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Viruses, Volume 7, Issue 11 (November 2015) – 29 articles

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Open AccessArticle
An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 6089-6107; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112927 - 24 Nov 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3075
Abstract
Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the [...] Read more.
Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in BLV Research
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 6080-6088; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112929 - 24 Nov 2015
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4841
Abstract
Different animal models have been proposed to investigate the mechanisms of Human T-lymphotropic Virus (HTLV)-induced pathogenesis: rats, transgenic and NOD-SCID/γcnull (NOG) mice, rabbits, squirrel monkeys, baboons and macaques. These systems indeed provide useful information but have intrinsic limitations such as lack of disease [...] Read more.
Different animal models have been proposed to investigate the mechanisms of Human T-lymphotropic Virus (HTLV)-induced pathogenesis: rats, transgenic and NOD-SCID/γcnull (NOG) mice, rabbits, squirrel monkeys, baboons and macaques. These systems indeed provide useful information but have intrinsic limitations such as lack of disease relevance, species specificity or inadequate immune response. Another strategy based on a comparative virology approach is to characterize a related pathogen and to speculate on possible shared mechanisms. In this perspective, bovine leukemia virus (BLV), another member of the deltaretrovirus genus, is evolutionary related to HTLV-1. BLV induces lymphoproliferative disorders in ruminants providing useful information on the mechanisms of viral persistence, genetic determinants of pathogenesis and potential novel therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in HTLV Research 2015) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Coxsackievirus B4 Can Infect Human Peripheral Blood-Derived Macrophages
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 6067-6079; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112924 - 24 Nov 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2958
Abstract
Beyond acute infections, group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) are also reported to play a role in the development of chronic diseases, like type 1 diabetes. The viral pathogenesis mainly relies on the interplay between the viruses and innate immune response in genetically-susceptible individuals. We [...] Read more.
Beyond acute infections, group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) are also reported to play a role in the development of chronic diseases, like type 1 diabetes. The viral pathogenesis mainly relies on the interplay between the viruses and innate immune response in genetically-susceptible individuals. We investigated the interaction between CVB4 and macrophages considered as major players in immune response. Monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) generated with either M-CSF or GM-CSF were inoculated with CVB4, and infection, inflammation, viral replication and persistence were assessed. M-CSF-induced MDM, but not GM-CSF-induced MDM, can be infected by CVB4. In addition, enhancing serum was not needed to infect MDM in contrast with parental monocytes. The expression of viral receptor (CAR) mRNA was similar in both M-CSF and GM-CSF MDM. CVB4 induced high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNFα) in both MDM populations. CVB4 effectively replicated and persisted in M-CSF MDM, but IFNα was produced in the early phase of infection only. Our results demonstrate that CVB4 can replicate and persist in MDM. Further investigations are required to determine whether the interaction between the virus and MDM plays a role in the pathogenesis of CVB-induced chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Enterovirus Research)
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Open AccessReview
Neurotropic Enterovirus Infections in the Central Nervous System
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 6051-6066; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112920 - 24 Nov 2015
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 4274
Abstract
Enteroviruses are a group of positive-sense single stranded viruses that belong to the Picornaviridae family. Most enteroviruses infect humans from the gastrointestinal tract and cause mild symptoms. However, several enteroviruses can invade the central nervous system (CNS) and result in various neurological symptoms [...] Read more.
Enteroviruses are a group of positive-sense single stranded viruses that belong to the Picornaviridae family. Most enteroviruses infect humans from the gastrointestinal tract and cause mild symptoms. However, several enteroviruses can invade the central nervous system (CNS) and result in various neurological symptoms that are correlated to mortality associated with enteroviral infections. In recent years, large outbreaks of enteroviruses occurred worldwide. Therefore, these neurotropic enteroviruses have been deemed as re-emerging pathogens. Although these viruses are becoming large threats to public health, our understanding of these viruses, especially for non-polio enteroviruses, is limited. In this article, we review recent advances in the trafficking of these pathogens from the peripheral to the central nervous system, compare their cell tropism, and discuss the effects of viral infections in their host neuronal cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Enterovirus Research)
Open AccessReview
Enterovirus D68 Infection
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 6043-6050; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112925 - 24 Nov 2015
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3588
Abstract
First described in 1962 in children hospitalized for pneumonia and bronchiolitis, the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is an emergent viral pathogen. Since its discovery, during the long period of surveillance up to 2005, EV-D68 was reported only as a cause of sporadic outbreaks. In [...] Read more.
