|Virology Journal - Latest Articles|
Background: Next-generation parallel sequencing (NGS) allows the identification of viral pathogens by sequencing the small RNAs of infected hosts. Thus, viral genomes may be assembled from host immune response products without prior virus enrichment, amplification or purification. However, mapping of the vast information obtained presents a bioinformatics challenge. Methods: In order to by pass the need of line command and basic bioinformatics knowledge, we develop a mapping software with a graphical interface to the assemblage of viral genomes from small RNA dataset obtained by NGS. SearchSmallRNA was developed in JAVA language version 7 using NetBeans IDE 7.1 software. The program also allows the analysis of the viral small interfering RNAs (vsRNAs) profile; providing an overview of the size distribution and other features of the vsRNAs produced in infected cells. Results: The program performs comparisons between each read sequenced present in a library and a chosen reference genome. Reads showing Hamming distances smaller or equal to an allowed mismatched will be selected as positives and used to the assemblage of a long nucleotide genome sequence. In order to validate the software, distinct analysis using NGS dataset obtained from HIV and two plant viruses were used to reconstruct viral whole genomes. Conclusions: SearchSmallRNA program was able to reconstructed viral genomes using NGS of small RNA dataset with high degree of reliability so it will be a valuable tool for viruses sequencing and discovery. It is accessible and free to all research communities and has the advantage to have an easy-to-use graphical interface.Availability and implementation: SearchSmallRNA was written in Java and is freely available at http://www.microbiologia.ufrj.br/ssrna/.
Background: Dendritic cells (DC) are important antigen presentation cells that monitor, process, and present antigen to T cells. Viruses that infect DC can have a devastating impact on the immune system. In this study, the ability of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) to replicate and produce infectious virus in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DC) and monocytes was studied. The study also examined the effect of BVDV infection on Mo-DC expression of cell surface markers, including MHCI, MHCII, and CD86, which are critical for DC function in immune response. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from bovine blood through gradient centrifugation. The adherent monocytes were isolated from PBMCs and differentiated into Mo-DC using bovine recombinant interleukin-4 (IL-4) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF). To determine the effect of BVDV on Mo-DC, four strains of BVDV were used including the severe acute non-cytopathic (ncp) BVDV2a-1373; moderate acute ncp BVDV2a 28508-5; and a homologous virus pair [i.e., cytopathic (cp) BVDV1b TGAC and ncp BVDV1b TGAN]. The Cooper strain of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) was used as the control virus. Mo-DC were infected with one of the BVDV strains or BHV-1 and were subsequently examined for virus replication, virus production, and the effect on MHCI, MHCII, and CD86 expression. Results: The ability of monocytes to produce infectious virus reduced as monocytes differentiated to Mo-DC, and was completely lost at 120 hours of maturation. Interestingly, viral RNA increased throughout the course of infection in Mo-DC, and the viral non-structural (NS5A) and envelope (E2) proteins were expressed. The ncp strains of BVDV down-regulated while cp strain up-regulated the expression of the MHCI, MHCII, and CD86 on Mo-DC. Conclusions: The study revealed that the ability of Mo-DC to produce infectious virus was reduced with its differentiation from monocytes to Mo-DC. The inability to produce infectious virus may be due to a hindrance of virus packaging or release mechanisms. Additionally, the study demonstrated that ncp BVDV down-regulated and cp BVDV up-regulated the expression of Mo-DC cell surface markers MHCI, MHCII, and CD86, which are important in the mounting of immune responses.
Background: Hepatitis C virus is a persistent epidemiological problem, with an estimated 170 million individuals infected worldwide, and the leading cause of asymptomatic chronic infection, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Injection drug users (IDUs) have the highest seroprevalence as compared to chronic hemodialysis and transfusion patients, and this cohort remains the most under-studied high-risk group in North Africa to date. This study first sought to characterize the demographic, epidemiological, and genotypic profile of a total sample size of 211 chronically-infected IDUs living in the Tangier region of Northern Morocco, and secondly to contrast this to other chronically-infected patients, in order to uncover possible discrepancies. Results: The general aapos;profileaapos; of local IDUs marks a stark contrast to chronically-infected HCV Moroccan patients, other African countries, and neighboring European countries. The majority of Moroccan drug users were found to be middle-aged and celibate. A relatively high seroprevalence was found among drug users (60%), and this increased with age. The majority of drug users shared their needles and this hold implications for transmission, as seropositive status was significantly different between those users that shared vs. those that did not share their needles. In addition, IDUs exhibited genotypes 1a and 3a predominantly, as compared to the predominant 1b and 2a/2c genotypes found in chronically HCV-infected patients. The IDU genotypic profile closely matches the one in other European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy), which are invariably speculated as the potential source of currently-circulating genotypes in Moroccan IDUs. Conclusion: These findings have implications for disease prevention, transmission and treatment, as this distinct IDU subgroup cannot be collectively pooled along with other HCV-positive high-risk groups. Local government, practitioners, and health institutions should take this into account when treating, prescribing antiviral therapy, and designing preventative public health campaigns.
