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Jean-Yves Sgro
Inst. for Mol.Virology
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1525 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706

Table of Contents for this page:

  • Current Issue
  • Current Issue of Viruses


  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 567: The Viral Tegument Protein pp65 Impairs Transcriptional Upregulation of IL-1β by Human Cytomegalovirus through Inhibition of NF-kB Activity

  • Interleukin-1aamp;amp;beta; (IL-1aamp;amp;beta;) is a key effector of the inflammasome complex in response to pathogens and danger signals. Although it is well known that assembly of the inflammasome triggers proteolytic cleavage of the biologically inactive precursor pro-IL-1aamp;amp;beta; into its mature secreted form, the mechanism by which human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) regulates IL-1aamp;amp;beta; production via the inflammasome is still poorly understood. Here, we show that the infection of human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs) with a mutant HCMV lacking the tegument protein pp65 (v65Stop) results in higher expression levels of mature IL-1aamp;amp;beta; compared to its wild-type counterpart, suggesting that pp65 mediates HCMV immune evasion through downmodulation of IL-1aamp;amp;beta;. Furthermore, we show that enhanced IL-1aamp;amp;beta; production by the v65Stop mutant is due in part to induction of DNA binding and the transcriptional activity of NF-aamp;amp;kappa;B. Lastly, we demonstrate that HCMV infection of HFFs triggers a non-canonical IL-1aamp;amp;beta; activation pathway where caspase-8 promotes IL-1aamp;amp;beta; maturation independently of caspase-1. Altogether, our findings provide novel mechanistic insights into the interplay between HCMV and the inflammasome system and raise the possibility of targeting pp65 to treat HCMV infection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 564: Saccharomyces paradoxus K66 Killer System Evidences Expanded Assortment of Helper and Satellite Viruses

  • The Saccharomycetaceae yeast family recently became recognized for expanding of the repertoire of different dsRNA-based viruses, highlighting the need for understanding of their cross-dependence. We isolated the Saccharomyces paradoxus AML-15-66 killer strain from spontaneous fermentation of serviceberries and identified helper and satellite viruses of the family Totiviridae, which are responsible for the killing phenotype. The corresponding full dsRNA genomes of viruses have been cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis of SpV-LA-66 identified it to be most similar to S. paradoxus LA-28 type viruses, while SpV-M66 was mostly similar to the SpV-M21 virus. Sequence and functional analysis revealed significant differences between the K66 and the K28 toxins. The structural organization of the K66 protein resembled those of the K1/K2 type toxins. The AML-15-66 strain possesses the most expressed killing property towards the K28 toxin-producing strain. A genetic screen performed on S. cerevisiae YKO library strains revealed 125 gene products important for the functioning of the S. paradoxus K66 toxin, with 85% of the discovered modulators shared with S. cerevisiae K2 or K1 toxins. Investigation of the K66 protein binding to cells and different polysaccharides implies the aamp;amp;beta;-1,6 glucans to be the primary receptors of S. paradoxus K66 toxin. For the first time, we demonstrated the coherent habitation of different types of helper and satellite viruses in a wild-type S. paradoxus strain.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 566: Current Perspectives on High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) for Adventitious Virus Detection: Upstream Sample Processing and Library Preparation

  • A key step for broad viral detection using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) is optimizing the sample preparation strategy for extracting viral-specific nucleic acids since viral genomes are diverse: They can be single-stranded or double-stranded RNA or DNA, and can vary from a few thousand bases to over millions of bases, which might introduce biases during nucleic acid extraction. In addition, viral particles can be enveloped or non-enveloped with variable resistance to pre-treatment, which may influence their susceptibility to extraction procedures. Since the identity of the potential adventitious agents is unknown prior to their detection, efficient sample preparation should be unbiased toward all different viral types in order to maximize the probability of detecting any potential adventitious viruses using HTS. Furthermore, the quality assessment of each step for sample processing is also a critical but challenging aspect. This paper presents our current perspectives for optimizing upstream sample processing and library preparation as part of the discussion in the Advanced Virus Detection Technologies Interest group (AVDTIG) The topics include: use of nuclease treatment to enrich for encapsidated nucleic acids, techniques for amplifying low amounts of virus nucleic acids, selection of different extraction methods, relevant controls, the use of spike recovery experiments, and quality control measures during library preparation.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 565: Canine Influenza Virus is Mildly Restricted by Canine Tetherin Protein

  • Tetherin (BST2/CD317/HM1.24) has emerged as a key host-cell aamp;amp;middot;defence molecule that acts by inhibiting the release and spread of diverse enveloped virions from infected cells. We analysed the biological features of canine tetherin and found it to be an unstable hydrophilic type I transmembrane protein with one transmembrane domain, no signal peptide, and multiple glycosylation and phosphorylation sites. Furthermore, the tissue expression profile of canine tetherin revealed that it was particularly abundant in immune organs. The canine tetherin gene contains an interferon response element sequence that can be regulated and expressed by canine IFN-aamp;amp;alpha;. A CCK-8 assay showed that canine tetherin was effective in helping mitigate cellular damage caused by canine influenza virus (CIV) infection. Additionally, we found that the overexpression of canine tetherin inhibited replication of the CIV and that interference with the canine tetherin gene enhanced CIV replication in cells. The impact of canine tetherin on CIV replication was mild. However, these results elucidate the role of the innate immune factor, canine tetherin, during CIV infection for the first time.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 563: Exchange Protein Directly Activated by cAMP Modulates Ebola Virus Uptake into Vascular Endothelial Cells

  • Members of the family Filoviridae, including Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV), cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. Given their high lethality, a comprehensive understanding of filoviral pathogenesis is urgently needed. In the present studies, we revealed that the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP 1 (EPAC1) gene deletion protects vasculature in ex vivo explants from EBOV infection. Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of EPAC1 using EPAC-specific inhibitors (ESIs) mimicked the EPAC1 knockout phenotype in the ex vivo model. ESI treatment dramatically decreased EBOV infectivity in both ex vivo vasculature and in vitro vascular endothelial cells (ECs). Furthermore, postexposure protection of ECs against EBOV infection was conferred using ESIs. Protective efficacy of ESIs in ECs was observed also in MARV infection. Additional studies using a vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotype that expresses EBOV glycoprotein (EGP-VSV) confirmed that ESIs reduced infection in ECs. Ultrastructural studies suggested that ESIs blocked EGP-VSV internalization via inhibition of macropinocytosis. The inactivation of EPAC1 affects the early stage of viral entry after viral binding to the cell surface, but before early endosome formation, in a phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent manner. Our study delineated a new critical role of EPAC1 during EBOV uptake into ECs.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 562: Breed Differences in PCV2 Uptake and Disintegration in Porcine Monocytes

  • Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is associated with various diseases which are designated as PCV2-associated diseases (PCVADs). Their severity varies among breeds. In the diseased pigs, virus is present in monocytes, without replication or full degradation. PCV2 entry and viral outcome in primary porcine monocytes and the role of monocytes in PCV2 genetic susceptibility have not been studied. Here, virus uptake and trafficking were analyzed and compared among purebreds Piaamp;amp;eacute;train, Landrace and Large White and hybrid Piaamp;amp;eacute;train aamp;amp;times; Topigs20. Viral capsids were rapidly internalized into monocytes, followed by a slow disintegration to a residual level. PCV2 uptake was decreased by chlorpromazine, cytochalasin D and dynasore. The internalized capsids followed the endosomal trafficking pathway, ending up in lysosomes. PCV2 genome was nicked by lysosomal DNase II in vitro, but persisted in monocytes in vivo. Monocytes from purebred Piaamp;amp;eacute;train and the hybrid showed a higher level of PCV2 uptake and disintegration, compared to those from Landrace and Large White. In conclusion, PCV2 entry occurs via clathrin-mediated endocytosis. After entry, viral capsids are partially disintegrated, while viral genomes largely escape from the pathway to avoid degradation. The degree of PCV2 uptake and disintegration differ among pig breeds.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 561: Creating Disease Resistant Chickens: A Viable Solution to Avian Influenza?

  • Influenza A virus (IAV) represents an ongoing threat to human and animal health worldwide. The generation of IAV-resistant chickens through genetic modification and/or selective breeding may help prevent viral spread. The feasibility of creating genetically modified birds has already been demonstrated with the insertion of transgenes that target IAV into the genomes of chickens. This approach has been met with some success in minimising the spread of IAV but has limitations in terms of its ability to prevent the emergence of disease. An alternate approach is the use of genetic engineering to improve host resistance by targeting the antiviral immune responses of poultry to IAV. Harnessing such resistance mechanisms in a aamp;amp;ldquo;genetic restorationaamp;amp;rdquo; approach may hold the greatest promise yet for generating disease resistant chickens. Continuing to identify genes associated with natural resistance in poultry provides the opportunity to identify new targets for genetic modification and/or selective breeding. However, as with any new technology, economic, societal, and legislative barriers will need to be overcome before we are likely to see commercialisation of genetically modified birds.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 560: Temperature Sensitive Mutations in Influenza A Viral Ribonucleoprotein Complex Responsible for the Attenuation of the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine

  • Live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) have prevented morbidity and mortality associated with influenza viral infections for many years and represent the best therapeutic option to protect against influenza viral infections in humans. However, the development of LAIV has traditionally relied on empirical methods, such as the adaptation of viruses to replicate at low temperatures. These approaches require an extensive investment of time and resources before identifying potential vaccine candidates that can be safely implemented as LAIV to protect humans. In addition, the mechanism of attenuation of these vaccines is poorly understood in some cases. Importantly, LAIV are more efficacious than inactivated vaccines because their ability to mount efficient innate and adaptive humoral and cellular immune responses. Therefore, the design of potential LAIV based on known properties of viral proteins appears to be a highly appropriate option for the treatment of influenza viral infections. For that, the viral RNA synthesis machinery has been a research focus to identify key amino acid substitutions that can lead to viral attenuation and their use in safe, immunogenic, and protective LAIV. In this review, we discuss the potential to manipulate the influenza viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) complex to generate attenuated forms of the virus that can be used as LAIV for the treatment of influenza viral infections, one of the current and most effective prophylactic options for the control of influenza in humans.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 559: Role of Host Cell Secretory Machinery in Zika Virus Life Cycle

  • The high human cost of Zika virus infections and the rapid establishment of virus circulation in novel areas, including the United States, present an urgent need for countermeasures against this emerging threat. The development of an effective vaccine against Zika virus may be problematic because of the cross reactivity of the antibodies with other flaviviruses leading to antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. Moreover, rapidly replicating positive strand RNA viruses, including Zika virus, generate large spectrum of mutant genomes (quasi species) every replication round, allowing rapid selection of variants resistant to drugs targeting virus-specific proteins. On the other hand, viruses are ultimate cellular parasites and rely on the host metabolism for every step of their life cycle, thus presenting an opportunity to manipulate host processes as an alternative approach to suppress virus replication and spread. Zika and other flaviviruses critically depend on the cellular secretory pathway, which transfers proteins and membranes from the ER through the Golgi to the plasma membrane, for virion assembly, maturation and release. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of interactions of Zika and similar arthropod-borne flaviviruses with the cellular secretory machinery with a special emphasis on virus-specific changes of the secretory pathway. Identification of the regulatory networks and effector proteins required to accommodate the trafficking of virions, which represent a highly unusual cargo for the secretory pathway, may open an attractive and virtually untapped reservoir of alternative targets for the development of superior anti-viral drugs.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 558: Systemic Administration and Targeted Delivery of Immunogenic Oncolytic Adenovirus Encapsulated in Extracellular Vesicles for Cancer Therapies

  • Oncolytic viruses (OV) are engineered to infect, replicate in and kill cancer cells. Currently, the OV therapeutic approach is mainly restricted to neoplasia amenable to direct local administration of viral particles, while the possibility of a systemic delivery of cancer-tropic viruses would extend the OV application to the treatment of metastatic neoplasia. Herein, we applied in vivo/ex vivo imaging to demonstrate that cancer tropism is achieved when OV are encapsulated inside extracellular vesicles (EV) administered intravenously (i.v.), but not when injected intraperitoneally (i.p.). Moreover, we show that the therapeutic procedure adopted does not alter the immunomodulatory properties of the viruses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 557: Bowman‒Birk Inhibitor Suppresses Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection of Human Cervical Epithelial Cells

  • The Bowman‒Birk inhibitor (BBI), a protease inhibitor derived from soybeans, has been extensively studied in anti-tumor and anti-inflammation research. We recently reported that BBI has an anti-HIV-1 property in primary human macrophages. Because HSV-2 infection plays a role in facilitating HIV-1 sexual transmission, we thus examined whether BBI has the ability to inhibit HSV-2 infection. We demonstrated that BBI could potently inhibit HSV-2 replication in human cervical epithelial cells (End1/E6E7). This BBI-mediated HSV-2 inhibition was partially through blocking HSV-2-mediated activation of NF-aamp;amp;kappa;B and p38 MAPK pathways. In addition, BBI could activate the JAK/STAT pathway and enhance the expression of several antiviral interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Furthermore, BBI treatment of End1/E6E7 cells upregulated the expression of tight junction proteins and reduced HSV-2-mediatedcellular ubiquitinated proteinsaamp;amp;rsquo; degradation through suppressing the ubiquitin‒proteasome system. These observations indicate that BBI may have therapeutic potential for the prevention and treatment of HSV-2 infections.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 556: Characterization of Critical Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs and mRNAs in Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells and Mouse Skeletal Muscle Infected by Enterovirus 71 Using RNA-Seq

  • Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the main pathogen of severe hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD). Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are recognized as pivotal factors during the pathogenesis of viral infection. However, the critical functions of lncRNAs in EV71aamp;amp;ndash;host interactions have not been characterized. Here, for the first time, we performed global transcriptome analysis of lncRNA and mRNA expression profiles in EV71-infected human rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cells and skeletal muscle of mice using second-generation sequencing. In our study, a total of 3801 novel lncRNAs were identified. In addition, 23 lncRNAs and 372 mRNAs exhibited remarkable differences in expression levels between infected and uninfected RD cells, while 104 lncRNAs and 2647 mRNAs were differentially expressed in infected skeletal muscle from neonatal mice. Comprehensive bioinformatics analysis included target gene prediction, lncRNA‑mRNA co-expression network construction, as well as gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis mainly focused on differentially-expressed genes (DEGs). Our results suggest that lncRNAs may participate in EV71 infection-induced pathogenesis through regulating immune responses, protein binding, cellular component biogenesis and metabolism. The present study provides novel insights into the functions of lncRNAs and the possible pathogenic mechanism following EV71 infection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 555: First Isolation and Characterization of a Group C Banna Virus (BAV) from Anopheles sinensis Mosquitoes in Hubei, China

