Special Issue "Lassa Fever: Viral Replication, Disease Pathogenesis, and Host Immune Modulations"
A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2019).
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Interests: hemorrhagic fever viruses; arenaviruses; Lassa fever; host-virus interactions; innate immunity; viral pathogenesis and host defense
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Special Issue in Pathogens: Immunological Responses and Immune Defense Mechanism
In a relatively short period of time, starting in the beginning of the year until early March 2018, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control reported unusually high number of cases of Lassa virus (LASV) infection (>700 suspected cases with >350 confirmed cases and >110 deaths) . In other words, more cases of LASV infections had been recorded in the first two months of this year across 18 states of Nigeria than in all of the previous year. Without a vaccine and effective drugs, LASV can kill up to 50% of those hospitalized for the infection. LASV causes Lassa fever disease in several countries, including Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, and perhaps other countries in West Africa, where it is estimated to infect up to half million people causing roughly five thousand deaths each year in these endemic regions. LASV infection, which is often misdiagnosed, can lead to a wide range of disease symptoms ranging from asymptomatic or mild flu-like symptoms to mucosal bleeding, multi-organ failure and death . Some of the more severe symptoms of LASV infection include pleural effusion, pulmonary edema, respiratory distress, seizures, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, coagulopathy, encephalopathy, terminal shock syndrome that culminates in death of the patients. About one third of the patients, even those who recovered from the infection, experienced permanent sensorineural hearing loss . Lassa fever disease can be particularly severe in pregnant women (especially when they are infected during the third trimester of pregnancy) and neonates with close to 90% fatality rate, as well as in infants and toddlers . The molecular mechanisms contributing to virus virulence and disease pathogenesis are currently not well understood . LASV genome structure is relatively simple with two ambisense RNA segments that encode for four proteins (nucleoprotein NP, matrix protein Z, polymerase protein L, and the envelope glycoprotein complex GPC) . Recent studies have uncovered the multi-functional roles that each of the viral proteins play in mediating virus replication and host-virus interactions, including how they modulate the host innate immune responses to the infection . Despite major discoveries made in last few decades of research on Lassa fever, there are still many unresolved key issues that hamper the development of effective vaccines and therapies. Some of these issues include a detail understanding of the viral and participating host factors in completing the virus life cycle, in mediating disease pathogenesis or protection from disease, and in activating or suppressing host innate and cellular immunity against virus infection. This Special Issue is devoted to understanding these important issues. Timely contributions in the form of original research and review articles on Lassa fever viral replication, disease pathogenesis and protection, host immune modulations, and other related hot topics are hereby solicited for consideration of publication in this Special Issue.
- Roberts, L. Nigeria hit by unprecedented Lassa fever outbreak. Science 2018, in press.
- Shao, J.; Liang, Y.; Ly, H. Human hemorrhagic fever causing arenaviruses: molecular mechanisms contributing to virus virulence and disease pathogenesis. Pathogens 2015, 4, 283–306.
- Mateer, E.J.; Huang, C.; Shehu, N.Y.; Paessler, S. Lassa fever-induced sensorineural hearing loss: A neglected public heath and social burden. PLOS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2018, in press.
- Greenky, D.; Knust, B.; Dziuban, E.J. What pediatricians should know about Lassa virus. JAMA Pediatrics 2018, in press.
- McLay, L.; Liang, Y.; Ly, H. Comparative analysis of disease pathogenesis and molecular mechanisms of New World and Old World arenavirus infections. J. Gen. Virol. 2014, 95, 1–15.
- McLay, L.; Ansari, T.; Liang, Y.; Ly, H. Targeting virulence mechanisms for the prevention and therapy of arenaviral hemorrhagic fever. Antiviral Res. 2013, 97, 81–92.
- Meyer, B.; Ly, H. Inhibition of innate immune responses is key to pathogenesis by arenaviruses. J. Virol. 2016, 90, 3810–3818.
Dr. Hinh Ly
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- Basic biology of Lassa virus
- Lassa virus entry, replication, and assembly
- Lassa fever disease pathogenesis
- Virulence factor(s)
- Immune activation and evasion mechanisms
- Lassa virus immunity and vaccine
- Lassa virus transmission
- Antivirals against Lassa fever
- Animal models of Lassa fever
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers