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Viruses, Volume 16, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 159 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Antiretroviral therapy limits HIV replication preventing immunodeficiency but is ineffective against chronic HIV neurocognitive disease. Neurons are not infected but lose critical structures and function. Microglia are considered the main HIV host cells in the brain and as in other brain disease states, HIV infection may shift their morphology and function from supporting to injuring neurons. Infection of conventional mice by EcoHIV addresses aspects of HIV function in neuronal injury and cognitive impairment in the physiological context of a live animal. Here, we develop a primary murine mixed brain cell culture of astrocytes, microglia, and neurons for mechanistic studies on HIV infection of microglia in the context of other brain cells, the interactions among these cells in causing neuronal injury, and potential interventions. View this paper
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39 pages, 673 KiB  
Review
Experimental Infection Models and Their Usefulness for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) Research in Shrimp
by Natasja Cox, Evelien De Swaef, Mathias Corteel, Wim Van Den Broeck, Peter Bossier, Hans J. Nauwynck and João J. Dantas-Lima
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050813 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 633
Abstract
White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is marked as one of the most economically devastating pathogens in shrimp aquaculture worldwide. Infection of cultured shrimp can lead to mass mortality (up to 100%). Although progress has been made, our understanding of WSSV’s infection process and [...] Read more.
White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is marked as one of the most economically devastating pathogens in shrimp aquaculture worldwide. Infection of cultured shrimp can lead to mass mortality (up to 100%). Although progress has been made, our understanding of WSSV’s infection process and the virus–host–environment interaction is far from complete. This in turn hinders the development of effective mitigation strategies against WSSV. Infection models occupy a crucial first step in the research flow that tries to elucidate the infectious disease process to develop new antiviral treatments. Moreover, since the establishment of continuous shrimp cell lines is a work in progress, the development and use of standardized in vivo infection models that reflect the host–pathogen interaction in shrimp is a necessity. This review critically examines key aspects of in vivo WSSV infection model development that are often overlooked, such as standardization, (post)larval quality, inoculum type and choice of inoculation procedure, housing conditions, and shrimp welfare considerations. Furthermore, the usefulness of experimental infection models for different lines of WSSV research will be discussed with the aim to aid researchers when choosing a suitable model for their research needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Models for Virology Research)
27 pages, 4778 KiB  
Article
West Nile Virus Subgenomic RNAs Modulate Gene Expression in a Neuronal Cell Line
by Maria Bampali, Adamantia Kouvela, Nikolaos Kesesidis, Katerina Kassela, Nikolas Dovrolis and Ioannis Karakasiliotis
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050812 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Subgenomic flaviviral RNAs (sfRNAs) are small non-coding products of the incomplete degradation of viral genomic RNA. They accumulate during flaviviral infection and have been associated with many functional roles inside the host cell. Studies so far have demonstrated that sfRNA plays a crucial [...] Read more.
Subgenomic flaviviral RNAs (sfRNAs) are small non-coding products of the incomplete degradation of viral genomic RNA. They accumulate during flaviviral infection and have been associated with many functional roles inside the host cell. Studies so far have demonstrated that sfRNA plays a crucial role in determining West Nile virus (WNV) pathogenicity. However, its modulatory role on neuronal homeostasis has not been studied in depth. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of sfRNA biosynthesis and its importance for WNV replication in neuronal cells. We found that sfRNA1 is functionally redundant for both replication and translation of WNV. However, the concurrent absence of sfRNA1 and sfRNA2 species is detrimental for the survival of the virus. Differential expression analysis on RNA-seq data from WT and ΔsfRNA replicon cell lines revealed transcriptional changes induced by sfRNA and identified a number of putative targets. Overall, it was shown that sfRNA contributes to the viral evasion by suppressing the interferon-mediated antiviral response. An additional differential expression analysis among replicon and control Neuro2A cells also clarified the transcriptional changes that support WNV replication in neuronal cells. Increased levels of translation and oxidative phosphorylation, post-translational modification processes, and activated DNA repair pathways were observed in replicon cell lines, while developmental processes such as axonal growth were deficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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19 pages, 2859 KiB  
Review
Advancements in Research on Duck Tembusu Virus Infections
by Yuting Cheng, Ruoheng Wang, Qingguo Wu, Jinying Chen, Anping Wang, Zhi Wu, Fang Sun and Shanyuan Zhu
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050811 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Duck Tembusu Virus (DTMUV) is a pathogen of the Flaviviridae family that causes infections in poultry, leading to significant economic losses in the duck farming industry in recent years. Ducks infected with this virus exhibit clinical symptoms such as decreased egg production and [...] Read more.
Duck Tembusu Virus (DTMUV) is a pathogen of the Flaviviridae family that causes infections in poultry, leading to significant economic losses in the duck farming industry in recent years. Ducks infected with this virus exhibit clinical symptoms such as decreased egg production and neurological disorders, along with serious consequences such as ovarian hemorrhage, organ enlargement, and necrosis. Variations in morbidity and mortality rates exist across different age groups of ducks. It is worth noting that DTMUV is not limited to ducks alone; it can also spread to other poultry such as chickens and geese, and antibodies related to DTMUV have even been found in duck farm workers, suggesting a potential risk of zoonotic transmission. This article provides a detailed overview of DTMUV research, delving into its genomic characteristics, vaccines, and the interplay with host immune responses. These in-depth research findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the virus’s transmission mechanism and pathogenic process, offering crucial scientific support for epidemic prevention and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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15 pages, 15135 KiB  
Article
A Prospective Study Investigating Immune Checkpoint Molecule and CD39 Expression on Peripheral Blood Cells for the Prognostication of COVID-19 Severity and Mortality
by Thilo Gambichler, Jonas Rüth, Silke Goesmann, Stefan Höxtermann, Marina Skrygan, Laura Susok, Jürgen C. Becker, Oliver Overheu, Wolfgang Schmidt and Anke Reinacher-Schick
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050810 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 328
Abstract
In patients with COVID-19, broad panels of immune checkpoint molecules (ICPMs) and the purinergic signaling have not been studied in parallel. We aimed to perform in-depth immunophenotyping of major cell subsets present in human peripheral blood of COVID-19 patients and controls using PD1, [...] Read more.