  • Banna virus (BAV) is considered to be an emerging human pathogen that is transmitted by blood-sucking insects. BAV was isolated from various species of mosquitoes, midges, and livestock. It is widely distributed geographically, since it was identified in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Previously reported evolution studies of BAV indicated that BAV can be divided into two groups, including isolates from China and Vietnam clustered in group A, and Indonesian isolates in group B. In this study, we report the isolation of a new strain of BAV named HB14-71-01 from Anopheles sinensis mosquitoes from Hubei, China. An in vitro comparison study of the HB14-71-01 isolate and the group A BAV revealed differences based on observed cytopathic effect, plaque size, and viral growth rates. Additionally, the phylogenetic analysis indicated that the Hubei isolate belongs to a novel genotype of BAV and emerged nearly 105 years ago (95% highest posterior density (HPD): 35aamp;amp;ndash;434), unlike the two previously reported genotypes A and B. Our findings extend the knowledge about the genomic diversity and potential vectors/hosts of BAVs and will improve understanding of the relationships between genetic variation and pathogenicity.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 554: Visualization of a Dinoflagellate-Infecting Virus HcDNAV and Its Infection Process

  • HcDNAV (a type species of Genus Dinodnavirus) is a large double-stranded DNA virus, which lytically infects the bloom-forming marine microalga Heterocapsa circularisquama Horiguchi (Dinophyceae). In the present study, detailed observation of the HcDNAV particle and its infection process was conducted via field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and epifluorescence microscopy (EFM). Each five-fold vertex of the icosahedral virion was decorated with a protrusion, which may be related to the entry process of HcDNAV into the host. The transverse groove of host cells is proposed to be the main virus entry site. A visible DAPI-stained region, which is considered to be the viroplasm (virus factory), appeared in close proximity to the host nucleus at 11 h post infection (hpi); the putative viral DAPI signal was remarkably enlarged at 11aamp;amp;ndash;30 hpi. It was kidney-shaped at 13aamp;amp;ndash;15 hpi, horseshoe-shaped at 20 hpi, doughnut-shaped at 30 hpi, and changed into a three-dimensionally complicated shape at 51aamp;amp;ndash;53 hpi, by which time most parts of the host cell were occupied by the putative viral DAPI signal. While the virions were within the viroplasm, they were easily distinguishable by their vertex protrusions by FE-SEM.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 553: Roles of orf60a and orf61 in Development of Bacteriophagesλ and Φ24B

  • The exo-xis region of lambdoid bacteriophage genomes contains several established and potential genes that are evolutionarily conserved, but not essential for phage propagation under laboratory conditions. Nevertheless, deletion or overexpression of either the whole exo-xis region and important regulatory elements can significantly influence the regulation of phage development. This report defines specific roles for orf60a and orf61 in bacteriophage aamp;amp;lambda; and aamp;amp;Phi;24B, a specific Shiga toxin-converting phage with clinical relevance. We observed that mutant phages bearing deletions of orf60a and orf61 impaired two central aspects of phage development: the lysis-versus-lysogenization decision and prophage induction. These effects were more pronounced for phage aamp;amp;Phi;24B than for aamp;amp;lambda;. Surprisingly, adsorption of phage aamp;amp;Phi;24B on Escherichia coli host cells was less efficient in the absence of either orf60a or orf61. We conclude that these open reading frames (ORFs) play important, but not essential, roles in the regulation of lambdoid phage development. Although phages can propagate without these ORFs in nutrient media, we suggest that they may be involved in the regulatory network, ensuring optimization of phage development under various environmental conditions.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 552: Potential Application of Bacteriophages in Enrichment Culture for Improved Prenatal Streptococcus agalactiae Screening

  • Vertical transmission of Streptococcus agalactiae can cause neonatal infections. A culture test in the late stage of pregnancy is used to screen for the presence of maternal S. agalactiae for intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. For the test, a vaginalaamp;amp;ndash;rectal sample is recommended to be enriched, followed by bacterial identification. In some cases, Enterococcus faecalis overgrows in the enrichment culture. Consequently, the identification test yields false-negative results. Bacteriophages (phages) can be used as antimicrobial materials. Here, we explored the feasibility of using phages to minimize false-negative results in an experimental setting. Phage mixture was prepared using three phages that specifically infect E. faecalis: phiEF24C, phiEF17H, and phiM1EF22. The mixture inhibited the growth of 86.7% (26/30) of vaginal E. faecalis strains. The simple coculture of E. faecalis and S. agalactiae was used as an experimental enrichment model. Phage mixture treatment led to suppression of E. faecalis growth and facilitation of S. agalactiae growth. In addition, testing several sets of S. agalactiae and E. faecalis strains, the treatment with phage mixture in the enrichment improved S. agalactiae detection on chromogenic agar. Our results suggest that the phage mixture can be usefully employed in the S. agalactiae culture test to increase test accuracy.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 551: Genetic Characterization and Pathogenicity of a Novel Recombined Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus 2 among Nadc30-Like, Jxa1-Like, and Mlv-Like Strains

  • Recombination among porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses (PRRSVs), coupled with point mutations, insertions, and deletions occurring in the genome, is considered to contribute to the emergence of new variants. Here, we report the complete genome sequences of a PRRSV field strain, designated SCN17, isolated from a RespPRRS MLV-vaccinated piglet in China in 2017. Sequence alignment revealed that SCN17 had discontinuous 131-amino acid (111 + 1 + 19-aa) deletion in the NSP2-coding region identical to that of NADC30 when compared to VR-2332. Notably, the strain, SCN17, contained an additional 1-aa deletion in NSP2, a 1-aa deletion in ORF5, and a unique 3-nt deletion in the 3aamp;amp;prime;-UTR. Phylogenetic analysis showed that SCN17 clustered into NADC30-like lineage based on ORF5 genotyping, whereas it belonged to an inter-lineage between the NADC30-like and VR-2332-like lineages as established based on the full-length genome. Importantly, the SCN17 was identified as a novel virus recombined between a NADC30-like (moderately pathogenic), a JXA1-like (highly pathogenic), and an attenuated vaccine strain, RespPRRS MLV (parental strain VR-2332). Furthermore, we tested its pathogenicity in piglets. SCN17 infection caused a persistent fever, moderate interstitial pneumonia, and increased the viremia and antibody levels in the inoculated piglets. Of note, all SCN17-infected piglets survived throughout the study. The new virus was showed to be a moderately virulent isolate and have lower pathogenicity than HP-PRRSV strain, SCwhn09CD. Our results provide evidence for the continuing evolution of PRRSV field strain by genetic recombination and mutation leading to outbreaks in the vaccinated pig populations in China.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 550: Strain-Dependent Consequences of Zika Virus Infection and Differential Impact on Neural Development

  • Maternal infection with Zika virus (ZIKV) during pregnancy can result in neonatal abnormalities, including neurological dysfunction and microcephaly. Experimental models of congenital Zika syndrome identified neural progenitor cells as a target of viral infection. Neural progenitor cells are responsible for populating the developing central nervous system with neurons and glia. Neural progenitor dysfunction can lead to severe birth defects, namely, lissencephaly, microcephaly, and cognitive deficits. For this study, the consequences of ZIKV infection in human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitor (hNP) cells and neurons were evaluated. ZIKV isolates from Asian and African lineages displayed lineage-specific replication kinetics, cytopathic effects, and impacts on hNP function and neuronal differentiation. The currently circulating ZIKV isolates exhibit a unique profile of virulence, cytopathic effect, and impaired cellular functions that likely contribute to the pathological mechanism of congenital Zika syndrome. The authors found that infection with Asian-lineage ZIKV isolates impaired the proliferation and migration of hNP cells, and neuron maturation. In contrast, the African-lineage infections resulted in abrupt and extensive cell death. This work furthers the understanding of ZIKV-induced brain pathology.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 549: Ebola Virus Maintenance: If Not (Only) Bats, What Else?

  • The maintenance mechanisms of ebolaviruses in African forest ecosystems are still unknown, but indirect evidences point at the involvement of some bat species. Despite intense research, the main bat-maintenance hypothesis has not been confirmed yet. The alternative hypotheses of a non-bat maintenance host or a maintenance community including, or not, several bat and other species, deserves more investigation. However, African forest ecosystems host a large biodiversity and abound in potential maintenance hosts. How does one puzzle out? Since recent studies have revealed that several bat species have been exposed to ebolaviruses, the common denominator to these hypotheses is that within the epidemiological cycle, some bats species must be exposed to the viruses and infected by these potential alternative hosts. Under this constraint, and given the peculiar ecology of bats (roosting behaviour, habitat utilisation, and flight mode), we review the hosts and transmission pathways that can lead to bat exposure and infection to ebolaviruses. In contrast to the capacity of bats to transmit ebolaviruses and other pathogens to many hosts, our results indicate that only a limited number of hosts and pathways can lead to the transmission of ebolaviruses to bats, and that the alternative maintenance host, if it exists, must be amongst them. A list of these pathways is provided, along with protocols to prioritise and investigate these alternative hypotheses. In conclusion, taking into account the ecology of bats and their known involvement in ebolaviruses ecology drastically reduces the list of potential alternative maintenance hosts for ebolaviruses. Understanding the natural history of ebolaviruses is a health priority, and investigating these alternative hypotheses could complete the current effort focused on the role of bats.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 548: Recombinant GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 Was the Dominant Norovirus Identified in Australia and New Zealand in 2017

  • For the past two decades, norovirus pandemic variants have emerged every 3aamp;amp;ndash;5 years, and dominate until they are replaced by alternate strains. However, this scenario changed in 2016 with the co-circulation of six prevalent viruses, three of which possessed the pandemic GII.4 Sydney 2012 capsid. An increased number of institutional gastroenteritis outbreaks were reported within the Oceania region in mid-2017. This study identified emerging noroviruses circulating in Australia and New Zealand in 2017 to assess the changing dynamics of the virus infection. RT-PCR-based methods, next generation sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses were used to genotype noroviruses from both clinical and wastewater samples. Antigenic changes were observed between the capsid of pandemic Sydney 2012 variant and the two new Sydney recombinant viruses. The combination of these antigenic changes and the acquisition of a new ORF1 through recombination could both facilitate their ongoing persistence in the population. Overall, an increased prevalence of GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 viruses was observed in 2017, replacing the GII.P16/GII.2 recombinant that dominated in the region at the end of 2016. This shift in strain dominance was also observed in wastewater samples, demonstrating the reliability of wastewater as a molecular surveillance tool.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 547: An Alanine-to-Valine Substitution in the Residue 175 of Zika Virus NS2A Protein Affects Viral RNA Synthesis and Attenuates the Virus In Vivo

  • The recent outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV), its association with Guillainaamp;amp;ndash;Barraamp;amp;eacute; syndrome and fetal abnormalities, and the lack of approved vaccines and antivirals, highlight the importance of developing countermeasures to combat ZIKV disease. In this respect, infectious clones constitute excellent tools to accomplish these goals. However, flavivirus infectious clones are often difficult to work with due to the toxicity of some flavivirus sequences in bacteria. To bypass this problem, several alternative approaches have been applied for the generation of ZIKV clones including, among others, in vitro ligation, insertions of introns and using infectious subgenomic amplicons. Here, we report a simple and novel DNA-launched approach based on the use of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) to generate a cDNA clone of Rio Grande do Norte Natal ZIKV strain. The sequence was identified from the brain tissue of an aborted fetus with microcephaly. The BAC clone was fully stable in bacteria and the infectious virus was efficiently recovered in Vero cells through direct delivery of the cDNA clone. The rescued virus yielded high titers in Vero cells and was pathogenic in a validated mouse model (A129 mice) of ZIKV infection. Furthermore, using this infectious clone we have generated a mutant ZIKV containing a single amino acid substitution (A175V) in the NS2A protein that presented reduced viral RNA synthesis in cell cultures, was highly attenuated in vivo and induced fully protection against a lethal challenge with ZIKV wild-type. This BAC approach provides a stable and reliable reverse genetic system for ZIKV that will help to identify viral determinants of virulence and facilitate the development of vaccine and therapeutic strategies.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 546: Whole Genome Characterization of Orthopoxvirus (OPV) Abatino, a Zoonotic Virus Representing a Putative Novel Clade of Old World Orthopoxviruses

  • Orthopoxviruses (OPVs) are diffused over the complete Eurasian continent, but previously described strains are mostly from northern Europe, and few infections have been reported from Italy. Here we present the extended genomic characterization of OPV Abatino, a novel OPV isolated in Italy from an infected Tonkean macaque, with zoonotic potential. Phylogenetic analysis based on 102 conserved OPV genes (core gene set) showed that OPV Abatino is most closely related to the Ectromelia virus species (ECTV), although placed on a separate branch of the phylogenetic tree, bringing substantial support to the hypothesis that this strain may be part of a novel OPV clade. Extending the analysis to the entire set of genes (coding sequences, CDS) further substantiated this hypothesis. In fact the genome of OPV Abatino included more CDS than ECTV; most of the extra genes (mainly located in the terminal genome regions), showed the highest similarity with cowpox virus (CPXV); however vaccinia virus (VACV) and monkeypox virus (MPXV) were the closest OPV for certain CDS. These findings suggest that OPV Abatino could be the result of complex evolutionary events, diverging from any other previously described OPV, and may indicate that previously reported cases in Italy could represent the tip of the iceberg yet to be explored.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 545: Epidemiology and Elimination of HCV-Related Liver Disease

  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, defined by active carriage of HCV RNA, affects nearly 1.0% of the worldwide population. The main risk factors include unsafe injection drug use and iatrogenic infections. Chronic HCV infection can promote liver damage, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in affected individuals. The advent of new second-generation, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents allow a virological cure in more than 90% of treated patients, and therefore prevent HCV-related complications. Recently, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of DAA-regimens in cirrhotic patients with respect to the occurrence and the recurrence of HCC. Here, we review the current available data on HCV epidemiology, the beneficial effects of therapy, and discuss the recent controversy with respect to the potential link with liver cancer. We also highlight the challenges that have to be overcome to achieve the ambitious World Health Organization objective of HCV eradication by 2030.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 544: Non-Human Primate Models of Enteric Viral Infections

