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Viruses, Volume 16, Issue 6 (June 2024) – 149 articles

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18 pages, 1525 KiB  
Article
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 Genetic Diversity and Drugs Resistance Mutations among People Living with HIV in Karachi, Pakistan
by Abdur Rashid, Li Kang, Feng Yi, Qingfei Chu, Sharaf Ali Shah, Syed Faisal Mahmood, Yimam Getaneh, Min Wei, Song Chang, Syed Hani Abidi and Yiming Shao
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060962 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 1
Abstract
The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 epidemic in Pakistan has significantly increased over the last two decades. In Karachi, Pakistan, there is a lack of updated information on the complexity of HIV-1 genetic diversity and the burden of drug resistance mutations (DRMs) that can [...] Read more.
The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 epidemic in Pakistan has significantly increased over the last two decades. In Karachi, Pakistan, there is a lack of updated information on the complexity of HIV-1 genetic diversity and the burden of drug resistance mutations (DRMs) that can contribute to ART failure and poor treatment outcomes. This study aimed to determine HIV-1 genetic diversity and identify drug-resistance mutations among people living with HIV in Karachi. A total of 364 HIV-positive individuals, with a median age of 36 years, were enrolled in the study. The HIV-1 partial pol gene was successfully sequenced from 268 individuals. The sequences were used to generate phylogenetic trees to determine clade diversity and also to assess the burden of DRMs. Based on the partial pol sequences, 13 distinct HIV-1 subtypes and recombinant forms were identified. Subtype A1 was the most common clade (40%), followed by CRF02_AG (33.2%). Acquired DRMs were found in 30.6% of the ART-experienced patients, of whom 70.7%, 20.7%, and 8.5% were associated with resistance to NNRTIs, NRTIs, and PIs, respectively. Transmitted DRMs were found in 5.6% of the ART-naïve patients, of whom 93% were associated with resistance against NNRTIs and 7% to PIs. The high prevalence of DRMs in ART-experienced patients poses significant challenges to the long-term benefits and sustainability of the ART program. This study emphasizes the importance of continuous HIV molecular epidemiology and drug resistance surveillance to support evidence-based HIV prevention, precise ART, and targeted AIDS care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of HIV Diversity)
14 pages, 2190 KiB  
Article
Application of MPBT Assay for Multiplex Determination of Infectious Titers and for Selection of the Optimal Formulation for the Trivalent Novel Oral Poliovirus Vaccine
by Hasmik Manukyan, Manjari Lal, Changcheng Zhu, Olga Singh, Tsai-Lien Lin, Erman Tritama, Konstantin Chumakov, Shwu-Maan Lee and Majid Laassri
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060961 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 160
Abstract
Recently, a multiplex PCR-based titration (MPBT) assay was developed for simultaneous determination of infectious titers of all three Sabin strains of the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) to replace the conventional CCID50 assay, which is both time-consuming and laborious. The MPBT assay was [...] Read more.
Recently, a multiplex PCR-based titration (MPBT) assay was developed for simultaneous determination of infectious titers of all three Sabin strains of the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) to replace the conventional CCID50 assay, which is both time-consuming and laborious. The MPBT assay was shown to be reproducible, robust and sensitive. The conventional and MPBT assays showed similar results and sensitivity. The MPBT assay can be completed in two to three days, instead of ten days for the conventional assay. To prevent attenuated vaccine strains of poliovirus from reversion to virulence, a novel, genetically stable OPV (nOPV) was developed by modifying the genomes of conventional Sabin strains used in OPV. In this work, we evaluated the MPBT assay as a rapid screening tool to support trivalent nOPV (tnOPV) formulation development by simultaneous titration of the three nOPV strains to confirm stability as needed, for the selection of the lead tnOPV formulation candidate. We first assessed the ability of the MPBT assay to discriminate a 0.5 log10 titer difference by titrating the two tnOPV samples (undiluted and threefold-diluted) on the same plate. Once the assay was shown to be discriminating, we then tested different formulations of tnOPV drug products (DPs) that were subjected to different exposure times at 37 °C (untreated group and treated groups: 2 and 7 days at 37 °C), and to three freeze and thaw (FT) cycles. Final confirmation of the down selected formulation candidates was achieved by performing the conventional CCID50 assay, comparing the stability of untreated and treated groups and FT stability testing on the top three candidates. The results showed that the MPBT assay generates similar titers as the conventional assay. By testing two trivalent samples in the same plate, the assay can differentiate a 0.5 log10 difference between the titers of the tested nOPV samples. Also, the assay was able to detect the gradual degradation of nOPV viruses with different formulation compositions and under different time/temperature conditions and freeze/thaw cycles. We found that there were three tnOPV formulations which met the stability criteria of less than 0.5 log10 loss after 2 days’ exposure to 37 ℃ and after three FT cycles, maintaining the potency of all three serotypes in these formulations. The ability of the MPBT assay to titrate two tnOPV lots (six viruses) in the same plate makes it cheaper and gives it a higher throughput for rapid screening. The assay detected the gradual degradation of the tnOPV and was successful in the selection of optimal formulations for the tnOPV. The results demonstrated that the MPBT method can be used as a stability indicating assay to assess the thermal stability of the nOPV. It can be used for rapid virus titer determination during the vaccine manufacturing process, and in clinical trials. The MPBT assay can be automated and applied for other viruses, including those with no cytopathic effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue An Update on Enterovirus Research)
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14 pages, 1013 KiB  
Review
Exploring Iguape Virus—A Lesser-Known Orthoflavivirus
by Marielena V. Saivish, Maurício L. Nogueira, Shannan L. Rossi and Nikos Vasilakis
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060960 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Brazil has earned the moniker “arbovirus hotspot”, providing an ideal breeding ground for a multitude of arboviruses thriving in various zoonotic and urban cycles. As the planet warms and vectors expand their habitat range, a nuanced understanding of lesser-known arboviruses and the factors [...] Read more.
Brazil has earned the moniker “arbovirus hotspot”, providing an ideal breeding ground for a multitude of arboviruses thriving in various zoonotic and urban cycles. As the planet warms and vectors expand their habitat range, a nuanced understanding of lesser-known arboviruses and the factors that could drive their emergence becomes imperative. Among these viruses is the Iguape virus (IGUV), a member of the Orthoflavivirus aroaense species, which was first isolated in 1979 from a sentinel mouse in the municipality of Iguape, within the Vale do Ribeira region of São Paulo State. While evidence suggests that IGUV circulates among birds, wild rodents, marsupials, bats, and domestic birds, there is no information available on its pathogenesis in both humans and animals. The existing literature on IGUV spans decades, is outdated, and is often challenging to access. In this review, we have curated information from the known literature, clarifying its elusive nature and investigating the factors that may influence its emergence. As an orthoflavivirus, IGUV poses a potential threat, which demands our attention and vigilance, considering the serious outbreaks that the Zika virus, another neglected orthoflavivirus, has unleashed in the recent past. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic and Vector-Borne Viral Diseases)
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10 pages, 279 KiB  
Brief Report
Antiviral Activity of Ag5IO6, A Unique Silver Compound
by Mauri Erickson, Tyler J. Boone and Patricia L. Nadworny
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060959 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Pentasilver hexaoxoiodate (Ag5IO6) has broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy, including the long-term prevention of microbial adherence, the rapid killing of planktonic microorganisms, and the elimination of mature biofilms. This study’s goal was to determine whether it may also have antiviral activity [...] Read more.
