Special Issue "Novel Concepts in Virology"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Eric O. Freed
Website
Guest Editor
Director, HIV Dynamics and Replication Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702-1201, USA
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Albert Bosch
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Guest Editor
Enteric Virus Laboratory, Section Microbiology, Virology and Biotechnology, Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics, School of Biology, Avda. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: hepatitis A virus, astrovirus, norovirus, rotavirus, gastroenteritis agents, enteric hepatitis agents
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is related to the conference “Viruses 2020: Novel Concepts in Virology which will be held in Barcelona, Spain, 5–7 February 2020.

Because of their global impact on human, animal, and plant health and their utility as tractable model systems, viruses continue to play a central role in all aspects of biomedical research, ranging from molecular and cell biology, structural biology, and immunology to evolution, epidemiology, and bioinformatics.

Symposium participants, as well as all researchers working in the field, are cordially invited to contribute original research papers or reviews to this Special Issue of Viruses.

Dr. Eric O. Freed
Dr. Albert Bosch
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Transport of Phage in Melon Plants and Inhibition of Progression of Bacterial Fruit Blotch
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12040477 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) is an economically important disease in melons and watermelons for which no effective control method is available. Application of phytobacterium-infecting phage has been evaluated as an alternative means of preventing bacterial diseases in plants. Coating of seeds with bacteriophages [...] Read more.
Bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) is an economically important disease in melons and watermelons for which no effective control method is available. Application of phytobacterium-infecting phage has been evaluated as an alternative means of preventing bacterial diseases in plants. Coating of seeds with bacteriophages infecting Acidovorax citrulli, the causal agent of BFB, is effective for controlling the disease, as shown in our previous study. We evaluated the transport of bacteriophage ACPWH from soil to the leaves of melon plants, and we also evaluated its effect on BFB. Leaves of melon plants were spray-inoculated with A. citrulli, and bacteriophage ACPWH was added to soil after symptoms had developed. ACPWH was detected by PCR in foliar tissue 8 h after addition to soil. DAPI-stained ACPWH accumulated at the leaf tip after 24 h. Melon treated with ACPWH showed 27% disease severity, compared to 80% for the non-treated control, indicating that ACPWH can be used to control BFB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Concepts in Virology)
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Open AccessArticle
Lyophilized Matrix Containing Ready-to-Use Primers and Probe Solution for Standardization of Real-Time PCR and RT-qPCR Diagnostics in Virology
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020159 - 30 Jan 2020
Abstract
Real-time molecular techniques have become the reference methods for direct diagnosis of pathogens. The reduction of steps is a key factor in order to decrease the risk of human errors resulting in invalid series and delayed results. We describe here a process of [...] Read more.
Real-time molecular techniques have become the reference methods for direct diagnosis of pathogens. The reduction of steps is a key factor in order to decrease the risk of human errors resulting in invalid series and delayed results. We describe here a process of preparation of oligonucleotide primers and hydrolysis probe in a single tube at predefined optimized concentrations that are stabilized via lyophilization (Lyoph-P&P). Lyoph-P&P was compared versus the classic protocol using extemporaneously prepared liquid reagents using (i) sensitivity study, (ii) long-term stability at 4 °C, and (iii) long-term stability at 37 °C mimicking transportation without cold chain. Two previously published molecular assays were selected for this study. They target two emerging viruses that are listed on the blueprint of the WHO as to be considered for preparedness and response actions: chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Rift Valley fever phlebovirus (RVFV). Results of our study demonstrate that (i) Lyoph-P&P is stable for at least 4 days at 37 °C supporting shipping without the need of cold chain, (ii) Lyoph-P&P rehydrated solution is stable at +4 °C for at least two weeks, (iii) sensitivity observed with Lyoph-P&P is at least equal to, often better than, that observed with liquid formulation, (iv) validation of results observed with low-copy specimens is rendered easier by higher fluorescence level. In conclusion, Lyoph-P&P holds several advantages over extemporaneously preparer liquid formulation that merit to be considered when a novel real-time molecular assay is implemented in a laboratory in charge of routine diagnostic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Concepts in Virology)
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Open AccessArticle
Ts2631 Endolysin from the Extremophilic Thermus scotoductus Bacteriophage vB_Tsc2631 as an Antimicrobial Agent against Gram-Negative Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070657 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Bacteria that thrive in extreme conditions and the bacteriophages that infect them are sources of valuable enzymes resistant to denaturation at high temperatures. Many of these heat-stable proteins are useful for biotechnological applications; nevertheless, none have been utilized as antibacterial agents. Here, we [...] Read more.