In patients with COVID-19, broad panels of immune checkpoint molecules (ICPMs) and the purinergic signaling have not been studied in parallel. We aimed to perform in-depth immunophenotyping of major cell subsets present in human peripheral blood of COVID-19 patients and controls using PD1, TIM3, LAG3, TIGIT, and CD200R, as well as CD39, as markers for the purinergic signaling pathway. We studied 76 COVID-19 patients and 12 healthy controls using peripheral blood mononuclear cells on flow cytometry. Univariable and multivariable statistics were performed. All ICPMs studied were significantly overexpressed on different cell subsets of COVID-19 patients when compared with healthy controls. Elevated lactate dehydrogenase; C-reactive protein; age; and high expression of CD45+, CD39+CD45+, TIM3+CD39+CD4+CD45+, and TIM3+CD39+CD8+CD3+CD4+ cells were significantly associated with severe COVID-19. On multivariable analysis, however, only high expression of CD39+CD45+ (OR 51.4, 95% CI 1.5 to 1763) and TIM3+CD39+CD4+CD3+CD45+ (OR 22.6, 95% CI 1.8 to 277) cells was an independent predictor for severe COVID-19. In conclusion, numerous ICPMs are overexpressed in COVID-19 patients when compared with healthy controls, suggesting a pathophysiological role of these molecules in SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, only TIM3 in co-expression with CD39 remained as a significant independent prognostic ICPM on multivariable analysis. The flow cytometric evaluation of TIM3+CD39+CD4+CD3+CD45+, as well as CD39+CD45+, is a powerful tool for the prognostication of COVID-19 patients on hospital admission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Coronaviruses)
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15 pages, 5242 KiB  
Article
Evolutionary Profile of Mayaro Virus in the Americas: An Update into Genome Variability
by Mikaela dos Santos Marinho, Giulia Magalhães Ferreira, Victória Riquena Grosche, Nilson Nicolau-Junior, Túlio de Lima Campos, Igor Andrade Santos and Ana Carolina Gomes Jardim
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050809 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 399
Abstract
The Mayaro virus (MAYV) is an arbovirus with emerging potential, though with a limited understanding of its epidemiology and evolution due to the lack of studies and surveillance. Here, we investigated 71 MAYV genome sequences from the Americas available at GenBank and characterized [...] Read more.
The Mayaro virus (MAYV) is an arbovirus with emerging potential, though with a limited understanding of its epidemiology and evolution due to the lack of studies and surveillance. Here, we investigated 71 MAYV genome sequences from the Americas available at GenBank and characterized the phylogenetic relationship among virus strains. A phylogenetic analysis showed that sequences were grouped according to the genotypes L, D, and N. Genotype D sequences were closely related to sequences collected in adjacent years and from their respective countries, suggesting that isolates may have originated from circulating lineages. The coalescent analysis demonstrated similar results, indicating the continuous circulation of the virus between countries as well. An unidentified sequence from the USA was grouped with genotype D, suggesting the insertion of this genotype in the country. Furthermore, the recombination analysis detected homologous and three heterologous hybrids which presented an insertion into the nsP3 protein. Amino acid substitutions among sequences indicated selective pressure sites, suggesting viral adaptability. This also impacted the binding affinity between the E1–E2 protein complex and the Mxra8 receptor, associated with MAYV entry into human cells. These results provide information for a better understanding of genotypes circulating in the Americas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chikungunya Virus and Emerging Alphaviruses—Volume II)
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8 pages, 434 KiB  
Brief Report
The Outbreak of Unexplained Acute Hepatitis in Children: The Role of Viral Infections in View of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Eyal Shteyer, Orna Mor, Orith Waisbourd-Zinman, Yael Mozer-Glazberg, Ronen Arnon, Lior Hecht Sagie, Michal Mandelboim, Oran Erster, Merav Weil, Sara Dovrat, Lital Goldberg and Yael Gozlan
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050808 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Background and Aims: An increase in the number of cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin (HUO) in children was observed in 2021. Adenovirus and adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) infections have been suggested as possible triggers. However, the potential etiology is still unclear. [...] Read more.
Background and Aims: An increase in the number of cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin (HUO) in children was observed in 2021. Adenovirus and adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) infections have been suggested as possible triggers. However, the potential etiology is still unclear. We aimed to characterize a cohort of children with HUO in Israel in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: Demographics, clinical data, and laboratory results on the children compatible with the CDC criteria for HUO were collected by the established registry of the Ministry of Health. Available specimens were sent to the Central Virology Laboratory. Results: A total of 39 children were included in the registry. A total of 20 were enrolled prospectively, in which human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) infection or reactivation was identified in 11/19, adenovirus was found in 4/19 of the cases, and AAV2 was detected in 2/16. Past COVID-19 exposure was recorded for 24/39 of the children. A total of 10 children underwent liver biopsy, and 8 were successfully treated with steroids and 2 underwent liver transplantation. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic and the related containment measures combined with reactivation or active infection with other viruses could have been a trigger for the HUO outbreak. In our cohort, HHV6 was the most abundant finding. Full article
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27 pages, 6289 KiB  
Article
Dengue Virus and Zika Virus Seroprevalence in the South Pacific Populations of the Cook Islands and Vanuatu
by Charlotte E. B. Saretzki, Gerhard Dobler, Elizabeth Iro, Nicole Heussen and Thomas Küpper
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050807 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Arboviral diseases are serious threats to global health with increasing prevalence and potentially severe complications. Significant arthropod-borne viruses are the dengue viruses (DENV 1-4), the Zika virus (ZIKV), and the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Among the areas most affected is the South Pacific Region [...] Read more.
