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Jean-Yves Sgro
Inst. for Mol.Virology
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Table of Contents for this page:

  • Current Issue
  • Current Issue of Virology Journal

    Virology Journal - Latest Articles

  • High genetic homogeneity points to a single introduction event responsible for invasion of llt;itggt;Cotton leaf curl Multan virusllt;/itggt; and its associated betasatellite into China

  • Background: Cotton leaf curl Multan virus (CLCuMuV) is a Whitefly Transmitted Geminivirus (WTG) endemic to the India subcontinent and is notorious as a causal agent of cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD), a major constraint to cotton production in south Asia. We found CLCuMuV infecting Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in Guangzhou, China in 2006. The spread and evolution of the invading CLCuMuV were monitored in the following nine years.FindingsCLCuMuV spread rapidly in the last nine years and became established in Southern China. It infects at least five malvaceous plant species, H. rosa-sinensis, H. esculentus, Malvaiscus arboreus, Gossypium hirsutum and H. cannabinus. Complete nucleotide sequences of 34 geographically and/or temporally distinct CLCuMuV isolates were determined and analyzed together with six other publicly available genomes of CLCuMuV occurring in China. The 40 CLCuMuV isolates were found to share ggt; 99 % nucleotide sequence identity with each other. In all cases tested, the CLCuMuVs were associated with a CLCuMuB. The 36 CLCuMuBs (30 sequenced by us) shared ggt; 98 % nucleotide sequence identity. Conclusion: The high genetic homogeneity of CLCuMuV and CLCuMuB in China suggests the establishment of them from a single founder event.

  • Prevalence of human parvovirus B19 in Chinese plasma pools for manufacturing plasma derivatives

  • Background: Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a frequent contaminant of blood and plasma-derived medicinal products. To ensure the quality and safety of plasma-derived products, European regulations, Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) standard and FDA guidelines require testing of manufacturing plasma for parvovirus B19 DNA to limit the load of this virus. In China, however, there have been no related documentation and technical guiding principles for monitoring B19V, moreover, an adequate level of information on the prevalence of B19V in Chinese plasma donations is not available.FindingsBy using an in-house quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay adapted for all three genotypes of B19V, 235 source plasma pools from three regional different Chinese manufacturers of blood products were screened and quantified. Results showed that 71.91 % (169/235) of plasma pools were contaminated by B19V, with the concentrations of 5.18 × 10 2–1.05 × 10 9 IU/mL. Approximately 31.95 % of the DNA-positive plasma pools were only moderately contaminated (llt;10 4 IU/mL), while 68.05 % contained ggt;10 4 IU/mL. Conclusions: The high level of B19V in plasma pools could present a great risk in plasma derivatives. Therefore, the implementation of B19V NAT (Nucleic Acid Testing) assays capable of detecting all B19V genotypes and discard donations with high titer B19V DNA for Chinese blood products manufacturers seems to be necessary.

  • Human papillomavirus genotyping by Linear Array and Next-Generation Sequencing in cervical samples from Western Mexico

  • Background: The Linear Array® (LA) genotyping test is one of the most used methodologies for Human papillomavirus (HPV) genotyping, in that it is able to detect 37 HPV genotypes and co-infections in the same sample. However, the assay is limited to a restricted number of HPV, and sequence variations in the detection region of the HPV probes could give false negatives results. Recently, 454 Next-Generation sequencing (NGS) technology has been efficiently used also for HPV genotyping; this methodology is based on massive sequencing of HPV fragments and is expected to be highly specific and sensitive. In this work, we studied HPV prevalence in cervixes of women in Western Mexico by LA and confirmed the genotypes found by NGS. Methods: Two hundred thirty three cervical samples from women Without cervical lesions (WCL, n = 48), with Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN I, n = 98), or with Cervical cancer (CC, n = 87) were recruited, DNA was extracted, and HPV positivity was determined by PCR amplification using PGMY09/11 primers. All HPV- positive samples were genotyped individually by LA. Additionally, pools of amplicons from the PGMY-PCR products were sequenced using 454 NGS technology. Results obtained by NGS were compared with those of LA for each group of samples. Results: We identified 35 HPV genotypes, among which 30 were identified by both technologies; in addition, the HPV genotypes 32, 44, 74, 102 and 114 were detected by NGS. These latter genotypes, to our knowledge, have not been previously reported in Mexican population. Furthermore, we found that LA did not detect, in some diagnosis groups, certain HPV genotypes included in the test, such as 6, 11, 16, 26, 35, 51, 58, 68, 73, and 89, which indicates possible variations at the species level. Conclusions: There are HPV genotypes in Mexican population that cannot be detected by LA, which is, at present, the most complete commercial genotyping test. More studies are necessary to determine the impact of HPV-44, 74, 102 and 114 on the risk of developing CC. A greater number of samples must be analyzed by NGS for the most accurate determination of Mexican HPV variants.