Bacteria that thrive in extreme conditions and the bacteriophages that infect them are sources of valuable enzymes resistant to denaturation at high temperatures. Many of these heat-stable proteins are useful for biotechnological applications; nevertheless, none have been utilized as antibacterial agents. Here, we demonstrate the bactericidal potential of Ts2631 endolysin from the extremophilic bacteriophage vB_Tsc2631, which infects Thermus scotoductus, against the alarming multidrug-resistant clinical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and pathogens from the Enterobacteriaceae family. A 2–3.7 log reduction in the bacterial load was observed in antibacterial tests against A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa after 1.5 h. The Ts2631 activity was further enhanced by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), a metal ion chelator (4.2 log reduction in carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii) and, to a lesser extent, by malic acid and citric acid (2.9 and 3.3 log reductions, respectively). The EDTA/Ts2631 combination reduced all pathogens of the Enterobacteriaceae family, particularly multidrug-resistant Citrobacter braakii, to levels below the detection limit (>6 log); these results indicate that Ts2631 endolysin could be useful to combat Gram-negative pathogens. The investigation of A. baumannii cells treated with Ts2631 endolysin variants under transmission electron and fluorescence microscopy demonstrates that the intrinsic antibacterial activity of Ts2631 endolysin is dependent on the presence of its N-terminal tail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Concepts in Virology)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Challenges in Laboratory Diagnosis of the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
Viruses 2020, 12(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12060582 - 26 May 2020
Abstract
The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has quickly spread worldwide since its discovery in Wuhan city, China in December 2019. A comprehensive strategy, including surveillance, diagnostics, research, clinical treatment, and development of vaccines, is urgently needed to win the battle [...] Read more.
The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has quickly spread worldwide since its discovery in Wuhan city, China in December 2019. A comprehensive strategy, including surveillance, diagnostics, research, clinical treatment, and development of vaccines, is urgently needed to win the battle against COVID-19. The past three unprecedented outbreaks of emerging human coronavirus infections at the beginning of the 21st century have highlighted the importance of readily available, accurate, and rapid diagnostic technologies to contain emerging and re-emerging pandemics. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) based assays performed on respiratory specimens remain the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnostics. However, point-of-care technologies and serologic immunoassays are rapidly emerging with high sensitivity and specificity as well. Even though excellent techniques are available for the diagnosis of symptomatic patients with COVID-19 in well-equipped laboratories; critical gaps still remain in screening asymptomatic people who are in the incubation phase of the virus, as well as in the accurate determination of live viral shedding during convalescence to inform decisions for ending isolation. This review article aims to discuss the currently available laboratory methods and surveillance technologies available for the detection of COVID-19, their performance characteristics and highlight the gaps in current diagnostic capacity, and finally, propose potential solutions. We also summarize the specifications of the majority of the available commercial kits (PCR, EIA, and POC) for laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Concepts in Virology)
Open AccessReview
The Interplay between HIV-1 Gag Binding to the Plasma Membrane and Env Incorporation
Viruses 2020, 12(5), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12050548 - 16 May 2020
Abstract
Advancement in drug therapies and patient care have drastically improved the mortality rates of HIV-1 infected individuals. Many of these therapies were developed or improved upon by using structure-based techniques, which underscore the importance of understanding essential mechanisms in the replication cycle of [...] Read more.
Advancement in drug therapies and patient care have drastically improved the mortality rates of HIV-1 infected individuals. Many of these therapies were developed or improved upon by using structure-based techniques, which underscore the importance of understanding essential mechanisms in the replication cycle of HIV-1 at the structural level. One such process which remains poorly understood is the incorporation of the envelope glycoprotein (Env) into budding virus particles. Assembly of HIV particles is initiated by targeting of the Gag polyproteins to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane (PM), a process mediated by the N-terminally myristoylated matrix (MA) domain and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2). There is strong evidence that formation of the Gag lattice on the PM is a prerequisite for the incorporation of Env into budding particles. It is also suggested that Env incorporation is mediated by an interaction between its cytoplasmic tail (gp41CT) and the MA domain of Gag. In this review, we highlight the latest developments and current efforts to understand the interplay between gp41CT, MA, and the membrane during assembly. Elucidation of the molecular determinants of Gag–Env–membrane interactions may help in the development of new antiviral therapeutic agents that inhibit particle assembly, Env incorporation and ultimately virus production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Concepts in Virology)
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