Arboviral diseases are serious threats to global health with increasing prevalence and potentially severe complications. Significant arthropod-borne viruses are the dengue viruses (DENV 1-4), the Zika virus (ZIKV), and the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Among the areas most affected is the South Pacific Region (SPR). Here, arboviruses not only cause a high local burden of disease, but the region has also proven to contribute to their global spread. Outpatient serum samples collected between 08/2016 and 04/2017 on three islands of the island states of Vanuatu and the Cook Islands were tested for anti-DENV- and anti-ZIKV-specific antibodies (IgG) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). ELISA test results showed 89% of all test sera from the Cook Islands and 85% of the Vanuatu samples to be positive for anti-DENV-specific antibodies. Anti-ZIKV antibodies were identified in 66% and 52%, respectively, of the test populations. Statistically significant differences in standardized immunity levels were found only at the intranational level. Our results show that in both the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, residents were exposed to significant Flavivirus transmission. Compared to other seroprevalence studies, the marked difference between ZIKV immunity levels and previously published CHIKV seroprevalence rates in our study populations is surprising. We propose the timing of ZIKV and CHIKV emergence in relation to recurrent DENV outbreaks and the impact of seasonality as explanatory external factors for this observation. Our data add to the knowledge of arboviral epidemics in the SPR and contribute to a better understanding of virus spread, including external conditions with potential influence on outbreak dynamics. These data may support preventive and rapid response measures in the affected areas, travel-related risk assessment, and infection identification in locals and returning travelers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito-Borne Virus Discovery, Diagnostics and Vaccines)
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20 pages, 7799 KiB  
Article
Molecular Methods for the Simultaneous Detection of Tomato Fruit Blotch Virus and Identification of Tomato Russet Mite, a New Potential Virus–Vector System Threatening Solanaceous Crops Worldwide
by Marta Luigi, Antonio Tiberini, Anna Taglienti, Sabrina Bertin, Immacolata Dragone, Anna Sybilska, Franca Tarchi, Donatella Goggioli, Mariusz Lewandowski, Sauro Simoni and Francesco Faggioli
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050806 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Tomato fruit blotch virus (ToFBV) (Blunervirus solani, family Kitaviridae) was firstly identified in Italy in 2018 in tomato plants that showed the uneven, blotchy ripening and dimpling of fruits. Subsequent High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) analysis allowed ToFBV to be identified in [...] Read more.
Tomato fruit blotch virus (ToFBV) (Blunervirus solani, family Kitaviridae) was firstly identified in Italy in 2018 in tomato plants that showed the uneven, blotchy ripening and dimpling of fruits. Subsequent High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) analysis allowed ToFBV to be identified in samples collected in Australia, Brazil, and several European countries, and its presence in tomato crops was dated back to 2012. In 2023, the virus was found to be associated with two outbreaks in Italy and Belgium, and it was included in the EPPO Alert list as a potential new threat for tomato fruit production. Many epidemiologic features of ToFBV need to be still clarified, including transmission. Aculops lycopersici Massee (Acariformes: Eriophyoidea), the tomato russet mite (TRM), is a likely candidate vector, since high population densities were found in most of the ToFBV-infected tomato cultivations worldwide. Real-time RT-PCR tests for ToFBV detection and TRM identification were developed, also as a duplex assay. The optimized tests were then transferred to an RT-ddPCR assay and validated according to the EPPO Standard PM 7/98 (5). Such sensitive, reliable, and validated tests provide an important diagnostic tool in view of the probable threat posed by this virus–vector system to solanaceous crops worldwide and can contribute to epidemiological studies by simplifying the efficiency of research. To our knowledge, these are the first molecular methods developed for the simultaneous detection and identification of ToFBV and TRM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Virus/Viroid Detection and Identification Methods)
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19 pages, 9406 KiB  
Article
Surveillance of Parrot Bornavirus in Taiwan Captive Psittaciformes
by Brian Harvey Avanceña Villanueva, Jin-Yang Chen, Pei-Ju Lin, Hoang Minh, Van Phan Le, Yu-Chang Tyan, Jen-Pin Chuang and Kuo-Pin Chuang
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050805 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Parrot bornavirus (PaBV) is an infectious disease linked with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) with severe digestive and neurological symptoms affecting psittacine birds. Despite its detection in 2008, PaBV prevalence in Taiwan remains unexplored. Taiwan is one of the leading psittacine bird breeders; hence, [...] Read more.
Parrot bornavirus (PaBV) is an infectious disease linked with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) with severe digestive and neurological symptoms affecting psittacine birds. Despite its detection in 2008, PaBV prevalence in Taiwan remains unexplored. Taiwan is one of the leading psittacine bird breeders; hence, understanding the distribution of PaBV aids preventive measures in controlling spread, early disease recognition, epidemiology, and transmission dynamics. Here, we aimed to detect the prevalence rate of PaBV and assess its genetic variation in Taiwan. Among 124 psittacine birds tested, fifty-seven were PaBV-positive, a prevalence rate of 45.97%. Most of the PaBV infections were adult psittacine birds, with five birds surviving the infection, resulting in a low survival rate (8.77%). A year of parrot bornavirus surveillance presented a seasonal pattern, with peak PaBV infection rates occurring in the spring season (68%) and the least in the summer season (25%), indicating the occurrence of PaBV infections linked to seasonal factors. Histopathology reveals severe meningoencephalitis in the cerebellum and dilated cardiomyopathy of the heart in psittacine birds who suffered from PDD. Three brain samples underwent X/P gene sequencing, revealing PaBV-2 and PaBV-4 viral genotypes through phylogenetic analyses. This underscores the necessity for ongoing PaBV surveillance and further investigation into its pathophysiology and transmission routes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Avian Viruses Research)
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25 pages, 1389 KiB  
Review
Toward a Categorization of Virus-ncRNA Interactions in the World of RNA to Disentangle the Tiny Secrets of Dengue Virus
by Clara Isabel Bermudez-Santana and Juan Carlos Gallego-Gómez
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050804 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 453
Abstract
In recent years, the function of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) as regulatory molecules of cell physiology has begun to be better understood. Advances in viral molecular biology have shown that host ncRNAs, cellular factors, and virus-derived ncRNAs and their interplay are strongly disturbed during [...] Read more.