Pentasilver hexaoxoiodate (Ag5IO6) has broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy, including the long-term prevention of microbial adherence, the rapid killing of planktonic microorganisms, and the elimination of mature biofilms. This study’s goal was to determine whether it may also have antiviral activity against structurally distinct viruses. Ag5IO6 was tested following ASTM E1052-20, Standard Practice to Assess the Activity of Microbicides Against Viruses in Suspension, against adenovirus type 5, murine norovirus, poliovirus type 1, SARS-CoV-2 (original), and SARS-CoV-2 (omicron) (host cells: H1HeLa, RAW 264.7, LLC-MK2, Vero E6, and Vero E6, respectively). A 0.1 g/mL Ag5IO6 suspension was prepared and the viruses were exposed for 30 min, 4 h, or 24 h. Exposure to Ag5IO6 resulted in complete kill of SARS-CoV-2 (omicron) within 30 min, as well as complete kill of both SARS-CoV-2 (original) and the murine norovirus within 4 h. Ag5IO6 showed increasing activity over time against the adenovirus, but did not achieve a 3-log reduction within 24 h, and showed no antiviral activity against the poliovirus. These results demonstrate that Ag5IO6 has antiviral activity against medically important viruses, in addition to its well-characterized antimicrobial activity, suggesting that it may be valuable in situations where the prevention or simultaneous treatment of microbes and viruses are necessary. Full article
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28 pages, 6709 KiB  
Article
Epidemiological and Genetic Characteristics of Respiratory Viral Coinfections with Different Variants of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
by Ivelina Trifonova, Neli Korsun, Iveta Madzharova, Ivailo Alexiev, Ivan Ivanov, Viktoria Levterova, Lyubomira Grigorova, Ivan Stoikov, Dean Donchev and Iva Christova
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060958 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 187
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the incidence and etiological, seasonal, and genetic characteristics of respiratory viral coinfections involving severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Between October 2020 and January 2024, nasopharyngeal samples were collected from 2277 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients. Two multiplex approaches were [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the incidence and etiological, seasonal, and genetic characteristics of respiratory viral coinfections involving severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Between October 2020 and January 2024, nasopharyngeal samples were collected from 2277 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients. Two multiplex approaches were used to detect and sequence SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B viruses, and other seasonal respiratory viruses: multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and multiplex next-generation sequencing. Coinfections of SARS-CoV-2 with other respiratory viruses were detected in 164 (7.2%) patients. The most common co-infecting virus was respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (38 cases, 1.7%), followed by bocavirus (BoV) (1.2%) and rhinovirus (RV) (1.1%). Patients ≤ 16 years of age had the highest rate (15%) of mixed infections. Whole-genome sequencing produced 19 complete genomes of seasonal respiratory viral co-pathogens, which were subjected to phylogenetic and amino acid analyses. The detected influenza viruses were classified into the genetic groups 6B.1A.5a.2a and 6B.1A.5a.2a.1 for A(H1N1)pdm09, 3C.2a1b.2a.2a.1 and 3C.2a.2b for A(H3N2), and V1A.3a.2 for the B/Victoria lineage. The RSV-B sequences belonged to the genetic group GB5.0.5a, with HAdV-C belonging to type 1, BoV to genotype VP1, and PIV3 to lineage 1a(i). Multiple amino acid substitutions were identified, including at the antibody-binding sites. This study provides insights into respiratory viral coinfections involving SARS-CoV-2 and reinforces the importance of genetic characterization of co-pathogens in the development of therapeutic and preventive strategies. Full article
14 pages, 400 KiB  
Article
Hepatitis C (HCV) Reinfection and Risk Factors among Clients of a Low-Threshold Primary Healthcare Service for People Who Inject Drugs in Sydney, Australia
by Phillip Read, Bruce Zi Huan Tang, Edmund Silins, Anna Doab, Vincent J. Cornelisse and Rosie Gilliver
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060957 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 167
Abstract
Hepatitis C (HCV) reinfection studies have not focused on primary healthcare services in Australia, where priority populations including people who inject drugs (PWID) typically engage in healthcare. We aimed to describe the incidence of HCV reinfection and associated risk factors in a cohort [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C (HCV) reinfection studies have not focused on primary healthcare services in Australia, where priority populations including people who inject drugs (PWID) typically engage in healthcare. We aimed to describe the incidence of HCV reinfection and associated risk factors in a cohort of people most at risk of reinfection in a real-world community setting. We conducted a secondary analysis of routinely collected HCV testing and treatment data from treatment episodes initiated with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy between October 2015 and June 2021. The overall proportion of clients (N = 413) reinfected was 9% (N = 37), and the overall incidence rate of HCV reinfection was 9.5/100PY (95% CI: 6.3–14.3). Reinfection incidence rates varied by sub-group and were highest for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people (20.4/100PY; 95% CI: 12.1–34.4). Among PWID (N= 321), only Aboriginality was significantly associated with reinfection (AOR: 2.73, 95% CI: 1.33–5.60, p = 0.006). High rates of HCV reinfection in populations with multiple vulnerabilities and continued drug use, especially among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, highlight the need for ongoing regular HCV testing and retreatment in order to achieve HCV elimination. A priority is resourcing testing and treatment for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Our findings support the need for novel and holistic healthcare strategies for PWID and the upscaling of Indigenous cultural approaches and interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis C Virus Infection among People Who Inject Drugs)
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12 pages, 1028 KiB  
Review
Breaking the Barrier: SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Wild and Companion Animals and Their Implications for Public Health
by Zhandos Abay, Sandugash Sadikaliyeva, Ainur Nurpeisova, Kuanysh Jekebekov, Kamshat Shorayeva, Bolat Yespembetov, Sergazy Nurabayev, Aslan Kerimbayev, Berik Khairullin, Hansang Yoo, Lespek Kutumbetov, Markhabat Kassenov and Kunsulu Zakarya
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060956 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 202
Abstract
The emergence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has led to significant interest in its potential transmission between animals and humans, especially pets. This review article summarises the literature on coronavirus infections in domestic animals, emphasising epidemiology, transmission dynamics, clinical manifestations, and public health [...] Read more.
The emergence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has led to significant interest in its potential transmission between animals and humans, especially pets. This review article summarises the literature on coronavirus infections in domestic animals, emphasising epidemiology, transmission dynamics, clinical manifestations, and public health implications. This article highlights current understandings of the relationship between infections in companion animals and humans, identifies research gaps, and suggests directions for future research. Cases of disease in cats, dogs, and other domestic animals, often occurring through close contact with infected owners, are reviewed, raising concerns about possible zoonotic and reverse zoonotic transmission. Precautions and recommendations for pet owners and healthcare workers are also discussed. The scientific evidence presented in the article highlights the need for a One Health approach that considers the health of people, animals, and the environment to combat future pandemics. Full article
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22 pages, 4569 KiB  
Article
Spontaneous Lethal Outbreak of Influenza A Virus Infection in Vaccinated Sows on Two Farms Suggesting the Occurrence of Vaccine-Associated Enhanced Respiratory Disease with Eosinophilic Lung Pathology
by Wencke Reineking, Isabel Hennig-Pauka, Ludger Schröder, Ulf Höner, Elena Schreiber, Lukas Geiping, Simon Lassnig, Marta C. Bonilla, Marion Hewicker-Trautwein and Nicole de Buhr
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060955 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Influenza A virus (IAV) infections in swine are usually subclinical, but they can reach high morbidity rates. The mortality rate is normally low. In this study, six vaccinated, spontaneously deceased sows revealed IAV infection and enhanced neutrophilic bronchopneumonia with unexpectedly large numbers of [...] Read more.