  • There is an important role non-human primates (NHP) play in biomedical research. Phylogenetic proximity of any of the NHP species to Homo sapiens assures that much better translatability of research outcomes from model studies involving human diseases can be achieved than from those generated with other pre-clinical systems. Our group and others used during past two decades NHPs in research directed towards viral and autoimmune disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. This review summarizes progress made in the area of enteric viral infections including its applicability to human disease.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 543: The Characterization of Immunoprotection Induced by a cDNA Clone Derived from the Attenuated Taiwan Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Pintung 52 Strain

  • The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) poses a great threat to the global swine industries and the unreliable protection induced by the currently available vaccines remains a major challenge. We previously generated a genogroup 2b (G2b) PEDV Taiwan Pintung 52 (PEDVPT) strain, PEDVPT-P96, and determined its promising host immune response against the virulent PEDVPT-P5 strain. To study the attenuation determinants of PEDVPT-P96 and establish a PEDVPT-P96-based recombinant vector as a vaccine platform for further antigenicity modification, iPEDVPT-P96, a full-length cDNA clone of PEDVPT-P96, was established. Comparing to the parental PEDVPT-P96 virus, the iPEDVPT-P96 virus showed efficient replication kinetics with a delayed decline of viral load and similar but much more uniform plaque sizes in Vero cells. In the 5-week-old piglet model, fecal viral shedding was observed in the PEDVPT-P96-inoculated piglets, whereas those inoculated with iPEDVPT-P96 showed neither detectable fecal viral shedding nor PEDV-associated clinical signs. Moreover, inoculation with iPEDVPT-P96 elicited comparable levels of anti-PEDV specific plasma IgG and fecal/salivary IgA, neutralizing antibody titers, and similar but less effective immunoprotection against the virulent PEDVPT-P5 challenge compared to the parental PEDVPT-P96. In the present study, an infectious cDNA clone of an attenuated G2b PEDV strain was successfully generated for the first time, and the in vitro and in vivo data indicate that iPEDVPT-P96 is further attenuated but remains immunogenic compared to its parental PEDVPT-P96 viral stock. The successful development of the iPEDVPT-P96 cDNA clone could allow for the manipulation of the viral genome to study viral pathogenesis and facilitate the rapid development of effective vaccines.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 542: The Westward Journey of Alfalfa Leaf Curl Virus

  • Alfalfa leaf curl virus (ALCV), which causes severe disease symptoms in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and is transmitted by the widespread aphid species, Aphis craccivora Koch, has been found throughout the Mediterranean basin as well as in Iran and Argentina. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of ALCV and attempt to determine whether the recent discovery and widespread detection of ALCV is attributable either to past diagnostic biases or to the emergence and global spread of the virus over the past few years. One hundred and twenty ALCV complete genome sequences recovered from ten countries were analyzed and four ALCV genotypes (ALCV-A, ALCV-B, ALCV-C, and ALCV-D) were clearly distinguished. We further confirm that ALCV isolates are highly recombinogenic and that recombination has been a major determinant in the origins of the various genotypes. Collectively, the sequence data support the hypothesis that, of all the analyzed locations, ALCV likely emerged and diversified in the Middle East before spreading to the western Mediterranean basin and Argentina.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 541: Fetal Brain Infection Is Not a Unique Characteristic of Brazilian Zika Viruses

  • The recent emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Brazil was associated with an increased number of fetal brain infections that resulted in a spectrum of congenital neurological complications known as congenital Zika syndrome (CZS). Herein, we generated de novo from sequence data an early Asian lineage ZIKV isolate (ZIKV-MY; Malaysia, 1966) not associated with microcephaly and compared the in vitro replication kinetics and fetal brain infection in interferon aamp;amp;alpha;/aamp;amp;beta; receptor 1 knockout (IFNAR1aamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus;) dams of this isolate and of a Brazilian isolate (ZIKV-Natal; Natal, 2015) unequivocally associated with microcephaly. The replication efficiencies of ZIKV-MY and ZIKV-Natal in A549 and Vero cells were similar, while ZIKV-MY replicated more efficiently in wild-type (WT) and IFNARaamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Viremias in IFNAR1aamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; dams were similar after infection with ZIKV-MY or ZIKV-Natal, and importantly, infection of fetal brains was also not significantly different. Thus, fetal brain infection does not appear to be a unique feature of Brazilian ZIKV isolates.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 540: Rubella Virus Strain-Associated Differences in the Induction of Oxidative Stress Are Independent of Their Interferon Activation

  • Rubella virus (RV) infection impacts cellular metabolic activity in a complex manner with strain-specific nutritional requirements. Here we addressed whether this differential metabolic influence was associated with differences in oxidative stress induction and subsequently with innate immune response activation. The low passaged clinical isolates of RV examined in this study induced oxidative stress as validated through generation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) cytoplasmic hydrogen peroxide and mitochondrial superoxide. The addition of the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial ROS scavengers N-acetyl-l-cysteine and MitoTEMPO, respectively, reduced RV-associated cytopathogenicity and caspase activation. While the degree of oxidative stress induction varied among RV clinical isolates, the level of innate immune response and interferon-stimulated gene activation was comparable. The type III IFNs were highly upregulated in all cell culture systems tested. However, only pre-stimulation with IFN aamp;amp;beta; slightly reduced RV replication indicating that RV appears to have evolved the ability to counteract innate immune response mechanisms. Through the data presented, we showed that the ability of RV to induce oxidative stress was independent of its capacity to stimulate and counteract the intrinsic innate immune response.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 539: The Effect of Aspergillus Thermomutatus Chrysovirus 1 on the Biology of Three Aspergillus Species

  • This study determined the effects of Aspergillus thermomutatus chrysovirus 1 (AthCV1), isolated from Aspergillus thermomutatus, on A. fumigatus, A. nidulans and A. niger. Protoplasts of virus-free isolates of A. fumigatus, A. nidulans and A. niger were transfected with purified AthCV1 particles and the phenotype, growth and sporulation of the isogenic AthCV1-free and AthCV1-infected lines assessed at 20 aamp;amp;deg;C and 37 aamp;amp;deg;C and gene expression data collected at 37 aamp;amp;deg;C. AthCV1-free and AthCV1-infected A. fumigatus produced only conidia at both temperatures but more than ten-fold reduced compared to the AthCV1-infected line. Conidiation was also significantly reduced in infected lines of A. nidulans and A. niger at 37 aamp;amp;deg;C. AthCV1-infected lines of A. thermomutatus and A. nidulans produced large numbers of ascospores at both temperatures, whereas the AthCV1-free line of the former did not produce ascospores. AthCV1-infected lines of all species developed sectoring phenotypes with sclerotia produced in aconidial sectors of A. niger at 37 aamp;amp;deg;C. AthCV1 was detected in 18% of sclerotia produced by AthCV1-infected A. niger and 31% of ascospores from AthCV1-infected A. nidulans. Transcriptome analysis of the naturally AthCV1-infected A. thermomutatus and the three AthCV1-transfected Aspergillus species showed altered gene expression as a result of AthCV1-infection. The results demonstrate that AthCV1 can infect a range of Aspergillus species resulting in reduced sporulation, a potentially useful attribute for a biological control agent.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 538: Oncogenic Signaling Induced by HCV Infection

  • The liver is frequently exposed to toxins, metabolites, and oxidative stress, which can challenge organ function and genomic stability. Liver regeneration is therefore a highly regulated process involving several sequential signaling events. It is thus not surprising that individual oncogenic mutations in hepatocytes do not necessarily lead to cancer and that the genetic profiles of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) are highly heterogeneous. Long-term infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) creates an oncogenic environment by a combination of viral protein expression, persistent liver inflammation, oxidative stress, and chronically deregulated signaling events that cumulate as a tipping point for genetic stability. Although novel direct-acting antivirals (DAA)-based treatments efficiently eradicate HCV, the associated HCC risk cannot be fully eliminated by viral cure in patients with advanced liver disease. This suggests that HCV may persistently deregulate signaling pathways beyond viral cure and thereby continue to perturb cancer-relevant gene function. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about oncogenic signaling pathways derailed by chronic HCV infection. This will not only help to understand the mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis but will also highlight potential chemopreventive strategies to help patients with a high-risk profile of developing HCC.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 537: High Throughput Manufacturing of Bacteriophages Using Continuous Stirred Tank Bioreactors Connected in Series to Ensure Optimum Host Bacteria Physiology for Phage Production

  • Future industrial demand for large quantities of bacteriophages e.g., for phage therapy, necessitates the development of scalable Good Manufacturing Practice compliant (cGMP) production platforms. The continuous production of high titres of E coli T3 phages (1011 PFU mLaamp;amp;minus;1) was achieved using two continuous stirred tank bioreactors connected in series, and a third bioreactor was used as a final holding tank operated in semi-batch mode to finish the infection process. The first bioreactor allowed the steady-state propagation of host bacteria using a fully synthetic medium with glucose as the limiting substrate. Host bacterial growth was decoupled from the phage production reactor downstream of it to suppress the production of phage-resistant mutants, thereby allowing stable operation over a period of several days. The novelty of this process is that the manipulation of the host reactor dilution rates (range 0.1aamp;amp;ndash;0.6 hraamp;amp;minus;1) allows control over the physiological state of the bacterial population. This results in bacteria with considerably higher intracellular phage production capability whilst operating at high dilution rates yielding significantly higher overall phage process productivity. Using a pilot-scale chemostat system allowed optimisation of the upstream phage amplification conditions conducive for high intracellular phage production in the host bacteria. The effect of the host reactor dilution rates on the phage burst size, lag time, and adsorption rate were evaluated. The host bacterium physiology was found to influence phage burst size, thereby affecting the productivity of the overall process. Mathematical modelling of the dynamics of the process allowed parameter sensitivity evaluation and provided valuable insights into the factors affecting the phage production process. The approach presented here may be used at an industrial scale to significantly improve process control, increase productivity via process intensification, and reduce process manufacturing costs through process footprint reduction.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 536: Identification of a cis-Acting Element Derived from Tomato Leaf Curl Yunnan Virus that Mediates the Replication of a Deficient Yeast Plasmid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Geminiviruses are a group of small single-stranded DNA viruses that replicate in the host cell nucleus. It has been reported that the viral replication initiator protein (Rep) and the conserved common region (CR) are required for rolling circle replication (RCR)-dependent geminivirus replication, but the detailed mechanisms of geminivirus replication are still obscure owing to a lack of a eukaryotic model system. In this study, we constructed a bacterialaamp;amp;ndash;yeast shuttle plasmid with the autonomous replication sequence (ARS) deleted, which failed to replicate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells and could not survive in selective media either. Tandemly repeated copies of 10 geminivirus genomic DNAs were inserted into this deficient plasmid to test whether they were able to replace the ARS to execute genomic DNA replication in yeast cells. We found that yeast cells consisting of the recombinant plasmid with 1.9 tandemly repeated copies of tomato leaf curl Yunnan virus isolate Y194 (TLCYnV-Y194, hereafter referred to as Y194) can replicate well and survive in selective plates. Furthermore, we showed that the recombinant plasmid harboring the Y194 genome with the mutation of the viral Rep or CR was still able to replicate in yeast cells, indicating the existence of a non-canonic RCR model. By a series of mutations, we mapped a short fragment of 174 nucleotides (nts) between the V1 and C3 open reading frames (ORFs), including an ARS-like element that can substitute the function of the ARS responsible for stable replication of extrachromosomal DNAs in yeast. The results of this study established a geminivirus replication system in yeast cells and revealed that Y194 consisting of an ARS-like element was able to support the replication a bacterialaamp;amp;ndash;yeast shuttle plasmid in yeast cells.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 535: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Matrix (M) Protein Interacts with Actin In Vitro and in Cell Culture

  • The virusaamp;amp;ndash;host protein interactions that underlie respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) assembly are still not completely defined, despite almost 60 years of research. RSV buds from the apical surface of infected cells, once virion components have been transported to the budding sites. Association of RSV matrix (M) protein with the actin cytoskeleton may play a role in facilitating this transport. We have investigated the interaction of M with actin in vitro and cell culture. Purified wildtype RSV M protein was found to bind directly to polymerized actin in vitro. Vero cells were transfected to express full-length M (1aamp;amp;ndash;256) as a green fluorescent protein-(GFP) tagged protein, followed by treatment with the microfilament destabilizer, cytochalasin D. Destabilization of the microfilament network resulted in mislocalization of full-length M, from mostly cytoplasmic to diffused across both cytoplasm and nucleus, suggesting that M interacts with microfilaments in this system. Importantly, treatment of RSV-infected cells with cytochalasin D results in lower infectious virus titers, as well as mislocalization of M to the nucleus. Finally, using deletion mutants of M in a transfected cell system, we show that both the N- and C-terminus of the protein are required for the interaction. Together, our data suggest a possible role for Maamp;amp;ndash;actin interaction in transporting virion components in the infected cell.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 534: Visualization of HIV-1 RNA Transcription from Integrated HIV-1 DNA in Reactivated Latently Infected Cells

  • We have recently developed the first microscopy-based strategy that enables simultaneous multiplex detection of viral RNA (vRNA), viral DNA (vDNA), and viral protein. Here, we used this approach to study the kinetics of latency reactivation in cells infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We showed the transcription of nascent vRNA from individual latently integrated and reactivated vDNA sites appearing earlier than viral protein. We further demonstrated that this method can be used to quantitatively assess the efficacy of a variety of latency reactivating agents. Finally, this microscopy-based strategy was augmented with a flow-cytometry-based approach, enabling the detection of transcriptional reactivation of large numbers of latently infected cells. Hence, these approaches are shown to be suitable for qualitative and quantitative studies of HIV-1 latency and reactivation.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 533: HCMV Infection and Apoptosis: How Do Monocytes Survive HCMV Infection?

