Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Virology and Viral Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 48112

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
National Reference Laboratory for Arboviruses, Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
Interests: infectious diseases; virology; West Nile virus; Zika virus; Culicidae; Chikungunya virus
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Reference Laboratory for Arboviruses, Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
Interests: Chikungunya virus; mosquitoes; tropical diseases; emerging infectious diseases; zoonotic diseases; infectious disease transmission; Arbovirus infections; infectious disease diagnostics; vectors & vector-borne diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Vector-borne Diseases Section, Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299 00161 Rome, Italy
Interests: entomology; insect; evolutionary biology; ticks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Prior to the explosion of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on public health of emerging zoonotic viral diseases had been increasing in the last few decades. The drivers for the emergence of novel zoonotic and vector-borne pathogens, and for the spreading of already known pathogens and vectors in previously unaffected areas, comprise many different and complex factors, such as globalization, urbanization, changes in land use, intensive livestock farming practices, traveling, trading goods, and climate change. In parallel, the ability to the detect and identify old and new pathogens in a timely and accurate manner has also grown, and the academic community is in agreement that novel One Health approaches for zoonotic diseases investigation, prevention and control are necessary.

Studies aiming to better understand the mechanisms leading to pathogen adaptation to new vector species, and to improved capability of human-to-human transmission of zoonotic agents are of great interest to this Special Issue. We will also focus on reports of surveillance and response activities implemented at the animal–human interface, but also of possible control strategies considering the interactions of humans and animals with ecosystems and the environment. Studies on all aspects involved in the response to emerging zoonotic viral diseases, such as diagnosis, surveillance, and vaccines and therapeutics development, will be of interest.

Dr. Giulietta Venturi
Dr. Claudia Fortuna
Dr. Marco Di Luca
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • zoonotic viral infection
  • vector-borne viral infection
  • arbovirus
  • emerging and re-emerging viruses
  • phlebovirus
  • nairovirus
  • filovirus
  • coronavirus
  • arenavirus
  • hantavirus
  • paramyxovirus
  • bat-borne viruses
  • flavivirus
  • alphavirus
  • arthropod vectors
  • veterinary health
  • diagnosis
  • antiviral treatment

Published Papers (16 papers)

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9 pages, 1602 KiB  
Communication
Zika Virus Exploits Lipid Rafts to Infect Host Cells
by Daniela Peruzzu, Antonello Amendola, Giulietta Venturi, Valeria de Turris, Giulia Marsili, Claudia Fortuna, Katia Fecchi and Maria Cristina Gagliardi
Viruses 2022, 14(9), 2059; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14092059 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2157
Abstract
Several flaviviruses such as Hepatitis C virus, West Nile virus, Dengue virus and Japanese Encephalitis virus exploit the raft platform to enter host cells whereas the involvement of lipid rafts in Zika virus–host cell interaction has not yet been demonstrated. Zika virus disease [...] Read more.
Several flaviviruses such as Hepatitis C virus, West Nile virus, Dengue virus and Japanese Encephalitis virus exploit the raft platform to enter host cells whereas the involvement of lipid rafts in Zika virus–host cell interaction has not yet been demonstrated. Zika virus disease is caused by a flavivirus transmitted by Aedes spp. Mosquitoes, although other mechanisms such as blood transfusion, sexual and maternal–fetal transmission have been demonstrated. Symptoms are generally mild, such as fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, but neurological complications, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, have been associated to this viral infection. During pregnancy, it can cause microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities in the fetus, as well as pregnancy complications, representing a serious health threat. In this study, we show for the first time that Zika virus employs cell membrane lipid rafts as a portal of entry into Vero cells. We previously demonstrated that the antifungal drug Amphotericin B (AmphB) hampers a microbe–host cell interaction through the disruption of lipid raft architecture. Here, we found that Amphotericin B by the same mechanism of action inhibits both Zika virus cell entry and replication. These data encourage further studies on the off-label use of Amphotericin B in Zika virus infections as a new and alternate antiviral therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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13 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
Detection of Nipah and Hendra Viruses Using Recombinant Human Ephrin B2 Capture Virus in Immunoassays
by Ming Yang, Wenjun Zhu, Thang Truong, Bradley Pickering, Shawn Babiuk, Darwyn Kobasa and Logan Banadyga
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081657 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2017
Abstract
Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are classified as high-consequence zoonotic viruses characterized by high pathogenicity and high mortality in animals and humans. Rapid diagnosis is essential to containing the outbreak. In this study, the henipavirus receptor ephrin B2 was examined to [...] Read more.
Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are classified as high-consequence zoonotic viruses characterized by high pathogenicity and high mortality in animals and humans. Rapid diagnosis is essential to containing the outbreak. In this study, the henipavirus receptor ephrin B2 was examined to determine whether it could be used as a universal ligand for henipavirus detection in immunoassays. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were developed using recombinant ephrin B2 as the capture ligand and two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as detection reagents. Using mAb F27NiV-34, which cross-reacts with NiV and HeV, we were able to detect NiV and HeV, while mAb F20NiV-65 was used to detect NiV. Therefore, using these two ELISAs, we were able to differentiate between NiV and HeV. Furthermore, we developed a rapid lateral flow strip test for NiV detection using ephrin B2 as the capture ligand combined with mAb F20NiV-65 as the detector. Taken together, our results show that the combination of ephrin B2 and a specific mAb provides an excellent pairing for NiV and HeV detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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11 pages, 1259 KiB  
Article
Novel Bat Lyssaviruses Identified by Nationwide Passive Surveillance in Taiwan, 2018–2021
by Shu-Chia Hu, Chao-Lung Hsu, Fan Lee, Yang-Chang Tu, Yen-Wen Chen, Jen-Chieh Chang and Wei-Cheng Hsu
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1562; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071562 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2375
Abstract
Bat lyssaviruses were identified in Taiwan’s bat population during 2016–2017. The lyssavirus surveillance system was continuously conducted to understand the epidemiology. Through this system, the found dead bats were collected for lyssavirus detection by direct fluorescent antibody test and reverse transcription polymerase chain [...] Read more.
Bat lyssaviruses were identified in Taiwan’s bat population during 2016–2017. The lyssavirus surveillance system was continuously conducted to understand the epidemiology. Through this system, the found dead bats were collected for lyssavirus detection by direct fluorescent antibody test and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Three bats were identified as positive during 2018–2021. A novel lyssavirus, designated as Taiwan bat lyssavirus 2, was detected in a Nyctalus plancyi velutinus. This lyssavirus had less than 80% nucleotide identity in the nucleoprotein (N) gene with other lyssavirus species, forming a separate branch in the phylogenetic analysis. The other two cases were identified in Pipistrellus abramus (Japanese pipistrelles); they were identified to be similar to the former lyssavirus identified in 2016–2017, which was renominated as Taiwan bat lyssavirus 1 (TWBLV-1) in this study. Even though one of the TWBLV-1 isolates showed high genetic diversity in the N gene compared with other TWBLV-1 isolates, it may be a TWBLV-1 variant but not a new species based on its high amino acid identities in the nucleoprotein, same host species, and same geographic location as the other TWBLV-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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7 pages, 719 KiB  
Article
No Evidence for Orthohepevirus C in Archived Human Samples in Germany, 2000–2020
by Mirko Faber, Jürgen J. Wenzel, Monika Erl, Klaus Stark and Mathias Schemmerer
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040742 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1992
Abstract
Orthohepevirus C1, also known as rat hepatitis E virus (HEV), has been shown to sporadically cause disease in immunocompromised and immunocompetent adults. While routine serological assays vary in reactivity, rat HEV is not detected in routine HEV RT-PCR. Thus, such infections could [...] Read more.