Influenza A virus (IAV) infections in swine are usually subclinical, but they can reach high morbidity rates. The mortality rate is normally low. In this study, six vaccinated, spontaneously deceased sows revealed IAV infection and enhanced neutrophilic bronchopneumonia with unexpectedly large numbers of infiltrating eosinophils. The purpose of this study was to characterize these lung lesions with special emphasis on the phenotypes of inflammatory cells, the presence of eosinophilic peroxidase (EPO), and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The number of Sirius red-stained eosinophils was significantly higher in the lungs of IAV-infected sows compared to healthy pigs, indicating a migration of eosinophils from blood vessels into the lung tissue stimulated by IAV infection. The detection of intra- and extracellular EPO in the lungs suggests its contribution to pulmonary damage. The presence of CD3+ T lymphocytes, CD20+ B lymphocytes, and Iba-1+ macrophages indicates the involvement of cell-mediated immune responses in disease progression. Furthermore, high numbers of myeloperoxidase-positive cells were detected. However, DNA-histone-1 complexes were reduced in IAV-infected sows, leading to the hypothesis that NETs are not formed in the IAV-infected sows. In conclusion, our findings in the lungs of IAV-infected vaccinated sows suggest the presence of so far unreported field cases of vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Influenza Virus Research: Third Edition)
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10 pages, 1564 KiB  
Article
Hepatitis B Virus Genotypes and Subgenotypes Circulating in Infected Residents in a Country with High Vaccination Rate
by Carolina Silva, Diogo Ramos, Miriam Quina and Elizabeth Pádua
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060954 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 225
Abstract
Despite the availability of a vaccine against hepatitis B virus (HBV), this infection still causes public health problems, particularly in susceptible populations. In Portugal, universal free vaccination started in 1994, and most HBV infections are diagnosed in immigrants from high-prevalence countries. Our aim [...] Read more.
Despite the availability of a vaccine against hepatitis B virus (HBV), this infection still causes public health problems, particularly in susceptible populations. In Portugal, universal free vaccination started in 1994, and most HBV infections are diagnosed in immigrants from high-prevalence countries. Our aim was to assess the pattern of HBV genotypes/subgenotypes in samples collected between 2017 and 2021 from a convenience sample of 70 infected residents in Portugal. The HBV pol/HBsAg region was amplified and sequenced, allowing the analysis of RT sequences submitted to phylogenetic analysis and mutations assessment. A total of 37.1% of samples were from native Portuguese, aged 25–53 years (mean: 36.7 years), and the remaining samples were from individuals born outside of Portugal. A high diversity of HBV was identified: subgenotypes A1–A3 in 41.0% (16/39); D1, D3, and D4 in 30.7% (12/39); E in 23.1% (9/39); and F4 in 2.6% (1/39). Besides genotypes A and D, Portuguese were also infected with genotypes E and F, which are prevalent in Africa and South America, respectively. Resistance mutations in RT sequences were not found. The findings provide valuable insights for updating the HBV molecular epidemiology in Portugal. However, successful strategies to prevent and control the infection are still needed in the country, especially among susceptible and vulnerable populations. Full article
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19 pages, 4389 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Complexity of the Human Respiratory Virome through an In Silico Analysis of Shotgun Metagenomic Data Retrieved from Public Repositories
by Talya Conradie, Jose A. Caparros-Martin, Siobhon Egan, Anthony Kicic, Sulev Koks, Stephen M. Stick and Patricia Agudelo-Romero
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060953 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Background: Respiratory viruses significantly impact global morbidity and mortality, causing more disease in humans than any other infectious agent. Beyond pathogens, various viruses and bacteria colonize the respiratory tract without causing disease, potentially influencing respiratory diseases’ pathogenesis. Nevertheless, our understanding of respiratory microbiota [...] Read more.
Background: Respiratory viruses significantly impact global morbidity and mortality, causing more disease in humans than any other infectious agent. Beyond pathogens, various viruses and bacteria colonize the respiratory tract without causing disease, potentially influencing respiratory diseases’ pathogenesis. Nevertheless, our understanding of respiratory microbiota is limited by technical constraints, predominantly focusing on bacteria and neglecting crucial populations like viruses. Despite recent efforts to improve our understanding of viral diversity in the human body, our knowledge of viral diversity associated with the human respiratory tract remains limited. Methods: Following a comprehensive search in bibliographic and sequencing data repositories using keyword terms, we retrieved shotgun metagenomic data from public repositories (n = 85). After manual curation, sequencing data files from 43 studies were analyzed using EVEREST (pipEline for Viral assEmbly and chaRactEriSaTion). Complete and high-quality contigs were further assessed for genomic and taxonomic characterization. Results: Viral contigs were obtained from 194 out of the 868 FASTQ files processed through EVEREST. Of the 1842 contigs that were quality assessed, 8% (n = 146) were classified as complete/high-quality genomes. Most of the identified viral contigs were taxonomically classified as bacteriophages, with taxonomic resolution ranging from the superkingdom level down to the species level. Captured contigs were spread across 25 putative families and varied between RNA and DNA viruses, including previously uncharacterized viral genomes. Of note, airway samples also contained virus(es) characteristic of the human gastrointestinal tract, which have not been previously described as part of the lung virome. Additionally, by performing a meta-analysis of the integrated datasets, ecological trends within viral populations linked to human disease states and their biogeographical distribution along the respiratory tract were observed. Conclusion: By leveraging publicly available repositories of shotgun metagenomic data, the present study provides new insights into viral genomes associated with specimens from the human respiratory tract across different disease spectra. Further studies are required to validate our findings and evaluate the potential impact of these viral communities on respiratory tract physiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus Bioinformatics 2024)
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12 pages, 1608 KiB  
Article
Development and Validation of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay-Based Protocol for Evaluation of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines
by Eliel Nham, A-Yeung Jang, Hyun Jung Ji, Ki Bum Ahn, Joon-Yong Bae, Man-Seong Park, Jin Gu Yoon, Hye Seong, Ji Yun Noh, Hee Jin Cheong, Woo Joo Kim, Ho Seong Seo and Joon Young Song
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060952 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Recently, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines based on the prefusion F (pre-F) antigen were approved in the United States. We aimed to develop an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based protocol for the practical and large-scale evaluation of RSV vaccines. Two modified pre-F proteins (DS-Cav1 [...] Read more.