  • Intranasal administration of poly-gamma glutamate induced antiviral activity and protective immune responses against H1N1 influenza A virus infection

  • Background: The global outbreak of a novel swine-origin strain of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus and the sudden, worldwide increase in oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 influenza A viruses highlight the urgent need for novel antiviral therapy. Methods: Here, we investigated the antiviral efficacy of poly-gamma glutamate (γ-PGA), a safe and edible biomaterial that is naturally synthesized by Bacillus subtilis, against A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (PR8) and A/California/04/2009 (CA04) H1N1 influenza A virus infections in C57BL/6 mice. Results: Intranasal administration ofγ-PGA for 5 days post-infection improved survival, increased production of antiviral cytokines including interferon-beta (IFN-β) and interleukin-12 (IL-12), and enhanced activation of natural killer (NK) cells and influenza antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) activity. Conclusions: These results suggest thatγ-PGA protects mice against H1N1 influenza A virus by enhancing antiviral immune responses.

  • Serum levels of inflammatory cytokines in Rift Valley fever patients are indicative of severe disease

  • Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis affecting domestic and wild ruminants, camels and humans. Outbreaks of RVF are characterized by a sudden onset of abortions and high mortality amongst domestic ruminants. Humans develop disease ranging from a mild flu-like illness to more severe complications including hemorrhagic syndrome, ocular and neurological lesions and death. During the RVF outbreak in South Africa in 2010/11, a total of 278 human cases were laboratory confirmed, including 25 deaths. The role of the host inflammatory response to RVF pathogenesis is not completely understood. Methods: Virus load in serum from human fatal and non-fatal cases was determined by standard tissue culture infective dose 50 (TCID 50 ) titration on Vero cells. Patient serum concentration of chemokines and cytokines involved in inflammatory responses (IL-8, RANTES, CXCL9, MCP-1, IP-10, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNF and IL-12p70) was determined using cytometric bead assays and flow cytometry. Results: Fatal cases had a 1-log 10 higher TCID 50 /ml serum concentration of RVF virus (RVFV) than survivors (p llt; 0.05). There were no significant sequence differences between isolates recovered from fatal and non-fatal cases. Chemokines and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were detected at significantly increased (IL-8, CXCL9, MCP-1, IP-10, IL-10) or decreased (RANTES) levels when comparing fatal cases to infected survivors and uninfected controls, or when comparing combined infected patients to uninfected controls. Conclusions: The results suggest that regulation of the host inflammatory responses plays an important role in the outcome of RVFV infection in humans. Dysregulation of the inflammatory response contributes to a fatal outcome. The cytokines and chemokines identified in this study that correlate with fatal outcomes warrant further investigation as markers for disease severity.

  • Proteolysis of MDA5 and IPS-1 is not required for inhibition of the type I IFN response by poliovirus

  • Background: The type I interferon (IFN) response is a critical component of the innate immune response to infection by RNA viruses and is initiated via recognition of viral nucleic acids by RIG-like receptors (RLR). Engagement of these receptors in the cytoplasm initiates a signal transduction pathway leading to activation of the transcription factors NF-κB, ATF-2 and IRF-3 that coordinately upregulate transcription of type I IFN genes, such as that encoding IFN-β. In this study the impact of poliovirus infection on the type I interferon response has been examined. Methods: The type I IFN response was assessed by measuring IFN-β mRNA levels using qRT-PCR and normalizing to levels ofβ-actin mRNA. The status of host factors involved in activation of the type I IFN response was examined by immunoblot, immunofluorescence microcopy and qRT-PCR. Results: The results show that poliovirus infection results in induction of very low levels of IFN-β mRNA despite clear activation of NF-κB and ATF-2. In contrast, analysis of IRF-3 revealed no transcriptional induction of an IRF-3-responsive promoter or homodimerization of IRF-3 indicating it is not activated in poliovirus-infected cells. Exposure of poliovirus-infected cells to poly(I:C) results in lower levels of IFN-β mRNA synthesis and IRF-3 activation compared to mock-infected cells. Analysis of MDA-5 and IPS-1 revealed that these components of the RLR pathway were largely intact at times when the type I IFN response was suppressed. Conclusions: Collectively, these results demonstrate that poliovirus infection actively suppresses the host type I interferon response by blocking activation of IRF-3 and suggests that this is not mediated by cleavage of MDA-5 or IPS-1.

  • Glycoside hydrolase family 32 is present in llt;itggt;Bacillus subtilisllt;/itggt; phages

  • Background: Glycoside hydrolase family 32 (GH32) enzymes cleave the glycosidic bond between two monosaccharides or between a carbohydrate and an aglycone moiety. GH32 enzymes have been studied in prokaryotes and in eukaryotes but not in viruses.FindingsThis is the first analysis of GH32 enzymes in Bacillus subtilis phage SP10,ϕNIT1 and SPG24. Phylogenetic analysis, molecular docking and secretability predictions suggest that phage GH32 enzymes function as levan (fructose homopolysaccharide) fructotransferase. Conclusions: We showed that viruses also contain GH32 enzymes and that our analyses in silico strongly suggest that these enzymes function as levan fructotransferase.

