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Viruses, Volume 16, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 150 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Seasonal infection rates of individual viruses are influenced by synergistic or inhibitory interactions between coincident viruses. We explored the immunopathologic basis of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A (H1N1pdm09) interactions in Syrian hamsters. Influenza given 48 h prior to SARS-CoV-2 protected hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 disease. This was accompanied by a decreased SARS-CoV-2 viral load and lower cytokine levels in the lungs of the protected animals. Influenza infection induced rapid upregulation of innate immune and antiviral pathways in the upper respiratory tract shortly after infection, thus providing a less favorable environment for subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection. On a population level, interaction between these two viruses may influence their relative seasonal infection rates. View this paper
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53 pages, 15049 KiB  
Review
The Influenza A Virus Replication Cycle: A Comprehensive Review
by Toby Carter and Munir Iqbal
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020316 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2140
Abstract
Influenza A virus (IAV) is the primary causative agent of influenza, colloquially called the flu. Each year, it infects up to a billion people, resulting in hundreds of thousands of human deaths, and causes devastating avian outbreaks with worldwide losses worth billions of [...] Read more.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is the primary causative agent of influenza, colloquially called the flu. Each year, it infects up to a billion people, resulting in hundreds of thousands of human deaths, and causes devastating avian outbreaks with worldwide losses worth billions of dollars. Always present is the possibility that a highly pathogenic novel subtype capable of direct human-to-human transmission will spill over into humans, causing a pandemic as devastating if not more so than the 1918 influenza pandemic. While antiviral drugs for influenza do exist, they target very few aspects of IAV replication and risk becoming obsolete due to antiviral resistance. Antivirals targeting other areas of IAV replication are needed to overcome this resistance and combat the yearly epidemics, which exact a serious toll worldwide. This review aims to summarise the key steps in the IAV replication cycle, along with highlighting areas of research that need more focus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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13 pages, 2212 KiB  
Article
Emergence of Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus in Eastern Senegal in 2022
by Ousseynou Sene, Samba Niang Sagne, Déthié Ngom, Moussa Moise Diagne, Aminata Badji, Aliou Khoulé, El Hadji Ndiaye, Safietou Sankhe, Cheikh Loucoubar, Mawlouth Diallo, Manfred Weidmann, Ndongo Dia, Etienne Simon-Lorière, Yoro Sall, Boly Diop, Mamadou Ndiaye, Anavaj Sakuntabhai, Amadou Alpha Sall, Ousmane Faye, Oumar Faye, Diawo Diallo, Mamadou Aliou Barry and Gamou Falladd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020315 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 996
Abstract
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), the most widespread tick-borne viral human infection, poses a threat to global health. In this study, clinical samples collected through national surveillance systems were screened for acute CCHF virus (CCHFV) infection using RT-PCR and for exposure using ELISA. For [...] Read more.
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), the most widespread tick-borne viral human infection, poses a threat to global health. In this study, clinical samples collected through national surveillance systems were screened for acute CCHF virus (CCHFV) infection using RT-PCR and for exposure using ELISA. For any CCHF-positive sample, livestock and tick samples were also collected in the neighborhood of the confirmed case and tested using ELISA and RT-PCR, respectively. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses were also performed on samples with positive RT-PCR results. In Eastern Senegal, two human cases and one Hyalomma tick positive for CCHF were identified and a seroprevalence in livestock ranging from 9.33% to 45.26% was detected. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the human strain belonged to genotype I based on the available L segment. However, the tick strain showed a reassortant profile, with the L and M segments belonging to genotype I and the S segment belonging to genotype III. Our data also showed that our strains clustered with strains isolated in different countries, including Mauritania. Therefore, our findings confirmed the high genetic variability inside the CCHF genotypes and their introduction to Senegal from other countries. They also indicate an increasing CCHF threat in Senegal and emphasize the need to reinforce surveillance using a one-health approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa)
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10 pages, 1522 KiB  
Article
Change in Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in the Last Two Decades in Thailand
by Yosagorn Porngasemsart, Sirinart Sirilert and Theera Tongsong
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020314 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 904
Abstract
Objectives: In Thailand, there has been a strategy to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HBV for over 30 years. However, there is still a lack of empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of this strategy. This study aims to investigate the trends in the [...] Read more.
Objectives: In Thailand, there has been a strategy to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HBV for over 30 years. However, there is still a lack of empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of this strategy. This study aims to investigate the trends in the prevalence of HBV infection in pregnant women and to identify factors that may be associated with the prevalence of HBV infection in pregnant women. Patients and Methods: A maternal–fetal medicine database was accessed to retrieve the consecutive obstetric records of women giving birth at Chiang Mai University Hospital, Thailand, from January 2003 to December 2022. All women undergoing HBV tests with available results were included for an analysis of the trends and changes in the prevalence of maternal HBV infection. Also, the rates of infection in different age cohorts were compared. Results: During the study period, a total of 36,958 women were eligible for analysis. Overall, the prevalence of HBV infection in pregnant women was found to be 5.3% (1970 cases). Overall, HBV prevalence fell from 6.11% in 2003 to 3.15% in 2022. There was a significant reduction, especially in the adolescent group, decreasing from 8.26% in 2003 to 0% in 2022. In the reproductive age group, the prevalence significantly decreased from 6.41% to 2.01%. However, the prevalence in the elderly group was unchanged. The only significant risk factor was the years in the early timeline of the study period, presumably associated with previous HBV vaccination. Other factors, such as socioeconomic status, residential area, and being a private case, were not correlated with the prevalence of HBV. Conclusion: The prevalence of HBV infection in pregnant women has significantly decreased in the past two decades from 6.11% in 2003 to 3.15% in 2022. The percentage of reduction was very striking in the adolescent group, dropping from 8.6% in 2003 to 0.0% in 2022 or being nearly eradicated in the most recent years. Our results suggest that the overall prevalence of HBV infection among our pregnant women will probably be less than 1.0% in the near future. Full article
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14 pages, 881 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Alterations in Mothers Living with HIV and Their HIV-Exposed, Uninfected Infants
by Louise D. V. du Toit, Shayne Mason, Mari van Reenen, Theresa M. Rossouw and Roan Louw
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020313 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 938
Abstract
HIV-exposed, uninfected (HEU) children present with suboptimal growth and a greater susceptibility to infection in early life when compared to HIV-unexposed, uninfected (HUU) children. The reasons for these findings are poorly understood. We used a metabolomics approach to investigate the metabolic differences between [...] Read more.