Orthohepevirus C1, also known as rat hepatitis E virus (HEV), has been shown to sporadically cause disease in immunocompromised and immunocompetent adults. While routine serological assays vary in reactivity, rat HEV is not detected in routine HEV RT-PCR. Thus, such infections could be either missed or misclassified as conventional HEV (Orthohepevirus A) infections. We conducted a retrospective screening study among serum and plasma samples from patients suspected of having HEV infection, which were archived at the national consultant laboratory for HAV and HEV between 2000 and 2020. We randomly selected n = 200 samples, which were initially tested reactive (positive or borderline) for HEV-IgM and negative for HEV RNA and re-examined them using a highly sensitive Orthohepevirus C genotype 1-specific in-house RT-qPCR (LoD 95: 6.73 copies per reaction) and a nested RT-PCR broadly reactive for Orthohepevirus A and C. Conventional sanger sequencing was conducted for resulting PCR products. No atypical HEV strains were detected (0 of 200 [0.0%; 95% confidence interval: 0.0%–1.89%], indicating that Orthohepevirus C infections in the investigated population (persons with clinical suspicion of hepatitis E and positive HEV-IgM) are very rare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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9 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
Lack of Evidence of Chikungunya Virus Infection among Blood Donors during the Chikungunya Outbreak in Lazio Region, Italy, 2017
by Giulietta Venturi, Massimo Fabiani, Antonello Amendola, Giulia Marsili, Eleonora Benedetti, Cristiano Fiorentini, Claudia Fortuna, Simonetta Pupella, Patrizio Pezzotti, Stefania Vaglio, Giulio Pisani, Vincenzo De Angelis, Flavia Riccardo and Ilaria Pati
Viruses 2022, 14(3), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14030619 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Background: The latest European Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreak occurred in Italy in 2017, in the municipalities of Anzio and Rome (Lazio Region), with a secondary outbreak in the Calabrian Region. Most CHIKV infections are symptomatic but about 15% of people who acquire the [...] Read more.
Background: The latest European Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreak occurred in Italy in 2017, in the municipalities of Anzio and Rome (Lazio Region), with a secondary outbreak in the Calabrian Region. Most CHIKV infections are symptomatic but about 15% of people who acquire the infection may be asymptomatic. A retrospective study was conducted with the aim of assessing the prevalence of recent/ongoing CHIKV infections on the blood donor population in the Lazio Region, during the 2017 outbreak (including in the period before it was detected). Methods: The study was conducted on 4595 plasma samples from donors who donated in 14 different Blood Establishments in the Lazio Region, in the period June–November 2017. A total of 389 of these samples were collected in provinces not affected by the outbreak and were used as negative controls. All samples were tested for IgM detection by the use of an ELISA test, and positive samples were tested for confirmation through the use of a PRNT. Molecular tests were performed on sera that were found to be IgM-positive or borderline. Results: A total of 41 (0.89%) blood donors tested positive for IgM. None of these positive IgM ELISA results was confirmed either by PRNT or by molecular tests. Conclusions: Our study has shown no evidence of recent/ongoing CHIKV infection in blood donors of the affected area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
14 pages, 596 KiB  
Article
West Nile and Usutu Virus Introduction via Migratory Birds: A Retrospective Analysis in Italy
by Elisa Mancuso, Jacopo Giuseppe Cecere, Federica Iapaolo, Annapia Di Gennaro, Massimo Sacchi, Giovanni Savini, Fernando Spina and Federica Monaco
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020416 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2732
Abstract
The actual contribution of migratory birds in spreading West Nile (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) across Europe and from Africa to old countries is still controversial. In this study, we reported the results of molecular and serological surveys on migrating birds sampled during [...] Read more.