Recently, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines based on the prefusion F (pre-F) antigen were approved in the United States. We aimed to develop an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based protocol for the practical and large-scale evaluation of RSV vaccines. Two modified pre-F proteins (DS-Cav1 and SC-TM) were produced by genetic recombination and replication using an adenoviral vector. The protocol was established by optimizing the concentrations of the coating antigen (pre-F proteins), secondary antibodies, and blocking buffer. To validate the protocol, we examined its accuracy, precision, and specificity using serum samples from 150 participants across various age groups and the standard serum provided by the National Institute of Health. In the linear correlation analysis, coating concentrations of 5 and 2.5 μg/mL of DS-Cav1 and SC-TM showed high coefficients of determination (r > 0.90), respectively. Concentrations of secondary antibodies (alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-human immunoglobulin G, diluted 1:2000) and blocking reagents (5% skim milk/PBS-T) were optimized to minimize non-specific reactions. High accuracy was observed for DS-Cav1 (r = 0.90) and SC-TM (r = 0.86). Further, both antigens showed high precision (coefficient of variation < 15%). Inhibition ELISA revealed cross-reactivity of antibodies against DS-Cav1 and SC-TM, but not with the attachment (G) protein. Full article
19 pages, 1527 KiB  
Review
Breakthrough Acute HIV Infections among Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Users with High Adherence: A Narrative Review
by Davide Moschese, Samuel Lazzarin, Martina Laura Colombo, Francesco Caruso, Andrea Giacomelli, Spinello Antinori and Andrea Gori
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060951 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a pivotal intervention among HIV prevention strategies. We aimed to narratively revise the topic of HIV acute infection in the setting of PrEP exposure with a focus on diagnostic options, clinical features, and future PrEP perspectives, with a particular [...] Read more.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a pivotal intervention among HIV prevention strategies. We aimed to narratively revise the topic of HIV acute infection in the setting of PrEP exposure with a focus on diagnostic options, clinical features, and future PrEP perspectives, with a particular focus on users with high adherence to PrEP. We searched the main databases (PubMed, Embase, and Scopus) with the keywords “PrEP” or “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis” and “HIV” or “PLWH” and “breakthrough” or “acute infection” or “primary infection”. We included all randomized clinical trials and non-experimental studies (both case reports and observational studies) ever published. In the present narrative review, we revise the diagnostic challenges related to HIV diagnosis in the setting of PrEP and the clinical characteristics and symptoms of breakthrough infections. We discuss the management of acute HIV infection during PrEP and the new challenges that arise from the use of long-acting drugs for PrEP. Our review underlines that although extremely rare, HIV seroconversions are still possible during PrEP, even in a context of high adherence. Efforts to promptly identify these events must be included in the PrEP follow-up in order to minimize the chance of overlooked HIV breakthrough infections and thus exposure to suboptimal concentrations of antiretrovirals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute HIV Infections)
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19 pages, 604 KiB  
Article
Inflammatory and Autoimmune Aspects of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C): A Prospective Cohort Study
by David A. Lawrence, Aishwarya Jadhav, Tapan K. Mondal, Kyle Carson, William T. Lee, Alexander H. Hogan, Katherine W. Herbst, Ian C. Michelow, Michael Brimacombe, Juan C. Salazar and The Connecticut Children’s COVID Collaborative
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060950 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a potentially life-threatening complication of COVID-19. The pathophysiological mechanisms leading to severe disease are poorly understood. This study leveraged clinical samples from a well-characterized cohort of children hospitalized with COVID-19 or MIS-C to compare immune-mediated biomarkers. [...] Read more.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a potentially life-threatening complication of COVID-19. The pathophysiological mechanisms leading to severe disease are poorly understood. This study leveraged clinical samples from a well-characterized cohort of children hospitalized with COVID-19 or MIS-C to compare immune-mediated biomarkers. Our objective was to identify selected immune molecules that could explain, in part, why certain SARS-CoV-2-infected children developed MIS-C. We hypothesized that type-2 helper T cell-mediated inflammation can elicit autoantibodies, which may account for some of the differences observed between the moderate–severe COVID-19 (COVID+) and MIS-C cohort. We enumerated blood leukocytes and measured levels of selected serum cytokines, chemokines, antibodies to COVID-19 antigens, and autoantibodies in children presenting to an academic medical center in Connecticut, United States. The neutrophil/lymphocyte and eosinophil/lymphocyte ratios were significantly higher in those in the MIS-C versus COVID+ cohort. IgM and IgA, but not IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain were significantly higher in the MIS-C cohort than the COVID+ cohort. The serum levels of certain type-2 cytokines (interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-13, and IL-33) were significantly higher in children with MIS-C compared to the COVID+ and SARS-CoV-2-negative cohorts. IgG autoantibodies to brain antigens and pentraxin were higher in children with MIS-C compared to SARS-CoV-19-negative controls, and children with MIS-C had higher levels of IgG anti-contactin-associated protein-like 2 (caspr2) compared to the COVID+ and SARS-CoV-19-negative controls. We speculate that autoimmune responses in certain COVID-19 patients may induce pathophysiological changes that lead to MIS-C. The triggers of autoimmunity and factors accounting for type-2 inflammation require further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Virology and Viral Diseases)
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10 pages, 3158 KiB  
Article
The MGF300-2R Protein of African Swine Fever Virus Promotes IKKβ Ubiquitination by Recruiting the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase TRIM21
by Zhanhao Lu, Rui Luo, Jing Lan, Shengmei Chen, Hua-Ji Qiu, Tao Wang and Yuan Sun
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060949 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 277
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is an acute, hemorrhagic, highly contagious disease in pigs caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV). Our previous study identified that the ASFV MGF300-2R protein functions as a virulence factor and found that MGF300-2R degrades IKKβ via selective [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is an acute, hemorrhagic, highly contagious disease in pigs caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV). Our previous study identified that the ASFV MGF300-2R protein functions as a virulence factor and found that MGF300-2R degrades IKKβ via selective autophagy. However, the E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for IKKβ ubiquitination during autophagic degradation still remains unknown. In order to solve this problem, we first pulled down 328 proteins interacting with MGF300-2R through immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry. Next, we analyzed and confirmed the interaction between the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM21 and MGF300-2R and demonstrated the catalytic role of TRIM21 in IKKβ ubiquitination. Finally, we indicated that the degradation of IKKβ by MGF300-2R was dependent on TRIM21. In summary, our results indicate TRIM21 is the E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in the degradation of IKKβ by MGF300-2R, thereby augmenting our understanding of the functions of MGF300-2R and offering insights into the rational design of live attenuated vaccines and antiviral strategies against ASF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue African Swine Fever Virus 4.0)
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13 pages, 1215 KiB  
Article
Antiviral Activities of Mastoparan-L-Derived Peptides against Human Alphaherpesvirus 1
by Liana Costa Pereira Vilas Boas, Danieli Fernanda Buccini, Rhayfa Lorrayne Araújo Berlanda, Bruno de Paula Oliveira Santos, Mariana Rocha Maximiano, Luciano Morais Lião, Sónia Gonçalves, Nuno C. Santos and Octávio Luiz Franco
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060948 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Human alphaherpesvirus 1 (HSV-1) is a significantly widespread viral pathogen causing recurrent infections that are currently incurable despite available treatment protocols. Studies have highlighted the potential of antimicrobial peptides sourced from Vespula lewisii venom, particularly those belonging to the mastoparan family, as effective [...] Read more.