  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection of peripheral blood monocytes plays a key role in the hematogenous dissemination of the virus to multiple organ systems following primary infection or reactivation of latent virus in the bone marrow. Monocytes have a short life span of 1aamp;amp;ndash;3 days in circulation; thus, HCMV must alter their survival and differentiation to utilize these cells and their differentiated counterpartsaamp;amp;mdash;macrophagesaamp;amp;mdash;for dissemination and long term viral persistence. Because monocytes are not initially permissive for viral gene expression and replication, HCMV must control host-derived factors early during infection to prevent apoptosis or programmed cell death prior to viral induced differentiation into naturally long-lived macrophages. This review provides a short overview of HCMV infection of monocytes and describes how HCMV has evolved to utilize host cell anti-apoptotic pathways to allow infected monocytes to bridge the 48aamp;amp;ndash;72 h viability gate so that differentiation into a long term stable mature cell can occur. Because viral gene expression is delayed in monocytes following initial infection and only occurs (begins around two to three weeks post infection in our model) following what appears to be complete differentiation into mature macrophages or dendritic cells, or both; virally-encoded anti-apoptotic gene products cannot initially control long term infected cell survival. Anti-apoptotic viral genes are discussed in the second section of this review and we argue they would play an important role in long term macrophage or dendritic cell survival following infection-induced differentiation.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 532: Photodynamic Inactivation of Herpes Simplex Viruses

  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections can be treated with direct acting antivirals like acyclovir and foscarnet, but long-term use can lead to drug resistance, which motivates research into broadly-acting antivirals that can provide a greater genetic barrier to resistance. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) employs a photosensitizer, light, and oxygen to create a local burst of reactive oxygen species that inactivate microorganisms. The botanical plant extract OrthoquinTM is a powerful photosensitizer with antimicrobial properties. Here we report that Orthoquin also has antiviral properties. Photoactivated Orthoquin inhibited herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection of target cells in a dose-dependent manner across a broad range of sub-cytotoxic concentrations. HSV inactivation required direct contact between Orthoquin and the inoculum, whereas pre-treatment of target cells had no effect. Orthoquin did not cause appreciable damage to viral capsids or premature release of viral genomes, as measured by qPCR for the HSV-1 genome. By contrast, immunoblotting for HSV-1 antigens in purified virion preparations suggested that higher doses of Orthoquin had a physical impact on certain HSV-1 proteins that altered protein mobility or antigen detection. Orthoquin PDI also inhibited the non-enveloped adenovirus (AdV) in a dose-dependent manner, whereas Orthoquin-mediated inhibition of the enveloped vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was light-independent. Together, these findings suggest that the broad antiviral effects of Orthoquin-mediated PDI may stem from damage to viral attachment proteins.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 531: Molecular Mechanisms of Hepatocarcinogenesis Following Sustained Virological Response in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection

  • Despite the success of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents in treating chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the number of cases of HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is expected to increase over the next five years. HCC develops over the span of decades and is closely associated with fibrosis stage. HCV both directly and indirectly establishes a pro-inflammatory environment favorable for viral replication. Repeated cycles of cell death and regeneration lead to genomic instability and loss of cell cycle control. DAA therapy offers aamp;amp;gt;90% sustained virological response (SVR) rates with fewer side effects and restrictions than interferon. While elimination of HCV helps to restore liver function and reverse mild fibrosis, post-SVR patients remain at elevated risk of HCC. A series of studies reporting higher than expected rates of HCC development among DAA-treated patients ignited debate over whether use of DAAs elevates HCC risk compared to interferon. However, recent prospective and retrospective studies based on larger patient cohorts have found no significant difference in risk between DAA and interferon therapy once other factors are taken into account. Although many mechanisms and pathways involved in hepatocarcinogenesis have been elucidated, our understanding of drivers specific to post-SVR hepatocarcinogenesis is still limited, and lack of suitable in vivo and in vitro experimental systems has hampered efforts to examine etiology-specific mechanisms that might serve to answer this question more thoroughly. Further research is needed to identify risk factors and biomarkers for post-SVR HCC and to develop targeted therapies based on more complete understanding of the molecules and pathways implicated in hepatocarcinogenesis.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 530: Ocular Manifestations of Emerging Flaviviruses and the Blood-Retinal Barrier

  • Despite flaviviruses remaining the leading cause of systemic human infections worldwide, ocular manifestations of these mosquito-transmitted viruses are considered relatively uncommon in part due to under-reporting. However, recent outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV) implicated in causing multiple ocular abnormalities, such as conjunctivitis, retinal hemorrhages, chorioretinal atrophy, posterior uveitis, optic neuritis, and maculopathies, has rejuvenated a significant interest in understanding the pathogenesis of flaviviruses, including ZIKV, in the eye. In this review, first, we summarize the current knowledge of the major flaviviruses (Dengue, West Nile, Yellow Fever, and Japanese Encephalitis) reported to cause ocular manifestations in humans with emphasis on recent ZIKV outbreaks. Second, being an immune privilege organ, the eye is protected from systemic infections by the presence of blood-retinal barriers (BRB). Hence, we discuss how flaviviruses modulate retinal innate response and breach the protective BRB to cause ocular or retinal pathology. Finally, we describe recently identified infection signatures of ZIKV and discuss whether these system biology-predicted genes or signaling pathways (e.g., cellular metabolism) could contribute to the pathogenesis of ocular manifestations and assist in the development of ocular antiviral therapies against ZIKV and other flaviviruses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 529: Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 Infects Specific Hemocytes in Ark Clam, Scapharca broughtonii

  • High levels of ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) were detected in hemocytes of OsHV-1 infected mollusks. Mollusk hemocytes are comprised of different cell types with morphological and functional heterogeneity. Granular cells are considered the main immunocompetent hemocytes. This study aimed to ascertain if OsHV-1 infects specific types of hemocytes in ark clams. Types of hemocytes were first characterized through microexamination and flow cytometry. In addition to a large group of red cells, there were three types of recognizable granular cells in ark clams. Type II granular cells were mostly found with OsHV-1 infection by transmission electron microscope (TEM) examination, and represented the hemocyte type that was susceptible to OsHV-1 infection. The subcellular location of OsHV-1 particles in apoptotic type II granular cells was further analyzed. Some OsHV-1 particles were free inside the apoptotic cells, which may contribute to OsHV-1 transmission among cells in the host, some particles were also found enclosed inside apoptotic bodies. Apoptosis is an important part of the host defense system, but might also be hijacked by OsHV-1 as a strategy to escape host immune attack. Following this investigation, a primary culture of type II granular cells with OsHV-1 infection would facilitate the research on the interaction between OsHV-1 and mollusk hosts.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 528: Considerations for Optimization of High-Throughput Sequencing Bioinformatics Pipelines for Virus Detection

  • High-throughput sequencing (HTS) has demonstrated capabilities for broad virus detection based upon discovery of known and novel viruses in a variety of samples, including clinical, environmental, and biological. An important goal for HTS applications in biologics is to establish parameter settings that can afford adequate sensitivity at an acceptable computational cost (computation time, computer memory, storage, expense or/and efficiency), at critical steps in the bioinformatics pipeline, including initial data quality assessment, trimming/cleaning, and assembly (to reduce data volume and increase likelihood of appropriate sequence identification). Additionally, the quality and reliability of the results depend on the availability of a complete and curated viral database for obtaining accurate results; selection of sequence alignment programs and their configuration, that retains specificity for broad virus detection with reduced false-positive signals; removal of host sequences without loss of endogenous viral sequences of interest; and use of a meaningful reporting format, which can retain critical information of the analysis for presentation of readily interpretable data and actionable results. Furthermore, after alignment, both automated and manual evaluation may be needed to verify the results and help assign a potential risk level to residual, unmapped reads. We hope that the collective considerations discussed in this paper aid toward optimization of data analysis pipelines for virus detection by HTS.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 527: Disruption of Autographa Californica Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus ac111 Results in Reduced per os Infectivity in a Host-Dependent Manner

  • The Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) ac111 gene is highly conserved in lepidopteran-specific baculoviruses, and its function in the AcMNPV life cycle is still unknown. To investigate the function of ac111, an ac111-knockout AcMNPV (vAc111KO) was constructed through homologous recombination in Escherichia coli. Viral growth curve analysis and plaque assays showed that the deletion of ac111 had no effect on infectious budded virion production. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis confirmed that viral DNA replication was unaffected in the absence of ac111. Electron microscopy revealed that the ac111 deletion did not affect nucleocapsid assembly, occlusion-derived virion formation, or the embedding of occlusion-derived virions into the occlusion bodies. However, in vivo bioassays showed that although the deletion of ac111 did not affect the per os infectivity of AcMNPV in Spodoptera exigua larvae, it led to an approximately five-fold reduction in infectivity of AcMNPV in Trichoplusia ni larvae, and vAc111KO took approximately 21 h longer to kill Trichoplusia ni larvae than the wild-type viruses. Taken together, our results demonstrated that although ac111 is not essential for virus replication in vitro, it plays an important role in the per os infectivity of AcMNPV in a host-dependent manner.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 526: Apoptosis Induction by dsRNA-Dependent Protein Kinase R (PKR) in EPC Cells via Caspase 8 and 9 Pathways

  • dsRNA-dependent protein kinase R (PKR) is an interferon-inducible protein that mediates antiviral effects and induces apoptosis. We studied PKR-related apoptosis mechanisms by transfecting wild type pcDNA-carp-wtPKR, a catalytically inactive mutant pcDNA-mut-carpPKR, and empty plasmid in Epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells, designated wtPKR, mutPKR, and pcDNA3.1, respectively. PKR was inefficiently expressed from wtPKR unlike mutPKR that produced high PKR levels detected by western blot. eIF2aamp;amp;alpha; phosphorylation increased in wtPKR-transfected cells, while for mutPKR, phosphorylation was not different from non-transfected controls. Flow-cytometry revealed high level of apoptosis in wtPKR transfected cells, corresponding with high cytopathic effect. mutPKR and pcDNA3.1 transfection gave significantly less apoptosis and were not different from each other. Caspase-8 and -9 were activated for wtPKR, suggesting death receptor-caspase-8 and mitochondrion-dependent caspase-9 activated pathways, similar to mammalian cells. These findings suggest that the induction of apoptosis via the caspase-8 and -9 pathways are conserved in vertebrate taxa and likely play a role in viral infections of lower vertebrates.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 525: The Involvement of Histone H3 Acetylation in Bovine Herpesvirus 1 Replication in MDBK Cells

  • During bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) productive infection in cell cultures, partial of intranuclear viral DNA is present in nucleosomes, and viral protein VP22 associates with histones and decreases histone H4 acetylation, indicating the involvement of histone H4 acetylation in virus replication. In this study, we demonstrated that BoHV-1 infection at the late stage (at 24 h after infection) dramatically decreased histone H3 acetylation [at residues K9 (H3K9ac) and K18 (H3K18ac)], which was supported by the pronounced depletion of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) including CBP/P300 (CREB binding protein and p300), GCN5L2 (general control of amino acid synthesis yeast homolog like 2) and PCAF (P300/CBP-associated factor). The depletion of GCN5L2 promoted by virus infection was partially mediated by ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Interestingly, the viral replication was enhanced by HAT (histone acetyltransferase) activator CTPB [N-(4-Chloro-3-trifluoromethylphenyl)-2-ethoxy-6-pentadecylbenzamide], and vice versa, inhibited by HAT inhibitor Anacardic acid (AA), suggesting that BoHV-1 may take advantage of histone acetylation for efficient replication. Taken together, we proposed that the HAT-dependent histone H3 acetylation plays an important role in BoHV-1 replication in MDBK (Madin-Darby bovine kidney) cells.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 524: Antiviral Activity of Tannic Acid Modified Silver Nanoparticles: Potential to Activate Immune Response in Herpes Genitalis

  • (1) Background: Tannic acid is a plant-derived polyphenol showing antiviral activity mainly because of an interference with the viral adsorption. In this work, we tested whether the modification of silver nanoparticles with tannic acid (TA-AgNPs) can provide a microbicide with additional adjuvant properties to treat genital herpes infection. (2) Methods: The mouse model of the vaginal herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection was used to test immune responses after treatment of the primary infection with TA-AgNPs, and later, after a re-challenge with the virus. (3) Results: The mice treated intravaginally with TA-AgNPs showed better clinical scores and lower virus titers in the vaginal tissues soon after treatment. Following a re-challenge, the vaginal tissues treated with TA-AgNPs showed a significant increase in the percentages of IFN-gamma+ CD8+ T-cells, activated B cells, and plasma cells, while the spleens contained significantly higher percentages of IFN-gamma+ NK cells and effector-memory CD8+ T cells in comparison to NaCl-treated group. TA-AgNPs-treated animals also showed significantly better titers of anti-HSV-2 neutralization antibodies in sera; and (4) Conclusions: Our findings suggest that TA-AgNPs sized 33 nm can be an effective anti-viral microbicide to be applied upon the mucosal tissues with additional adjuvant properties enhancing an anti-HSV-2 immune response following secondary challenge.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 523: Enhanced Production of Recombinant Protein by Fusion Expression with Ssp DnaB Mini-Intein in the Baculovirus Expression System

  • The baculovirus expression system (BES) is considered to be a very powerful tool for the expression of numerous difficult to express vertebrate proteins. Ssp DnaB mini-intein is a useful fusion partner for the production of recombinant proteins because it can be self-cleaved by controlling the pH and temperature, without additional treatment. To evaluate the utility of Ssp DnaB mini-intein in the BES, recombinant viruses were generated to express the enhanced green fluorescent protein, the VP2 protein of porcine parvovirus, and the E2 protein of classical swine fever virus fused to a mini-intein. As expected, intracellular self-cleavage of the mini-intein occurred during virus infection, but the cleavage initiation time varied depending on the target protein. Significantly enhanced protein production was observed for all of the target proteins that were fused to the mini-intein. This increase was enough to overcome the decrease in the fusion protein due to intracellular self-cleavage. The mini-intein in all of the recombinant fusion proteins was successfully cleaved by controlling the pH and temperature. These results suggest that the Ssp DnaB mini-intein is a useful fusion partner in the BES for easy purification and enhanced production of target proteins.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 522: Non-Uniform and Non-Random Binding of Nucleoprotein to Influenza A and B Viral RNA