Background: Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is a disease of major economic impact worldwide. The etiologic agent of this disease is the PRRS virus (PRRSV). Increasing evidence suggest that microevolution within a coexisting quasispecies population can give rise to high sequence heterogeneity in PRRSV.FindingsWe developed a pipeline based on the ultra-deep next generation sequencing approach to first construct the complete genome of a European PRRSV, strain Olot/9, cultured on macrophages and then capture the rare variants representative of the mixed quasispecies population. Olot/91 differs from the reference Lelystad strain by about 5% and a total of 88 variants, with frequencies as low as 1%, were detected in the mixed population. These variants included 16 non-synonymous variants concentrated in the genes encoding structural and nonstructural proteins; including Glycoprotein 2a and 5. Conclusion: Using an ultra-deep sequencing methodology, the complete genome of Olot/91 was constructed without any prior knowledge of the sequence. Rare variants that constitute minor fractions of the heterogeneous PRRSV population could successfully be detected to allow further exploration of microevolutionary events.
Background: JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) is a widespread human polyomavirus that usually resides latently in its host. It can be reactivated under immunomodulating conditions and cause Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML). Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as promising biomarkers for several pathologies. In this study, we have investigated whether circulating miRNAs exist that are differentially expressed between JCPyV seropositive and JCPyV seronegative on the one hand or between JCPyV shedders and JCPyV non-shedders on the other hand. Methods: Human miRNA expression profiling was performed in a small set of plasma samples obtained from seronegative subjects, seropositive shedders and seropositive non-shedders. A set of 10 miRNAs was selected for further analysis in a larger group of samples. Results: Based on the plasma profiling experiment of 30 samples, 6 miRNAs were selected that were possibly differentially expressed between seropositive and seronegative subjects and 4 miRNAs were selected that were possibly differentially expressed between shedders and non-shedders. Subsequently, expression of these 10 selected miRNAs was assessed in an independent set of 100 plasma samples. Results indicated that none of them were differentially expressed. Conclusion: This study could not identify circulating human miRNAs that were differentially expressed between plasma from JCPyV seropositive and JCPyV seronegative subjects or between JCPyV shedders and JCPyV non-shedders.
Background: Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV), a rhabdovirus of the genus Lyssavirus which circulates in both pteropid fruit bats and insectivorous bats in mainland Australia, has caused three fatal human infections, the most recent in February 2013, manifested as acute neurological disease indistinguishable from clinical rabies. Rhabdoviruses infect host cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis and subsequent pH-dependent fusion mediated by their single envelope glycoprotein (G), but the specific host factors and pathways involved in ABLV entry have not been determined. Methods: ABLV internalization into HEK293T cells was examined using maxGFP-encoding recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses (rVSV) that express ABLV G glycoproteins. A combination of chemical and molecular approaches was used to investigate the contribution of different endocytic pathways to ABLV entry. Dominant negative Rab GTPases were used to identify the endosomal compartment utilized by ABLV to gain entry into the host cell cytosol. Results: Here we show that ABLV G-mediated entry into HEK293T cells was significantly inhibited by the dynamin-specific inhibitor dynasore, chlorpromazine, a drug that blocks clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and the actin depolymerizing drug latrunculin B. Over expression of dominant negative mutants of Eps15 and Rab5 also significantly reduced ABLV G-mediated entry into HEK293T cells. Chemical inhibitors of caveolae-dependent endocytosis and macropinocytosis and dominant negative mutants of Rab7 and Rab11 had no effect on ABLV entry. Conclusions: The predominant pathway utilized by ABLV for internalization into HEK293T cells is clathrin-and actin-dependent. The requirement of Rab5 for productive infection indicates that ABLV G-mediated fusion occurs within the early endosome compartment.
Background: Canine parvovirus 2 (CPV 2) is a major infectious cause of mortality in puppies. The characteristic symptom of CPV 2 disease is intestinal hemorrhage with severe bloody diarrhea. Soon after CPV was first recognized in the late 1970s, the original virus, CPV 2, was replaced in the canine population by strains carrying minor antigenic variants (termed 2a, 2b, and 2c) of the VP2 gene that could be distinguished using monoclonal antibodies and molecular analyses. Here, we provide an updated molecular characterization of the CPV 2 circulating in Taiwan. Methods: In this study, 28 isolates of CPV 2 from 144 dogs with suspected CPV infection were obtained from northern, central, and southern Taiwan from 2008 to 2012 and screened by PCR. The 28 isolates were sequenced, and a phylogenetic analysis of the VP2 gene was performed. Results: Of the 28 Taiwanese CPV 2 isolates, 15 were identified as new CPV 2a, and 13 were identified as new CPV 2b. Compared to the reference CPV 2a, all 15 of the CPV 2a sequences collected in this study contain an Ile324 mutation caused by a TAT to ATT mutation at nucleotides 970–972 of the VP2 gene. Conclusion: Our VP2 sequence data revealed that both types are currently prevalent CPV 2 field strains circulating in Taiwan, and a unique Ile324 VP2 mutation was found in our Taiwanese CPV 2a isolates and recent Asian isolates. CPV 2c was not observed in this study.