Human alphaherpesvirus 1 (HSV-1) is a significantly widespread viral pathogen causing recurrent infections that are currently incurable despite available treatment protocols. Studies have highlighted the potential of antimicrobial peptides sourced from Vespula lewisii venom, particularly those belonging to the mastoparan family, as effective against HSV-1. This study aimed to demonstrate the antiviral properties of mastoparans, including mastoparan-L [I5, R8], mastoparan-MO, and [I5, R8] mastoparan, against HSV-1. Initially, Vero cell viability was assessed in the presence of these peptides, followed by the determination of antiviral activity, mechanism of action, and dose-response curves through plaque assays. Structural analyses via circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance were conducted, along with evaluating membrane fluidity changes induced by [I5, R8] mastoparan using fluorescence-labeled lipid vesicles. Cytotoxic assays revealed high cell viability (>80%) at concentrations of 200 µg/mL for mastoparan-L and mastoparan-MO and 50 µg/mL for [I5, R8] mastoparan. Mastoparan-MO and [I5, R8] mastoparan exhibited over 80% HSV-1 inhibition, with up to 99% viral replication inhibition, particularly in the early infection stages. Structural analysis indicated an α-helical structure for [I5, R8] mastoparan, suggesting effective viral particle disruption before cell attachment. Mastoparans present promising prospects for HSV-1 infection control, although further investigation into their mechanisms is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Peptide)
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10 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Is Antiviral Treatment with Remdesivir at the Acute Phase of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Effective for Decreasing the Risk of Long-Lasting Post-COVID Symptoms?
by César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Anabel Franco-Moreno, María Ruiz-Ruigómez, Estibaliz Arrieta-Ortubay, Pablo Ryan-Murua, Carlos Lumbreras-Bermejo, Pablo del-Valle-Loarte, Oscar J. Pellicer-Valero, Rocco Giordano, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Isabel Martín-Garrido and Juan Torres-Macho
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060947 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 253
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of administrating Remdesivir at the acute COVID-19 phase on developing post-COVID symptoms in previously hospitalized COVID-19 survivors by controlling factors such as age, sex, body mass index, and vaccination status. A case-control study [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of administrating Remdesivir at the acute COVID-19 phase on developing post-COVID symptoms in previously hospitalized COVID-19 survivors by controlling factors such as age, sex, body mass index, and vaccination status. A case-control study was performed. Hospitalized COVID-19 survivors who had received intravenous Remdesivir during the acute phase (n = 216) were matched by age, sex, body mass index, and vaccination status with survivors who did not receive antiviral treatment (n = 216). Participants were asked to self-report the presence of any post-COVID symptom (defined as a symptom that started no later than three months after infection) and whether the symptom persisted at the time of study (mean: 18.4, SD: 0.8 months). Anxiety levels (HADS-A), depressive symptoms (HADS-D), sleep quality (PSQI), and severity/disability (FIC) were also compared. The multivariate analysis revealed that administration of Remdesivir at the acute COVID-19 phase was a protective factor for long-term COVID development (OR0.401, 95%CI 0.256–0.628) and specifically for the following post-COVID symptoms: fatigue (OR0.399, 95%CI 0.270–0.590), pain (OR0.368, 95% CI 0.248–0.548), dyspnea at rest (OR0.580, 95%CI 0.361–0.933), concentration loss (OR0.368, 95%CI 0.151–0.901), memory loss (OR0.399, 95%CI 0.270–0.590), hair loss (OR0.103, 95%CI 0.052–0.207), and skin rashes (OR0.037, 95%CI 0.005–0.278). This study supports the potential protective role of intravenous administration of Remdesivir during the COVID-19 acute phase for long-lasting post-COVID symptoms in previously hospitalized COVID-19 survivors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Immunology, Vaccines, and Antivirals)
8 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Pediatric COVID-19 Pneumonia Treated with Favipiravir in a Tertiary Care Center
by Phanthila Sitthikarnkha, Rawisara Phunyaissaraporn, Sirapoom Niamsanit, Leelawadee Techasatian, Suchaorn Saengnipanthkul and Rattapon Uppala
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060946 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 226
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has posed significant health challenges worldwide. While children generally experience less severe illness compared to adults, pneumonia remains a substantial risk, particularly for those under five years old. This study examines the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has posed significant health challenges worldwide. While children generally experience less severe illness compared to adults, pneumonia remains a substantial risk, particularly for those under five years old. This study examines the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of pediatric COVID-19 pneumonia patients treated with favipiravir in Thailand, aiming to identify associated factors for pneumonia. A retrospective review was performed on pediatric patients aged 1 month to 18 years hospitalized with COVID-19 at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University, from 13 January 2020 to 15 November 2021. Data on demographics, clinical symptoms, treatment, and outcomes were collected, and logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with pneumonia. Among 349 hospitalized children, the median age was 8 years, with 51.9% being male. Symptoms included a fever (100%), a cough (74.2%), and a rash (24.9%). COVID-19 pneumonia was diagnosed in 54.7% of the children. Favipiravir was administered as the standard treatment, showing mild adverse effects, including a rash (4.3%) and nausea (2.8%). Monocytosis was significantly associated with COVID-19 pneumonia (aOR 30.85, 95% CI: 9.03–105.41, p < 0.001), with an ROC curve area of 0.77 (95% CI: 0.71–0.83). Pediatric COVID-19 patients typically exhibit mild-to-moderate symptoms, with pneumonia being common in the early pandemic phase. Monocytosis is a significant factor associated with COVID-19 pneumonia. Favipiravir demonstrated mild adverse effects. Further studies are needed to validate these findings across different settings and phases of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Coronaviruses)
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16 pages, 2174 KiB  
Article
Elucidation of the Epitranscriptomic RNA Modification Landscape of Chikungunya Virus
by Belinda Baquero-Pérez, Enrico Bortoletto, Umberto Rosani, Anna Delgado-Tejedor, Rebeca Medina, Eva Maria Novoa, Paola Venier and Juana Díez
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060945 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 343
Abstract
The genomes of positive-sense (+) single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses are believed to be subjected to a wide range of RNA modifications. In this study, we focused on the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) as a model (+) ssRNA virus to study the landscape of viral [...] Read more.
The genomes of positive-sense (+) single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses are believed to be subjected to a wide range of RNA modifications. In this study, we focused on the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) as a model (+) ssRNA virus to study the landscape of viral RNA modification in infected human cells. Among the 32 distinct RNA modifications analysed by mass spectrometry, inosine was found enriched in the genomic CHIKV RNA. However, orthogonal validation by Illumina RNA-seq analyses did not identify any inosine modification along the CHIKV RNA genome. Moreover, CHIKV infection did not alter the expression of ADAR1 isoforms, the enzymes that catalyse the adenosine to inosine conversion. Together, this study highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to assess the presence of RNA modifications in viral RNA genomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Alphavirus and Flavivirus Research, 2nd Edition)
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8 pages, 2841 KiB  
Brief Report
Enhanced Recombinant Protein Expression in Insect Cells by Natural and Recombinant Components of Lepidoptera Hemolymph
by Javier López-Vidal, Susana Martínez-Pulgarín, Diego Martínez-Alonso, Miguel Cid and José M. Escribano
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060944 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 198
Abstract
Prior research has established the anti-apoptotic effects in insect cell cultures of Bombyx mori (B. mori) hemolymph, as well as the heightened production yields of recombinant proteins facilitated by baculovirus vectors in insect cells cultivated in media supplemented with this hemolymph. [...] Read more.