  • The genomes of influenza A and B viruses have eight, single-stranded RNA segments that exist in the form of a viral ribonucleoprotein complex in association with nucleoprotein (NP) and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex. We previously used high-throughput RNA sequencing coupled with crosslinking immunoprecipitation (HITS-CLIP) to examine where NP binds to the viral RNA (vRNA) and demonstrated for two H1N1 strains that NP binds vRNA in a non-uniform, non-random manner. In this study, we expand on those initial observations and describe the NP-vRNA binding profile for a seasonal H3N2 and influenza B virus. We show that, similar to H1N1 strains, NP binds vRNA in a non-uniform and non-random manner. Each viral gene segment has a unique NP binding profile with areas that are enriched for NP association as well as free of NP-binding. Interestingly, NP-vRNA binding profiles have some conservation between influenza A viruses, H1N1 and H3N2, but no correlation was observed between influenza A and B viruses. Our study demonstrates the conserved nature of non-uniform NP binding within influenza viruses. Mapping of the NP-bound vRNA segments provides information on the flexible NP regions that may be involved in facilitating assembly.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 521: Interplay between Cellular Metabolism and Cytokine Responses during Viral Infection

  • Metabolism and immune responses are two fundamental biological processes that serve to protect hosts from viral infection. As obligate intracellular pathogens, viruses have evolved diverse strategies to activate metabolism, while inactivating immune responses to achieve maximal reproduction or persistence within their hosts. The two-way virus-host interaction with metabolism and immune responses choreograph cytokine production via reprogramming metabolism of infected cells/hosts. In return, cytokines can affect the metabolism of virus-infected and bystander cells to impede viral replication processes. This review aims to summarize our current understanding of the cross-talk between metabolic reprogramming and cytokine responses, and to highlight future potential research topics. Although the focus is placed on viral pathogens, relevant findings from other microbes are integrated to provide an overall picture, particularly when corresponding information on viral infection is lacking.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 520: Recombination Located over 2A-2B Junction Ribosome Frameshifting Region of Saffold Cardiovirus

  • Here we report the nearly full-length genome of a recombinant Saffold virus strain (SAFV-BR-193) isolated from a child with acute gastroenteritis. Evolutionary analysis performed using all available near-full length Saffold picornavirus genomes showed that the breakpoint found in the Brazilian strain (SAFV-BR-193) is indeed a recombination hotspot. Notably, this hotspot is located just one nucleotide after the ribosomal frameshift GGUUUUU motif in the SAFV genome. Empirical studies will be necessary to determine if this motif also affects the binding affinity of RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (RdRp) and therefore increases the changes of RdRp swap between molecules during the synthesis of viral genomes.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 519: Viruses.STRING: A Virus-Host Protein-Protein Interaction Database

  • As viruses continue to pose risks to global health, having a better understanding of virusaamp;amp;ndash;host proteinaamp;amp;ndash;protein interactions aids in the development of treatments and vaccines. Here, we introduce Viruses.STRING, a proteinaamp;amp;ndash;protein interaction database specifically catering to virusaamp;amp;ndash;virus and virusaamp;amp;ndash;host interactions. This database combines evidence from experimental and text-mining channels to provide combined probabilities for interactions between viral and host proteins. The database contains 177,425 interactions between 239 viruses and 319 hosts. The database is publicly available at, and the interaction data can also be accessed through the latest version of the Cytoscape STRING app.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 518: Mouse Gamma Herpesvirus MHV-68 Induces Severe Gastrointestinal (GI) Dilatation in Interferon Gamma Receptor-Deficient Mice (IFNγR−/−) That Is Blocked by Interleukin-10

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Clostridium difficile infection cause gastrointestinal (GI) distension and, in severe cases, toxic megacolon with risk of perforation and death. Herpesviruses have been linked to severe GI dilatation. MHV-68 is a model for human gamma herpesvirus infection inducing GI dilatation in interleukin-10 (IL-10)-deficient mice but is benign in wildtype mice. MHV-68 also causes lethal vasculitis and pulmonary hemorrhage in interferon gamma receptor-deficient (IFNaamp;amp;gamma;Raamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus;) mice, but GI dilatation has not been reported. In prior work the Myxomavirus-derived anti-inflammatory serpin, Serp-1, improved survival, reducing vasculitis and pulmonary hemorrhage in MHV-68-infected IFNaamp;amp;gamma;Raamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; mice with significantly increased IL-10. IL-10 has been investigated as treatment for GI dilatation with variable efficacy. We report here that MHV-68 infection produces severe GI dilatation with inflammation and gut wall degradation in 28% of INFaamp;amp;gamma;R-/- mice. Macrophage invasion and smooth muscle degradation were accompanied by decreased concentrations of T helper (Th2), B, monocyte, and dendritic cells. Plasma and spleen IL-10 were significantly reduced in mice with GI dilatation, while interleukin-1 beta (IL-1aamp;amp;beta;), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFaamp;amp;alpha;) and INFaamp;amp;gamma; increased. Treatment of gamma herpesvirus-infected mice with exogenous IL-10 prevents severe GI inflammation and dilatation, suggesting benefit for herpesvirus-induced dilatation.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 517: Investigating Functional Roles for Positive Feedback and Cellular Heterogeneity in the Type I Interferon Response to Viral Infection

  • Secretion of type I interferons (IFN) by infected cells mediates protection against many viruses, but prolonged or excessive type I IFN secretion can lead to immune pathology. A proper type I IFN response must therefore maintain a balance between protection and excessive IFN secretion. It has been widely noted that the type I IFN response is driven by positive feedback and is heterogeneous, with only a fraction of infected cells upregulating IFN expression even in clonal cell lines, but the functional roles of feedback and heterogeneity in balancing protection and excessive IFN secretion are not clear. To investigate the functional roles for feedback and heterogeneity, we constructed a mathematical model coupling IFN and viral dynamics that extends existing mathematical models by accounting for feedback and heterogeneity. We fit our model to five existing datasets, reflecting different experimental systems. Fitting across datasets allowed us to compare the IFN response across the systems and suggested different signatures of feedback and heterogeneity in the different systems. Further, through numerical experiments, we generated hypotheses of functional roles for IFN feedback and heterogeneity consistent with our mathematical model. We hypothesize an inherent tradeoff in the IFN response: a positive feedback loop prevents excessive IFN secretion, but also makes the IFN response vulnerable to viral antagonism. We hypothesize that cellular heterogeneity of the IFN response functions to protect the feedback loop from viral antagonism. Verification of our hypotheses will require further experimental studies. Our work provides a basis for analyzing the type I IFN response across systems.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 516: Pospiviroid Infection of Tomato Regulates the Expression of Genes Involved in Flower and Fruit Development

  • Viroids are unencapsidated, single-stranded, covalently-closed circular, highly structured, noncoding RNAs of 239aamp;amp;ndash;401 nucleotides that cause disease in several economically important crop plants. In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Rutgers), symptoms of pospiviroid infection include stunting, reduced vigor, flower abortion, and reduced size and number of fruits, resulting in significant crop losses. Dramatic alterations in plant development triggered by viroid infection are the result of differential gene expression; in our study, we focused on the effect of tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd) and Mexican papita viroid (MPVd) infection on gene networks associated with the regulation of flower and fruit development. The expression of several of the genes were previously reported to be affected by viroid infection, but two genes not previously studied were included. Changes in gene expression of SlBIGPETAL1 (bHLH transcription factor) and SlOVA6 (proline-like tRNA synthetase) are involved in petal morphology and fertility, respectively. Expression of SlOVA6 was down-regulated in flowers of TPMVd- and MPVd-infected plants, while expression of SlBIGPETAL1 was up-regulated in flowers. Up-regulation of SlBIGPETAL1 and down-regulation of SlOVA6 were positively correlated with symptoms such as reduced petal size and flower abortion. Expression analysis of additional tomato genes and a prediction of a global network association of genes involved in flower and fruit development and impacted by viroid infection may further elucidate the pathways underlying viroid pathogenicity.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 515: Human Coronavirus Infections in Israel: Epidemiology, Clinical Symptoms and Summer Seasonality of HCoV-HKU1

  • Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) cause mild to severe respiratory diseases. Six types of HCoVs have been discovered, the most recent one termed the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The aim of this study is to monitor the circulation of HCoV types in the population during 2015aamp;amp;ndash;2016 in Israel. HCoVs were detected by real-time PCR analysis in 1910 respiratory samples, collected from influenza-like illness (ILI) patients during the winter sentinel influenza survey across Israel. Moreover, 195 HCoV-positive samples from hospitalized patients were detected during one year at Soroka University Medical Center. While no MERS-CoV infections were detected, 10.36% of patients in the survey were infected with HCoV-OC43 (43.43%), HCoV-NL63 (44.95%), and HCoV-229E (11.62%) viruses. The HCoVs were shown to co-circulate with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and to appear prior to influenza virus infections. HCoV clinical symptoms were more severe than those of RSV infections but milder than influenza symptoms. Hospitalized patients had similar HCoV types percentages. However, while it was absent from the public winter survey, 22.6% of the patients were HCoV-HKU1 positives, mainly during the spring-summer period.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 514: The Interplay between Human Cytomegalovirus and Pathogen Recognition Receptor Signaling

  • The cellular antiviral innate immune response is triggered upon recognition of specific viral components by a set of the hostaamp;amp;rsquo;s cytoplasmic or membrane-bound receptors. This interaction induces specific signaling cascades that culminate with the production of interferons and the expression of interferon-stimulated genes and pro-inflammatory cytokines that act as antiviral factors, suppressing viral replication and restricting infection. Here, we review and discuss the different mechanisms by which each of these receptors is able to recognize and signal infection by the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), an important human pathogen mainly associated with severe brain defects in newborns and disabilities in immunocompromised individuals. We further present and discuss the many sophisticated strategies developed by HCMV to evade these different signaling mechanisms and counteract the cellular antiviral response, in order to support cell viability and sustain its slow replication cycle.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 513: Ebola Virus Causes Intestinal Tract Architectural Disruption and Bacterial Invasion in Non-Human Primates

  • In the 2014aamp;amp;ndash;2016 West Africa Ebola Virus (EBOV) outbreak, there was a significant concern raised about the potential for secondary bacterial infection originating from the gastrointestinal tract, which led to the empiric treatment of many patients with antibiotics. This retrospective pathology case series summarizes the gastrointestinal pathology observed in control animals in the rhesus EBOV-Kikwit intramuscular 1000 plaque forming unit infection model. All 31 Non-human primates (NHPs) exhibited lymphoid depletion of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) but the severity and the specific location of the depletion varied. Mesenteric lymphoid depletion and necrosis were present in 87% (27/31) of NHPs. There was mucosal barrier disruption of the intestinal tract with mucosal necrosis and/or ulceration most notably in the duodenum (16%), cecum (16%), and colon (29%). In the intestinal tract, hemorrhage was noted most frequently in the duodenum (52%) and colon (45%). There were focal areas of bacterial submucosal invasion in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in 9/31 (29%) of NHPs. Only 2/31 (6%) had evidence of pancreatic necrosis. One NHP (3%) experienced jejunal intussusception which may have been directly related to EBOV. Immunofluorescence assays demonstrated EBOV antigen in CD68+ macrophage/monocytes and endothelial cells in areas of GI vascular injury or necrosis.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 512: Robust Innate Immunity of Young Rabbits Mediates Resistance to Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Caused by Lagovirus Europaeus GI.1 But Not GI.2

  • The rabbit caliciviruses Lagovirus europaeus GI.1 and GI.2 both cause acute necrotizing hepatitis in European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Whilst GI.2 is highly virulent in both young and adult rabbits, rabbits younger than eight weeks of age are highly resistant to disease caused by GI.1, although they are still permissive to infection and viral replication. To investigate the underlying mechanism(s) of this age related resistance to GI.1, we compared liver transcriptomes of young rabbits infected with GI.1 to those of adult rabbits infected with GI.1 and young rabbits infected with GI.2. Our data suggest that kittens have constitutively heightened innate immune responses compared to adult rabbits, particularly associated with increased expression of major histocompatibility class II molecules and activity of natural killer cells, macrophages, and cholangiocytes. This enables them to respond more rapidly to GI.1 infection than adult rabbits and thus limit virus-induced pathology. In contrast, these responses were not fully developed during GI.2 infection. We speculate that the observed downregulation of multiple genes associated with innate immunity in kittens during GI.2 infection may be due to virally-mediated immunomodulation, permitting fatal disease to develop. Our study provides insight into the fundamental hostaamp;amp;ndash;pathogen interactions responsible for the differences in age-related susceptibility, which likely plays a critical role in defining the success of GI.2 in outcompeting GI.1 in the field.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 510: Baculovirus as a Tool for Gene Delivery and Gene Therapy

  • Based on its ability to express high levels of protein, baculovirus has been widely used for recombinant protein production in insect cells for more than thirty years with continued technical improvements. In addition, baculovirus has been successfully applied for foreign gene delivery into mammalian cells without any viral replication. However, several CpG motifs are present throughout baculoviral DNA and induce an antiviral response in mammalian cells, resulting in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and type I interferon through a Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent or -independent signaling pathway, and ultimately limiting the efficiency of transgene expression. On the other hand, by taking advantage of this strong adjuvant activity, recombinant baculoviruses encoding neutralization epitopes can elicit protective immunity in mice. Moreover, immunodeficient cells, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV)- or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected cells, are more susceptible to baculovirus infection than normal cells and are selectively eliminated by the apoptosis-inducible recombinant baculovirus. Here, we summarize the application of baculovirus as a gene expression vector and the mechanism of the host innate immune response induced by baculovirus in mammalian cells. We also discuss the future prospects of baculovirus vectors.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 511: HSV-Induced Systemic Inflammation as an Animal Model for Behçet’s Disease and Therapeutic Applications

  • Behaamp;amp;ccedil;etaamp;amp;rsquo;s disease (BD) affects multiple organs. It is mainly characterized by recurrent oral, skin, and genital aphthous ulcers, and eye involvement. Successful management of BD is increasing, although its etiology remains unclear. A number of etiologies have been proposed, including environmental, genetic, viral, and immunological factors. To understand its complex etiology and improve its management, animal models of BD have been used to enable more effective therapeutic applications with increased clinical significance. An herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1-induced BD mouse model has shown disease characteristics similar to those seen in BD patients. An HSV-induced BD animal model has been used to test various therapeutic modalities. The applied modalities are several materials that are derived from natural products, conventional therapeutics, and possible biologics. In this review, we provided how they regulate inflammation in an HSV-induced BD model.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 509: Estimating Vaccine-Driven Selection in Seasonal Influenza