Background: Currently, sharing of drug paraphernalia is the main form of HCV transmission worldwide. In South America, consistent findings indicate that shared sniffing equipment is an important factor in the spread of HCV among non-injecting drug users. Epidemiological data on the status of HCV infection in illicit drug users in the Amazon region are scarce, although reports of clinical cases of hepatitis or pathologies associated with HCV infection in other population groups are numerous. Thereby, this study investigated the prevalence, genotype frequency, and epidemiological factors associated with HCV infection in non-injecting drug users in the state of Pará, eastern Amazon. Results: During 2008–2011, 300 non-injecting drug users attending drug-treatment centers participated in this study. Most non-injecting drug users were male (63.7%). The mean age was 32.5 years. The non-injecting drugs most consumed were: cannabis (15.6%), cocaine paste (21.3%), and oxi cocaine (25.7%). Tobacco (60.9%) and alcohol (79.4%) were also commonly consumed. One hundred six (35.1%; CI 95%: 29.8 - 41.1) non-injecting drug users presented anti-HCV antibodies by EIA. The HCV-RNA prevalence was 28.0% (95% CI: 20.6 - 35.8). Genotypes 1 (76.9%) and 3 (23.1%) of HCV have been identified. A multivariate analysis demonstrated that HCV infection was independently associated with the following factors:“age (≥ 35 years)”,“tattoos”,“use of a needle or syringe sterilized at home”,“shared use of drug paraphernalia”,“uses drugs for more than 5 years”, and“use of drugs everyday”. Conclusions: This study revealed a high prevalence of HCV infection in non-injecting drug users, and most infections are occasioned by genotype 1. Likely, HCV transmission is associated with the tattoos, the use of needle or syringe sterilized at home by people over the age of 35 years, and sharing, time and frequency of use of non-injecting drugs. These findings should serve as an incentive for the establishment of a program of Hepatitis C prevention and control by the local public-health authorities in order to develop effective policies and strategies for contain the spread of HCV infection.
Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main cause of lower respiratory tract illness in children worldwide. Molecular analyses show two distinct RSV groups (A and B) that comprise different genotypes. This variability contributes to the capacity of RSV to cause yearly outbreaks. These RSV genotypes circulate within the community and within hospital wards. RSV is currently the leading cause of nosocomial respiratory tract infections in pediatric populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the G protein gene diversity of RSV amplicons. Methods: Nasopharyngeal aspirate samples were collected from children with nosocomial or community-acquired infections. Sixty-three RSV samples (21 nosocomial and 42 community-acquired) were evaluated and classified as RSV-A or RSV-B by real-time PCR. Sequencing of the second variable region of the G protein gene was performed to establish RSV phylogenetics. Results: We observed co-circulation of RSV-A and RSV-B, with RSV-A as the predominant group. All nosocomial and community-acquired RSV-A samples were from the same phylogenetic group, comprising the NA1 genotype, and all RSV-B samples (nosocomial and community-acquired) were of the BA4 genotype. Therefore, in both RSV groups (nosocomial and community-acquired), the isolates belonged to only one genotype in circulation. Conclusions: This is the first study to describe circulation of the NA1 RSV genotype in Brazil. Furthermore, this study showed that the BA4 genotype remains in circulation. Deciphering worldwide RSV genetic variability will aid vaccine design and development.
Background: Acute respiratory infections represent a serious public health issue worldwide but virological aetiologies of Influenza Like Illnesses (ILIs) remain largely unknown in developing countries. This study represents the first attempt to characterise viral aetiologies of ILIs in Bolivia. Methods: It was performed in Santa Cruz city from January 2010 to September 2012, based on 564 naso-pharyngeal swabs collected in a National Reference Laboratory and real-time PCR techniques, viral cultures and phylogenetic analyses. Results: 50.2% of samples were positive for at least one virus with influenza viruses (Flu A: ~15%; Flu B: ~9%), rhinoviruses (~8%), coronaviruses (~5%) and hRSV (~4%) being the most frequently identified. The pattern of viral infections varied according to age groups. The elucidation rate was the highest (ggt;60%) amongst patients under 10 yo and the lowest (llt;40%) amongst patients ggt;=60 yo. Nearly 3% of samples showed dual viral infections. Epidemiological peaks were associated with a predominant virus but generally included 30-50% of infections by different viruses. Unexpectedly, the frequency of influenza in the 0-4 yo population was very low and a complete hRSV eclipse occurred in 2011. Genetic analyses indicated that distinct evolutionary lineages of Flu A(H1N1)pdm2009, Flu A/H3N2 and Flu B have co-circulated in Bolivia in the study period, originating from Central and North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Conclusion: Our results emphasise the requirement for a reinforced epidemiological and genetic follow-up of influenza and other ILIs in Bolivia to further inform the preparation of vaccines used in the region, guide vaccination campaigns and improve the medical management of patients.