The actual contribution of migratory birds in spreading West Nile (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) across Europe and from Africa to old countries is still controversial. In this study, we reported the results of molecular and serological surveys on migrating birds sampled during peaks of spring and autumn migration at 11 Italian sites located along important flyways, from 2012 to 2014. A total of 1335 specimens made of individual or pooled sera, and organs from 275 dead birds were tested for WNV and USUV RNA by real time PCR (RT-PCR). Furthermore, sera were tested by serum neutralization assay for detecting WNV and USUV neutralizing antibodies. Molecular tests detected WNV lineage 2 RNA in a pool made of three Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) sera sampled in autumn, and lineage 1 in kidneys of six trans-Saharan birds sampled in spring. Neutralizing antibodies against WNV and USUV were found in 5.80% (n = 72; 17 bird species) and 0.32% (n = 4; 4 bird species) of the tested sera, respectively. Our results do not exclude the role of migratory birds as potential spreaders of WNV and USUV from Africa and Central Europe to Mediterranean areas and highlight the importance of a more extensive active surveillance of zoonotic viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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15 pages, 1669 KiB  
Article
High-Throughput Platform for Detection of Neutralizing Antibodies Using Flavivirus Reporter Replicon Particles
by Arlen-Celina Lücke, Anja vom Hemdt, Janett Wieseler, Carlo Fischer, Marie Feldmann, Simon Rothenfusser, Jan Felix Drexler and Beate Mareike Kümmerer
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020346 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2486
Abstract
Flavivirus outbreaks require fast and reliable diagnostics that can be easily adapted to newly emerging and re-emerging flaviviruses. Due to the serological cross-reactivity among flavivirus antibodies, neutralization tests (NT) are considered the gold standard for sero-diagnostics. Here, we first established wild-type single-round infectious [...] Read more.
Flavivirus outbreaks require fast and reliable diagnostics that can be easily adapted to newly emerging and re-emerging flaviviruses. Due to the serological cross-reactivity among flavivirus antibodies, neutralization tests (NT) are considered the gold standard for sero-diagnostics. Here, we first established wild-type single-round infectious virus replicon particles (VRPs) by packaging a yellow fever virus (YFV) replicon expressing Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) with YFV structural proteins in trans using a double subgenomic Sindbis virus (SINV) replicon. The latter expressed the YFV envelope proteins prME via the first SINV subgenomic promoter and the capsid protein via a second subgenomic SINV promoter. VRPs were produced upon co-electroporation of replicon and packaging RNA. Introduction of single restriction enzyme sites in the packaging construct flanking the prME sequence easily allowed to exchange the prME moiety resulting in chimeric VRPs that have the surface proteins of other flaviviruses including dengue virus 1–-4, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. Besides comparing the YF-VRP based NT assay to a YF reporter virus NT assay, we analyzed the neutralization efficiencies of different human anti-flavivirus sera or a monoclonal antibody against all established VRPs. The assays were performed in a 96-well high-throughput format setting with Gluc as readout in comparison to classical plaque reduction NTs indicating that the VRP-based NT assays are suitable for high-throughput analyses of neutralizing flavivirus antibodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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20 pages, 1513 KiB  
Article
West Nile Virus Lineage 1 in Italy: Newly Introduced or a Re-Occurrence of a Previously Circulating Strain?
by Giulia Mencattelli, Federica Iapaolo, Federica Monaco, Giovanna Fusco, Claudio de Martinis, Ottavio Portanti, Annapia Di Gennaro, Valentina Curini, Andrea Polci, Shadia Berjaoui, Elisabetta Di Felice, Roberto Rosà, Annapaola Rizzoli and Giovanni Savini
Viruses 2022, 14(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010064 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3191
Abstract
In Italy, West Nile virus (WNV) appeared for the first time in the Tuscany region in 1998. After 10 years of absence, it re-appeared in the areas surrounding the Po River delta, affecting eight provinces in three regions. Thereafter, WNV epidemics caused by [...] Read more.
