excellent safety. Therefore, our results reinforce the evidence about the efficacy and safety of sotrovimab during the Omicron era in a real-world setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficacy and Safety of Antiviral Therapy 2nd Edition)
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11 pages, 797 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Bivalent Omicron-Containing Booster Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant among Individuals with and without Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Kristin Widyasari, Jieun Jang, Taejoon Kang and Sunjoo Kim
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081756 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1337
Abstract
In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of the bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant in individuals with or without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection history. We assessed the SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibody in serum samples by surrogate virus neutralizing assay (sVNT) and determined [...] Read more.
In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of the bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant in individuals with or without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection history. We assessed the SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibody in serum samples by surrogate virus neutralizing assay (sVNT) and determined the serum’s neutralizing capacity against the Omicron BA.5 by a plaque reduction neutralizing test (PRNT50). The results of the sVNT assay demonstrate a higher percentage of inhibition of the serum samples from the infected group than from the uninfected group (p = 0.01) before the bivalent vaccination but a similarly high percentage of inhibition after the vaccination. Furthermore, the results of the PRNT50 assay demonstrate a higher neutralizing capacity of the serum samples against Omicron BA.5 in the infected group compared to the uninfected group, both before and after the bivalent vaccine administration (p < 0.01 and p = 0.02 for samples collected before and after the bivalent vaccination, respectively). A higher neutralizing capacity of the serum samples against BA.5 following bivalent vaccination compared to those before vaccination suggests the efficacy of bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in triggering an immune response against the Omicron variant, particularly BA.5, regardless of infection history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies 2.0)
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13 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
An Attempt of a New Strategy in PRV Prevention: Co-Injection with Inactivated Enterococcus faecium and Inactivated Pseudorabies Virus Intravenously
by Yuan Cui, Libo Huang, Jinlian Li, Gang Wang and Youfei Shi
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1755; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081755 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is one of the causative agents of common infectious diseases in swine herds. Enterococcus faecium is a probiotic belonging to the group of lactic acid bacteria and has excellent immunomodulatory effects. Vaccine immunization is an important approach to prevent animal [...] Read more.
Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is one of the causative agents of common infectious diseases in swine herds. Enterococcus faecium is a probiotic belonging to the group of lactic acid bacteria and has excellent immunomodulatory effects. Vaccine immunization is an important approach to prevent animal diseases in the modern farming industry, and good immunization outcomes can substantially reduce the damage caused by pathogens to animals, improve the quality of animals’ lives, and reduce economic losses. In the present study, we showed that inactivated E. faecium and inactivated PRV when co-injected intravenously significantly reduced the mortality of mice after inoculation with PRV. The inactivated E. faecium + inactivated PRV intravenous injection group induced more production of Th cells and Tc cells. Additionally, the inactivated E. faecium + inactivated PRV intravenous injection group showed higher concentrations of cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-10) and induced higher antibody production. Thus, the co-injection of inactivated E. faecium and inactivated PRV could remarkably prevent and control the lethality of PRV infection in mice, which is a critical finding for vaccination and clinical development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudorabies Virus, Volume II)
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7 pages, 4363 KiB  
Editorial
In Memory of the Virologist Jianguo Wu, 1957–2022
by Ge Yang, Zhaoyang Yue, Pan Pan and Yongkui Li
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081754 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 929
Abstract
It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the passing of the virologist Professor Jianguo Wu [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Memory of Jianguo Wu)
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2 pages, 176 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Rogers et al. The Combined Effects of Cannabis, Methamphetamine, and HIV on Neurocognition. Viruses 2023, 15, 674
by Patrick Anthony Augello and Jingwei Wu
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1753; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081753 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
We read with great interest the article by Rogers et al. (2023), The Combined Effects of Cannabis, Methamphetamine, and HIV on Neurocognition, published in Viruses [...] Full article
21 pages, 3972 KiB  
Article
Omicron Coronavirus: pH-Dependent Electrostatic Potential and Energy of Association of Spike Protein to ACE2 Receptor
by Svetlana H. Hristova and Alexandar M. Zhivkov
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1752; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081752 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1208
Abstract
The association of the S-protein of the SARS-CoV-2 beta coronavirus to ACE2 receptors of the human epithelial cells determines its contagiousness and pathogenicity. We computed the pH-dependent electric potential on the surface of the interacting globular proteins and pH-dependent Gibbs free energy at [...] Read more.