In recent years, the function of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) as regulatory molecules of cell physiology has begun to be better understood. Advances in viral molecular biology have shown that host ncRNAs, cellular factors, and virus-derived ncRNAs and their interplay are strongly disturbed during viral infections. Nevertheless, the folding of RNA virus genomes has also been identified as a critical factor in regulating canonical and non-canonical functions. Due to the influence of host ncRNAs and the structure of RNA viral genomes, complex molecular and cellular processes in infections are modulated. We propose three main categories to organize the current information about RNA–RNA interactions in some well-known human viruses. The first category shows examples of host ncRNAs associated with the immune response triggered in viral infections. Even though miRNAs introduce a standpoint, they are briefly presented to keep researchers moving forward in uncovering other RNAs. The second category outlines interactions between virus-host ncRNAs, while the third describes how the structure of the RNA viral genome serves as a scaffold for processing virus-derived RNAs. Our grouping may provide a comprehensive framework to classify ncRNA–host-cell interactions for emerging viruses and diseases. In this sense, we introduced them to organize DENV–host-cell interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Cell-Virus Interaction, 3rd Edition)
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17 pages, 2597 KiB  
Review
Hepatitis C Virus E1E2 Structure, Diversity, and Implications for Vaccine Development
by Brian G. Pierce, Nathaniel Felbinger, Matthew Metcalf, Eric A. Toth, Gilad Ofek and Thomas R. Fuerst
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050803 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major medical health burden and the leading cause of chronic liver disease and cancer worldwide. More than 58 million people are chronically infected with HCV, with 1.5 million new infections occurring each year. An effective HCV vaccine [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major medical health burden and the leading cause of chronic liver disease and cancer worldwide. More than 58 million people are chronically infected with HCV, with 1.5 million new infections occurring each year. An effective HCV vaccine is a major public health and medical need as recognized by the World Health Organization. However, due to the high variability of the virus and its ability to escape the immune response, HCV rapidly accumulates mutations, making vaccine development a formidable challenge. An effective vaccine must elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) in a consistent fashion. After decades of studies from basic research through clinical development, the antigen of choice is considered the E1E2 envelope glycoprotein due to conserved, broadly neutralizing antigenic domains located in the constituent subunits of E1, E2, and the E1E2 heterodimeric complex itself. The challenge has been elicitation of robust humoral and cellular responses leading to broad virus neutralization due to the relatively low immunogenicity of this antigen. In view of this challenge, structure-based vaccine design approaches to stabilize key antigenic domains have been hampered due to the lack of E1E2 atomic-level resolution structures to guide them. Another challenge has been the development of a delivery platform in which a multivalent form of the antigen can be presented in order to elicit a more robust anti-HCV immune response. Recent nanoparticle vaccines are gaining prominence in the field due to their ability to facilitate a controlled multivalent presentation and trafficking to lymph nodes, where they can interact with both the cellular and humoral components of the immune system. This review focuses on recent advances in understanding the E1E2 heterodimeric structure to facilitate a rational design approach and the potential for development of a multivalent nanoparticle-based HCV E1E2 vaccine. Both aspects are considered important in the development of an effective HCV vaccine that can effectively address viral diversity and escape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
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11 pages, 967 KiB  
Review
Analysis of Individual Viral Particles by Flow Virometry
by Caroline O. Tabler and John C. Tilton
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050802 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 356
Abstract
This review focuses on the emerging field of flow virometry, the study and characterization of individual viral particles using flow cytometry instruments and protocols optimized for the detection of nanoscale events. Flow virometry faces considerable technical challenges including minimal light scattering by small [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the emerging field of flow virometry, the study and characterization of individual viral particles using flow cytometry instruments and protocols optimized for the detection of nanoscale events. Flow virometry faces considerable technical challenges including minimal light scattering by small viruses that complicates detection, coincidental detection of multiple small particles due to their high concentrations, and challenges with sample preparation including the inability to easily “wash” samples to remove unbound fluorescent antibodies. We will discuss how the field has overcome these challenges to reveal novel insights into viral biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flow Virometry: A New Tool for Studying Viruses)
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10 pages, 1354 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Age and Comorbidities: Children vs. Adults in Their Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Girlande Mentor, Daniel S. Farrar, Costanza Di Chiara, Mi-Suk Kang Dufour, Silvie Valois, Suzanne Taillefer, Olivier Drouin, Christian Renaud and Fatima Kakkar
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050801 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
While children have experienced less severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults, the cause of this remains unclear. The objective of this study was to describe the humoral immune response to COVID-19 in child vs. adult household contacts, and to identify [...] Read more.
While children have experienced less severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults, the cause of this remains unclear. The objective of this study was to describe the humoral immune response to COVID-19 in child vs. adult household contacts, and to identify predictors of the response over time. In this prospective cohort study, children with a positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (index case) were recruited along with their adult household contacts. Serum IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 spike proteins were compared between children and adults at 6 and 12 months after infection. A total of 91 participants (37 adults and 54 children) from 36 families were enrolled. Overall, 78 (85.7%) participants were seropositive for anti-S1/S2 IgG antibody at 6 months following infection; this was higher in children than in adults (92.6% vs. 75.7%) (p = 0.05). Significant predictors of a lack of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity were age ≥ 25 vs. < 12 years (odds ratio [OR] = 0.23, p = 0.04), presence of comorbidities (vs. none, adjusted OR = 0.23, p = 0.03), and immunosuppression (vs. immunocompetent, adjusted OR = 0.17, p = 0.02). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Comorbidities of COVID-19 2024)
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12 pages, 908 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of a Project Integrating Financial Incentives into a Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment Model of Care at a Sexual Health Service in Cairns, Australia, 2020–2021
by Joshua Dawe, Carla Gorton, Rhondda Lewis, Jacqueline A. Richmond, Anna L. Wilkinson, Alisa Pedrana, Mark Stoové, Joseph S. Doyle and Darren Russell
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050800 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Background: Understanding the effectiveness of novel models of care in community-based settings is critical to achieving hepatitis C elimination. We conducted an evaluation of a hepatitis C model of care with financial incentives that aimed to improve engagement across the hepatitis C cascade [...] Read more.
Background: Understanding the effectiveness of novel models of care in community-based settings is critical to achieving hepatitis C elimination. We conducted an evaluation of a hepatitis C model of care with financial incentives that aimed to improve engagement across the hepatitis C cascade of care at a sexual health service in Cairns, Australia. Methods: Between March 2020 and May 2021, financial incentives were embedded into an established person-centred hepatitis C model of care at Cairns Sexual Health Service. Clients of the Service who self-reported experiences of injecting drugs were offered an AUD 20 cash incentive for hepatitis C testing, treatment initiation, treatment completion, and test for cure. Descriptive statistics were used to describe retention in hepatitis C care in the incentivised model. They were compared to the standard of care offered in the 11 months prior to intervention. Results: A total of 121 clients received financial incentives for hepatitis C testing (antibody or RNA). Twenty-eight clients were hepatitis C RNA positive, of whom 92% (24/28) commenced treatment, 75% (21/28) completed treatment, and 68% (19/28) achieved a sustained virological response (SVR). There were improvements in the proportion of clients diagnosed with hepatitis C who commenced treatment (86% vs. 75%), completed treatment (75% vs. 40%), and achieved SVR (68% vs. 17%) compared to the pre-intervention comparison period. Conclusions: In this study, financial incentives improved engagement and retention in hepatitis C care for people who inject drugs in a model of care that incorporated a person-centred and flexible approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis C Virus Infection among People Who Inject Drugs)
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9 pages, 3172 KiB  
Brief Report
Anti-PD-L1 Immunotherapy of Chronic Virus Infection Improves Virus Control without Augmenting Tissue Damage by Fibrosis
by Valentina Casella, Paula Cebollada Rica, Jordi Argilaguet, Enric Vidal, María González-Cao, Roberto Güerri-Fernandez, Gennady Bocharov and Andreas Meyerhans
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050799 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors, albeit commonly used against tumors, is still at its infancy against chronic virus infections. It relies on the reinvigoration of exhausted T lymphocytes to eliminate virus-infected cells. Since T cell exhaustion is a physiological process to reduce immunopathology, the [...] Read more.
Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors, albeit commonly used against tumors, is still at its infancy against chronic virus infections. It relies on the reinvigoration of exhausted T lymphocytes to eliminate virus-infected cells. Since T cell exhaustion is a physiological process to reduce immunopathology, the reinvigoration of these cells might be associated with an augmentation of pathological changes. To test this possibility, we here analyzed in the model system of chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)-infected mice whether treatment with the checkpoint inhibitor anti-PD-L1 antibody would increase CD8 T cell-dependent fibrosis. We show that pre-existing spleen fibrosis did not worsen under conditions that increase CD8 T cell functionality and reduce virus loads suggesting that the CD8 T cell functionality increase remained below its pathogenicity threshold. These promising findings should further encourage immunotherapeutic trials against chronic virus infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unraveling the Pathogenesis of Persistent Virus Infection)
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20 pages, 1214 KiB  
Review
The Applications of Nanopore Sequencing Technology in Animal and Human Virus Research
by Chun-Miao Ji, Xiao-Yin Feng, Yao-Wei Huang and Rui-Ai Chen
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050798 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 397
Abstract
In recent years, an increasing number of viruses have triggered outbreaks that pose a severe threat to both human and animal life, as well as caused substantial economic losses. It is crucial to understand the genomic structure and epidemiology of these viruses to [...] Read more.
In recent years, an increasing number of viruses have triggered outbreaks that pose a severe threat to both human and animal life, as well as caused substantial economic losses. It is crucial to understand the genomic structure and epidemiology of these viruses to guide effective clinical prevention and treatment strategies. Nanopore sequencing, a third-generation sequencing technology, has been widely used in genomic research since 2014. This technology offers several advantages over traditional methods and next-generation sequencing (NGS), such as the ability to generate ultra-long reads, high efficiency, real-time monitoring and analysis, portability, and the ability to directly sequence RNA or DNA molecules. As a result, it exhibits excellent applicability and flexibility in virus research, including viral detection and surveillance, genome assembly, the discovery of new variants and novel viruses, and the identification of chemical modifications. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the development, principles, advantages, and applications of nanopore sequencing technology in animal and human virus research, aiming to offer fresh perspectives for future studies in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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17 pages, 3308 KiB  
Article
Fidelity Characterization of Highly Pathogenic Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus and NADC30-like Strain
by Xiang Gao, Ting Bian, Peng Gao, Xinna Ge, Yongning Zhang, Jun Han, Xin Guo, Lei Zhou and Hanchun Yang
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050797 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 314
Abstract
The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has significantly impacted the global pork industry for over three decades. Its high mutation rates and frequent recombination greatly intensifies its epidemic and threat. To explore the fidelity characterization of Chinese highly pathogenic PRRSV JXwn06 [...] Read more.
The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has significantly impacted the global pork industry for over three decades. Its high mutation rates and frequent recombination greatly intensifies its epidemic and threat. To explore the fidelity characterization of Chinese highly pathogenic PRRSV JXwn06 and the NADC30-like strain CHsx1401, self-recombination and mutation in PAMs, MARC-145 cells, and pigs were assessed. In vitro, CHsx1401 displayed a higher frequency of recombination junctions and a greater diversity of junction types than JXwn06. In vivo, CHsx1401 exhibited fewer junction types yet maintained a higher junction frequency. Notably, JXwn06 showed more accumulation of mutations. To pinpoint the genomic regions influencing their fidelity, chimeric viruses were constructed, with the exchanged nsp9-10 regions between JXwn06 and CHsx1401. The SJn9n10 strain, which incorporates JXwn06’s nsp9-10 into the CHsx1401 genome, demonstrated reduced sensitivity to nucleotide analogs compared to CHsx1401. Conversely, compared with JXwn06, the JSn9n10 strain showed increased sensitivity to these inhibitors. The swapped nsp9-10 also influences the junction frequency and accumulated mutations as their donor strains. The results indicate a propensity for different types of genetic variations between these two strains and further highlight the nsp9-10 region as a critical determinant of their fidelity. Full article
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13 pages, 2309 KiB  
Article
Reconstruction of Avian Reovirus History and Dispersal Patterns: A Phylodynamic Study
by Giovanni Franzo, Claudia Maria Tucciarone, Giulia Faustini, Francesca Poletto, Riccardo Baston, Mattia Cecchinato and Matteo Legnardi
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050796 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Avian reovirus (ARV) infection can cause significant losses to the poultry industry. Disease control has traditionally been attempted mainly through vaccination. However, the increase in clinical outbreaks in the last decades demonstrated the poor effectiveness of current vaccination approaches. The present study reconstructs [...] Read more.
Avian reovirus (ARV) infection can cause significant losses to the poultry industry. Disease control has traditionally been attempted mainly through vaccination. However, the increase in clinical outbreaks in the last decades demonstrated the poor effectiveness of current vaccination approaches. The present study reconstructs the evolution and molecular epidemiology of different ARV genotypes using a phylodynamic approach, benefiting from a collection of more than one thousand sigma C (σC) sequences sampled over time at a worldwide level. ARVs’ origin was estimated to occur several centuries ago, largely predating the first clinical reports. The origins of all genotypes were inferred at least one century ago, and their emergence and rise reflect the intensification of the poultry industry. The introduction of vaccinations had only limited and transitory effects on viral circulation and further expansion was observed, particularly after the 1990s, likely because of the limited immunity and the suboptimal and patchy vaccination application. In parallel, strong selective pressures acted with different strengths and directionalities among genotypes, leading to the emergence of new variants. While preventing the spread of new variants with different phenotypic features would be pivotal, a phylogeographic analysis revealed an intricate network of viral migrations occurring even over long distances and reflecting well-established socio-economic relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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22 pages, 3491 KiB  
Review
Genomic Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Newcastle Disease Virus Genotypes in Africa: Implications for Diagnosis, Vaccination, and Regional Collaboration
by Charlie F. Amoia, Jean N. Hakizimana, Augustino A. Chengula, Muhammad Munir, Gerald Misinzo and James Weger-Lucarelli
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050795 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 394
Abstract
The emergence of new virulent genotypes and the continued genetic drift of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) implies that distinct genotypes of NDV are simultaneously evolving in different geographic locations across the globe, including throughout Africa, where NDV is an important veterinary pathogen. Expanding [...] Read more.