First described in 1962 in children hospitalized for pneumonia and bronchiolitis, the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is an emergent viral pathogen. Since its discovery, during the long period of surveillance up to 2005, EV-D68 was reported only as a cause of sporadic outbreaks. In recent years, many reports from different countries have described an increasing number of patients with respiratory diseases due to EV-D68 associated with relevant clinical severity. In particular, an unexpectedly high number of children have been hospitalized for severe respiratory disease due to EV-D68, requiring intensive care such as intubation and mechanical ventilation. Moreover, EV-D68 has been associated with acute flaccid paralysis and cranial nerve dysfunction in children, which has caused concerns in the community. As no specific antiviral therapy is available, treatment is mainly supportive. Moreover, because no vaccines are available, conventional infection control measures (i.e., standard, for contacts and droplets) in both community and healthcare settings are recommended. However, further studies are required to fully understand the real importance of this virus. Prompt diagnosis and continued surveillance of EV-D68 infections are essential to managing and preventing new outbreaks. Moreover, if the association between EV-D68 and severe diseases will be confirmed, the development of adequate preventive and therapeutic approaches are a priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Enterovirus Research)
Open AccessReview
Oncolytic Adenovirus: Strategies and Insights for Vector Design and Immuno-Oncolytic Applications
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 6009-6042; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112923 - 24 Nov 2015
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 4759
Abstract
Adenoviruses (Ad) are commonly used both experimentally and clinically, including oncolytic virotherapy applications. In the clinical area, efficacy is frequently hampered by the high rates of neutralizing immunity, estimated as high as 90% in some populations that promote vector clearance and limit bioavailability [...] Read more.
Adenoviruses (Ad) are commonly used both experimentally and clinically, including oncolytic virotherapy applications. In the clinical area, efficacy is frequently hampered by the high rates of neutralizing immunity, estimated as high as 90% in some populations that promote vector clearance and limit bioavailability for tumor targeting following systemic delivery. Active tumor targeting is also hampered by the ubiquitous nature of the Ad5 receptor, hCAR, as well as the lack of highly tumor-selective targeting ligands and suitable targeting strategies. Furthermore, significant off-target interactions between the viral vector and cellular and proteinaceous components of the bloodstream have been documented that promote uptake into non-target cells and determine dose-limiting toxicities. Novel strategies are therefore needed to overcome the obstacles that prevent efficacious Ad deployment for wider clinical applications. The use of less seroprevalent Ad serotypes, non-human serotypes, capsid pseudotyping, chemical shielding and genetic masking by heterologous peptide incorporation are all potential strategies to achieve efficient vector escape from humoral immune recognition. Conversely, selective vector arming with immunostimulatory agents can be utilized to enhance their oncolytic potential by activation of cancer-specific immune responses against the malignant tissues. This review presents recent advantages and pitfalls occurring in the field of adenoviral oncolytic therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic and Phylogenetic Characterization of Tataguine and Witwatersrand Viruses and Other Orthobunyaviruses of the Anopheles A, Capim, Guamá, Koongol, Mapputta, Tete, and Turlock Serogroups
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5987-6008; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112918 - 23 Nov 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3032
Abstract
The family Bunyaviridae has more than 530 members that are distributed among five genera or remain to be classified. The genus Orthobunyavirus is the most diverse bunyaviral genus with more than 220 viruses that have been assigned to more than 18 serogroups based [...] Read more.
The family Bunyaviridae has more than 530 members that are distributed among five genera or remain to be classified. The genus Orthobunyavirus is the most diverse bunyaviral genus with more than 220 viruses that have been assigned to more than 18 serogroups based on serological cross-reactions and limited molecular-biological characterization. Sequence information for all three orthobunyaviral genome segments is only available for viruses belonging to the Bunyamwera, Bwamba/Pongola, California encephalitis, Gamboa, Group C, Mapputta, Nyando, and Simbu serogroups. Here we present coding-complete sequences for all three genome segments of 15 orthobunyaviruses belonging to the Anopheles A, Capim, Guamá, Kongool, Tete, and Turlock serogroups, and of two unclassified bunyaviruses previously not known to be orthobunyaviruses (Tataguine and Witwatersrand viruses). Using those sequence data, we established the most comprehensive phylogeny of the Orthobunyavirus genus to date, now covering 15 serogroups. Our results emphasize the high genetic diversity of orthobunyaviruses and reveal that the presence of the small nonstructural protein (NSs)-encoding open reading frame is not as common in orthobunyavirus genomes as previously thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Bunyavirus Research) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Conformational Ensemble of the Poliovirus 3CD Precursor Observed by MD Simulations and Confirmed by SAXS: A Strategy to Expand the Viral Proteome?
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5962-5986; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112919 - 23 Nov 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3253 | Correction
Abstract
The genomes of RNA viruses are relatively small. To overcome the small-size limitation, RNA viruses assign distinct functions to the processed viral proteins and their precursors. This is exemplified by poliovirus 3CD protein. 3C protein is a protease and RNA-binding protein. 3D protein [...] Read more.