HIV-exposed, uninfected (HEU) children present with suboptimal growth and a greater susceptibility to infection in early life when compared to HIV-unexposed, uninfected (HUU) children. The reasons for these findings are poorly understood. We used a metabolomics approach to investigate the metabolic differences between pregnant women living with HIV (PWLWH) and their HEU infants compared to the uninfected and unexposed controls. Untargeted metabolomic profiling was performed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy on maternal plasma at 28 weeks’ gestation and infant plasma at birth, 6/10 weeks, and 6 months. PWLWH were older but, apart from a larger 28 week mid-upper-arm circumference, anthropometrically similar to the controls. At all the time points, HEU infants had a significantly reduced growth compared to HUU infants. PWLWH had lower plasma 3-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid, and acetic acid levels. In infants at birth, threonine and myo-inositol levels were lower in the HEU group while formic acid levels were higher. At 6/10 weeks, betaine and tyrosine levels were lower in the HEU group. Finally, at six months, 3-hydroxyisobutyric acid levels were lower while glycine levels were higher in the HEU infants. The NMR analysis has provided preliminary information indicating differences between HEU and HUU infants’ plasma metabolites involved in energy utilization, growth, and protection from infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Cellular Metabolism 2023)
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15 pages, 1893 KiB  
Article
Generation of High-Quality African Swine Fever Virus Complete Genome from Field Samples by Next-Generation Sequencing
by Chuan Shi, Qinghua Wang, Yutian Liu, Shujuan Wang, Yongqiang Zhang, Chunju Liu, Yongxin Hu, Dongxia Zheng, Chengyou Sun, Fangfang Song, Xiaojing Yu, Yunling Zhao, Jingyue Bao and Zhiliang Wang
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020312 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 909
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is a lethal contagious viral disease of domestic pigs and wild boars caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV). The pandemic spread of ASF has caused severe effects on the global pig industry. Whole-genome sequencing provides crucial information [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is a lethal contagious viral disease of domestic pigs and wild boars caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV). The pandemic spread of ASF has caused severe effects on the global pig industry. Whole-genome sequencing provides crucial information for virus strain characterization, epidemiology analysis and vaccine development. Here, we evaluated the performance of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in generating ASFV genome sequences from clinical samples. Thirty-four ASFV-positive field samples including spleen, lymph node, lung, liver and blood with a range of Ct values from 14.73 to 25.95 were sequenced. For different tissue samples collected from the same sick pigs, the proportion of ASFV reads obtained from the spleen samples was 3.69–9.86 times higher than other tissues. For the high-viral-load spleen samples (Ct < 20), a minimum of a 99.8% breadth of ≥10× coverage was revealed for all the samples. For the spleen samples with Ct ≥ 20, 6/12 samples had a minimum of a 99.8% breadth of ≥10× coverage. A high average depth of sequencing coverage was also achieved from the blood samples. According to our results, high-quality ASFV whole-genome sequences could be obtained from the spleen or blood samples with Ct < 20. The high-quality ASFV genome sequence generated in this study was further used for the high-resolution phylogenetic analysis of the ASFV genomes in the early stage of the ASF epidemic in China. Our study demonstrates that NGS may act as a useful tool for efficient ASFV genome characterization, providing valuable information for disease control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue African Swine Fever Virus 4.0)
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12 pages, 6404 KiB  
Article
Application of CRISPR/Cas9 for Rapid Genome Editing of Pseudorabies Virus and Bovine Herpesvirus-1
by Wanqi Yu, Jingyi Liu, Yingnan Liu, Maria Forlenza and Hongjun Chen
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020311 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
The CRISPR/Cas9 system is widely used to manipulate viral genomes. Although Alphaherpesvirinae genomes are large and complicated to edit, in recent years several Pseudorabies virus (PRV) mutants have been successfully generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. However, the application of CRISPR/Cas9 editing on another [...] Read more.
The CRISPR/Cas9 system is widely used to manipulate viral genomes. Although Alphaherpesvirinae genomes are large and complicated to edit, in recent years several Pseudorabies virus (PRV) mutants have been successfully generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. However, the application of CRISPR/Cas9 editing on another member of alpha herpesviruses, bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1), is rarely reported. This paper reports a rapid and straightforward approach to manipulating herpesviruses genome using CRISPR/Cas9. The recombinant plasmids contained the left and right arm of the thymidine kinase (TK) gene of PRV or of the glycoprotein I (gI) and glycoprotein E (gE) of BHV-1. Upon the cleavage of the TK or gIgE gene by Cas9 protein, this was replaced by the enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP) by homologous recombination. With this approach, we generated recombinant TK-/eGFP+ PRV and gIgE-/eGFP+ BHV-1 mutants and then proceeded to characterize their biological activities in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, we showed that alpha herpesvirus, including PRV and BHV-1, can be rapidly edited using the CRISPR/Cas9 approach paving the way to the development of animal herpesvirus vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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21 pages, 4654 KiB  
Article
Serpentoviruses Exhibit Diverse Organization and ORF Composition with Evidence of Recombination
by Steven B. Tillis, Robert J. Ossiboff and James F. X. Wellehan, Jr.
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020310 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Serpentoviruses are a subfamily of positive sense RNA viruses in the order Nidovirales, family Tobaniviridae, associated with respiratory disease in multiple clades of reptiles. While the broadest viral diversity is reported from captive pythons, other reptiles, including colubrid snakes, turtles, and lizards [...] Read more.
Serpentoviruses are a subfamily of positive sense RNA viruses in the order Nidovirales, family Tobaniviridae, associated with respiratory disease in multiple clades of reptiles. While the broadest viral diversity is reported from captive pythons, other reptiles, including colubrid snakes, turtles, and lizards of captive and free-ranging origin are also known hosts. To better define serpentoviral diversity, eleven novel serpentovirus genomes were sequenced with an Illumina MiSeq and, when necessary, completed with other Sanger sequencing methods. The novel serpentoviral genomes, along with 57 other previously published serpentovirus genomes, were analyzed alongside four outgroup genomes. Genomic analyses included identifying unique genome templates for each serpentovirus clade, as well as analysis of coded protein composition, potential protein function, protein glycosylation sites, differences in phylogenetic history between open-reading frames, and recombination. Serpentoviral genomes contained diverse protein compositions. In addition to the fundamental structural spike, matrix, and nucleoprotein proteins required for virion formation, serpentovirus genomes also included 20 previously uncharacterized proteins. The uncharacterized proteins were homologous to a number of previously characterized proteins, including enzymes, transcription factors, scaffolding, viral resistance, and apoptosis-related proteins. Evidence for recombination was detected in multiple instances in genomes from both captive and free-ranging snakes. These results show serpentovirus as a diverse clade of viruses with genomes that code for a wide diversity of proteins potentially enhanced by recombination events. Full article
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12 pages, 3778 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic and Molecular Analysis of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus in Mexico during the First Reported Outbreaks (2013–2017)
by José Francisco Rivera-Benítez, Rebeca Martínez-Bautista, Raúl González-Martínez, Jazmín De la Luz-Armendáriz, Irma Herrera-Camacho, Nora Rosas-Murrieta, Laura Márquez-Valdelamar and Rocio Lara
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020309 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 814
Abstract
The characteristics of the whole PEDV genome that has circulated in Mexico from the first outbreak to the present are unknown. We chose samples obtained from 2013 to 2017 and sequenced them, which enabled us to identify the genetic variation and phylogeny in [...] Read more.