In Italy, West Nile virus (WNV) appeared for the first time in the Tuscany region in 1998. After 10 years of absence, it re-appeared in the areas surrounding the Po River delta, affecting eight provinces in three regions. Thereafter, WNV epidemics caused by genetically divergent isolates have been documented every year in the country. Since 2018, only WNV Lineage 2 has been reported in the Italian territory. In October 2020, WNV Lineage 1 (WNV-L1) re-emerged in Italy, in the Campania region. This is the first occurrence of WNV-L1 detection in the Italian territory since 2017. WNV was detected in the internal organs of a goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and a kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). The RNA extracted in the goshawk tissue samples was sequenced, and a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis was performed by a maximum-likelihood tree. Genome analysis, conducted on the goshawk WNV complete genome sequence, indicates that the strain belongs to the WNV-L1 Western-Mediterranean (WMed) cluster. Moreover, a close phylogenetic similarity is observed between the goshawk strain, the 2008–2011 group of Italian sequences, and European strains belonging to the Wmed cluster. Our results evidence the possibility of both a new re-introduction or unnoticed silent circulation in Italy, and the strong importance of keeping the WNV surveillance system in the Italian territory active. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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7 pages, 590 KiB  
Communication
First Evidence of West Nile Virus Overwintering in Mosquitoes in Germany
by Helge Kampen, Birke Andrea Tews and Doreen Werner
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2463; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13122463 - 9 Dec 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4190
Abstract
Mosquitoes collected from mid-December 2020 to early March 2021 from hibernacula in northeastern Germany, a region of West Nile virus (WNV) activity since 2018, were examined for WNV-RNA. Among the 6101 mosquitoes tested in 722 pools of up to 12 specimens, one pool [...] Read more.
Mosquitoes collected from mid-December 2020 to early March 2021 from hibernacula in northeastern Germany, a region of West Nile virus (WNV) activity since 2018, were examined for WNV-RNA. Among the 6101 mosquitoes tested in 722 pools of up to 12 specimens, one pool of 10 Culex pipiens complex mosquitoes collected in early March 2021 in the cellar of a medieval castle in Rosslau, federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, tested positive. Subsequent mosquito DNA analysis produced Culex pipiens biotype pipiens. The pool homogenate remaining after nucleic acid extraction failed to grow the virus on Vero and C6/36 cells. Sequencing of the viral NS2B-NS3 coding region, however, demonstrated high homology with virus strains previously collected in Germany, e.g., from humans, birds, and mosquitoes, which have been designated the East German WNV clade. The finding confirms the expectation that WNV can overwinter in mosquitoes in Germany, facilitating an early start to the natural transmission season in the subsequent year. On the other hand, the calculated low infection prevalence of 0.016–0.20%, depending on whether one or twelve of the mosquitoes in the positive pool was/were infected, indicates a slow epidemic progress and mirrors the still-hypoendemic situation in Germany. In any case, local overwintering of the virus in mosquitoes suggests its long-term persistence and an enduring public health issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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11 pages, 2651 KiB  
Article
Viral and Immunologic Factors Associated with Fatal Outcome of Patients with Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome in Korea
by Ji-Soo Kwon, Sol Jin, Ji-Yeun Kim, Sang-Hyun Ra, Taeeun Kim, Se-Yoon Park, Min-Chul Kim, Seong-Yeon Park, Dasarang Kim, Hye-Hee Cha, Hyun-Jung Lee, Min-Jae Kim, Yong-Pil Chong, Sang-Oh Lee, Sang-Ho Choi, Yang-Soo Kim, Keun-Hwa Lee, Sun-Ho Kee and Sung-Han Kim
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2351; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13122351 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2564
Abstract
Significant progress has been made on the molecular biology of the severe fever with thrombopenia virus (SFTSV); however, many parts of the pathophysiological mechanisms of mortality in SFTS remain unclear. In this study, we investigated virologic and immunologic factors for fatal outcomes of [...] Read more.