The genomes of RNA viruses are relatively small. To overcome the small-size limitation, RNA viruses assign distinct functions to the processed viral proteins and their precursors. This is exemplified by poliovirus 3CD protein. 3C protein is a protease and RNA-binding protein. 3D protein is an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). 3CD exhibits unique protease and RNA-binding activities relative to 3C and is devoid of RdRp activity. The origin of these differences is unclear, since crystal structure of 3CD revealed “beads-on-a-string” structure with no significant structural differences compared to the fully processed proteins. We performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on 3CD to investigate its conformational dynamics. A compact conformation of 3CD was observed that was substantially different from that shown crystallographically. This new conformation explained the unique properties of 3CD relative to the individual proteins. Interestingly, simulations of mutant 3CD showed altered interface. Additionally, accelerated MD simulations uncovered a conformational ensemble of 3CD. When we elucidated the 3CD conformations in solution using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments a range of conformations from extended to compact was revealed, validating the MD simulations. The existence of conformational ensemble of 3CD could be viewed as a way to expand the poliovirus proteome, an observation that may extend to other viruses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Fluorescent Protein Approaches in Alpha Herpesvirus Research
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5933-5961; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112915 - 19 Nov 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3763
Abstract
In the nearly two decades since the popularization of green fluorescent protein (GFP), fluorescent protein-based methodologies have revolutionized molecular and cell biology, allowing us to literally see biological processes as never before. Naturally, this revolution has extended to virology in general, and to [...] Read more.
In the nearly two decades since the popularization of green fluorescent protein (GFP), fluorescent protein-based methodologies have revolutionized molecular and cell biology, allowing us to literally see biological processes as never before. Naturally, this revolution has extended to virology in general, and to the study of alpha herpesviruses in particular. In this review, we provide a compendium of reported fluorescent protein fusions to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and pseudorabies virus (PRV) structural proteins, discuss the underappreciated challenges of fluorescent protein-based approaches in the context of a replicating virus, and describe general strategies and best practices for creating new fluorescent fusions. We compare fluorescent protein methods to alternative approaches, and review two instructive examples of the caveats associated with fluorescent protein fusions, including describing several improved fluorescent capsid fusions in PRV. Finally, we present our future perspectives on the types of powerful experiments these tools now offer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of a Trivalent Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Vaccine against Enterovirus 71 and Coxsackieviruses A16 and A6 in Mice
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5919-5932; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112916 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3578
Abstract
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has recently emerged as a major public health concern across the Asian-Pacific region. Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are the primary causative agents of HFMD, but other members of the Enterovirus A species, including Coxsackievirus [...] Read more.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has recently emerged as a major public health concern across the Asian-Pacific region. Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are the primary causative agents of HFMD, but other members of the Enterovirus A species, including Coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6), can cause disease. The lack of small animal models for these viruses have hampered the development of a licensed HFMD vaccine or antivirals. We have previously reported on the development of a mouse model for EV71 and demonstrated the protective efficacy of an inactivated EV71 vaccine candidate. Here, mouse-adapted strains of CVA16 and CVA6 were produced by sequential passage of the viruses through mice deficient in interferon (IFN) α/β (A129) and α/β and γ (AG129) receptors. Adapted viruses were capable of infecting 3 week-old A129 (CVA6) and 12 week-old AG129 (CVA16) mice. Accordingly, these models were used in active and passive immunization studies to test the efficacy of a trivalent vaccine candidate containing inactivated EV71, CVA16, and CVA6. Full protection from lethal challenge against EV71 and CVA16 was observed in trivalent vaccinated groups. In contrast, monovalent vaccinated groups with non-homologous challenges failed to cross protect. Protection from CVA6 challenge was accomplished through a passive transfer study involving serum raised against the trivalent vaccine. These animal models will be useful for future studies on HFMD related pathogenesis and the efficacy of vaccine candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessCommunication
Antiviral Activity of Porcine Interferon Regulatory Factor 1 against Swine Viruses in Cell Culture
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5908-5918; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112913 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
Interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1), as an important transcription factor, is abundantly induced upon virus infections and participates in host antiviral immune responses. However, the roles of porcine IRF1 (poIRF1) in host antiviral defense remain poorly understood. In this study, we determined that [...] Read more.
Interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1), as an important transcription factor, is abundantly induced upon virus infections and participates in host antiviral immune responses. However, the roles of porcine IRF1 (poIRF1) in host antiviral defense remain poorly understood. In this study, we determined that poIRF1 was upregulated upon infection with viruses and distributed in nucleus in porcine PK-15 cells. Subsequently, we tested the antiviral activities of poIRF1 against several swine viruses in cells. Overexpression of poIRF1 can efficiently suppress the replication of viruses, and knockdown of poIRF1 promotes moderately viral replication. Interestingly, overexpression of poIRF1 enhances dsRNA-induced IFN-β and IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) promoter activation, whereas knockdown of poIRF1 cannot significantly affect the activation of IFN-β promoter induced by RNA viruses. This study suggests that poIRF1 plays a significant role in cellular antiviral response against swine viruses, but might be dispensable for IFN-β induction triggered by RNA viruses in PK-15 cells. Given these results, poIRF1 plays potential roles in cellular antiviral responses against swine viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Chikungunya Virus Replication in Salivary Glands of the Mosquito Aedes albopictus
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5902-5907; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112917 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4560
Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an emerging arbovirus transmitted to humans by mosquitoes such as Aedes albopictus. To be transmitted, CHIKV must replicate in the mosquito midgut, then disseminate in the hemocele and infect the salivary glands before being released in saliva. We [...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an emerging arbovirus transmitted to humans by mosquitoes such as Aedes albopictus. To be transmitted, CHIKV must replicate in the mosquito midgut, then disseminate in the hemocele and infect the salivary glands before being released in saliva. We have developed a standardized protocol to visualize viral particles in the mosquito salivary glands using transmission electron microscopy. Here we provide direct evidence for CHIKV replication and storage in Ae. albopictus salivary glands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Harnessing the Power of Onco-Immunotherapy with Checkpoint Inhibitors
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5889-5901; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112914 - 13 Nov 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4266
Abstract
Oncolytic viruses represent a diverse class of replication competent viruses that curtail tumor growth. These viruses, through their natural ability or through genetic modifications, can selectively replicate within tumor cells and induce cell death while leaving normal cells intact. Apart from the direct [...] Read more.