The characteristics of the whole PEDV genome that has circulated in Mexico from the first outbreak to the present are unknown. We chose samples obtained from 2013 to 2017 and sequenced them, which enabled us to identify the genetic variation and phylogeny in the virus during the first four years that it circulated in Mexico. A 99% identity was found among the analyzed pandemic strains; however, the 1% difference affected the structure of the S glycoprotein, which is essential for the binding of the virus to the cellular receptor. The S protein induces the most efficacious antibodies; hence, these changes in structure could be implicated in the clinical antecedents of the outbreaks. Antigenic changes could also help PEDV avoid neutralization, even in the presence of previous immunity. The characterization of the complete genome enabled the identification of three circulating strains that have a deletion in ORF1a, which is present in attenuated Asian vaccine strains. The phylogenetic analysis of the complete genome indicates that the first PEDV outbreaks in Mexico were caused by INDEL strains and pandemic strains related to USA strains; however, the possibility of the entry of European strains exists, which may have caused the 2015 and 2016 outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV): Pathogenesis and Prevention)
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14 pages, 2056 KiB  
Review
Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Cytokines during Influenza and COVID-19
by De Chang, Charles Dela Cruz and Lokesh Sharma
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020308 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Cytokines are signaling molecules that play a role in myriad processes, including those occurring during diseases and homeostasis. Their homeostatic function begins during embryogenesis and persists throughout life, including appropriate signaling for the cell and organism death. During viral infections, antiviral cytokines such [...] Read more.
Cytokines are signaling molecules that play a role in myriad processes, including those occurring during diseases and homeostasis. Their homeostatic function begins during embryogenesis and persists throughout life, including appropriate signaling for the cell and organism death. During viral infections, antiviral cytokines such as interferons and inflammatory cytokines are upregulated. Despite the well-known benefits of these cytokines, their levels often correlate with disease severity, linking them to unfavorable outcomes. In this review, we discuss both the beneficial and pathological functions of cytokines and the potential challenges in separating these two roles. Further, we discuss challenges in targeting these cytokines during disease and propose a new method for quantifying the cytokine effect to limit the pathological consequences while preserving their beneficial effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
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0 pages, 4848 KiB  
Brief Report
Identification and Genomic Characterization of Bovine Boosepivirus A in the United States and Canada
by Christian Savard and Leyi Wang
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020307 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Boosepivirus is a new genus in the Picornaviridae family. Boosepiviruses (BooVs) are genetically classified into three species: A, B, and C. Initially, Boosepivirus A and B were identified in cattle, whereas Boosepivirus C was detected in sheep. Recent evidence showed that Boosepivirus B [...] Read more.
Boosepivirus is a new genus in the Picornaviridae family. Boosepiviruses (BooVs) are genetically classified into three species: A, B, and C. Initially, Boosepivirus A and B were identified in cattle, whereas Boosepivirus C was detected in sheep. Recent evidence showed that Boosepivirus B was detected in sheep and Boosepivirus C was identified in goats, suggesting that Boosepvirus might cross the species barrier to infect different hosts. Different from BooV B, BooV A is less studied. In the present study, we reported identification of two North American BooV A strains from cattle. Genomic characterization revealed that US IL33712 (GenBank accession #PP035161) and Canada 1087562 (GenBank accession #PP035162) BooV A strains are distantly related to each other, and US IL33712 is more closely correlated to two Asian BooV A strains. US-strain-specific insertions, NorthAmerican-strain-specific insertions, and species A-specific insertions are observed and could contribute to viral pathogenicity and host adaptation. Our findings highlight the importance of continued surveillance of BooV A in animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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15 pages, 1126 KiB  
Article
Rosuvastatin as a Supplemental Treatment for the Clinical Symptoms of Nephropathia Epidemica: A Pilot Clinical Study
by Venera Shakirova, Maria Markelova, Yuriy Davidyuk, Robert J. Stott-Marshall, Toshana L. Foster, Svetlana Khaiboullina, Albert Rizvanov and Ekaterina Martynova
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020306 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Nephropathis epidemica (NE), a mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), is an acute zoonotic disease endemic in the Republic of Tatarstan. This study aimed to assess the impact of rosuvastatin on the clinical and laboratory results of NE. A total [...] Read more.
Nephropathis epidemica (NE), a mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), is an acute zoonotic disease endemic in the Republic of Tatarstan. This study aimed to assess the impact of rosuvastatin on the clinical and laboratory results of NE. A total of 61 NE patients and 30 controls were included in this study; 22 NE patients and 7 controls received a daily dose of rosuvastatin (10 mg) for ten consecutive days. Serum samples were collected on days 1, 5, and 10 after admission to the hospital. These samples were analyzed to determine the levels of lipids, cytokines, and kidney toxicity markers. Our findings indicate that rosuvastatin reduced the duration of the second wave of fever and alleviated back pain and headache symptoms. Additionally, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) serum levels were significantly decreased on days 5 and 10 upon rosuvastatin treatment. Furthermore, rosuvastatin decreased the levels of cytokines in the serum, particularly proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-8. NE patients had significantly altered levels of the kidney toxicity markers albumin and osteopontin. The data from our study provide evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of rosuvastatin in NE cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel and Repurposed Antiviral Agents)
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7 pages, 838 KiB  
Communication
First Report of the Emergence of Peste des Petits Ruminants Lineage IV Virus in Senegal
by Aminata Ba, Gaye Laye Diop, Mbengué Ndiaye, Michel Dione and Modou Moustapha Lo
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020305 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious viral disease and one of the deadliest affecting wild goats, sheep, and small ruminants; however, goats are generally more sensitive. The causative agent is the Peste des Petits Ruminants virus (PPRV), which is a [...] Read more.
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious viral disease and one of the deadliest affecting wild goats, sheep, and small ruminants; however, goats are generally more sensitive. The causative agent is the Peste des Petits Ruminants virus (PPRV), which is a single-stranded RNA virus of negative polarity belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family. In February 2020, an active outbreak of PPR was reported in a herd of a transhumant farmer in the village of Gainth Pathé (department of Kounguel, Kaffrine region, Senegal). Of the ten swabs collected from the goats, eight returned a positive result through a quantitative real-time PCR. The sample that yielded the strongest signal from the quantitative real-time PCR was further analyzed with a conventional PCR amplification and direct amplicon sequencing. A phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequence of the PPR virus obtained belonged to lineage IV. These results confirm those found in the countries bordering Senegal and reinforce the hypothesis of the importance of animal mobility between these neighboring countries in the control of PPRV. In perspective, following the discovery of this lineage IV in Senegal, a study on its dispersion is underway throughout the national territory. The results that will emerge from this study, associated with detailed data on animal movements and epidemiological data, will provide appropriate and effective information to improve PPR surveillance and control strategies with a view to its eradication. Full article
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13 pages, 2843 KiB  
Article
The Vector Competence of Asian Longhorned Ticks in Langat Virus Transmission
by Yan Xu and Jingwen Wang
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020304 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Haemaphysalis longicornis (the longhorned tick), the predominant tick species in China, serves as a vector for a variety of pathogens, and is capable of transmitting the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), the causative agent of tick-borne encephalitis. However, it is unclear how these ticks [...] Read more.