The emergence of new virulent genotypes and the continued genetic drift of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) implies that distinct genotypes of NDV are simultaneously evolving in different geographic locations across the globe, including throughout Africa, where NDV is an important veterinary pathogen. Expanding the genomic diversity of NDV increases the possibility of diagnostic and vaccine failures. In this review, we systematically analyzed the genetic diversity of NDV genotypes in Africa using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Information published between 1999 and 2022 were used to obtain the genetic background of different genotypes of NDV and their geographic distributions in Africa. The following genotypes were reported in Africa: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XI, XIII, XIV, XVII, XVIII, XX, and XXI. A new putative genotype has been detected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, of 54 African countries, only 26 countries regularly report information on NDV outbreaks, suggesting that this number may be vastly underestimated. With eight different genotypes, Nigeria is the country with the greatest genotypic diversity of NDV among African countries. Genotype VII is the most prevalent group of NDV in Africa, which was reported in 15 countries. A phylogeographic analysis of NDV sequences revealed transboundary transmission of the virus in Eastern Africa, Western and Central Africa, and in Southern Africa. A regional and continental collaboration is recommended for improved NDV risk management in Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newcastle Disease and Other Avian Orthoavulaviruses 1)
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11 pages, 1746 KiB  
Article
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Using Henipavirus-Receptor EphrinB2 and Monoclonal Antibodies for Detecting Nipah and Hendra Viruses
by Wenjun Zhu, Greg Smith, Bradley Pickering, Logan Banadyga and Ming Yang
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050794 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The Nipah virus (NiV) and the Hendra virus (HeV) are highly pathogenic zoonotic diseases that can cause fatal infections in humans and animals. Early detection is critical for the control of NiV and HeV infections. We present the development of two antigen-detection ELISAs [...] Read more.
The Nipah virus (NiV) and the Hendra virus (HeV) are highly pathogenic zoonotic diseases that can cause fatal infections in humans and animals. Early detection is critical for the control of NiV and HeV infections. We present the development of two antigen-detection ELISAs (AgELISAs) using the henipavirus-receptor EphrinB2 and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to detect NiV and HeV. The NiV AgELISA detected only NiV, whereas the NiV/HeV AgELISA detected both NiV and HeV. The diagnostic specificities of the NiV AgELISA and the NiV/HeV AgELISA were 100% and 97.8%, respectively. Both assays were specific for henipaviruses and showed no cross-reactivity with other viruses. The AgELISAs detected NiV antigen in experimental pig nasal wash samples taken at 4 days post-infection. With the combination of both AgELISAs, NiV can be differentiated from HeV. Complementing other henipavirus detection methods, these two newly developed AgELISAs can rapidly detect NiV and HeV in a large number of samples and are suitable for use in remote areas where other tests are not available. Full article
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11 pages, 812 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza Co-Infection: Fair Competition or Sinister Combination?
by Narasaraju Teluguakula, Vincent T. K. Chow, Mirazkar Dasharatharao Pandareesh, Venkatesha Dasegowda, Vidyasagar Kurrapotula, Shivaramu M. Gopegowda and Marko Radic
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050793 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious public health problem globally. During winter influenza seasons, more aggressive SARS-CoV-2 infections and fatalities have been documented, indicating that influenza co-infections may significantly impact the disease outcome of COVID-19. Both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses share many similarities [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious public health problem globally. During winter influenza seasons, more aggressive SARS-CoV-2 infections and fatalities have been documented, indicating that influenza co-infections may significantly impact the disease outcome of COVID-19. Both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses share many similarities in their transmission and their cellular tropism for replication in the human respiratory tract. However, the complex intricacies and multi-faceted dynamics of how the two pathogens interact to ensure their survival in the same lung microenvironment are still unclear. In addition, clinical studies on influenza co-infections in COVID-19 patients do not provide conclusive evidence of how influenza co-infection mechanistically modifies disease outcomes of COVID-19. This review discusses various viral as well as host factors that potentially influence the survival or synergism of these two respiratory pathogens in the infected lung microenvironment. Full article
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13 pages, 2675 KiB  
Article
Impact of Public Policy and COVID-19 Pandemic on Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment in France, 2014–2021
by Cécile Brouard, Manon Schwager, Aude Expert, Nicolas Drewniak, Stella Laporal, Grégoire de Lagasnerie and Florence Lot
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050792 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Given the World Health Organization’s target to eliminate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 2030, we assessed the impact of French public policies and the COVID-19 pandemic on HCV testing and initiation of direct-antiviral agents (DAAs). Using the French National Health Data System, [...] Read more.
Given the World Health Organization’s target to eliminate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 2030, we assessed the impact of French public policies and the COVID-19 pandemic on HCV testing and initiation of direct-antiviral agents (DAAs). Using the French National Health Data System, we identified individuals living in metropolitan France with at least one reimbursement for an anti-HCV test and those with a first delivery of DAAs between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2021. During this period, the annual number of people tested increased each year between 3.3 (in 2015) and 9.3% (in 2021), except in 2020, with a drop of 8.3%, particularly marked in April (−55.0% compared to February 2020). A return to pre-pandemic testing levels was observed in 2021. The quarterly number of patients initiating DAAs presented an upward trend from Q1-2014 until mid-2017, with greater increases in Q1-2015, and Q1- and Q2-2017, concomitant with DAA access policies and availability of new therapies. Then, quarterly numbers decreased. A 65.5% drop occurred in April compared to February 2020. The declining DAA initiations since mid-2017, despite new measures improving access and screening efforts, could be due to the shrinking pool of patients requiring treatment and a need to increase awareness among undiagnosed infected people. Further action is needed to eliminate HCV in France. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis C Virus: From Epidemiology to Treatment)
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21 pages, 1783 KiB  
Article
Alpha-1-Acid Glycoprotein Quantification via Spatial Proximity Analyte Reagent Capture Luminescence Assay: Application as Diagnostic and Prognostic Marker in Serum and Effusions of Cats with Feline Infectious Peritonitis Undergoing GS-441524 Therapy
by A. Katrin Helfer-Hungerbuehler, Andrea M. Spiri, Theres Meili, Barbara Riond, Daniela Krentz, Katharina Zwicklbauer, Katharina Buchta, Anna-Maria Zuzzi-Krebitz, Katrin Hartmann, Regina Hofmann-Lehmann and Marina L. Meli
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050791 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Until recently, the diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats usually led to euthanasia, but recent research has revealed that antiviral drugs, including the nucleoside analog GS-441524, have the potential to effectively cure FIP. Alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) has been suggested as a [...] Read more.