Oncolytic viruses represent a diverse class of replication competent viruses that curtail tumor growth. These viruses, through their natural ability or through genetic modifications, can selectively replicate within tumor cells and induce cell death while leaving normal cells intact. Apart from the direct oncolytic activity, these viruses mediate tumor cell death via the induction of innate and adaptive immune responses. The field of oncolytic viruses has seen substantial advancement with the progression of numerous oncolytic viruses in various phases of clinical trials. Tumors employ a plethora of mechanisms to establish growth and subsequently metastasize. These include evasion of immune surveillance by inducing up-regulation of checkpoint proteins which function to abrogate T cell effector functions. Currently, antibodies blocking checkpoint proteins such as anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) and anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) have been approved to treat cancer and shown to impart durable clinical responses. These antibodies typically need pre-existing active immune tumor microenvironment to establish durable clinical outcomes and not every patient responds to these therapies. This review provides an overview of published pre-clinical studies demonstrating superior therapeutic efficacy of combining oncolytic viruses with checkpoint blockade compared to monotherapies. These studies provide compelling evidence that oncolytic therapy can be potentiated by coupling it with checkpoint therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Psoralen Inactivation of Viruses: A Process for the Safe Manipulation of Viral Antigen and Nucleic Acid
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5875-5888; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112912 - 12 Nov 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2666
Abstract
High consequence human pathogenic viruses must be handled at biosafety level 2, 3 or 4 and must be rendered non-infectious before they can be utilized for molecular or immunological applications at lower biosafety levels. Here we evaluate psoralen-inactivated Arena-, Bunya-, Corona-, Filo-, Flavi- [...] Read more.
High consequence human pathogenic viruses must be handled at biosafety level 2, 3 or 4 and must be rendered non-infectious before they can be utilized for molecular or immunological applications at lower biosafety levels. Here we evaluate psoralen-inactivated Arena-, Bunya-, Corona-, Filo-, Flavi- and Orthomyxoviruses for their suitability as antigen in immunological processes and as template for reverse transcription PCR and sequencing. The method of virus inactivation using a psoralen molecule appears to have broad applicability to RNA viruses and to leave both the particle and RNA of the treated virus intact, while rendering the virus non-infectious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Evolution of Bovine Foamy Virus Variants with Enhanced Cell-Free Virus Titers and Transmission
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5855-5874; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112907 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2624
Abstract
Virus transmission is essential for spreading viral infections and is a highly coordinated process which occurs by cell-free transmission or cell–cell contact. The transmission of Bovine Foamy Virus (BFV) is highly cell-associated, with undetectable cell-free transmission. However, BFV particle budding can be induced [...] Read more.
Virus transmission is essential for spreading viral infections and is a highly coordinated process which occurs by cell-free transmission or cell–cell contact. The transmission of Bovine Foamy Virus (BFV) is highly cell-associated, with undetectable cell-free transmission. However, BFV particle budding can be induced by overexpression of wild-type (wt) BFV Gag and Env or artificial retargeting of Gag to the plasma membrane via myristoylation membrane targeting signals, closely resembling observations in other foamy viruses. Thus, the particle release machinery of wt BFV appears to be an excellent model system to study viral adaption to cell-free transmission by in vitro selection and evolution. Using selection for BFV variants with high cell-free infectivity in bovine and non-bovine cells, infectivity dramatically increased from almost no infectious units to about 105–106 FFU (fluorescent focus forming units)/mL in both cell types. Importantly, the selected BFV variants with high titer (HT) cell-free infectivity could still transmit via cell-cell contacts and were neutralized by serum from naturally infected cows. These selected HT–BFV variants will shed light into virus transmission and potential routes of intervention in the spread of viral infections. It will also allow the improvement or development of new promising approaches for antiretroviral therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection and Characterization of a Novel Reassortant Mammalian Orthoreovirus in Bats in Europe
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5844-5854; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112908 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
A renewed interest in mammalian orthoreoviruses (MRVs) has emerged since new viruses related to bat MRV type 3, detected in Europe, were identified in humans and pigs with gastroenteritis. This study reports the isolation and characterization of a novel reassortant MRV from the [...] Read more.