Haemaphysalis longicornis (the longhorned tick), the predominant tick species in China, serves as a vector for a variety of pathogens, and is capable of transmitting the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), the causative agent of tick-borne encephalitis. However, it is unclear how these ticks transmit TBEV. Langat virus (LGTV), which has a reduced pathogenicity in humans, has been used as a surrogate for TBEV. In this study, we aimed to investigate the vector competence of H. longicornis to transmit LGTV and demonstrate the efficient acquisition and transmission of LGTV between this tick species and mice. LGTV localization was detected in several tick tissues, such as the midgut, salivary glands, and synganglion, using quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical staining with a polyclonal antibody targeting the LGTV envelope protein. We demonstrated the horizontal transmission of LGTV to different developmental stages within the same generation but did not see evidence of vertical transmission. It was interesting to note that we observed mice acting as a bridge, facilitating the transmission of LGTV to neighboring naïve ticks during blood feeding. In conclusion, the virus–vector–host model employed in this study provides valuable insights into the replication and transmission of LGTV throughout its life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vectors for Insect Viruses)
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11 pages, 468 KiB  
Article
Association between the Mode of Delivery and Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus
by Émilie Nantel, Marie-Hélène Mayrand, François Audibert, Joseph Niyibizi, Paul Brassard, Louise Laporte, Julie Lacaille, Monica Zahreddine, William Fraser, Diane Francoeur, Marie-Josée Bédard, Isabelle Girard, Jacques Lacroix, Ana Maria Carceller, François Coutlée and Helen Trottier
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020303 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 819
Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can be vertically transmitted. Our objective was to measure the association between the mode of delivery and the detection of HPV in infants. We used data collected from pregnant women during the HERITAGE study. Self-collected vaginal samples from the first [...] Read more.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can be vertically transmitted. Our objective was to measure the association between the mode of delivery and the detection of HPV in infants. We used data collected from pregnant women during the HERITAGE study. Self-collected vaginal samples from the first and third trimester were obtained for HPV testing. Specimens from oral, pharyngeal, conjunctival and anogenital mucosa were collected from infants 36–48 h after delivery and at 3 months of age. All samples were tested for HPV DNA by the Linear Array assay. Adjusted odd ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using multivariate logistic regressions. From the 282 women revealed to be HPV-positive in both the first and third trimesters, 25 infants were born HPV-positive. The overall probability of transmission was 8.9% (25/282); 3.7% (3/81) in participants with a caesarean section and 10.9% (22/201) for those who delivered vaginally. Vaginal delivery increased the risk of HPV in infants compared to caesarean (aOR: 3.63, 95%CI: 1.03–12.82). Infants born after a caesarean with ruptured membranes were not at increased risk of HPV compared to infants born after an elective caesarean section with intact membranes (aOR: 1.31, 95%CI: 0.10–17.76). Our results support the hypothesis that transmission occurs mostly during the passage in the vaginal canal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus Infections)
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12 pages, 1758 KiB  
Opinion
The Chemokine CXCL14 as a Potential Immunotherapeutic Agent for Cancer Therapy
by Nicholas S. Giacobbi, Shreya Mullapudi, Harrison Nabors and Dohun Pyeon
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020302 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 813
Abstract
There is great enthusiasm toward the development of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and given their roles in immune system regulation, chemokines stand out as promising candidates for use in new cancer therapies. Many previous studies have shown how chemokine signaling [...] Read more.
There is great enthusiasm toward the development of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and given their roles in immune system regulation, chemokines stand out as promising candidates for use in new cancer therapies. Many previous studies have shown how chemokine signaling pathways could be targeted to halt cancer progression. We and others have revealed that the chemokine CXCL14 promotes antitumor immune responses, suggesting that CXCL14 may be effective for cancer immunotherapy. However, it is still unknown what mechanism governs CXCL14-mediated antitumor activity, how to deliver CXCL14, what dose to apply, and what combinations with existing therapy may boost antitumor immune responses in cancer patients. Here, we provide updates on the role of CXCL14 in cancer progression and discuss the potential development and application of CXCL14 as an immunotherapeutic agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Responses to Papillomavirus Infections)
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12 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
The Risk of Reinfection or Primary Hepatitis E Virus Infection at a Liver Transplant Center in Brazil: An Observational Cohort Study
by Michelle Zicker, João R. R. Pinho, Eliane A. R. Welter, Bianca D. Guardia, Paulo G. T. M. da Silva, Leonardo B. da Silveira and Luís F. A. Camargo
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020301 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 779
Abstract
The hepatitis E virus is a major etiological agent of chronic hepatitis in immunosuppressed individuals. Seroprevalence in the liver transplantation setting varies according to the seroprevalence of the general population in different countries. This was a prospective cohort study of liver transplant recipients [...] Read more.
The hepatitis E virus is a major etiological agent of chronic hepatitis in immunosuppressed individuals. Seroprevalence in the liver transplantation setting varies according to the seroprevalence of the general population in different countries. This was a prospective cohort study of liver transplant recipients in southeastern Brazil. Recipients were systematically followed for one year, with the objective of determining the prevalence, incidence, and natural history of HEV infection in this population. We included 107 liver transplant recipients and 83 deceased donors. Positivity for anti-HEV IgG was detected in 10.2% of the recipients and in 9.7% of the donors. None of the patients tested positive for HEV RNA at baseline or during follow-up. There were no episodes of reactivation or seroconversion, even in cases of serological donor-recipient mismatch or in recipients with acute hepatitis. Acute and chronic HEV infections seem to be rare events in the region studied. That could be attributable to social, economic, and environmental factors. Our data indicate that, among liver transplant recipients, hepatitis E should be investigated only when there are elevated levels of transaminases with no defined cause, as part of the differential diagnosis of seronegative hepatitis after transplantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
16 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
D-Limonene Affects the Feeding Behavior and the Acquisition and Transmission of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus by Bemisia tabaci
by Yan Wei, Liming Gao, Zhanhong Zhang, Kailong Li, Zhuo Zhang, Deyong Zhang, Jianbin Chen, Jing Peng, Yang Gao, Jiao Du, Shuo Yan, Xiaobin Shi and Yong Liu
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020300 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is an important invasive pest transmitting plant viruses that are maintained through a plant–insect–plant cycle. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) can be transmitted in a persistent manner by B. tabaci, which causes great losses to global agricultural production. [...] Read more.
Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is an important invasive pest transmitting plant viruses that are maintained through a plant–insect–plant cycle. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) can be transmitted in a persistent manner by B. tabaci, which causes great losses to global agricultural production. From an environmentally friendly, sustainable, and efficient point of view, in this study, we explored the function of d-limonene in reducing the acquisition and transmission of TYLCV by B. tabaci as a repellent volatile. D-limonene increased the duration of non-feeding waves and reduced the duration of phloem feeding in non-viruliferous and viruliferous whiteflies by the Electrical Penetration Graph technique (EPG). Additionally, after treatment with d-limonene, the acquisition and transmission rate of TYLCV was reduced. Furthermore, BtabOBP3 was determined as the molecular target for recognizing d-limonene by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), fluorescence competitive binding assays, and molecular docking. These results confirmed that d-limonene is an important functional volatile which showed a potential contribution against viral infections with potential implications for developing effective TYLCV control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Virus-Insect Interactions)
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10 pages, 2913 KiB  
Conference Report
Meeting Report of the Second Symposium of the Belgian Society for Viruses of Microbes and Launch of the Phage Valley
by Salomé Desmecht, Agnieszka Latka, Pieter-Jan Ceyssens, Abel Garcia-Pino, Annika Gillis, Rob Lavigne, Gipsi Lima-Mendez, Jelle Matthijnssens, Roberto Vázquez, Jolien Venneman, Jeroen Wagemans, Yves Briers and Damien Thiry
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020299 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 803
Abstract
The second symposium of the Belgian Society for Viruses of Microbes (BSVoM) took place on 8 September 2023 at the University of Liège with 141 participants from 10 countries. The meeting program covered three thematic sessions opened by international keynote speakers: two sessions [...] Read more.
The second symposium of the Belgian Society for Viruses of Microbes (BSVoM) took place on 8 September 2023 at the University of Liège with 141 participants from 10 countries. The meeting program covered three thematic sessions opened by international keynote speakers: two sessions were devoted to “Fundamental research in phage ecology and biology” and the third one to the “Present and future applications of phages”. During this one day symposium, four invited keynote lectures, nine selected talks and eight student pitches were given along with thirty presented posters. The president of the Belgian Society for Viruses of Microbes, Prof. Yves Briers, took advantage of this symposium to launch the Phage Valley concept that will put the spotlight on the exceptionally high density of researchers investigating viruses of microbes as well as the successful triple helix approach between academia, industry and government in Belgium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Viruses)
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13 pages, 884 KiB  
Article
Association between Human Papillomavirus 16 Viral Load in Pregnancy and Preterm Birth
by Pranamika Khayargoli, Marie-Hélène Mayrand, Joseph Niyibizi, François Audibert, Louise Laporte, Julie Lacaille, Ana Maria Carceller, Jacques Lacroix, Émilie Comète, François Coutlée and Helen Trottier
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020298 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Recent evidence shows increased preterm birth risk with human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection during pregnancy. This study aimed to measure the association between HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth. We used data from participants in the HERITAGE study. The Linear Array assay [...] Read more.
Recent evidence shows increased preterm birth risk with human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection during pregnancy. This study aimed to measure the association between HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth. We used data from participants in the HERITAGE study. The Linear Array assay was used for HPV DNA testing on vaginal samples collected during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. The HPV16 viral load was measured with a real-time polymerase chain reaction. We used logistic regression to measure the associations between HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth (defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation). The adjusted odd ratios (aORs) and the 95% confidence intervals [CIs] were estimated with inverse probability treatment weighting of the propensity score. This study included 48 participants who tested positive for HPV16 during the first trimester of pregnancy. The aOR for the association between first-trimester HPV16 viral load (higher viral load categorized with a cutoff of 0.5 copy/cell) was 13.04 [95% CI: 1.58–107.57]). Similar associations were found using different cutoffs for the categorization of viral load during the first and third trimesters. Our findings suggest a strong association between a high HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth, demonstrating a biological gradient that reinforces the biological plausibility of a causal association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus Infections)
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22 pages, 4171 KiB  
Article
Validation of Candidate Host Cell Entry Factors for Bovine Herpes Virus Type-1 Based on a Genome-Wide CRISPR Knockout Screen
by Wenfang Spring Tan, Enguang Rong, Inga Dry, Simon Lillico, Andy Law, Paul Digard, Bruce Whitelaw and Robert G. Dalziel
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020297 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
To identify host factors that affect Bovine Herpes Virus Type 1 (BoHV-1) infection we previously applied a genome wide CRISPR knockout screen targeting all bovine protein coding genes. By doing so we compiled a list of both pro-viral and anti-viral proteins involved in [...] Read more.
To identify host factors that affect Bovine Herpes Virus Type 1 (BoHV-1) infection we previously applied a genome wide CRISPR knockout screen targeting all bovine protein coding genes. By doing so we compiled a list of both pro-viral and anti-viral proteins involved in BoHV-1 replication. Here we provide further analysis of those that are potentially involved in viral entry into the host cell. We first generated single cell knockout clones deficient in some of the candidate genes for validation. We provide evidence that Polio Virus Receptor-related protein (PVRL2) serves as a receptor for BoHV-1, mediating more efficient entry than the previously identified Polio Virus Receptor (PVR). By knocking out two enzymes that catalyze HSPG chain elongation, HST2ST1 and GLCE, we further demonstrate the significance of HSPG in BoHV-1 entry. Another intriguing cluster of candidate genes, COG1, COG2 and COG4-7 encode six subunits of the Conserved Oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex. MDBK cells lacking COG6 produced fewer but bigger plaques compared to control cells, suggesting more efficient release of newly produced virions from these COG6 knockout cells, due to impaired HSPG biosynthesis. We further observed that viruses produced by the COG6 knockout cells consist of protein(s) with reduced N-glycosylation, potentially explaining their lower infectivity. To facilitate candidate validation, we also detailed a one-step multiplex CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) system, an orthogonal method to KO that enables quick and simultaneous deployment of three CRISPRs for efficient gene inactivation. Using CRISPR3i, we verified eight candidates that have been implicated in the synthesis of surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). In summary, our experiments confirmed the two receptors PVR and PVRL2 for BoHV-1 entry into the host cell and other factors that affect this process, likely through the direct or indirect roles they play during HSPG synthesis and glycosylation of viral proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Herpesvirus)
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17 pages, 3787 KiB  
Article
SIV Infection Is Associated with Transient Acute-Phase Steatosis in Hepatocytes In Vivo
by Nina Derby, Sreya Biswas, Sofiya Yusova, Cristina Luevano-Santos, Maria Cristina Pacheco, Kimberly A. Meyer, Brooke I. Johnson, Miranda Fischer, Katherine A. Fancher, Cole Fisher, Yohannes M. Abraham, Conor J. McMahon, Savannah S. Lutz, Jeremy V. Smedley, Benjamin J. Burwitz and Donald L. Sodora
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020296 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Metabolic-dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals, even those receiving optimal antiretroviral therapy. Here, we utilized the SIV rhesus macaque model and advanced laparoscopic techniques for longitudinal collection of liver tissue to elucidate the [...] Read more.