Significant progress has been made on the molecular biology of the severe fever with thrombopenia virus (SFTSV); however, many parts of the pathophysiological mechanisms of mortality in SFTS remain unclear. In this study, we investigated virologic and immunologic factors for fatal outcomes of patients with SFTS. We prospectively enrolled SFTS patients admitted from July 2015 to October 2020. Plasma samples were subjected to SFTSV RNA RT-PCR, multiplex microbead immunoassay for 17 cytokines, and IFA assay. A total of 44 SFTS patients were enrolled, including 37 (84.1%) survivors and 7 (15.9%) non-survivors. Non-survivors had a 2.5 times higher plasma SFTSV load than survivors at admission (p < 0.001), and the viral load in non-survivors increased progressively during hospitalization. In addition, non-survivors did not develop adequate anti-SFTSV IgG, whereas survivors exhibited anti-SFTSV IgG during hospitalization. IFN-α, IL-10, IP-10, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1α, and G-CSF were significantly elevated in non-survivors compared to survivors and did not revert to normal ranges during hospitalization (p < 0.05). Severe signs of inflammation such as a high plasma concentration of IFN-α, IL-10, IP-10, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1α, and G-CSF, poor viral control, and inadequate antibody response during the disease course were associated with mortality in SFTS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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25 pages, 4610 KiB  
Article
Vector Competence of Eucampsipoda africana (Diptera: Nycteribiidae) for Marburg Virus Transmission in Rousettus aegyptiacus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae)
by Janusz T. Pawęska, Petrus Jansen van Vuren, Nadia Storm, Wanda Markotter and Alan Kemp
Viruses 2021, 13(11), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13112226 - 4 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2395
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the vector competence of bat-associated nycteribiid flies (Eucamsipoda africana) for Marburg virus (MARV) in the Egyptian Rousette Bat (ERB), Rousettus aegyptiacus. In flies fed on subcutaneously infected ERBs and tested from 3 to 43 days [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the vector competence of bat-associated nycteribiid flies (Eucamsipoda africana) for Marburg virus (MARV) in the Egyptian Rousette Bat (ERB), Rousettus aegyptiacus. In flies fed on subcutaneously infected ERBs and tested from 3 to 43 days post infection (dpi), MARV was detected only in those that took blood during the peak of viremia, 5–7 dpi. Seroconversion did not occur in control bats in contact with MARV-infected bats infested with bat flies up to 43 days post exposure. In flies inoculated intra-coelomically with MARV and tested on days 0–29 post inoculation, only those assayed on day 0 and day 7 after inoculation were positive by q-RT-PCR, but the virus concentration was consistent with that of the inoculum. Bats remained MARV-seronegative up to 38 days after infestation and exposure to inoculated flies. The first filial generation pupae and flies collected at different times during the experiments were all negative by q-RT-PCR. Of 1693 nycteribiid flies collected from a wild ERB colony in Mahune Cave, South Africa where the enzootic transmission of MARV occurs, only one (0.06%) tested positive for the presence of MARV RNA. Our findings seem to demonstrate that bat flies do not play a significant role in the transmission and enzootic maintenance of MARV. However, ERBs eat nycteribiid flies; thus, the mechanical transmission of the virus through the exposure of damaged mucous membranes and/or skin to flies engorged with contaminated blood cannot be ruled out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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19 pages, 6478 KiB  
Article
Diagnosis and Pathogenesis of Nairobi Sheep Disease Orthonairovirus Infections in Sheep and Cattle
by Julia Hartlaub, Benjamin Gutjahr, Christine Fast, Ali Mirazimi, Markus Keller and Martin H. Groschup
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071250 - 27 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3431
Abstract
Nairobi sheep disease orthonairovirus (NSDV) is a zoonotic tick-borne arbovirus, which causes severe gastroenteritis in small ruminants. To date, the virus is prevalent in East Africa and Asia. However, due to climate change, including the spread of transmitting tick vectors and increased animal [...] Read more.