Until recently, the diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats usually led to euthanasia, but recent research has revealed that antiviral drugs, including the nucleoside analog GS-441524, have the potential to effectively cure FIP. Alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) has been suggested as a diagnostic marker for FIP. However, AGP quantification methods are not easily accessible. This study aimed to establish a Spatial Proximity Analyte Reagent Capture Luminescence (SPARCLTM) assay on the VetBio-1 analyzer to determine the AGP concentrations in feline serum and effusion samples. Linearity was found in serial dilutions between 1:2000 and 1:32,000; the intra-run and inter-run precision was <5% and <15%, respectively; and AGP was stable in serum stored for at least 8 days at room temperature, at 4 °C and at −20 °C. Cats with confirmed FIP had significantly higher serum AGP concentrations (median: 2954 µg/mL (range: 200–5861 µg/mL)) than those with other inflammatory diseases (median: 1734 µg/mL (305–3449 µg/mL)) and clinically healthy cats (median 235 µg/mL (range: 78–616 µg/mL); pKW < 0.0001). The AGP concentrations were significantly higher in the effusions from cats with FIP than in those from diseased cats without FIP (pMWU < 0.0001). The AGP concentrations in the serum of cats with FIP undergoing GS-441524 treatment showed a significant drop within the first seven days of treatment and reached normal levels after ~14 days. In conclusion, the VetBio-1 SPARCLTM assay offers a precise, fast and cost-effective method to measure the AGP concentrations in serum and effusion samples of feline patients. The monitoring of the AGP concentration throughout FIP treatment provides a valuable marker to evaluate the treatment’s effectiveness and identify potential relapses at an early stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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5 pages, 163 KiB  
Editorial
Exploring Fundamentals of Prion Biology Using Natural Yeast Prions and Mammalian PrP
by Irina L. Derkatch and Susan W. Liebman
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050790 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 366
Abstract
The key postulate of the prion paradigm is that some proteins can take on unconventional conformations and pass these conformations to newly synthesized protein molecules with the same primary structure [...] Full article
13 pages, 3133 KiB  
Article
Tenacity of Animal Disease Viruses on Wood Surfaces Relevant to Animal Husbandry
by Martin J. Oettler, Franz J. Conraths, Uwe Roesler, Sven Reiche, Timo Homeier-Bachmann and Nicolai Denzin
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050789 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyse the hygienic suitability of wood often used in animal husbandry. To this end, the inactivation of viruses (Enterovirus E as a surrogate for non-enveloped viruses and Newcastle disease virus as a surrogate for enveloped viruses) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyse the hygienic suitability of wood often used in animal husbandry. To this end, the inactivation of viruses (Enterovirus E as a surrogate for non-enveloped viruses and Newcastle disease virus as a surrogate for enveloped viruses) on germ carriers consisting of various types of wood was studied over an extended period to assess the biosafety of wood as an agricultural building material. The study was designed to assess the intrinsic biocidal activity of the wood itself, without the use of a disinfectant. The laboratory tests were based on German test guidelines and current European standards. Five different types of wood germ carriers, i.e., spruce (Picea abies), pine (Pinus sylvestris), poplar (Populus sp.), beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), as well as stainless-steel carriers, were inoculated with enveloped and non-enveloped viruses and stored for up to four months, and the remaining infectivity of the viruses was continuously assessed. The results showed that intact, finely sawn timber with a low depth of roughness had an inactivating effect on the viruses up to 7.5 decadal logarithmic levels. For the non-enveloped virus, inactivation was fastest on Douglas fir wood, with the target reduction for effective inactivation (reduction by factor 4.0 log10) being achieved after two weeks, and for the enveloped virus on pine wood, it was already achieved from the day of drying. The hygienic effects of the wood carriers may be due to their hygroscopic properties and wood constituents. These effects offer potential for further investigation, including tests with other wood species rich in extractives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Preventing Viral Diseases of Domestic Animals)
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10 pages, 898 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Five Serological Methods for the Detection of West Nile Virus Antibodies
by Philipp Girl, Kathrin Euringer, Mircea Coroian, Andrei Daniel Mihalca, Johannes P. Borde and Gerhard Dobler
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050788 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
The West Nile Virus (WNV), a member of the family Flaviviridae, is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus causing potentially severe infections in humans and animals involving the central nervous system (CNS). Due to its emerging tendency, WNV now occurs in many areas where [...] Read more.
The West Nile Virus (WNV), a member of the family Flaviviridae, is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus causing potentially severe infections in humans and animals involving the central nervous system (CNS). Due to its emerging tendency, WNV now occurs in many areas where other flaviviruses are co-occurring. Cross-reactive antibodies with flavivirus infections or vaccination (e.g., tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), Usutu virus (USUV), yellow fever virus (YFV), dengue virus (DENV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)) therefore remain a major challenge in diagnosing flavivirus infections. Virus neutralization tests are considered as reference tests for the detection of specific flavivirus antibodies, but are elaborate, time-consuming and need biosafety level 3 facilities. A simple and straightforward assay for the differentiation and detection of specific WNV IgG antibodies for the routine laboratory is urgently needed. In this study, we compared two commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (anti-IgG WNV ELISA and anti-NS1-IgG WNV), a commercially available indirect immunofluorescence assay, and a newly developed in-house ELISA for the detection of WNV-NS1-IgG antibodies. All four tests were compared to an in-house NT to determine both the sensitivity and specificity of the four test systems. None of the assays could match the specificity of the NT, although the two NS1-IgG based ELISAs were very close to the specificity of the NT at 97.3% and 94.6%. The in-house WNV-NS1-IgG ELISA had the best performance regarding sensitivity and specificity. The specificities of the ELISA assays and the indirect immunofluorescence assays could not meet the necessary specificity and/or sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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75 pages, 5211 KiB  
Review
Square the Circle: Diversity of Viral Pathogens Causing Neuro-Infectious Diseases
by Varvara Nurmukanova, Alina Matsvay, Maria Gordukova and German Shipulin
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050787 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Neuroinfections rank among the top ten leading causes of child mortality globally, even in high-income countries. The crucial determinants for successful treatment lie in the timing and swiftness of diagnosis. Although viruses constitute the majority of infectious neuropathologies, diagnosing and treating viral neuroinfections [...] Read more.