A renewed interest in mammalian orthoreoviruses (MRVs) has emerged since new viruses related to bat MRV type 3, detected in Europe, were identified in humans and pigs with gastroenteritis. This study reports the isolation and characterization of a novel reassortant MRV from the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros). The isolate, here designated BatMRV1-IT2011, was first identified by electron microscopy and confirmed using PCR and virus-neutralization tests. The full genome sequence was obtained by next-generation sequencing. Molecular and antigenic characterizations revealed that BatMRV1-IT2011 belonged to serotype 1, which had not previously been identified in bats. Phylogenetic and recombination detection program analyses suggested that BatMRV1-IT2011 was a reassortant strain containing an S1 genome segment similar to those of MRV T1/bovine/Maryland/Clone23/59 and C/bovine/ Indiana/MRV00304/2014, while other segments were more similar to MRVs of different hosts, origins and serotypes. The presence of neutralizing antibodies against MRVs has also been investigated in animals (dogs, pigs, bovines and horses). Preliminary results suggested that MRVs are widespread in animals and that infections containing multiple serotypes, including MRVs of serotype 1 with an S1 gene similar to BatMRV1-IT2011, are common. This paper extends the current knowledge of MRVs and stresses the importance to continue and improve MRV surveillance in bats and other mammals through the development and standardization of specific diagnostic tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Meningitis Caused by Toscana Virus Is Associated with Strong Antiviral Response in the CNS and Altered Frequency of Blood Antigen-Presenting Cells
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5831-5843; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112909 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
Toscana virus (TOSV) is a Phlebotomus-transmitted RNA virus and a frequent cause of human meningitis and meningoencephalitis in Southern Europe during the summer season. While evidence for TOSV-related central nervous system (CNS) cases is increasing, little is known about the host defenses against [...] Read more.
Toscana virus (TOSV) is a Phlebotomus-transmitted RNA virus and a frequent cause of human meningitis and meningoencephalitis in Southern Europe during the summer season. While evidence for TOSV-related central nervous system (CNS) cases is increasing, little is known about the host defenses against TOSV. We evaluated innate immune response to TOSV by analyzing frequency and activation of blood antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and cytokine levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with TOSV neuroinvasive infection and controls. An altered frequency of different blood APC subsets was observed in TOSV-infected patients, with signs of monocytic deactivation. Nevertheless, a proper or even increased responsiveness of toll-like receptor 3 and 7/8 was observed in blood APCs of these patients as compared to healthy controls. Systemic levels of cytokines remained low in TOSV-infected patients, while levels of anti-inflammatory and antiviral mediators were significantly higher in CSF from TOSV-infected patients as compared to patients with other infectious and noninfectious neurological diseases. Thus, the early host response to TOSV appears effective for viral clearance, by proper response to TLR3 and TLR7/8 agonists in peripheral blood and by a strong and selective antiviral and anti-inflammatory response in the CNS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Cleavage of the HPV16 Minor Capsid Protein L2 during Virion Morphogenesis Ablates the Requirement for Cellular Furin during De Novo Infection
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5813-5830; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112910 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2918
Abstract
Infections by high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the causative agents for the development of cervical cancer. As with other non-enveloped viruses, HPVs are taken up by the cell through endocytosis following primary attachment to the host cell. Through studies using recombinant pseudovirus particles [...] Read more.
Infections by high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the causative agents for the development of cervical cancer. As with other non-enveloped viruses, HPVs are taken up by the cell through endocytosis following primary attachment to the host cell. Through studies using recombinant pseudovirus particles (PsV), many host cellular proteins have been implicated in the process. The proprotein convertase furin has been demonstrated to cleave the minor capsid protein, L2, post-attachment to host cells and is required for infectious entry by HPV16 PsV. In contrast, using biochemical inhibition by a furin inhibitor and furin-negative cells, we show that tissue-derived HPV16 native virus (NV) initiates infection independent of cellular furin. We show that HPV16 L2 is cleaved during virion morphogenesis in differentiated tissue. In addition, HPV45 is also not dependent on cellular furin, but two other alpha papillomaviruses, HPV18 and HPV31, are dependent on the activity of cellular furin for infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential for Co-Infection of a Mosquito-Specific Flavivirus, Nhumirim Virus, to Block West Nile Virus Transmission in Mosquitoes
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5801-5812; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112911 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 4006
Abstract
Nhumirim virus (NHUV) is an insect-specific virus that phylogenetically affiliates with dual-host mosquito-borne flaviviruses. Previous in vitro co-infection experiments demonstrated prior or concurrent infection of Aedes albopictus C6/36 mosquito cells with NHUV resulted in a 10,000-fold reduction in viral production of West Nile [...] Read more.