Nairobi sheep disease orthonairovirus (NSDV) is a zoonotic tick-borne arbovirus, which causes severe gastroenteritis in small ruminants. To date, the virus is prevalent in East Africa and Asia. However, due to climate change, including the spread of transmitting tick vectors and increased animal movements, it is likely that the distribution range of NSDV is enlarging. In this project, sheep and cattle (hitherto classified as resistant to NSDV) were experimentally infected with NSDV for a comparative study of the species-specific pathogenesis. For this purpose, several new diagnostic assays (RT-qPCR, ELISA, iIFA, mVNT, PRNT) were developed, which will also be useful for future epidemiological investigations. All challenged sheep (three different doses groups) developed characteristic clinical signs, transient viremia and virus shedding—almost independent on the applied virus dose. Half of the sheep had to be euthanized due to severe clinical signs, including hemorrhagic diarrhea. In contrast, the course of infection in cattle was only subclinical. However, all ruminants showed seroconversion—implying that, indeed, both species are susceptible for NSDV. Hence, not only sheep but also cattle sera can be included in serological monitoring programs for the surveillance of NSDV occurrence and spread in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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11 pages, 555 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus Infection among Blood Donors in Bulgaria
by Magdalena Baymakova, Krasimira Terzieva, Rumen Popov, Elisaveta Grancharova, Todor Kundurzhiev, Roman Pepovich and Ilia Tsachev
Viruses 2021, 13(3), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030492 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2546
Abstract
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is widespread among domestic pigs, industrial swine, and wild boars in Bulgaria. The aim of the current research was to present the HEV seroprevalence among blood donors in Bulgaria. In the present study, 555 blood donors (479 males [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is widespread among domestic pigs, industrial swine, and wild boars in Bulgaria. The aim of the current research was to present the HEV seroprevalence among blood donors in Bulgaria. In the present study, 555 blood donors (479 males and 76 females) were enrolled from five districts in the country (Shumen, Pleven, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, and Sofia districts). All blood samples were tested for anti-HEV IgG using the recomWell HEV IgG ELISA test (Mikrogen GmbH, Neuried, Germany). Each participating donor completed a short, structured, and specific questionnaire to document data on the current study. Anti-HEV IgG positive results were detected in 144 (25.9%) blood donors, including 129 (26.9%) males and 15 (19.7%) females. The established HEV seropositivity was 28.8% (23/80) in Shumen district, 23.2% (22/95) in Pleven district, 27.1% (38/140) in Stara Zagora district, 27.5% (44/160) in Plovdiv district, and 21.3% (17/80) in Sofia district. A high HEV seroprevalence was found for persons who declared that they were general hunters (48.7%; 19/39; p = 0.001) and hunters of wild boars (51.6%; 16/31; p = 0.001). We present the first seroprevalence rates of HEV infection in blood donors from Bulgaria. The results of our research showed high HEV seropositivity among blood donors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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Review

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22 pages, 1416 KiB  
Review
Structural Bases of Zoonotic and Zooanthroponotic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
by Emily Clayton, Jacob Ackerley, Marianne Aelmans, Noor Ali, Zoe Ashcroft, Clara Ashton, Robert Barker, Vakare Budryte, Callum Burrows, Shanshan Cai, Alex Callaghan, Jake Carberry, Rebecca Chatwin, Isabella Davies, Chloe Farlow, Samuel Gamblin, Aida Iacobut, Adam Lambe, Francesca Lynch, Diana Mihalache, Amani Mokbel, Santosh Potamsetty, Zara Qadir, Jack Soden, Xiaohan Sun, Alexandru Vasile, Otto Wheeler, Mohammed A. Rohaim and Muhammad Muniradd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020418 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4172
Abstract
The emergence of multiple variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the importance of possible animal-to-human (zoonotic) and human-to-animal (zooanthroponotic) transmission and potential spread within animal species. A range of animal species have been verified for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility, either in [...] Read more.