Prior research has established the anti-apoptotic effects in insect cell cultures of Bombyx mori (B. mori) hemolymph, as well as the heightened production yields of recombinant proteins facilitated by baculovirus vectors in insect cells cultivated in media supplemented with this hemolymph. In this study, we investigated the hemolymph of another Lepidoptera species, Trichoplusia ni (T. ni), and observed similar beneficial effects in insect cells cultivated in media supplemented with this natural substance. We observed enhancements in both production yield (approximately 1.5 times higher) and late-stage cell viabilities post-infection (30–40% higher). Storage-protein 2 from B. mori (SP2Bm) has previously been identified as one of the abundant hemolymph proteins potentially responsible for the beneficial effects observed after the use of B. mori hemolymph-supplemented cell culture media. By employing a dual baculovirus vector that co-expresses the SP2Bm protein alongside the GFP protein, we achieved a threefold increase in reporter protein production compared to a baculovirus vector expressing GFP alone. This study underscores the potential of hemolymph proteins sourced from various Lepidoptera species as biotechnological tools to augment baculovirus vector productivities, whether utilized as natural supplements in cell culture media or as hemolymph-derived recombinant proteins co-expressed by baculovirus vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Viruses to Biotechnology 3.0)
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20 pages, 1737 KiB  
Article
Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Adult Patients at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Germany: Clinical Features and Molecular Epidemiology of the Fusion Protein in the Severe Respiratory Season of 2022/2023
by Mario Hönemann, Melanie Maier, Armin Frille, Stephanie Thiem, Sandra Bergs, Thomas C. Williams, Vicente Mas, Christoph Lübbert and Corinna Pietsch
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060943 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Following an interseasonal rise in mainly pediatric respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in Germany in 2021, an exceptionally high number of adult cases was observed in the subsequent respiratory season of 2022/2023. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical presentation [...] Read more.
Following an interseasonal rise in mainly pediatric respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in Germany in 2021, an exceptionally high number of adult cases was observed in the subsequent respiratory season of 2022/2023. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical presentation of RSV infections in the pre- and post-SARS-CoV-2 pandemic periods. Additionally, the local epidemiology of the RSV fusion protein was analyzed at a molecular genetic and amino acid level. RSV detections in adults peaked in calendar week 1 of 2023, 8 weeks earlier than the earliest peak observed in the three pre-pandemic seasons. Although the median age of the adult patients was not different (66.5 vs. 65 years), subtle differences between both periods regarding comorbidities and the clinical presentation of RSV cases were noted. High rates of comorbidities prevailed; however, significantly lower numbers of patients with a history of lung transplantation (p = 0.009), chronic kidney disease (p = 0.013), and immunosuppression (p = 0.038) were observed in the 2022/2023 season. In contrast, significantly more lower respiratory tract infections (p < 0.001), in particular in the form of pneumonia (p = 0.015) and exacerbations of obstructive lung diseases (p = 0.008), were detected. An ICU admission was noted for 23.7% of all patients throughout the study period. Sequence analysis of the fusion protein gene revealed a close phylogenetic relatedness, regardless of the season of origin. However, especially for RSV-B, an accumulation of amino acid point substitutions was noted, including in antigenic site Ø. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had a tremendous impact on the seasonality of RSV, and the introduction of new vaccination and immunization strategies against RSV warrants further epidemiologic studies of this important pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RSV Epidemiological Surveillance)
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15 pages, 2552 KiB  
Article
Development of Robust Freeze-Drying Process for Long-Term Stability of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine
by MD Faizul Hussain Khan, Maryam Youssef, Sean Nesdoly and Amine A. Kamen
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060942 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 328
Abstract
The thermostability of vaccines, particularly enveloped viral vectored vaccines, remains a challenge to their delivery wherever needed. The freeze-drying of viral vectored vaccines is a promising approach but remains challenging due to the water removal process from the outer and inner parts of [...] Read more.
The thermostability of vaccines, particularly enveloped viral vectored vaccines, remains a challenge to their delivery wherever needed. The freeze-drying of viral vectored vaccines is a promising approach but remains challenging due to the water removal process from the outer and inner parts of the virus. In the case of enveloped viruses, freeze-drying induces increased stress on the envelope, which often leads to the inactivation of the virus. In this study, we designed a method to freeze-dry a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Since the envelope of VSV is composed of 50% lipids and 50% protein, the formulation study focused on both the protein and lipid portions of the vector. Formulations were prepared primarily using sucrose, trehalose, and sorbitol as cryoprotectants; mannitol as a lyoprotectant; and histidine as a buffer. Initially, the infectivity of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 and the cake stability were investigated at different final moisture content levels. High recovery of the infectious viral titer (~0.5 to 1 log loss) was found at 3–6% moisture content, with no deterioration in the freeze-dried cakes. To further minimize infectious viral titer loss, the composition and concentration of the excipients were studied. An increase from 5 to 10% in both the cryoprotectants and lyoprotectant, together with the addition of 0.5% gelatin, resulted in the improved recovery of the infectious virus titer and stable cake formation. Moreover, the secondary drying temperature of the freeze-drying process showed a significant impact on the infectivity of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2. The infectivity of the vector declined drastically when the temperature was raised above 20 °C. Throughout a long-term stability study, formulations containing 10% sugar (sucrose/trehalose), 10% mannitol, 0.5% gelatin, and 10 mM histidine showed satisfactory stability for six months at 2–8 °C. The development of this freeze-drying process and the optimized formulation minimize the need for a costly cold chain distribution system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV))
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15 pages, 1995 KiB  
Article
A Coiled-Coil Nucleotide-Binding Domain Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor Gene MeRPPL1 Plays a Role in the Replication of a Geminivirus in Cassava
by Elelwani Ramulifho and Chrissie Rey
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060941 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 180
Abstract
Disease resistance gene (R gene)-encoded nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins (NLRs) are critical players in plant host defence mechanisms because of their role as receptors that recognise pathogen effectors and trigger plant effector-triggered immunity (ETI). This study aimed to determine the putative role of [...] Read more.
Disease resistance gene (R gene)-encoded nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins (NLRs) are critical players in plant host defence mechanisms because of their role as receptors that recognise pathogen effectors and trigger plant effector-triggered immunity (ETI). This study aimed to determine the putative role of a cassava coiled-coil (CC)-NLR (CNL) gene MeRPPL1 (Manes.12G091600) (single allele) located on chromosome 12 in the tolerance or susceptibility to South African cassava mosaic virus (SACMV), one of the causal agents of cassava mosaic disease (CMD). A transient protoplast system was used to knock down the expression of MeRPPL1 by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9). The MeRPPL1-targeting CRISPR vectors and/or SACMV DNA A and DNA B infectious clones were used to transfect protoplasts isolated from leaf mesophyll cells from the SACMV-tolerant cassava (Manihot esculenta) cultivar TME3. The CRISPR/Cas9 silencing vector significantly reduced MeRPPL1 expression in protoplasts whether with or without SACMV co-infection. Notably, SACMV DNA A replication was higher in protoplasts with lower MeRPPL1 expression levels than in non-silenced protoplasts. Mutagenesis studies revealed that protoplast co-transfection with CRISPR-MeRPPL1 silencing vector + SACMV and transfection with only SACMV induced nucleotide substitution mutations that led to altered amino acids in the highly conserved MHD motif of the MeRPPL1-translated polypeptide. This may abolish or alter the regulatory role of the MHD motif in controlling R protein activity and could contribute to the increase in SACMV-DNA A accumulation observed in MeRPPL1-silenced protoplasts. The results herein demonstrate for the first time a role for a CNL gene in tolerance to a geminivirus in TME3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geminiviruses 2023)
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11 pages, 910 KiB  
Communication
Treatment with Antihistamines and the Risk of Liver Cancer in Patients with Viral Hepatitis: A Multi-Center Cohort Study
by Shu-Yen Chan, Yushan Chang, Natchaya Polpichai, Yuan-Ti Lee and Kevin Sheng-Kai Ma
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060940 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Background: The effects of antihistamines on cancer risk and prognosis have been inconsistent across cancers. The aim of this multi-center cohort study was to investigate the association between antihistamine use and the risk of liver cancer in individuals with viral hepatitis. Methods: This [...] Read more.