Nhumirim virus (NHUV) is an insect-specific virus that phylogenetically affiliates with dual-host mosquito-borne flaviviruses. Previous in vitro co-infection experiments demonstrated prior or concurrent infection of Aedes albopictus C6/36 mosquito cells with NHUV resulted in a 10,000-fold reduction in viral production of West Nile virus (WNV). This interference between WNV and NHUV was observed herein in an additional Ae. albopictus mosquito cell line, C7-10. A WNV 2K peptide (V9M) mutant capable of superinfection with a pre-established WNV infection demonstrated a comparable level of interference from NHUV as the parental WNV strain in C6/36 and C7-10 cells. Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex pipiens mosquitoes intrathoracically inoculated with NHUVandWNV, or solely withWNVas a control, were allowed to extrinsically incubate the viruses up to nine and 14 days, respectively, and transmissibility and replication of WNV was determined. The proportion of Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes capable of transmitting WNV was significantly lower for the WNV/NHUV group than the WNV control at seven and nine days post inoculation (dpi), while no differences were observed in the Cx. pipiens inoculation group. By dpi nine, a 40% reduction in transmissibility in mosquitoes from the dual inoculation group was observed compared to the WNV-only control. These data indicate the potential that infection of some Culex spp. vectors with NHUV could serve as a barrier for efficient transmissibility of flaviviruses associated with human disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of the Insect Microbiome on Arbovirus Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Mining Reveals Deep Evolutionary Relationships between Bornaviruses and Bats
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5792-5800; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112906 - 10 Nov 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2807
Abstract
Bats globally harbor viruses in order Mononegavirales, such as lyssaviruses and henipaviruses; however, little is known about their relationships with bornaviruses. Previous studies showed that viral fossils of bornaviral origin are embedded in the genomes of several mammalian species such as primates, indicative [...] Read more.
Bats globally harbor viruses in order Mononegavirales, such as lyssaviruses and henipaviruses; however, little is known about their relationships with bornaviruses. Previous studies showed that viral fossils of bornaviral origin are embedded in the genomes of several mammalian species such as primates, indicative of an ancient origin of exogenous bornaviruses. In this study, we mined the available 10 bat genomes and recreated a clear evolutionary relationship of endogenous bornaviral elements and bats. Comparative genomics showed that endogenization of bornaviral elements frequently occurred in vesper bats, harboring EBLLs (endogenous bornavirus-like L elements) in their genomes. Molecular dating uncovered a continuous bornavirus-bat interaction spanning 70 million years. We conclude that better understanding of modern exogenous bornaviral circulation in bat populations is warranted. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Immunostimulatory Gene Therapy Using Oncolytic Viruses as Vehicles
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5780-5791; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112899 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4069
Abstract
Immunostimulatory gene therapy has been developed during the past twenty years. The aim of immunostimulatory gene therapy is to tilt the suppressive tumor microenvironment to promote anti-tumor immunity. Hence, like a Trojan horse, the gene vehicle can carry warriors and weapons into enemy [...] Read more.
Immunostimulatory gene therapy has been developed during the past twenty years. The aim of immunostimulatory gene therapy is to tilt the suppressive tumor microenvironment to promote anti-tumor immunity. Hence, like a Trojan horse, the gene vehicle can carry warriors and weapons into enemy territory to combat the tumor from within. The most promising immune stimulators are those activating and sustaining Th1 responses, but even if potent effects were seen in preclinical models, many clinical trials failed to show objective responses in cancer patients. However, with new tools to control ongoing immunosuppression in cancer patients, immunostimulatory gene therapy is now emerging as an interesting option. In parallel, oncolytic viruses have been shown to be safe in patients. To prolong immune stimulation and to increase efficacy, these two fields are now merging and oncolytic viruses are armed with immunostimulatory transgenes. These novel agents are racing towards approval as established cancer immunotherapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Oncolytic Replication of E1b-Deleted Adenoviruses
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5767-5779; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112905 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3431
Abstract
Various viruses have been studied and developed for oncolytic virotherapies. In virotherapy, a relatively small amount of viruses used in an intratumoral injection preferentially replicate in and lyse cancer cells, leading to the release of amplified viral particles that spread the infection to [...] Read more.
Various viruses have been studied and developed for oncolytic virotherapies. In virotherapy, a relatively small amount of viruses used in an intratumoral injection preferentially replicate in and lyse cancer cells, leading to the release of amplified viral particles that spread the infection to the surrounding tumor cells and reduce the tumor mass. Adenoviruses (Ads) are most commonly used for oncolytic virotherapy due to their infection efficacy, high titer production, safety, easy genetic modification, and well-studied replication characteristics. Ads with deletion of E1b55K preferentially replicate in and destroy cancer cells and have been used in multiple clinical trials. H101, one of the E1b55K-deleted Ads, has been used for the treatment of late-stage cancers as the first approved virotherapy agent. However, the mechanism of selective replication of E1b-deleted Ads in cancer cells is still not well characterized. This review will focus on three potential molecular mechanisms of oncolytic replication of E1b55K-deleted Ads. These mechanisms are based upon the functions of the viral E1B55K protein that are associated with p53 inhibition, late viralmRNAexport, and cell cycle disruption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Resistance of Hepatitis C Virus to Inhibitors: Complexity and Clinical Implications
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5746-5766; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112902 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 5649
Abstract
Selection of inhibitor-resistant viral mutants is universal for viruses that display quasi-species dynamics, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is no exception. Here we review recent results on drug resistance in HCV, with emphasis on resistance to the newly-developed, directly-acting antiviral agents, as they [...] Read more.