  • Vaccination could be an evolutionary pressure on seasonal influenza if vaccines reduce the transmission rates of some (aamp;amp;ldquo;targetedaamp;amp;rdquo;) strains more than others. In theory, more vaccinated populations should have a lower prevalence of targeted strains compared to less vaccinated populations. We tested for vaccine-induced selection in influenza by comparing strain frequencies between more and less vaccinated human populations. We defined strains in three ways: first as influenza types and subtypes, next as lineages of type B, and finally as clades of influenza A/H3N2. We detected spatial differences partially consistent with vaccine use in the frequencies of subtypes and types and between the lineages of influenza B, suggesting that vaccines do not select strongly among all these phylogenetic groups at regional scales. We did detect a significantly greater frequency of an H3N2 clade with known vaccine escape mutations in more vaccinated countries during the 2014aamp;amp;ndash;2015 season, which is consistent with vaccine-driven selection within the H3N2 subtype. Overall, we find more support for vaccine-driven selection when large differences in vaccine effectiveness suggest a strong effect size. Variation in surveillance practices across countries could obscure signals of selection, especially when strain-specific differences in vaccine effectiveness are small. Further examination of the influenza vaccineaamp;amp;rsquo;s evolutionary effects would benefit from improvements in epidemiological surveillance and reporting.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 508: A Paradigmatic Interplay between Human Cytomegalovirus and Host Immune System: Possible Involvement of Viral Antigen-Driven CD8+ T Cell Responses in Systemic Sclerosis

  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a highly prevalent opportunistic agent in the world population, which persists as a latent virus after a primary infection. Besides the well-established role of this agent causing severe diseases in immunocompromised individuals, more recently, HCMV has been evoked as a possible factor contributing to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis (SSc). The interplay between HCMV and immune surveillance is supposed to become unbalanced in SSc patients with expanded anti-HCMV immune responses, which are likely involved in the exacerbation of inflammatory processes. In this study, blood samples from a cohort of SSc patients vs. healthy subjects were tested for anti-HCMV immune responses (IgM, IgG antibodies, and T cells to peptide pools spanning the most immunogenic HCMV proteins). Statistically significant increase of HCMV-specific CD8+ T cell responses in SSc patients vs. healthy subjects was observed. Moreover, significantly greater HCMV-specific CD8+ T cell responses were found in SSc patients with a longer disease duration and those with higher modified Rodnan skin scores. Given the known importance of T cells in the development of SSc and that this virus may contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases, these data support a relevant role of HCMV-specific CD8+ T cell responses in SSc pathogenesis.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 507: Caerin1.1 Suppresses the Growth of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus In Vitro via Direct Binding to the Virus

  • Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has re-emerged in recent years and has already caused huge economic losses to the porcine industry all over the world. Therefore, it is urgent for us to find out efficient ways to prevent and control this disease. In this study, the antiviral activity of a cationic amphibian antimicrobial peptide Caerin1.1 against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was evaluated by an in vitro system using Vero cells. We found that even at a very low concentration, Caerin1.1 has the ability to destroy the integrity of the virus particles to block the release of the viruses, resulting in a considerable decrease in PEDV infections. In addition, Caerin1.1 showed powerful antiviral activity without interfering with the binding progress between PEDV and the receptor of the cells, therefore, it could be used as a potential antiviral drug or as a microbicide compound for prevention and control of PEDV.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 506: Mimiviridae: An Expanding Family of Highly Diverse Large dsDNA Viruses Infecting a Wide Phylogenetic Range of Aquatic Eukaryotes

  • Since 1998, when Jim van Ettenaamp;amp;rsquo;s team initiated its characterization, Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus 1 (PBCV-1) had been the largest known DNA virus, both in terms of particle size and genome complexity. In 2003, the Acanthamoeba-infecting Mimivirus unexpectedly superseded PBCV-1, opening the era of giant viruses, i.e., with virions large enough to be visible by light microscopy and genomes encoding more proteins than many bacteria. During the following 15 years, the isolation of many Mimivirus relatives has made Mimiviridae one of the largest and most diverse families of eukaryotic viruses, most of which have been isolated from aquatic environments. Metagenomic studies of various ecosystems (including soils) suggest that many more remain to be isolated. As Mimiviridae members are found to infect an increasing range of phytoplankton species, their taxonomic position compared to the traditional Phycodnaviridae (i.e., etymologically aamp;amp;ldquo;algal virusesaamp;amp;rdquo;) became a source of confusion in the literature. Following a quick historical review of the key discoveries that established the Mimiviridae family, we describe its current taxonomic structure and propose a set of operational criteria to help in the classification of future isolates.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 505: Interferon-Mediated Response to Human Metapneumovirus Infection

  • Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is one of the leading causes of respiratory diseases in infants and children worldwide. Although this pathogen infects mainly young children, elderly and immunocompromised people can be also seriously affected. To date, there is no commercial vaccine available against it. Upon HMPV infection, the host innate arm of defense produces interferons (IFNs), which are critical for limiting HMPV replication. In this review, we offer an updated landscape of the HMPV mediated-IFN response in different models as well as some of the defense tactics employed by the virus to circumvent IFN response.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 504: The NS Segment of H1N1pdm09 Enhances H5N1 Pathogenicity in a Mouse Model of Influenza Virus Infections

  • In 2009, the co-circulation of H5N1 and H1N1pdm09 raised concerns that a reassortment event may lead to highly pathogenic influenza strains. H1N1pdm09 and H5N1 are able to infect the same target cells of the lower respiratory tract. To investigate the capacity of the emergence of reassortant viruses, we characterized viruses obtained from the co-infection of cells with H5N1 (A/Turkey/13/2006) and H1N1pdm09 (A/Lyon/969/2009 H1N1). In our analysis, all the screened reassortants possessed the PB2, HA, and NP segments from H5N1 and acquired one or two of the H1N1pdm09 segments. Moreover, the in vivo infections showed that the acquisition of the NS segment from H1N1pdm09 increased the virulence of H5N1 in mice. We conclude, therefore, that reassortment can occur between these two viruses, even if this process has never been detected in nature.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 503: Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid RNA-Templated Transcription: Factors and Regulation

  • Viroids are circular noncoding RNAs that infect plants. Without encoding any protein, these noncoding RNAs contain the necessary genetic information for propagation in hosts. Nuclear-replicating viroids employ DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II (Pol II) for replication, a process that makes a DNA-dependent enzyme recognize RNA templates. Recently, a splicing variant of transcription factor IIIA (TFIIIA-7ZF) was identified as essential for Pol II to replicate potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd). The expression of TFIIIA-7ZF, particularly the splicing event, is regulated by a ribosomal protein (RPL5). PSTVd modulates its expression through a direct interaction with RPL5 resulting in optimized expression of TFIIIA-7ZF. This review summarizes the recent discoveries of host factors and regulatory mechanisms underlying PSTVd-templated transcription processes and raises new questions that may help future exploration in this direction. In addition, it briefly compares the machinery and the regulatory mechanism for PSTVd with the replication/transcription system of human hepatitis delta virus.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 502: Acute Phase Protein Levels as An Auxiliary Tool in Diagnosing Viral Diseases in Ruminants—A Review

  • We examined acute phase protein (APP) concentrations in viral infections of dairy ruminants and assessed the potential role of characteristic patterns of APP changes in auxiliary diagnosing viral diseases. All viruses reviewed are common causes of farm animal diseases. APPs are among the first agents of immunity, and their concentrations could be diagnostically relevant. In the most common ruminant viral diseases, elevated serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin (Hp) levels in blood serum have been observed. However, since these proteins are the main APPs in many viral infections, it is impossible to use their levels for diagnosing particular infections. Decreased Cp and albumin expression could help differentiate the bluetongue virus infection from other diseases. Lastly, analysis of SAA levels in blood serum and milk could be helpful in diagnosing small ruminant lentivirus infection. While promising, APP levels can only be considered as an auxiliary tool in diagnosing viral diseases in ruminants.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 501: The Surveillance of Chikungunya Virus in a Temperate Climate: Challenges and Possible Solutions from the Experience of Lazio Region, Italy

  • CHIKV has become an emerging public health concern in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere as a consequenceof the expansion of the endemic areas of its vectors (mainly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). In 2017, a new outbreak of CHIKV was detected in Italy with three clusters of autochthonous transmission in the Lazio Region (central Italy), in the cities of Anzio, Rome, and Latina and a secondary cluster in the Calabria Region (south Italy). Given the climate characteristics of Italy, sporadic outbreaks mostly driven by imported cases followed by autochthonous transmission could occur during the summer season. This highlights the importance of a well-designed surveillance system, which should promptly identify autochthonous transmission. The use of a surveillance system integrating different surveillance tools, including entomological surveillance in a one health approach, together with education of the health care professionals should facilitate the detection, response, and control of arboviruses spreading.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 500: Large-Scale Screening of HCMV-Seropositive Blood Donors Indicates that HCMV Effectively Escapes from Antibodies by Cell-Associated Spread

  • Immunoglobulins are only moderately effective for the treatment of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections, possibly due to ineffectiveness against cell-associated virus spread. To overcome this limitation, we aimed to identify individuals with exceptional antibodies in their plasma that can efficiently block the cell-associated spread of HCMV. A Gaussia luciferase-secreting mutant of the cell-associated HCMV strain Merlin was generated, and luciferase activity evaluated as a readout for the extent of cell-associated focal spread. This reporter virus-based assay was then applied to screen plasma samples from 8400 HCMV-seropositive individuals for their inhibitory effect, including direct-acting antiviral drugs as positive controls. None of the plasmas reduced virus spread to the level of these controls. Even the top-scoring samples that partially reduced luciferase activity in the screening assay failed to inhibit focal growth when reevaluated with a more accurate, immunofluorescence-based assay. Selected sera with high neutralizing capacity against free viruses were analyzed separately, and none of them prevented the focal spread of three recent clinical HCMV isolates nor reduced the number of particles transmitted, as demonstrated with a fluorescent Merlin mutant. We concluded that donors with cell-to-cell-spread-inhibiting plasma are nonexistent or extremely rare, emphasizing cell-associated spread as a highly efficient immune escape mechanism of HCMV.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 499: Proteogenomic Identification of a Novel Protein-Encoding Gene in Bovine Herpesvirus 1 That Is Expressed during Productive Infection

  • Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) is one of several microbes that contributes to the development of the bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and can also induce abortions in cattle. As other alpha-herpesvirinae subfamily members, BoHV-1 efficiently replicates in many cell types and subsequently establishes a life-long latent infection in sensory neurons. BoHV-1 encodes more than 70 proteins that are expressed in a well-defined manner during productive infection. However, in silico open reading frame (ORF) prediction of the BoHV-1 genome suggests that the virus may encode more than one hundred proteins. In this study we used mass spectrometry followed by proteogenomic mapping to reveal the existence of 92 peptides that map to previously un-annotated regions of the viral genome. Twenty-one of the newly termed aamp;amp;ldquo;intergenic peptidesaamp;amp;rdquo; were predicted to have a viable ORF around them. Twelve of these produced an mRNA transcript as demonstrated by strand-specific RT-PCR. We further characterized the 5aamp;amp;prime; and 3aamp;amp;prime; termini of one mRNA transcript, ORF-A, and detected a 55 kDa protein produced during active infection using a custom-synthesized antibody. We conclude that the coding potential of BoHV-1 is underestimated.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 498: Heartland Virus Epidemiology, Vector Association, and Disease Potential

  • First identified in two Missouri farmers exhibiting low white-blood-cell and platelet counts in 2009, Heartland virus (HRTV) is genetically closely related to severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), a tick-borne phlebovirus producing similar symptoms in China, Korea, and Japan. Field isolations of HRTV from several life stages of unfed, host-seeking Amblyomma americanum, the lone star tick, implicated it as a putative vector capable of transstadial transmission. Laboratory vector competence assessments confirmed transstadial transmission of HRTV, demonstrated vertical infection, and showed co-feeding infection between A. americanum. A vertical infection rate of 33% from adult females to larvae in the laboratory was observed, while only one of 386 pools of molted nymphs (1930) reared from co-feeding larvae was positive for HRTV (maximum-likelihood estimate of infection rate = 0.52/1000). Over 35 human HRTV cases, all within the distribution range of A. americanum, have been documented. Serological testing of wildlife in areas near the index human cases, as well as in widely separated regions of the eastern United States where A. americanum occur, indicated many potential hosts such as raccoons and white-tailed deer. Attempts, however, to experimentally infect mice, rabbits, hamsters, chickens, raccoons, goats, and deer failed to produce detectable viremia. Immune-compromised mice and hamsters are the only susceptible models. Vertical infection augmented by co-feeding transmission could play a role in maintaining the virus in nature. A more complete assessment of the natural transmission cycle of HRTV coupled with serosurveys and enhanced HRTV disease surveillance are needed to better understand transmission dynamics and human health risks.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 497: Zoonotic Potential of Influenza A Viruses: A Comprehensive Overview

  • Influenza A viruses (IAVs) possess a great zoonotic potential as they are able to infect different avian and mammalian animal hosts, from which they can be transmitted to humans. This is based on the ability of IAV to gradually change their genome by mutation or even reassemble their genome segments during co-infection of the host cell with different IAV strains, resulting in a high genetic diversity. Variants of circulating or newly emerging IAVs continue to trigger global health threats annually for both humans and animals. Here, we provide an introduction on IAVs, highlighting the mechanisms of viral evolution, the host spectrum, and the animal/human interface. Pathogenicity determinants of IAVs in mammals, with special emphasis on newly emerging IAVs with pandemic potential, are discussed. Finally, an overview is provided on various approaches for the prevention of human IAV infections.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 496: Degenerate PCR Primers to Reveal the Diversity of Giant Viruses in Coastal Waters

  • aamp;amp;ldquo;Megaviridaeaamp;amp;rdquo; is a proposed family of giant viruses infecting unicellular eukaryotes. These viruses are ubiquitous in the sea and have impact on marine microbial community structure and dynamics through their lytic infection cycle. However, their diversity and biogeography have been poorly characterized due to the scarce detection of Megaviridae sequences in metagenomes, as well as the limitation of reference sequences used to design specific primers for this viral group. Here, we propose a set of 82 degenerated primers (referred to as MEGAPRIMER), targeting DNA polymerase genes (polBs) of Megaviridae. MEGAPRIMER was designed based on 921 Megaviridae polBs from sequenced genomes and metagenomes. By applying this primer set to environmental DNA meta-barcoding of a coastal seawater sample, we report 5595 non-singleton operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of Megaviridae at 97% nucleotide sequence identity. The majority of the OTUs were found to form diverse clades, which were phylogenetically distantly related to known viruses such as Mimivirus. The Megaviridae OTUs detected in this study outnumber the giant virus OTUs identified in previous individual studies by more than an order of magnitude. Hence, MEGAPRIMER represents a useful tool to study the diversity of Megaviridae at the population level in natural environments.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 495: Strategies to Encapsulate the Staphylococcus aureus Bacteriophage phiIPLA-RODI