  • Identification and characterization of a maize-associated mastrevirus in China by deep sequencing small RNA populations

  • Background: Maize streak Reunion virus (MSRV) is a member of the Mastrevirus genus in the family Geminiviridae. Of the diverse and increasing number of mastrevirus species found so far, only Wheat dwarf virus and Sweetpotato symptomless virus 1 have been discovered in China. Recently, a novel, unbiased approach based on deep sequencing of small interfering RNAs followed by de novo assembly of siRNA, has greatly offered opportunities for plant virus identification. Methods: Samples collected from maize leaves was deep sequencing for virus identification. Subsequently, the assay of PCR, rolling circle amplification and Southern blot were used to confirm the presence of a mastrevirus. Results: Maize streak Reunion virus Yunnan isolate (MSRV-[China:Yunnan 06:2014], abbreviated to MSRV-YN) was identified from maize collected from Yunnan Province, China, by small RNA deep sequencing. The complete genome of this virus was ascertained as 2,880 nucleotides long by conventional sequencing. A phylogenetic analysis showed it shared 96.3 % nucleotide sequence identity with the isolate of Maize streak Reunion virus from La Reunion Island. To our knowledge, this is the first identification of MSRV in China. Analyses of the viral derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs) profile showed that the most abundant MSRV-YN vsiRNAs were 21, 22 and 24 nt long and biased for A and G at their 5’ terminal residue. There was a slightly higher representation of MSRV-YN siRNAs derived from the virion-sense strand genome than the complementary-sense strand genome. Moreover, MSRV-YN vsiRNAs were not uniformly distributed along the genome, and hotspots were detected in the movement protein and coat protein-coding region. Conclusions: A mastrevirus MSRV-YN collected in Yunnan Province, China, was identified by small RNA deep sequencing. This vsiRNAs profile derived from MSRV-YN was characterized, which might contribute to get an insight into the host RNA silencing defense induced by MSRV-YN, and provide guidelines on designing antiviral strategies using RNAi against MSRV-YN.

  • Genetic identification of cytomegaloviruses in a rural population of Caamp;#244;te daamp;#8217;Ivoire

  • Background: Cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) are herpesviruses that infect many mammalian species, including humans. Infection generally passes undetected, but the virus can cause serious disease in individuals with impaired immune function. Human CMV (HCMV) is circulating with high seroprevalence (60–100 %) on all continents. However, little information is available on HCMV genoprevalence and genetic diversity in subsaharan Africa, especially in rural areas of West Africa that are at high risk of human-to-human HCMV transmission. In addition, there is a potential for zoonotic spillover of pathogens through bushmeat hunting and handling in these areas as shown for various retroviruses. Although HCMV and nonhuman CMVs are regarded as species-specific, potential human infection with CMVs of non-human primate (NHP) origin, shown to circulate in the local NHP population, has not been studied.FindingsAnalysis of 657 human oral swabs and fecal samples collected from 518 individuals living in 8 villages of Côte d’Ivoire with generic PCR for identification of human and NHP CMVs revealed shedding of HCMV in 2.5 % of the individuals. Determination of glycoprotein B sequences showed identity with strains Towne, AD169 and Toledo, respectively. NHP CMV sequences were not detected. Conclusions: HCMV is actively circulating in a proportion of the rural Côte d’Ivoire human population with circulating strains being closely related to those previously identified in non-African countries. The lack of NHP CMVs in human populations in an environment conducive to cross-species infection supports zoonotic transmission of CMVs to humans being at most a rare event.

  • Eastern equine encephalitis virus in mice II: pathogenesis is dependent on route of exposure

  • Background: Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is an alphavirus with a case fatality rate estimated to be as high as 75 % in humans and 90 % in horses. Surviving patients often have long-lasting and severe neurological sequelae. At present, there is no licensed vaccine or therapeutic for EEEV infection. This study completes the clinical and pathological analysis of mice infected with a North American strain of EEEV by three different routes: aerosol, intranasal, and subcutaneous. Such an understanding is imperative for use of the mouse model in vaccine and antiviral drug development. Methods: Twelve-week-old female BALB/c mice were infected with EEEV strain FL93-939 by the intranasal, aerosol, or subcutaneous route. Mice were euthanized 6 hpi through 8 dpi and tissues were harvested for histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis. Results: Viral antigen was detected in the olfactory bulb as early as 1–2 dpi in aerosol and intranasal infected mice. However, histologic lesions in the brain were evident about 24 hours earlier (3 dpi vs 4 dpi), and were more pronounced following aerosol infection relative to intranasal infection. Following subcutaneous infection, viral antigen was also detected in the olfactory bulb, though not as routinely or as early. Significant histologic lesions were not observed until 6 dpi. Conclusion: These pathologic studies suggest EEEV enters the brain through the olfactory system when mice are exposed via the intranasal and aerosol routes. In contrast, the histopathologic lesions were delayed in the subcutaneous group and it appears the virus may utilize both the vascular and olfactory routes to enter the brain when mice are exposed to EEEV subcutaneously.
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