Metabolic-dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals, even those receiving optimal antiretroviral therapy. Here, we utilized the SIV rhesus macaque model and advanced laparoscopic techniques for longitudinal collection of liver tissue to elucidate the timing of pathologic changes. The livers of both SIV-infected (N = 9) and SIV-naïve uninfected (N = 8) macaques were biopsied and evaluated at four time points (weeks −4, 2, 6, and 16–20 post-infection) and at necropsy (week 32). SIV DNA within the macaques’ livers varied by over 4 logs at necropsy, and liver SIV DNA significantly correlated with SIV RNA in the plasma throughout the study. Acute phase liver pathology (2 weeks post-infection) was characterized by evidence for fat accumulation (microvesicular steatosis), a transient elevation in both AST and cholesterol levels within the serum, and increased hepatic expression of the PPARA gene associated with cholesterol metabolism and beta oxidation. By contrast, the chronic phase of the SIV infection (32 weeks post-infection) was associated with sinusoidal dilatation, while steatosis resolved and concentrations of AST and cholesterol remained similar to those in uninfected macaques. These findings suggest differential liver pathologies associated with the acute and chronic phases of infection and the possibility that therapeutic interventions targeting metabolic function may benefit liver health in people newly diagnosed with HIV. Full article
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13 pages, 3560 KiB  
Article
Impact of Delta SARS-CoV-2 Infection on Glucose Metabolism: Insights on Host Metabolism and Virus Crosstalk in a Feline Model
by Matthew T. Rochowski, Kaushalya Jayathilake, John-Michael Balcerak, Miruthula Tamil Selvan, Sachithra Gunasekara, Craig Miller, Jennifer M. Rudd and Véronique A. Lacombe
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020295 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes enhanced mortality in people with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Other highly infectious RNA viruses have demonstrated dependence on glucose transport and utilization, so we hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 infection could lead to alterations in cellular and [...] Read more.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes enhanced mortality in people with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Other highly infectious RNA viruses have demonstrated dependence on glucose transport and utilization, so we hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 infection could lead to alterations in cellular and whole-body glucose metabolism. Twenty-four healthy domestic cats were intratracheally inoculated with B.1.617.2 (delta) SARS-CoV-2 and samples were collected at 4- and 12-days post-inoculation (dpi). Blood glucose and circulating cortisol concentrations were elevated at 4 and 12 dpi. Serum insulin concentration was statistically significantly decreased, while angiotensin 2 concentration was elevated at 12 dpi. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in the pancreas and skeletal muscle at low levels; however, no change in the number of insulin-producing cells or proinflammatory cytokines was observed in the pancreas of infected cats through 12 dpi. SARS-CoV-2 infection statistically significantly increased GLUT protein expression in both the heart and lungs, correlating with increased AMPK expression. In brief, SARS-CoV-2 increased blood glucose concentration and cardio-pulmonary GLUT expression through an AMPK-dependent mechanism, without affecting the pancreas, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 induces the reprogramming of host glucose metabolism. A better understanding of host cell metabolism and virus crosstalk could lead to the discovery of novel metabolic therapeutic targets for patients affected by COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacology of Antivirals Targeting Metabolism and Immunity)
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28 pages, 2775 KiB  
Review
Revisiting the Importance of Orthobunyaviruses for Animal Health: A Scoping Review of Livestock Disease, Diagnostic Tests, and Surveillance Strategies for the Simbu Serogroup
by Tiffany W. O’Connor, Paul M. Hick, Deborah S. Finlaison, Peter D. Kirkland and Jenny-Ann L.M.L. Toribio
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020294 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1173
Abstract
Orthobunyaviruses (order Bunyavirales, family Peribunyaviridae) in the Simbu serogroup have been responsible for widespread epidemics of congenital disease in ruminants. Australia has a national program to monitor arboviruses of veterinary importance. While monitoring for Akabane virus, a novel orthobunyavirus was detected. [...] Read more.
Orthobunyaviruses (order Bunyavirales, family Peribunyaviridae) in the Simbu serogroup have been responsible for widespread epidemics of congenital disease in ruminants. Australia has a national program to monitor arboviruses of veterinary importance. While monitoring for Akabane virus, a novel orthobunyavirus was detected. To inform the priority that should be given to this detection, a scoping review was undertaken to (1) characterise the associated disease presentations and establish which of the Simbu group viruses are of veterinary importance; (2) examine the diagnostic assays that have undergone development and validation for this group of viruses; and (3) describe the methods used to monitor the distribution of these viruses. Two search strategies identified 224 peer-reviewed publications for 33 viruses in the serogroup. Viruses in this group may cause severe animal health impacts, but only those phylogenetically arranged in clade B are associated with animal disease. Six viruses (Akabane, Schmallenberg, Aino, Shuni, Peaton, and Shamonda) were associated with congenital malformations, neurological signs, and reproductive disease. Diagnostic test interpretation is complicated by cross-reactivity, the timing of foetal immunocompetence, and sample type. Serological testing in surveys remains a mainstay of the methods used to monitor the distribution of SGVs. Given significant differences in survey designs, only broad mean seroprevalence estimates could be provided. Further research is required to determine the disease risk posed by novel orthobunyaviruses and how they could challenge current diagnostic and surveillance capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Culicoides-Borne Viruses 2023)
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11 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
The Study of Bluetongue Virus (BTV) and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV) Circulation and Vectors at the Municipal Parks and Zoobotanical Foundation of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil (FPMZB-BH)
by Eduardo Alves Caixeta, Mariana Andrioli Pinheiro, Victoria Souza Lucchesi, Anna Gabriella Guimarães Oliveira, Grazielle Cossenzo Florentino Galinari, Herlandes Penha Tinoco, Carlyle Mendes Coelho and Zélia Inês Portela Lobato
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020293 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Bluetongue Virus (BTV) and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV) are Orbiviruses primarily transmitted by their biological vector, Culicoides spp. Latreille, 1809 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). These viruses can infect a diverse range of vertebrate hosts, leading to disease outbreaks in domestic and wild ruminants worldwide. [...] Read more.