  • The antimicrobial properties of bacteriophages make them suitable food biopreservatives. However, such applications require the development of strategies that ensure stability of the phage particles during food processing. In this study, we assess the protective effect of encapsulation of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage phiIPLA-RODI in three kinds of nanovesicles (niosomes, liposomes, and transfersomes). All these systems allowed the successful encapsulation of phage phiIPLA-RODI with an efficiency ranged between 62% and 98%, regardless of the concentration of components (like phospholipids and surfactants) used for vesicle formation. Only niosomes containing 30 mg/mL of surfactants exhibited a slightly lower percentage of encapsulation. Regarding particle size distribution, the values determined for niosomes, liposomes, and transfersomes were 0.82 aamp;amp;plusmn; 0.09 aamp;amp;micro;m, 1.66 aamp;amp;plusmn; 0.21 aamp;amp;micro;m, and 0.55 aamp;amp;plusmn; 0.06 aamp;amp;micro;m, respectively. Importantly, bacteriophage infectivity was maintained during storage for 6 months at 4 aamp;amp;deg;C for all three types of nanovesicles, with the exception of liposomes containing a low concentration of components. In addition, we observed that niosomes partially protected the phage particles from low pH. Thus, while free phiIPLA-RODI was not detectable after 60 min of incubation at pH 4.5, titer of phage encapsulated in niosomes decreased only 2 log units. Overall, our results show that encapsulation represents an appropriate procedure to improve stability and, consequently, antimicrobial efficacy of phages for application in the food processing industry.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 494: The Natural Large Genomic Deletion Is Unrelated to the Increased Virulence of the Novel Genotype Fowl Adenovirus 4 Recently Emerged in China

  • Since 2015, severe hydropericardium-hepatitis syndrome (HHS), caused by a highly pathogenic fowl adenovirus 4 (FAdV-4), emerged in China. In our previous study, the FAdV-4 has been identified as a novel genotype with a unique 1966-bp nucleotide deletion (1966Del) between open reading frame 42 and 43. In this study, the natural 1966Del was frequently identified among 17 clinical isolates and other reported Chinese clinical strains. To investigate the relationship between 1966Del and the increased virulence of the novel FAdV-4, a CRISPR/Cas9 operating platform for FAdV-4 was developed for the first time in this study. Based on this platform, a Re1966 strain was rescued, inserted the relative 1966Del sequence of a nonpathogenic strain KR5. In the pathogenicity study, the Re1966 strain retained high virulence for specific-pathogen-free chickens, similar to the parental wild-type HLJFAd15, although the survival time of chickens infected with Re1966 was much longer. Therefore, the natural 1966Del was identified as a non-essential site for the increased virulence of the emerged novel FAdV-4. Although further research on the virulence-determining region or point within the genome of the novel FAdV-4 is needed, the CRISPR/Cas9 operating platform for the novel FAdV-4 was developed and successfully applied to edit the genomic DNA for the first time, and it provides a novel powerful tool for both basic virology studies and vaccine vector development of FAdVs.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 493: Identification of Novel Subcellular Localization and Trafficking of HIV-1 Nef Variants from Reference Strains G (F1.93.HH8793) and H (BE.93.VI997)

  • The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) accessory protein Nef, plays an essential role in disease progression and pathogenesis via hijacking the host cellular membrane-trafficking machinery. Interestingly, HIV-1 group-M subtypes display differences in the rate of disease progression. However, few reports investigated how the cellular behaviors and activities of Nef isolates from reference strains may differ between HIV-1 group-M subtypes. Here, we characterize how differing cellular distributions of Nef proteins across group-M subtypes may impact protein function using immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometric analysis. We demonstrate that Nef variants isolated from HIV-1 group-M subtypes display differences in expression, with low expressing Nef proteins from reference strains of subtypes G (F1.93.HH8793) and H (BE.93.VI997) also displaying decreased functionality. Additionally, we demonstrate variations in the subcellular distribution and localization of these Nef proteins. Nef from subtype G (F1.93.HH8793) and H (BE.93.VI997) reference strains also failed to colocalize with the trans-Golgi network, and were not differentially localized to cellular markers of multivesicular bodies or lysosomes. Strikingly, our results demonstrate that HIV-1 Nef proteins from reference strains G (F1.93.HH8793) and H (BE.93.VI997) highly colocalize with labeled mitochondrial compartments.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 492: Maize Dwarf Mosaic Virus: From Genome to Disease Management

  • Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) is a serious maize pathogen, epidemic worldwide, and one of the most common virus diseases for monocotyledonous plants, causing up to 70% loss in corn yield globally since 1960. MDMV belongs to the genus Potyvirus (Potyviridae) and was first identified in 1964 in Illinois in corn and Johnsongrass. MDMV is a single stranded positive sense RNA virus and is transmitted in a non-persistent manner by several aphid species. MDMV is amongst the most important virus diseases in maize worldwide. This review will discuss its genome, transmission, symptomatology, diagnosis and management. Particular emphasis will be given to the current state of knowledge on the diagnosis and control of MDMV, due to its importance in reducing the impact of maize dwarf mosaic disease, to produce an enhanced quality and quantity of maize.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 491: External Quality Assessment (EQA) for Molecular Diagnostics of Zika Virus: Experiences from an International EQA Programme, 2016–2018

  • Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD), an international provider for External Quality Assessment (EQA) programmes, has introduced a programme for molecular diagnostics of Zika virus (ZIKV) in 2016, which has been continuously offered to interested laboratories since that time. The EQA schemes provided from 2016 to 2018 revealed that 86.7% (92/106), 82.4% (89/108), and 88.2% (90/102) of the participating laboratories reported correct results for all samples, respectively in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The review of results indicated a need for improvement concerning analytical sensitivity and specificity of the test methods. Comparison with the outcomes of other EQA initiatives briefly summarized here show that continuous quality assurance is important to improve laboratory performance and to increase preparedness with reliable diagnostic assays for effective patient management, infection and outbreak control.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 489: Newcastle Disease Virus V Protein Promotes Viral Replication in HeLa Cells through the Activation of MEK/ERK Signaling

  • Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can infect a wide range of domestic and wild bird species. The non-structural V protein of NDV plays an important role in antagonizing innate host defenses to facilitate viral replication. However, there is a lack of knowledge related to the mechanisms through which the V protein regulates viral replication. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway in the host is involved in a variety of functions and is activated by several stimuli, including viral replication. In this study, we show that both the lentogenic strain, La Sota, and the velogenic strain, F48E9, of NDV activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK)/ERK signaling pathway. The pharmacological inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation using the highly selective inhibitors U0126 and SCH772984 resulted in the reduced levels of NDV RNA in cells and virus titers in the cell supernatant, which established an important role for the MEK/ERK signaling pathway in NDV replication. Moreover, the overexpression of the V protein in HeLa cells increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and induced the transcriptional changes in the genes downstream of the MEK/ERK signaling pathway. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the V protein is involved in the ERK signaling pathway-mediated promotion of NDV replication and thus, can be investigated as a potential antiviral target.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 490: Algal Viruses: The (Atomic) Shape of Things to Come

  • Visualization of algal viruses has been paramount to their study and understanding. The direct observation of the morphological dynamics of infection is a highly desired capability and the focus of instrument development across a variety of microscopy technologies. However, the high temporal (ms) and spatial resolution (nm) required, combined with the need to operate in physiologically relevant conditions presents a significant challenge. Here we present a short history of virus structure study and its relation to algal viruses and highlight current work, concentrating on electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, towards the direct observation of individual algaeaamp;amp;ndash;virus interactions. Finally, we make predictions towards future algal virus study direction with particular focus on the exciting opportunities offered by modern high-speed atomic force microscopy methods and instrumentation.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 488: Functional Scanning of Apple Geminivirus Proteins as Symptom Determinants and Suppressors of Posttranscriptional Gene Silencing

  • Apple geminivirus (AGV) is a recently identified geminivirus which is isolated from the apple tree in China. We carried out functional scanning of apple geminivirus proteins as symptom determinants and suppressors of posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS). Our results indicated that AGV V2 is an important virulence factor localized to the nucleus and cytoplasm that suppresses PTGS and induces severe symptoms of crinkling and necrosis. AGV C1 is also a virulence determinant which elicits systemic necrosis when expressed from a PVX-based vector. The AGV C4 is targeted to cytoplasm, plasma membrane, nucleus, and chloroplasts. The inoculation of PVX-C4 on N. benthamiana induced severe upward leaf curling, which implied that AGV C4 also functions as a symptom determinant, and mutation analyses suggested that the acylated residues on Gly2 and Cys8 play important roles in its subcellular localization and symptom development.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 487: Viruses of Eukaryotic Algae: Diversity, Methods for Detection, and Future Directions

  • The scope for ecological studies of eukaryotic algal viruses has greatly improved with the development of molecular and bioinformatic approaches that do not require algal cultures. Here, we review the history and perceived future opportunities for research on eukaryotic algal viruses. We begin with a summary of the 65 eukaryotic algal viruses that are presently in culture collections, with emphasis on shared evolutionary traits (e.g., conserved core genes) of each known viral type. We then describe how core genes have been used to enable molecular detection of viruses in the environment, ranging from PCR-based amplification to community scale aamp;amp;ldquo;-omicsaamp;amp;rdquo; approaches. Special attention is given to recent studies that have employed network-analyses of -omics data to predict virus-host relationships, from which a general bioinformatics pipeline is described for this type of approach. Finally, we conclude with acknowledgement of how the field of aquatic virology is adapting to these advances, and highlight the need to properly characterize new virus-host systems that may be isolated using preliminary molecular surveys. Researchers can approach this work using lessons learned from the Chlorella virus system, which is not only the best characterized algal-virus system, but is also responsible for much of the foundation in the field of aquatic virology.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 486: Detection and Characterization of Distinct Alphacoronaviruses in Five Different Bat Species in Denmark

  • Bat populations harbour a multitude of viruses; some of these are pathogenic or potentially pathogenic in other animals or humans. Therefore, it is important to monitor the populations and characterize these viruses. In this study, the presence of coronaviruses (CoVs) in different species of Danish bats was investigated using active surveillance at different geographical locations in Denmark. Faecal samples were screened for the presence of CoVs using pan-CoV real-time RT-PCR assays. The amplicons, obtained from five different species of bats, were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a species-specific clustering with the samples from Myotis daubentonii, showing a close resemblance to coronavirus sequences obtained from the same species of bat in Germany and the United Kingdom. Our results show, for the first time, that multiple, distinct alphacoronaviruses are present in the Danish bat populations.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 485: Evolution of Tembusu Virus in Ducks, Chickens, Geese, Sparrows, and Mosquitoes in Northern China

  • Tembusu virus (TMUV) is a contagious pathogen from fowl that mainly infects ducks and geese, causing symptoms of high fever, loss of appetite, retarded growth, neurological symptoms, severe duck-drop syndrome, and even death. During an epidemiological investigation of TMUV in Northern China, we isolated 11 TMUV strains from ducks, chickens, geese, sparrows, and mosquitoes (2011–2017). Phylogenetic analysis of the open-reading frames of genes revealed that these strains clustered into Chinese strains II. The nucleotide and amino acid homologies of NS1 of the strains ranged between 85.8–99.8% and 92.5–99.68%, respectively, which were lower than those of E (86.7–99.9% and 96.5–99.9%, respectively), NS3 (87.6–99.9% and 98.2–99.8%, respectively), and NS5 (86.5–99.9% and 97.8–99.9%, respectively). Predictions of the tertiary structure of the viral proteins indicated that NS1 in 4 of 11 strains had a protein structure mutation at 180TAV182 that changed arandom crimp into an alpha helix. The protein of 6 of 11 strains had a glycosylation site mutation from NTTD to NITD. Furthermore, epidemiological data suggested that TMUV has been circulating in half of China’s provinces (17 of 34). Our findings, for the first time, have identified the NS1 protein as a potential hypervariable region for genetic evolution. Additionally, the territorial scope of the virus has expanded, requiring strict bio-security measures or a multivalent vaccine to control its spread.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 484: Susceptibility Genes to Plant Viruses

  • Plant viruses use cellular factors and resources to replicate and move. Plants respond to viral infection by several mechanisms, including innate immunity, autophagy, and gene silencing, that viruses must evade or suppress. Thus, the establishment of infection is genetically determined by the availability of host factors necessary for virus replication and movement and by the balance between plant defense and viral suppression of defense responses. Host factors may have antiviral or proviral activities. Proviral factors condition susceptibility to viruses by participating in processes essential to the virus. Here, we review current advances in the identification and characterization of host factors that condition susceptibility to plant viruses. Host factors with proviral activity have been identified for all parts of the virus infection cycle: viral RNA translation, viral replication complex formation, accumulation or activity of virus replication proteins, virus movement, and virion assembly. These factors could be targets of gene editing to engineer resistance to plant viruses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 483: The RNA Capping Enzyme Domain in Protein A is Essential for Flock House Virus Replication

  • The nodavirus flock house virus (FHV) and the alphavirus Semliki Forest virus (SFV) show evolutionarily intriguing similarities in their replication complexes and RNA capping enzymes. In this study, we first established an efficient FHV trans-replication system in mammalian cells, which disjoins protein expression from viral RNA synthesis. Following transfection, FHV replicase protein A was associated with mitochondria, whose outer surface displayed pouch-like invaginations with a aamp;amp;lsquo;neckaamp;amp;rsquo; structure opening towards the cytoplasm. In mitochondrial pellets from transfected cells, high-level synthesis of both genomic and subgenomic RNA was detected in vitro and the newly synthesized RNA was of positive polarity. Secondly, we initiated the study of the putative RNA capping enzyme domain in protein A by mutating the conserved amino acids H93, R100, D141, and W215. RNA replication was abolished for all mutants inside cells and in vitro except for W215A, which showed reduced replication. Transfection of capped RNA template did not rescue the replication activity of the mutants. Comparing the efficiency of SFV and FHV trans-replication systems, the FHV system appeared to produce more RNA. Using fluorescent marker proteins, we demonstrated that both systems could replicate in the same cell. This work may facilitate the comparative analysis of FHV and SFV replication.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 482: Characterization of vB_Kpn_F48, a Newly Discovered Lytic Bacteriophage for Klebsiella pneumoniae of Sequence Type 101