The association of the S-protein of the SARS-CoV-2 beta coronavirus to ACE2 receptors of the human epithelial cells determines its contagiousness and pathogenicity. We computed the pH-dependent electric potential on the surface of the interacting globular proteins and pH-dependent Gibbs free energy at the association of the wild-type strain and the omicron variant. The calculated isoelectric points of the ACE2 receptor (pI 5.4) and the S-protein in trimeric form (pI 7.3, wild type), (pI 7.8, omicron variant), experimentally verified by isoelectric focusing, show that at pH 6–7, the S1–ACE2 association is conditioned by electrostatic attraction of the oppositely charged receptor and viral protein. The comparison of the local electrostatic potentials of the omicron variant and the wild-type strain shows that the point mutations alter the electrostatic potential in a relatively small area on the surface of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the S1 subunit. The appearance of seven charge-changing point mutations in RBD (equivalent to three additional positive charges) leads to a stronger S1–ACE2 association at pH 5.5 (typical for the respiratory tract) and a weaker one at pH 7.4 (characteristic of the blood plasma); this reveals the reason for the higher contagiousness but lower pathogenicity of the omicron variant in comparison to the wild-type strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Variants of SARS-CoV-2)
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13 pages, 2704 KiB  
Article
High Prevalence, Genetic Diversity, and Recombination of Porcine Sapelovirus in Pig Farms in Fujian, Southern China
by Qiu-Yong Chen, Zhi-Hua Sun, Yong-Liang Che, Ru-Jing Chen, Xue-Min Wu, Ren-Jie Wu, Long-Bai Wang and Lun-Jiang Zhou
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1751; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081751 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 942
Abstract
Porcine sapelovirus (PSV) is a ubiquitous virus in farmed pigs that is associated with SMEDI syndrome, polioencephalomyelitis, and diarrhea. However, there are few reports on the prevalence and molecular characterization of PSV in Fujian Province, Southern China. In this study, the prevalence of [...] Read more.
Porcine sapelovirus (PSV) is a ubiquitous virus in farmed pigs that is associated with SMEDI syndrome, polioencephalomyelitis, and diarrhea. However, there are few reports on the prevalence and molecular characterization of PSV in Fujian Province, Southern China. In this study, the prevalence of PSV and a poetical combinative strain PSV2020 were characterized using real-time PCR, sequencing, and bioinformatics analysis. As a result, an overall sample prevalence of 30.8% was detected in 260 fecal samples, and a farm prevalence of 76.7% was observed in 30 Fujian pig farms, from 2020 to 2022. Noteably, a high rate of PSV was found in sucking pigs. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the full-length genome of PSV2020 was 7550 bp, and the genetic evolution of its ORF region was closest to the G1 subgroup, which was isolated from Asia and America; the similarity of nucleotides and amino acids to other PSVs was 59.5~88.7% and 51.7~97.0%, respectively. However, VP1 genetic evolution analysis showed a distinct phylogenetic topology from the ORF region; PSV2020 VP1 was closer to the DIAPD5469-10 strain isolated from Italy than strains isolated from Asia and America, which comprise the G1 subgroup based on the ORF region. Amino acid discrepancy analysis illustrated that the PSV2020 VP1 gene inserted twelve additional nucleotides, corresponding to four additional amino acids (STAE) at positions 898–902 AAs. Moreover, a potential recombination signal was observed in the 2A coding region, near the 3′ end of VP1, owing to recombination analysis. Additionally, 3D genetic evolutionary analysis showed that all reference strains demonstrated, to some degree, regional conservation. These results suggested that PSV was highly prevalent in Fujian pig farms, and PSV2020, a PSV-1 genotype strain, showed gene diversity and recombination in evolutionary progress. This study also laid a scientific foundation for the investigation of PSV epidemiology, molecular genetic characteristics, and vaccine development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Enteric Viruses)
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