The emergence of multiple variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the importance of possible animal-to-human (zoonotic) and human-to-animal (zooanthroponotic) transmission and potential spread within animal species. A range of animal species have been verified for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility, either in vitro or in vivo. However, the molecular bases of such a broad host spectrum for the SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive. Here, we structurally and genetically analysed the interaction between the spike protein, with a particular focus on receptor binding domains (RBDs), of SARS-CoV-2 and its receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for all conceivably susceptible groups of animals to gauge the structural bases of the SARS-CoV-2 host spectrum. We describe our findings in the context of existing animal infection-based models to provide a foundation on the possible virus persistence in animals and their implications in the future eradication of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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18 pages, 466 KiB  
Review
Influenza A Viruses and Zoonotic Events—Are We Creating Our Own Reservoirs?
by Susanne Kessler, Timm C. Harder, Martin Schwemmle and Kevin Ciminski
Viruses 2021, 13(11), 2250; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13112250 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4435
Abstract
Zoonotic infections of humans with influenza A viruses (IAVs) from animal reservoirs can result in severe disease in individuals and, in rare cases, lead to pandemic outbreaks; this is exemplified by numerous cases of human infection with avian IAVs (AIVs) and the 2009 [...] Read more.
Zoonotic infections of humans with influenza A viruses (IAVs) from animal reservoirs can result in severe disease in individuals and, in rare cases, lead to pandemic outbreaks; this is exemplified by numerous cases of human infection with avian IAVs (AIVs) and the 2009 swine influenza pandemic. In fact, zoonotic transmissions are strongly facilitated by manmade reservoirs that were created through the intensification and industrialization of livestock farming. This can be witnessed by the repeated introduction of IAVs from natural reservoirs of aquatic wild bird metapopulations into swine and poultry, and the accompanied emergence of partially- or fully-adapted human pathogenic viruses. On the other side, human adapted IAV have been (and still are) introduced into livestock by reverse zoonotic transmission. This link to manmade reservoirs was also observed before the 20th century, when horses seemed to have been an important reservoir for IAVs but lost relevance when the populations declined due to increasing industrialization. Therefore, to reduce zoonotic events, it is important to control the spread of IAV within these animal reservoirs, for example with efficient vaccination strategies, but also to critically surveil the different manmade reservoirs to evaluate the emergence of new IAV strains with pandemic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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Other

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12 pages, 1918 KiB  
Brief Report
Bulk Milk Tank Samples Are Suitable to Assess Circulation of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus in High Endemic Areas
by Arnoldas Pautienius, Gytis Dudas, Evelina Simkute, Juozas Grigas, Indre Zakiene, Algimantas Paulauskas, Austeja Armonaite, Dainius Zienius, Evaldas Slyzius and Arunas Stankevicius
Viruses 2021, 13(9), 1772; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13091772 - 5 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3259
Abstract
A reliable surveillance strategy of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is necessary to ensure adequate disease control measures. However, current approaches assessing geographical TBEV circulation are ineffective or have significant limitations. In this study we investigated a total of 1363 goat and 312 sheep [...] Read more.
A reliable surveillance strategy of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is necessary to ensure adequate disease control measures. However, current approaches assessing geographical TBEV circulation are ineffective or have significant limitations. In this study we investigated a total of 1363 goat and 312 sheep bulk tank milk samples for the presence of TBEV. Samples were collected from systematically selected farms in Lithuania every 4–5 days from April to November in 2018 and 2019. To validate results, we additionally tested 2685 questing ticks collected in the vicinity of milk collection sites. We found 4.25% (95% CI 3.25–5.47) and 4.48% (95% CI 2.47–7.41) goat and sheep milk samples to be positive for TBEV, respectively. Furthermore, geographical distribution of TBEV in milk samples coincided with the known TBE endemic zone and was correlated with incidence of TBE in humans in 2019. When sampling time coincides, TBEV detection in milk samples is as good a method as via flagged ticks, however bulk milk samples can be easier to obtain more frequently and regularly than tick samples. The minimal infectious rate (MIR) in ticks was 0.34% (CI 95% 0.15–0.64). Therefore, our results confirm that testing milk serves as a valuable tool to investigate the spatial distribution of TBEV at higher resolution and lower cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Zoonotic Viral Diseases)
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