Bluetongue Virus (BTV) and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV) are Orbiviruses primarily transmitted by their biological vector, Culicoides spp. Latreille, 1809 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). These viruses can infect a diverse range of vertebrate hosts, leading to disease outbreaks in domestic and wild ruminants worldwide. This study, conducted at the Belo Horizonte Municipal Parks and Zoobotany Foundation (FPMZB-BH), Minas Gerais, Brazil, focused on Orbivirus and its vectors. Collections of Culicoides spp. were carried out at the FPMZB-BH from 9 December 2021 to 18 November 2022. A higher prevalence of these insects was observed during the summer months, especially in February. Factors such as elevated temperatures, high humidity, fecal accumulation, and proximity to large animals, like camels and elephants, were associated with increased Culicoides capture. Among the identified Culicoides spp. species, Culicoides insignis Lutz, 1913, constituted 75%, and Culicoides pusillus Lutz, 1913, 6% of the collected midges, both described as competent vectors for Orbivirus transmission. Additionally, a previously unreported species in Minas Gerais, Culicoides debilipalpis Lutz, 1913, was identified, also suspected of being a transmitter of these Orbiviruses. The feeding preferences of some Culicoides species were analyzed, revealing that C. insignis feeds on deer, Red deer (Cervus elaphus) and European fallow deer (Dama dama). Different Culicoides spp. were also identified feeding on humans, raising concerns about the potential transmission of arboviruses at the site. In parallel, 72 serum samples from 14 susceptible species, including various Cervids, collected between 2012 and 2022 from the FPMZB-BH serum bank, underwent Agar Gel Immunodiffusion (AGID) testing for BTV and EHDV. The results showed 75% seropositivity for BTV and 19% for EHDV. Post-testing analysis revealed variations in antibody presence against BTV in a tapir and a fallow deer and against EHDV in a gemsbok across different years. These studies confirm the presence of BTV and EHDV vectors, along with potential virus circulation in the zoo. Consequently, implementing control measures is essential to prevent susceptible species from becoming infected and developing clinical diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Culicoides-Borne Viruses 2023)
19 pages, 1905 KiB  
Article
Performance of Three Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Anti-S and One Anti-N Immunoassays for the Monitoring of Immune Status and Vaccine Response
by Y. Victoria Zhang, Attila Kumanovics, Joesph Wiencek, Stacy E. F. Melanson, Tanzy Love, Alan H. B. Wu, Zhen Zhao, Qing H. Meng, David D. Koch, Fred S. Apple, Caitlin R. Ondracek and Robert H. Christenson
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020292 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate and compare the performance of three anti-S and one anti-N assays that were available to the project in detecting antibody levels after three commonly used SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). It also aimed to assess [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate and compare the performance of three anti-S and one anti-N assays that were available to the project in detecting antibody levels after three commonly used SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). It also aimed to assess the association of age, sex, race, ethnicity, vaccine timing, and vaccine side effects on antibody levels in a cohort of 827 individuals. In September 2021, 698 vaccinated individuals donated blood samples as part of the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM) COVID-19 Immunity Study. These individuals also participated in a comprehensive survey covering demographic information, vaccination status, and associated side effects. Additionally, 305 age- and gender-matched samples were obtained from the ADLM 2015 sample bank as pre-COVID-19-negative samples. All these samples underwent antibody level analysis using three anti-S assays, namely Beckman Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG (Beckman assay), Ortho Clinical Diagnostics VITROS Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (Ortho assay), Siemens ADVIA Centaur SARS-CoV-2 IgG (Siemens assay), and one anti-N antibody assay: Bio-Rad Platelia SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab assay (BioRad assay). A total of 827 samples (580 COVID-19 samples and 247 pre-COVID-19 samples) received results for all four assays and underwent further analysis. Beckman, Ortho, and Siemens anti-S assays showed an overall sensitivity of 99.5%, 97.6%, and 96.9%, and specificity of 90%, 100%, and 99.6%, respectively. All three assays indicated 100% sensitivity for individuals who received the Moderna vaccine and boosters, and over 99% sensitivity for the Pfizer vaccine. Sensitivities varied from 70.4% (Siemens), 81.5% (Ortho), and 96.3% (Beckman) for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. BioRad anti-N assays demonstrated 46.2% sensitivity and 99.25% specificity based on results from individuals with self-reported infection. The highest median anti-S antibody levels were measured in individuals who received the Moderna vaccine, followed by Pfizer and then Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Higher anti-S antibody levels were significantly associated with younger age and closer proximity to the last vaccine dose but were not associated with gender, race, or ethnicity. Participants with higher anti-S levels experienced significantly more side effects as well as more severe side effects (e.g., muscle pain, chills, fever, and moderate limitations) (p < 0.05). Anti-N antibody levels only indicated a significant correlation with headache. This study indicated performance variations among different anti-S assays, both among themselves and when analyzing individuals with different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Caution should be exercised when conducting large-scale studies to ensure that the same platform and/or assays are used for the most effective interpretation of the data. Full article
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12 pages, 1349 KiB  
Article
PTEN Mediates the Silencing of Unintegrated HIV-1 DNA
by An Thanh Phan and Yiping Zhu
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020291 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 875
Abstract
The integration of viral DNA into a host genome is an important step in HIV-1 replication. However, due to the high failure rate of integration, the majority of viral DNA exists in an unintegrated state during HIV-1 infection. In contrast to the robust [...] Read more.
The integration of viral DNA into a host genome is an important step in HIV-1 replication. However, due to the high failure rate of integration, the majority of viral DNA exists in an unintegrated state during HIV-1 infection. In contrast to the robust expression from integrated viral DNA, unintegrated HIV-1 DNA is very poorly transcribed in infected cells, but the molecular machinery responsible for the silencing of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA remains poorly characterized. In this study, we sought to characterize new host factors for the inhibition of expression from unintegrated HIV-1 DNA. A genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screening revealed the essential role of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in the silencing of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA. PTEN’s phosphatase activity negatively regulates the PI3K-Akt pathway to inhibit the transcription from unintegrated HIV-1 DNA. The knockout (KO) of PTEN or inhibition of PTEN’s phosphatase activity by point mutagenesis activates Akt by phosphorylation and enhances the transcription from unintegrated HIV-1 DNA. Inhibition of the PI3K-Akt pathway by Akt inhibitor in PTEN-KO cells restores the silencing of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA. Transcriptional factors (NF-κB, Sp1, and AP-1) are important for the activation of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA in PTEN-KO cells. Finally, the knockout of PTEN increases the levels of active epigenetic marks (H3ac and H3K4me3) and the recruitment of PolII on unintegrated HIV-1 DNA chromatin. Our experiments reveal that PTEN targets transcription factors (NF-κB, Sp1, and AP-1) by negatively regulating the PI3K-Akt pathway to promote the silencing of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Mechanisms Regulating HIV Replication)
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22 pages, 3201 KiB  
Article
IE1 of Human Cytomegalovirus Inhibits Necroptotic Cell Death via Direct and Indirect Modulation of the Necrosome Complex
by Anna Theresa Heusel, Sophie Rapp, Thomas Stamminger and Myriam Scherer
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020290 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Programmed necrosis is an integral part of intrinsic immunity, serving to combat invading pathogens and restricting viral dissemination. The orchestration of necroptosis relies on a precise interplay within the necrosome complex, which consists of RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been [...] Read more.