Neuroinfections rank among the top ten leading causes of child mortality globally, even in high-income countries. The crucial determinants for successful treatment lie in the timing and swiftness of diagnosis. Although viruses constitute the majority of infectious neuropathologies, diagnosing and treating viral neuroinfections remains challenging. Despite technological advancements, the etiology of the disease remains undetermined in over half of cases. The identification of the pathogen becomes more difficult when the infection is caused by atypical pathogens or multiple pathogens simultaneously. Furthermore, the modern surge in global passenger traffic has led to an increase in cases of infections caused by pathogens not endemic to local areas. This review aims to systematize and summarize information on neuroinvasive viral pathogens, encompassing their geographic distribution and transmission routes. Emphasis is placed on rare pathogens and cases involving atypical pathogens, aiming to offer a comprehensive and structured catalog of viral agents with neurovirulence potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section General Virology)
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17 pages, 1087 KiB  
Article
Unveiling Inter- and Intra-Patient Sequence Variability with a Multi-Sample Coronavirus Target Enrichment Approach
by Sara Lado, Jakob Thannesberger, Kathrin Spettel, Jurica Arpović, Bibiana I. Ferreira, Marialuisa Lavitrano and Christoph Steininger
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050786 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Amid the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, unraveling the genomic intricacies of SARS-CoV-2 became crucial. This study explores viral evolution using an innovative high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach. By taking advantage of nasal swab and mouthwash samples from patients who tested [...] Read more.
Amid the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, unraveling the genomic intricacies of SARS-CoV-2 became crucial. This study explores viral evolution using an innovative high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach. By taking advantage of nasal swab and mouthwash samples from patients who tested positive for COVID-19 across different geographical regions during sequential infection waves, our study applied a targeted enrichment protocol and pooling strategy to increase detection sensitivity. The approach was extremely efficient, yielding a large number of reads and mutations distributed across 10 distinct viral gene regions. Notably, the genes Envelope, Nucleocapsid, and Open Reading Frame 8 had the highest number of unique mutations per 1000 nucleotides, with both spike and Nucleocapsid genes showing evidence for positive selection. Focusing on the spike protein gene, crucial in virus replication and immunogenicity, our findings show a dynamic SARS-CoV-2 evolution, emphasizing the virus–host interplay. Moreover, the pooling strategy facilitated subtle sequence variability detection. Our findings painted a dynamic portrait of SARS-CoV-2 evolution, emphasizing the intricate interplay between the virus and its host populations and accentuating the importance of continuous genomic surveillance to understand viral dynamics. As SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, this approach proves to be a powerful, versatile, fast, and cost-efficient screening tool for unraveling emerging variants, fostering understanding of the virus’s genetic landscape. Full article
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22 pages, 4237 KiB  
Article
Modulation of Paracellular Permeability in SARS-CoV-2 Blood-to-Brain Transcytosis
by Taylor E. Martinez, Karthick Mayilsamy, Shyam S. Mohapatra and Subhra Mohapatra
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050785 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 462
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects the lungs via the ACE2 receptor but also other organs including the kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract, the heart, and the skin. SARS-CoV-2 also infects the brain, but the hematogenous route of viral entry to the brain is still not fully [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects the lungs via the ACE2 receptor but also other organs including the kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract, the heart, and the skin. SARS-CoV-2 also infects the brain, but the hematogenous route of viral entry to the brain is still not fully characterized. Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 traverses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) as well as how it affects the molecular functions of the BBB are unclear. In this study, we investigated the roles of the receptors ACE2 and DPP4 in the SARS-CoV-2 infection of the discrete cellular components of a transwell BBB model comprising HUVECs, astrocytes, and pericytes. Our results demonstrate that direct infection on the BBB model does not modulate paracellular permeability. Also, our results show that SARS-CoV-2 utilizes clathrin and caveolin-mediated endocytosis to traverse the BBB, resulting in the direct infection of the brain side of the BBB model with a minimal endothelial infection. In conclusion, the BBB is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection in multiple ways, including the direct infection of endothelium, astrocytes, and pericytes involving ACE2 and/or DPP4 and the blood-to-brain transcytosis, which is an event that does not require the presence of host receptors. Full article
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14 pages, 4354 KiB  
Perspective
Mpox (Monkeypox) Virus and Its Co-Infection with HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, or Bacterial Superinfections: Double Whammy or a New Prime Culprit?
by Benjamin M. Liu, Natella Y. Rakhmanina, Zhilong Yang and Michael I. Bukrinsky
Viruses 2024, 16(5), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16050784 - 15 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 436
Abstract
Epidemiologic studies have established that mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) outbreaks worldwide in 2022–2023, due to Clade IIb mpox virus (MPXV), disproportionately affected gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. More than 35% and 40% of the mpox cases suffer [...] Read more.
Epidemiologic studies have established that mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) outbreaks worldwide in 2022–2023, due to Clade IIb mpox virus (MPXV), disproportionately affected gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. More than 35% and 40% of the mpox cases suffer from co-infection with HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (e.g., Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, and herpes simplex virus), respectively. Bacterial superinfection can also occur. Co-infection of MPXV and other infectious agents may enhance disease severity, deteriorate outcomes, elongate the recovery process, and potentially contribute to the morbidity and mortality of the ensuing diseases. However, the interplays between MPXV and HIV, bacteria, other STI pathogens and host cells are poorly studied. There are many open questions regarding the impact of co-infections with HIV, STIs, or bacterial superinfections on the diagnosis and treatment of MPXV infections, including clinical and laboratory-confirmed mpox diagnosis, suboptimal treatment effectiveness, and induction of antiviral drug resistance. In this review article, we will discuss the progress and knowledge gaps in MPXV biology, antiviral therapy, pathogenesis of human MPXV and its co-infection with HIV, STIs, or bacterial superinfections, and the impact of the co-infections on the diagnosis and treatment of mpox disease. This review not only sheds light on the MPXV infection and co-infection of other etiologies but also calls for more research on MPXV life cycles and the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of co-infection of MPXV and other infectious agents, as well as research and development of a novel multiplex molecular testing panel for the detection of MPXV and other STI co-infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
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