Background: The effects of antihistamines on cancer risk and prognosis have been inconsistent across cancers. The aim of this multi-center cohort study was to investigate the association between antihistamine use and the risk of liver cancer in individuals with viral hepatitis. Methods: This multi-center cohort study included individuals diagnosed with hepatitis B or hepatitis C between January 2008 and March 2022. For antihistamine-treated patients, the index date was the date of antihistamine prescription, and for non-users, it was the date of hepatitis diagnosis. Participants were followed for five years, with the primary outcome of interest being new-onset liver cancer. The incidence rate and the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) along with its 95% confidence interval (CI) of the outcome were calculated. Subgroup analyses were conducted, stratified by types of viral hepatitis including hepatitis C and hepatitis B. An additional validation study was performed. Results: The study included a total of 7748 patients with viral hepatitis. The incidence rate was 12.58 per 1000 person-years in patients with viral hepatitis on antihistamines, compared to 3.88 per 1000 person-years in those without antihistamine use. After adjusting for factors including age, sex, body mass index (BMI), comorbidities, laboratory data of liver function tests, comedications, and the use of antiviral therapies, the risk of new-onset liver cancer was significantly higher in patients on antihistamines (aHR = 1.83, 95% CI, 1.28–2.60). In patients with hepatitis C, the incidence rate in the antihistamine group was 15.73 per 1000 person-years, while non-users had a rate of 4.79 per 1000 person-years. Patients with hepatitis C on antihistamines had a significantly higher risk of developing liver cancer (aHR = 3.24, 95% CI, 2.16–4.86). Conclusions: This multi-center cohort study reported an increased risk of liver cancer in patients with hepatitis B or hepatitis C treated with antihistamines. Long-term follow-up studies are warranted to validate the findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacology of Antivirals Targeting Metabolism and Immunity)
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19 pages, 10049 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis in Air–Liquid Interface Porcine Respiratory Epithelial Cell Cultures Reveals That the Betacoronavirus Porcine Encephalomyelitis Hemagglutinating Virus Induces a Robust Interferon Response to Infection
by Kaitlyn M. Sarlo Davila, Rahul K. Nelli, Juan C. Mora-Díaz, Yongming Sang, Laura C. Miller and Luis G. Giménez-Lirola
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060939 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV) replicates in the upper respiratory tract and tonsils of pigs. Using an air–liquid interface porcine respiratory epithelial cells (ALI-PRECs) culture system, we demonstrated that PHEV disrupts respiratory epithelia homeostasis by impairing ciliary function and inducing antiviral, pro-inflammatory cytokine, [...] Read more.
Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV) replicates in the upper respiratory tract and tonsils of pigs. Using an air–liquid interface porcine respiratory epithelial cells (ALI-PRECs) culture system, we demonstrated that PHEV disrupts respiratory epithelia homeostasis by impairing ciliary function and inducing antiviral, pro-inflammatory cytokine, and chemokine responses. This study explores the mechanisms driving early innate immune responses during PHEV infection through host transcriptome analysis. Total RNA was collected from ALI-PRECs at 24, 36, and 48 h post inoculation (hpi). RNA-seq analysis was performed using an Illumina Hiseq 600 to generate 100 bp paired-end reads. Differential gene expression was analyzed using DeSeq2. PHEV replicated actively in ALI-PRECs, causing cytopathic changes and progressive mucociliary disruption. Transcriptome analysis revealed downregulation of cilia-associated genes such as CILK1, DNAH11, LRRC-23, -49, and -51, and acidic sialomucin CD164L2. PHEV also activated antiviral signaling pathways, significantly increasing the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (RSAD2, MX1, IFIT, and ISG15) and chemokine genes (CCL5 and CXCL10), highlighting inflammatory regulation. This study contributes to elucidating the molecular mechanisms of the innate immune response to PHEV infection of the airway epithelium, emphasizing the critical roles of the mucociliary, interferon, and chemokine responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endemic and Emerging Swine Viruses 2024)
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38 pages, 3209 KiB  
Review
Interferon-Regulated Expression of Cellular Splicing Factors Modulates Multiple Levels of HIV-1 Gene Expression and Replication
by Fabian Roesmann, Lisa Müller, Katleen Klaassen, Stefanie Heß and Marek Widera
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060938 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Type I interferons (IFN-Is) are pivotal in innate immunity against human immunodeficiency virus I (HIV-1) by eliciting the expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), which encompass potent host restriction factors. While ISGs restrict the viral replication within the host cell by targeting various stages [...] Read more.
Type I interferons (IFN-Is) are pivotal in innate immunity against human immunodeficiency virus I (HIV-1) by eliciting the expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), which encompass potent host restriction factors. While ISGs restrict the viral replication within the host cell by targeting various stages of the viral life cycle, the lesser-known IFN-repressed genes (IRepGs), including RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), affect the viral replication by altering the expression of the host dependency factors that are essential for efficient HIV-1 gene expression. Both the host restriction and dependency factors determine the viral replication efficiency; however, the understanding of the IRepGs implicated in HIV-1 infection remains greatly limited at present. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding regarding the impact of the RNA-binding protein families, specifically the two families of splicing-associated proteins SRSF and hnRNP, on HIV-1 gene expression and viral replication. Since the recent findings show specifically that SRSF1 and hnRNP A0 are regulated by IFN-I in various cell lines and primary cells, including intestinal lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), we particularly discuss their role in the context of the innate immunity affecting HIV-1 replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate Sensing and Restriction of Retroviruses)
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14 pages, 2157 KiB  
Article
Viral Dynamics in the Tropical Pacific Ocean: A Comparison between Within and Outside a Warm Eddy
by Patrichka Wei-Yi Chen, Madeline Olivia, Gwo-Ching Gong, Sen Jan and An-Yi Tsai
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060937 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 313
Abstract
In mesoscale eddies, the chemical properties and biological composition are different from those in the surrounding water due to their unique physical processes. The mechanism of physical–biological coupling in warm-core eddies is unclear, especially because no studies have examined the effects of environmental [...] Read more.