Programmed necrosis is an integral part of intrinsic immunity, serving to combat invading pathogens and restricting viral dissemination. The orchestration of necroptosis relies on a precise interplay within the necrosome complex, which consists of RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been found to counteract the execution of necroptosis during infection. In this study, we identify the immediate-early 1 (IE1) protein as a key antagonist of necroptosis during HCMV infection. Infection data obtained in a necroptosis-sensitive cell culture system revealed a robust regulation of post-translational modifications (PTMs) of the necrosome complex as well as the importance of IE1 expression for an effective counteraction of necroptosis. Interaction analyses unveiled an association of IE1 and RIPK3, which occurs in an RHIM-domain independent manner. We propose that this interaction manipulates the PTMs of RIPK3 by promoting its ubiquitination. Furthermore, IE1 was found to exert an indirect activity by modulating the levels of MLKL via antagonizing its interferon-mediated upregulation. Overall, we claim that IE1 performs a broad modulation of innate immune signaling to impede the execution of necroptotic cell death, thereby generating a favorable environment for efficient viral replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Human Cytomegalovirus)
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23 pages, 7612 KiB  
Article
Genomic and Proteomic Analysis of Six Vi01-like Phages Reveals Wide Host Range and Multiple Tail Spike Proteins
by Evan B. Harris, Kenneth K. K. Ewool, Lucy C. Bowden, Jonatan Fierro, Daniel Johnson, McKay Meinzer, Sadie Tayler and Julianne H. Grose
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020289 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Enterobacteriaceae is a large family of Gram-negative bacteria composed of many pathogens, including Salmonella and Shigella. Here, we characterize six bacteriophages that infect Enterobacteriaceae, which were isolated from wastewater plants in the Wasatch front (Utah, United States). These phages are highly similar [...] Read more.
Enterobacteriaceae is a large family of Gram-negative bacteria composed of many pathogens, including Salmonella and Shigella. Here, we characterize six bacteriophages that infect Enterobacteriaceae, which were isolated from wastewater plants in the Wasatch front (Utah, United States). These phages are highly similar to the Kuttervirus vB_SenM_Vi01 (Vi01), which was isolated using wastewater from Kiel, Germany. The phages vary little in genome size and are between 157 kb and 164 kb, which is consistent with the sizes of other phages in the Vi01-like phage family. These six phages were characterized through genomic and proteomic comparison, mass spectrometry, and both laboratory and clinical host range studies. While their proteomes are largely unstudied, mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the production of five hypothetical proteins, several of which unveiled a potential operon that suggests a ferritin-mediated entry system on the Vi01-like phage family tail. However, no dependence on this pathway was observed for the single host tested herein. While unable to infect every genus of Enterobacteriaceae tested, these phages are extraordinarily broad ranged, with several demonstrating the ability to infect Salmonella enterica and Citrobacter freundii strains with generally high efficiency, as well as several clinical Salmonella enterica isolates, most likely due to their multiple tail fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Assembly Pathways — to the Memory of Lindsay Black 2.0)
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30 pages, 2197 KiB  
Review
Macrophages: Key Cellular Players in HIV Infection and Pathogenesis
by Marie Woottum, Sen Yan, Sophie Sayettat, Séverine Grinberg, Dominique Cathelin, Nassima Bekaddour, Jean-Philippe Herbeuval and Serge Benichou
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020288 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Although cells of the myeloid lineages, including tissue macrophages and conventional dendritic cells, were rapidly recognized, in addition to CD4+ T lymphocytes, as target cells of HIV-1, their specific roles in the pathophysiology of infection were initially largely neglected. However, numerous studies performed [...] Read more.
Although cells of the myeloid lineages, including tissue macrophages and conventional dendritic cells, were rapidly recognized, in addition to CD4+ T lymphocytes, as target cells of HIV-1, their specific roles in the pathophysiology of infection were initially largely neglected. However, numerous studies performed over the past decade, both in vitro in cell culture systems and in vivo in monkey and humanized mouse animal models, led to growing evidence that macrophages play important direct and indirect roles as HIV-1 target cells and in pathogenesis. It has been recently proposed that macrophages are likely involved in all stages of HIV-1 pathogenesis, including virus transmission and dissemination, but above all, in viral persistence through the establishment, together with latently infected CD4+ T cells, of virus reservoirs in many host tissues, the major obstacle to virus eradication in people living with HIV. Infected macrophages are indeed found, very often as multinucleated giant cells expressing viral antigens, in almost all lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues of HIV-1-infected patients, where they can probably persist for long period of time. In addition, macrophages also likely participate, directly as HIV-1 targets or indirectly as key regulators of innate immunity and inflammation, in the chronic inflammation and associated clinical disorders observed in people living with HIV, even in patients receiving effective antiretroviral therapy. The main objective of this review is therefore to summarize the recent findings, and also to revisit older data, regarding the critical functions of tissue macrophages in the pathophysiology of HIV-1 infection, both as major HIV-1-infected target cells likely found in almost all tissues, as well as regulators of innate immunity and inflammation during the different stages of HIV-1 pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roles of Macrophages in Viral Infections)
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16 pages, 4045 KiB  
Article
HIV-1 Proviral Genome Engineering with CRISPR-Cas9 for Mechanistic Studies
by Usman Hyder, Ashutosh Shukla, Ashwini Challa and Iván D’Orso
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020287 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1040
Abstract
HIV-1 latency remains a barrier to a functional cure because of the ability of virtually silent yet inducible proviruses within reservoir cells to transcriptionally reactivate upon cell stimulation. HIV-1 reactivation occurs through the sequential action of host transcription factors (TFs) during the “host [...] Read more.
HIV-1 latency remains a barrier to a functional cure because of the ability of virtually silent yet inducible proviruses within reservoir cells to transcriptionally reactivate upon cell stimulation. HIV-1 reactivation occurs through the sequential action of host transcription factors (TFs) during the “host phase” and the viral TF Tat during the “viral phase”, which together facilitate the positive feedback loop required for exponential transcription, replication, and pathogenesis. The sequential action of these TFs poses a challenge to precisely delineate the contributions of the host and viral phases of the transcriptional program to guide future mechanistic and therapeutic studies. To address this limitation, we devised a genome engineering approach to mutate tat and create a genetically matched pair of Jurkat T cell clones harboring HIV-1 at the same integration site with and without Tat expression. By comparing the transcriptional profile of both clones, the transition point between the host and viral phases was defined, providing a system that enables the temporal mechanistic interrogation of HIV-1 transcription prior to and after Tat synthesis. Importantly, this CRISPR method is broadly applicable to knockout individual viral proteins or genomic regulatory elements to delineate their contributions to various aspects of the viral life cycle and ultimately may facilitate therapeutic approaches in our race towards achieving a functional cure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
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