Selection of inhibitor-resistant viral mutants is universal for viruses that display quasi-species dynamics, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is no exception. Here we review recent results on drug resistance in HCV, with emphasis on resistance to the newly-developed, directly-acting antiviral agents, as they are increasingly employed in the clinic. We put the experimental observations in the context of quasi-species dynamics, in particular what the genetic and phenotypic barriers to resistance mean in terms of exploration of sequence space while HCV replicates in the liver of infected patients or in cell culture. Strategies to diminish the probability of viral breakthrough during treatment are briefly outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HCV Drug Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type I (HTLV-1) Infection among Iranian Blood Donors: First Case-Control Study on the Risk Factors
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5736-5745; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112904 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2645
Abstract
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is an endemic condition in Northeast Iran and, as such, identification of risk factors associated with the infection in this region seems to be a necessity. All the possible risk factors for HTLV-1 seropositivity among [...] Read more.
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is an endemic condition in Northeast Iran and, as such, identification of risk factors associated with the infection in this region seems to be a necessity. All the possible risk factors for HTLV-1 seropositivity among first-time blood donors were evaluated in Mashhad, Iran, during the period of 2011–2012. Blood donation volunteers were interviewed for demographic data, medical history, and behavioral characteristics and the frequencies of risk factors were compared between HTLV-1 positive (case) and HTLV-1 negative (control) donors. The data was analyzed using Chi square and t-tests. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors for the infection. Assessments were carried out on 246 cases aged 17–60 and 776 controls aged 17–59, who were matched based on their ages, gender, and date and center of donation. Logistic analysis showed low income (OR = 1.53, p = 0.035), low educational level (OR = 1.64, p = 0.049), being born in the cities of either Mashhad (OR = 2.47, p = 0.001) or Neyshabour (OR = 4.30, p < 0001), and a history of blood transfusion (OR = 3.17, p = 0.007) or non-IV drug abuse (OR = 3.77, p < 0.0001) were significant predictors for infection with HTLV-1. Lack of variability or small sample size could be reasons of failure to detect some well-known risk factors for HTLV-1 infection, such as prolonged breastfeeding and sexual promiscuity. Pre-donation screening of possible risk factors for transfusion-transmissible infections should also be considered as an important issue, however, a revision of the screening criteria such as a history of transfusion for more than one year prior to donation is strongly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in HTLV Research 2015) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Composite Sequence–Structure Stability Models as Screening Tools for Identifying Vulnerable Targets for HIV Drug and Vaccine Development
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5718-5735; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112901 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2877
Abstract
Rapid evolution and high sequence diversity enable Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) populations to acquire mutations to escape antiretroviral drugs and host immune responses, and thus are major obstacles for the control of the pandemic. One strategy to overcome this problem is to focus [...] Read more.
Rapid evolution and high sequence diversity enable Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) populations to acquire mutations to escape antiretroviral drugs and host immune responses, and thus are major obstacles for the control of the pandemic. One strategy to overcome this problem is to focus drugs and vaccines on regions of the viral genome in which mutations are likely to cripple function through destabilization of viral proteins. Studies relying on sequence conservation alone have had only limited success in determining critically important regions. We tested the ability of two structure-based computational models to assign sites in the HIV-1 capsid protein (CA) that would be refractory to mutational change. The destabilizing mutations predicted by these models were rarely found in a database of 5811 HIV-1 CA coding sequences, with none being present at a frequency greater than 2%. Furthermore, 90% of variants with the low predicted stability (from a set of 184 CA variants whose replication fitness or infectivity has been studied in vitro) had aberrant capsid structures and reduced viral infectivity. Based on the predicted stability, we identified 45 CA sites prone to destabilizing mutations. More than half of these sites are targets of one or more known CA inhibitors. The CA regions enriched with these sites also overlap with peptides shown to induce cellular immune responses associated with lower viral loads in infected individuals. Lastly, a joint scoring metric that takes into account both sequence conservation and protein structure stability performed better at identifying deleterious mutations than sequence conservation or structure stability information alone. The computational sequence–structure stability approach proposed here might therefore be useful for identifying immutable sites in a protein for experimental validation as potential targets for drug and vaccine development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics and Computational Biology of Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
The Impact of Wolbachia on Virus Infection in Mosquitoes
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5705-5717; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112903 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 5572
Abstract
Mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue, West Nile and chikungunya viruses cause significant morbidity and mortality in human populations. Since current methods are not sufficient to control disease occurrence, novel methods to control transmission of arboviruses would be beneficial. Recent studies have shown that [...] Read more.
Mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue, West Nile and chikungunya viruses cause significant morbidity and mortality in human populations. Since current methods are not sufficient to control disease occurrence, novel methods to control transmission of arboviruses would be beneficial. Recent studies have shown that virus infection and transmission in insects can be impeded by co-infection with the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis. Wolbachia is a maternally inherited endosymbiont that is commonly found in insects, including a number of mosquito vector species. In Drosophila, Wolbachia mediates antiviral protection against a broad range of RNA viruses. This discovery pointed to a potential strategy to interfere with mosquito transmission of arboviruses by artificially infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia. This review outlines research on the prevalence of Wolbachia in mosquito vector species and the impact of antiviral effects in both naturally and artificially Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Arboviruses and Arthropod Vectors)
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Open AccessArticle
3D Analysis of HCMV Induced-Nuclear Membrane Structures by FIB/SEM Tomography: Insight into an Unprecedented Membrane Morphology
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5686-5704; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112900 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4408
Abstract
We show that focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) tomography is an excellent method to analyze the three-dimensional structure of a fibroblast nucleus infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). We found that the previously described infoldings of the inner nuclear membrane, which are unique [...] Read more.
We show that focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) tomography is an excellent method to analyze the three-dimensional structure of a fibroblast nucleus infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). We found that the previously described infoldings of the inner nuclear membrane, which are unique among its kind, form an extremely complex network of membrane structures not predictable by previous two-dimensional studies. In all cases they contained further invaginations (2nd and 3rd order infoldings). Quantification revealed 5498HCMV capsids within two nuclear segments, allowing an estimate of 15,000 to 30,000 capsids in the entire nucleus five days post infection. Only 0.8% proved to be enveloped capsids which were exclusively detected in 1st order infoldings (perinuclear space). Distribution of the capsids between 1st, 2nd and 3rd order infoldings is in complete agreement with the envelopment/de-envelopment model for egress of HCMV capsids from the nucleus and we confirm that capsid budding does occur at the large infoldings. Based on our results we propose the pushing membrane model: HCMV infection induces local disruption of the nuclear lamina and synthesis of new membrane material which is pushed into the nucleoplasm, forming complex membrane infoldings in a highly abundant manner, which then may be also used by nucleocapsids for budding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electron Microscopy in Virus Diagnostics and Research)
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Open AccessReview
Host-Targeting Agents to Prevent and Cure Hepatitis C Virus Infection
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5659-5685; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112898 - 02 Nov 2015
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 6054
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which are leading indications of liver transplantation (LT). To date, there is no vaccine to prevent HCV infection and LT is invariably followed by infection of [...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which are leading indications of liver transplantation (LT). To date, there is no vaccine to prevent HCV infection and LT is invariably followed by infection of the liver graft. Within the past years, direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have had a major impact on the management of chronic hepatitis C, which has become a curable disease in the majority of DAA-treated patients. In contrast to DAAs that target viral proteins, host-targeting agents (HTAs) interfere with cellular factors involved in the viral life cycle. By acting through a complementary mechanism of action and by exhibiting a generally higher barrier to resistance, HTAs offer a prospective option to prevent and treat viral resistance. Indeed, given their complementary mechanism of action, HTAs and DAAs can act in a synergistic manner to reduce viral loads. This review summarizes the different classes of HTAs against HCV infection that are in preclinical or clinical development and highlights their potential to prevent HCV infection, e.g., following LT, and to tailor combination treatments to cure chronic HCV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HCV Drug Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Low Proviral Load is Associated with Indeterminate Western Blot Patterns in Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 Infected Individuals: Could Punctual Mutations be Related?
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5643-5658; https://doi.org/10.3390/v7112897 - 28 Oct 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2699
Abstract
Background: indeterminate Western blot (WB) patterns are a major concern for diagnosis of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection, even in non-endemic areas. Objectives: (a) to define the prevalence of indeterminate WB among different populations from Argentina; (b) to evaluate if [...] Read more.
Background: indeterminate Western blot (WB) patterns are a major concern for diagnosis of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection, even in non-endemic areas. Objectives: (a) to define the prevalence of indeterminate WB among different populations from Argentina; (b) to evaluate if low proviral load (PVL) is associated with indeterminate WB profiles; and (c) to describe mutations in LTR and tax sequence of these cases. Results: Among 2031 samples, 294 were reactive by screening. Of them, 48 (16.3%) were WB indeterminate and of those 15 (31.3%) were PCR+. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) was performed to 52 HTLV-1+ samples, classified as Group 1 (G1): 25 WB+ samples from individuals with pathologies; Group 2 (G2): 18 WB+ samples from asymptomatic carriers (AC); and Group 3 (G3): 9 seroindeterminate samples from AC. Median PVL was 4.78, 2.38, and 0.15 HTLV-1 copies/100 PBMCs, respectively; a significant difference (p=0.003) was observed. Age and sex were associated with PVL in G1 and G2, respectively. Mutations in the distal and central regions of Tax Responsive Elements (TRE) 1 and 2 of G3 were observed, though not associated with PVL.The 8403A>G mutation of the distal region, previously related to high PVL, was absent in G3 but present in 50% of WB+ samples (p = 0.03). Conclusions: indeterminateWBresults confirmed later as HTLV-1 positive may be associated with low PVL levels. Mutations in LTR and tax are described; their functional relevance remains to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in HTLV Research 2015) Printed Edition available
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