In mesoscale eddies, the chemical properties and biological composition are different from those in the surrounding water due to their unique physical processes. The mechanism of physical–biological coupling in warm-core eddies is unclear, especially because no studies have examined the effects of environmental factors on bacteria and viruses. The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of an anticyclonic warm eddy on the relationship between bacterial and viral abundances, as well as viral activity (viral production), at different depths. At the core of the warm eddy, the bacterial abundance (0.48 to 2.82 × 105 cells mL−1) fluctuated less than that outside the eddy (1.12 to 7.03 × 105 cells mL−1). In particular, there was a four-fold higher viral–bacterial abundance ratio (VBR) estimated within the eddy, below the layer of the deep chlorophyll maximum, than outside the eddy. An anticyclonic warm eddy with downwelling at its center may contribute to viruses being transmitted directly into the deep ocean through adsorption on particulate organic matter while sinking. Overall, our findings provide valuable insights into the interaction between bacterial and viral abundances and their ecological mechanisms within a warm eddy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Viruses in Ecosystem)
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24 pages, 1863 KiB  
Review
Protein Nanoparticles as Vaccine Platforms for Human and Zoonotic Viruses
by Kush K. Pandey, Bikash R. Sahoo and Asit K. Pattnaik
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060936 - 9 Jun 2024
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Vaccines are one of the most effective medical interventions, playing a pivotal role in treating infectious diseases. Although traditional vaccines comprise killed, inactivated, or live-attenuated pathogens that have resulted in protective immune responses, the negative consequences of their administration have been well appreciated. [...] Read more.
Vaccines are one of the most effective medical interventions, playing a pivotal role in treating infectious diseases. Although traditional vaccines comprise killed, inactivated, or live-attenuated pathogens that have resulted in protective immune responses, the negative consequences of their administration have been well appreciated. Modern vaccines have evolved to contain purified antigenic subunits, epitopes, or antigen-encoding mRNAs, rendering them relatively safe. However, reduced humoral and cellular responses pose major challenges to these subunit vaccines. Protein nanoparticle (PNP)-based vaccines have garnered substantial interest in recent years for their ability to present a repetitive array of antigens for improving immunogenicity and enhancing protective responses. Discovery and characterisation of naturally occurring PNPs from various living organisms such as bacteria, archaea, viruses, insects, and eukaryotes, as well as computationally designed structures and approaches to link antigens to the PNPs, have paved the way for unprecedented advances in the field of vaccine technology. In this review, we focus on some of the widely used naturally occurring and optimally designed PNPs for their suitability as promising vaccine platforms for displaying native-like antigens from human viral pathogens for protective immune responses. Such platforms hold great promise in combating emerging and re-emerging infectious viral diseases and enhancing vaccine efficacy and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnological Applications in Virology 2023)
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24 pages, 5005 KiB  
Article
Applying Flow Virometry to Study the HIV Envelope Glycoprotein and Differences across HIV Model Systems
by Jonathan Burnie, Claire Fernandes, Ayushi Patel, Arvin Tejnarine Persaud, Deepa Chaphekar, Danlan Wei, Timothy Kit Hin Lee, Vera A. Tang, Claudia Cicala, James Arthos and Christina Guzzo
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060935 - 9 Jun 2024
Viewed by 338
Abstract
The HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env) is a trimeric protein that facilitates viral binding and fusion with target cells. As the sole viral protein on the HIV surface, Env is important both for immune responses to HIV and in vaccine designs. Targeting Env in [...] Read more.
The HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env) is a trimeric protein that facilitates viral binding and fusion with target cells. As the sole viral protein on the HIV surface, Env is important both for immune responses to HIV and in vaccine designs. Targeting Env in clinical applications is challenging due to its heavy glycosylation, high genetic variability, conformational camouflage, and its low abundance on virions. Thus, there is a critical need to better understand this protein. Flow virometry (FV) is a useful methodology for phenotyping the virion surface in a high-throughput, single virion manner. To demonstrate the utility of FV to characterize Env, we stained HIV virions with a panel of 85 monoclonal antibodies targeting different regions of Env. A broad range of antibodies yielded robust staining of Env, with V3 antibodies showing the highest quantitative staining. A subset of antibodies tested in parallel on viruses produced in CD4+ T cell lines, HEK293T cells, and primary cells showed that the cellular model of virus production can impact Env detection. Finally, in addition to being able to highlight Env heterogeneity on virions, we show FV can sensitively detect differences in Env conformation when soluble CD4 is added to virions before staining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flow Virometry: A New Tool for Studying Viruses)
14 pages, 2831 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic Analyses of Rotavirus A, B and C Detected on a Porcine Farm in South Africa
by Amy Strydom, Neo Segone, Roelof Coertze, Nikita Barron, Muller Strydom and Hester G. O’Neill
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060934 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Abstract: Rotaviruses (RVs) are known to infect various avian and mammalian hosts, including swine. The most common RVs associated with infection in pigs are A, B, C and H (RVA-C; RVH). In this study we analysed rotavirus strains circulating on a porcine farm [...] Read more.
Abstract: Rotaviruses (RVs) are known to infect various avian and mammalian hosts, including swine. The most common RVs associated with infection in pigs are A, B, C and H (RVA-C; RVH). In this study we analysed rotavirus strains circulating on a porcine farm in the Western Cape province of South Africa over a two-year period. Whole genomes were determined by sequencing using Illumina MiSeq without prior genome amplification. Fifteen RVA genomes, one RVB genome and a partial RVC genome were identified. Phylogenetic analyses of the RVA data suggested circulation of one dominant strain (G5-P[6]/P[13]/P[23]-I5-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T7-E1-H1), typical of South African porcine strains, although not closely related to previously detected South African porcine strains. Reassortment with three VP4-encoding P genotypes was detected. The study also reports the first complete RVB genome (G14-P[5]-I13-R4-C4-M4-A10-T4-E4-H7) from Africa. The partial RVC (G6-P[5]-IX-R1-C1-MX-A9-N6-T6-EX-H7) strain also grouped with porcine strains. The study shows the continued circulation of an RVA strain, with a high reassortment rate of the VP4-encoding segment, on the porcine farm. Furthermore, incidents of RVB and RVC on this farm emphasize the complex epidemiology of rotavirus in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotaviruses and Rotavirus Vaccines)
16 pages, 664 KiB  
Review
Interferon-Stimulated Genes that Target Retrovirus Translation
by Niklas Jäger, Stefan Pöhlmann, Marina V. Rodnina and Shreya Ahana Ayyub
Viruses 2024, 16(6), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16060933 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 478
Abstract
The innate immune system, particularly the interferon (IFN) system, constitutes the initial line of defense against viral infections. IFN signaling induces the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), and their products frequently restrict viral infection. Retroviruses like the human immunodeficiency viruses and the human [...] Read more.
The innate immune system, particularly the interferon (IFN) system, constitutes the initial line of defense against viral infections. IFN signaling induces the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), and their products frequently restrict viral infection. Retroviruses like the human immunodeficiency viruses and the human T-lymphotropic viruses cause severe human diseases and are targeted by ISG-encoded proteins. Here, we discuss ISGs that inhibit the translation of retroviral mRNAs and thereby retrovirus propagation. The Schlafen proteins degrade cellular tRNAs and rRNAs needed for translation. Zinc Finger Antiviral Protein and RNA-activated protein kinase inhibit translation initiation factors, and Shiftless suppresses translation recoding essential for the expression of retroviral enzymes. We outline common mechanisms that underlie the antiviral activity of multifunctional ISGs and discuss potential antiretroviral therapeutic approaches based on the mode of action of these ISGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate Sensing and Restriction of Retroviruses)
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