  • Resistance to carbapenems in Enterobacteriaceae, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, represents a major clinical problem given the lack of effective alternative antibiotics. Bacteriophages could provide a valuable tool to control the dissemination of antibiotic resistant isolates, for the decolonization of colonized individuals and for treatment purposes. In this work, we have characterized a lytic bacteriophage, named vB_Kpn_F48, specific for K. pneumoniae isolates belonging to clonal group 101. Phage vB_Kpn_F48 was classified as a member of Myoviridae, order Caudovirales, on the basis of transmission electron microscopy analysis. Physiological characterization demonstrated that vB_Kpn_F48 showed a narrow host range, a short latent period, a low burst size and it is highly stable to both temperature and pH variations. High throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis revealed that the phage is characterized by a 171 Kb dsDNA genome that lacks genes undesirable for a therapeutic perspective such integrases, antibiotic resistance genes and toxin encoding genes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that vB_Kpn_F48 is a T4-like bacteriophage which belongs to a novel genus within the Tevenvirinae subfamily, which we tentatively named“F48virus”. Considering the narrow host range, the genomic features and overall physiological parameters phage vB_Kpn_F48 could be a promising candidate to be used alone or in cocktails for phage therapy applications.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 481: Capsid Structure of dsRNA Fungal Viruses

  • Most fungal, double-stranded (ds) RNA viruses lack an extracellular life cycle stage and are transmitted by cytoplasmic interchange. dsRNA mycovirus capsids are based on a 120-subunit T = 1 capsid, with a dimer as the asymmetric unit. These capsids, which remain structurally undisturbed throughout the viral cycle, nevertheless, are dynamic particles involved in the organization of the viral genome and the viral polymerase necessary for RNA synthesis. The atomic structure of the T = 1 capsids of four mycoviruses was resolved: the L-A virus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ScV-L-A), Penicillium chrysogenum virus (PcV), Penicillium stoloniferum virus F (PsV-F), and Rosellinia necatrix quadrivirus 1 (RnQV1). These capsids show structural variations of the same framework, with 60 asymmetric or symmetric homodimers for ScV-L-A and PsV-F, respectively, monomers with a duplicated similar domain for PcV, and heterodimers of two different proteins for RnQV1. Mycovirus capsid proteins (CP) share a conserved aamp;amp;alpha;-helical domain, although the latter may carry different peptides inserted at preferential hotspots. Insertions in the CP outer surface are likely associated with enzymatic activities. Within the capsid, fungal dsRNA viruses show a low degree of genome compaction compared to reoviruses, and contain one to two copies of the RNA-polymerase complex per virion.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 480: Improved Immune Responses Against Zika Virus After Sequential Dengue and Zika Virus Infection in Humans

  • The high levels of dengue-virus (DENV) seroprevalence in areas where the Zika virus (ZIKV) is circulating and the cross-reactivity between these two viruses have raised concerns on the risk of increased ZIKV disease severity for patients with a history of previous DENV infections. To determine the role of DENV preimmunity in ZIKV infection, we analyzed the T- and B-cell responses against ZIKV in donors with or without previous DENV infection. Using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from donors living in an endemic area in Colombia, we have identified, by interferon (IFN)-aamp;amp;gamma; enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay, most of the immunodominant ZIKV T-cell epitopes in the nonstructural (NS) proteins NS1, NS3, and NS5. Analyses of the T- and B-cell responses in the same donors revealed a stronger T-cell response against peptides conserved between DENV and ZIKV, with a higher level of ZIKV-neutralizing antibodies in DENV-immune donors in comparison with DENV-naaamp;amp;iuml;ve donors. Strikingly, the potential for antibody-mediated enhancement of ZIKV infection was reduced in donors with sequential DENV and ZIKV infection in comparison with donors with DENV infection only. Altogether, these data suggest that individuals with DENV immunity present improved immune responses against ZIKV.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 479: Insights into the Human Virome Using CRISPR Spacers from Microbiomes

  • Due to recent advances in next-generation sequencing over the past decade, our understanding of the human microbiome and its relationship to health and disease has increased dramatically. Yet, our insights into the human virome, and its interplay with important microbes that impact human health, is relatively limited. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses are present throughout the human body, comprising a large and diverse population which influences several niches and impacts our health at various body sites. The presence of prokaryotic viruses like phages, has been documented at many different body sites, with the human gut being the richest ecological niche. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and associated proteins constitute the adaptive immune system of bacteria, which prevents attack by invasive nucleic acid. CRISPR-Cas systems function by uptake and integration of foreign genetic element sequences into the CRISPR array, which constitutes a genomic archive of iterative vaccination events. Consequently, CRISPR spacers can be investigated to reconstruct interplay between viruses and bacteria, and metagenomic sequencing data can be exploited to provide insights into host-phage interactions within a niche. Here, we show how the CRISPR spacer content of commensal and pathogenic bacteria can be used to determine the evidence of their phage exposure. This framework opens new opportunities for investigating host-virus dynamics in metagenomic data, and highlights the need to dedicate more efforts for virome sampling and sequencing.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 478: White-Tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) Die-Off Due to Infection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus, Subtype H5N8, in Germany

  • In contrast to previous incursions of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAIV) H5 viruses, H5N8 clade viruses caused numerous cases of lethal infections in white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) affecting mainly young eagles (younger than five years of age) in Germany during winter 2016/2017. Until April 2017, 17 HPAIV H5N8-positive white-tailed sea eagles had been detected (three found alive and 14 carcasses) by real-time RT-PCR and partial nucleotide sequence analyses. Severe neurological clinical signs were noticed which were corroborated by immunohistopathology revealing mild to moderate, oligo- to multifocal necrotizing virus-induced polioencephalitis. Lethal lead (Pb) concentrations, a main factor of mortality in sea eagles in previous years, could be ruled out by atomic absorption spectrometry. HPAIV H5 clade reportedly is the first highly pathogenic influenza virus known to induce fatal disease in European white-tailed see eagles. This virus strain may become a new health threat to a highly protected species across its distribution range in Eurasia. Positive cloacal swabs suggest that eagles can spread the virus with their faeces.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 477: Infectious Bronchitis Virus Nonstructural Protein 4 Alone Induces Membrane Pairing

  • Positive-strand RNA viruses, such as coronaviruses, induce cellular membrane rearrangements during replication to form replication organelles allowing for efficient viral RNA synthesis. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a pathogenic avian Gammacoronavirus of significant importance to the global poultry industry, has been shown to induce the formation of double membrane vesicles (DMVs), zippered endoplasmic reticulum (zER) and tethered vesicles, known as spherules. These membrane rearrangements are virally induced; however, it remains unclear which viral proteins are responsible. In this study, membrane rearrangements induced when expressing viral non-structural proteins (nsps) from two different strains of IBV were compared. Three non-structural transmembrane proteins, nsp3, nsp4, and nsp6, were expressed in cells singularly or in combination and the effects on cellular membranes investigated using electron microscopy and electron tomography. In contrast to previously studied coronaviruses, IBV nsp4 alone is necessary and sufficient to induce membrane pairing; however, expression of the transmembrane proteins together was not sufficient to fully recapitulate DMVs. This indicates that although nsp4 is able to singularly induce membrane pairing, further viral or host factors are required in order to fully assemble IBV replicative structures. This study highlights further differences in the mechanism of membrane rearrangements between members of the coronavirus family.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 476: Evolution of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) over Multiple Seasons in New South Wales, Australia

  • There is an ongoing global pandemic of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection that results in substantial annual morbidity and mortality. In Australia, RSV is a major cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI). Nevertheless, little is known about the extent and origins of the genetic diversity of RSV in Australia, nor the factors that shape this diversity. We have conducted a genome-scale analysis of RSV infections in New South Wales (NSW). RSV genomes were successfully sequenced for 144 specimens collected between 2010aamp;amp;ndash;2016. Of these, 64 belonged to the RSVA and 80 to the RSVB subtype. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a wide diversity of RSV lineages within NSW and that both subtypes evolved rapidly in a strongly clock-like manner, with mean rates of approximately 6aamp;amp;ndash;8 aamp;amp;times; 10aamp;amp;minus;4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year. There was only weak evidence for geographic clustering of sequences, indicative of fluid patterns of transmission within the infected population and no evidence of any clustering by patient age such that viruses in the same lineages circulate through the entire host population. Importantly, we show that both subtypes circulated concurrently in NSW with multiple introductions into the Australian population in each year and only limited evidence for multi-year persistence.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 475: Host Shutoff in Influenza A Virus: Many Means to an End

  • Influenza A virus carries few of its own proteins, but uses them effectively to take control of the infected cells and avoid immune responses. Over the years, host shutoff, the widespread down-regulation of host gene expression, has emerged as a key process that contributes to cellular takeover in infected cells. Interestingly, multiple mechanisms of host shutoff have been described in influenza A virus, involving changes in translation, RNA synthesis and stability. Several viral proteins, notably the non-structural protein NS1, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and the endoribonuclease PA-X have been implicated in host shutoff. This multitude of host shutoff mechanisms indicates that host shutoff is an important component of the influenza A virus replication cycle. Here we review the various mechanisms of host shutoff in influenza A virus and the evidence that they contribute to immune evasion and/or viral replication. We also discuss what the purpose of having multiple mechanisms may be.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 474: Why Are Algal Viruses Not Always Successful?

  • Algal viruses are considered to be key players in structuring microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles due to their abundance and diversity within aquatic systems. Their high reproduction rates and short generation times make them extremely successful, often with immediate and strong effects for their hosts and thus in biological and abiotic environments. There are, however, conditions that decrease their reproduction rates and make them unsuccessful with no or little immediate effects. Here, we review the factors that lower viral success and divide them into intrinsicaamp;amp;mdash;when they are related to the life cycle traits of the virusaamp;amp;mdash;and extrinsic factorsaamp;amp;mdash;when they are external to the virus and related to their environment. Identifying whether and how algal viruses adapt to disadvantageous conditions will allow us to better understand their role in aquatic systems. We propose important research directions such as experimental evolution or the resurrection of extinct viruses to disentangle the conditions that make them unsuccessful and the effects these have on their surroundings.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 473: Resveratrol as a Novel Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Nutraceutical Agent: An Overview

  • The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a common human virus affecting many people worldwide. HSV infections manifest with lesions that occur in different parts of the body, including oral, ocular, nasal, and genital skin and mucosa. In rare cases, HSV infections can be serious and lethal. Several anti-HSV drugs have been developed, but the existence of mutant viruses resistant to these drugs led to the individuation of novel antiviral agents. Plant-derived bioactive compounds, and more specifically polyphenols, have been demonstrated to exert marked anti-HSV activity and, among these, resveratrol (RSV) would be considered a good candidate. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the available literature elucidating the efficacy of RSV against HSV and the main demonstrated mechanisms of action.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 472: Identification of the Potential Virulence Factors and RNA Silencing Suppressors of Mulberry Mosaic Dwarf-Associated Geminivirus

  • Plant viruses encode virulence factors or RNA silencing suppressors to reprogram plant cellular processes or to fine-tune host RNA silencing-mediated defense responses. In a previous study, Mulberry mosaic dwarf-associated virus (MMDaV), a novel, highly divergent geminivirus, has been identified from a Chinese mulberry tree showing mosaic and dwarfing symptoms, but the functions of its encoded proteins are unknown. In this study, all seven proteins encoded by MMDaV were screened for potential virulence and RNA silencing suppressor activities. We found that V2, RepA, and Rep affect the pathogenicity of a heterologous potato virus X. We showed that V2 could inhibit local RNA silencing and long-distance movement of the RNA silencing signal, but not short-range spread of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) silencing signal in Nicotiana benthamiana 16c plants. In addition, V2 localized to both subnuclear foci and the cytoplasm. Deletion mutagenesis of V2 showed that the basic motif from amino acids 61 to 76 was crucial for V2 to form subnuclear foci and for suppression of RNA silencing. Although the V2 protein encoded by begomoviruses or a curtovirus has been shown to have silencing suppressor activity, this is the first identification of an RNA silencing suppressor from a woody plant-infecting geminivirus.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 471: Antiviral Activity of Fermented Ginseng Extracts against a Broad Range of Influenza Viruses

  • Ginseng products used as herb nutritional supplements are orally consumed and fermented to ginsenoside compounds by the intestinal microbes. In this study, we investigated antiviral protective effects of fermented ginseng extracts against different strains of influenza viruses in genetically diverse mouse models. Intranasal coinoculation of mice with fermented ginseng extract and influenza virus improved survival rates and conferred protection against H1N1, H3N2, H5N1, and H7N9 strains, with the efficacy dependent on the dose of ginseng samples. Antiviral protection by fermented ginseng extract was observed in different genetic backgrounds of mice and in the deficient conditions of key adaptive immune components (CD4, CD8, B cell, MHCII). The mice that survived primary virus inoculation with fermented ginseng extract developed immunity against the secondary infection with homologous and heterosubtypic viruses. In vitro cell culture experiments showed moderate virus neutralizing activity by fermented ginseng extract, probably by inhibiting hemagglutination and neuraminidase activity. This study suggests that fermented ginseng extracts might provide a means to treat influenza disease regardless of virus strains.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 470: The Effect of Permethrin Resistance on Aedes aegypti Transcriptome Following Ingestion of Zika Virus Infected Blood

  • Aedes aegypti (L.) is the primary vector of many emerging arboviruses. Insecticide resistance among mosquito populations is a consequence of the application of insecticides for mosquito control. We used RNA-sequencing to compare transcriptomes between permethrin resistant and susceptible strains of Florida Ae. aegypti in response to Zika virus infection. A total of 2459 transcripts were expressed at significantly different levels between resistant and susceptible Ae. aegypti. Gene ontology analysis placed these genes into seven categories of biological processes. The 863 transcripts were expressed at significantly different levels between the two mosquito strains (up/down regulated) more than 2-fold. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was used to validate the Zika-infection response. Our results suggested a highly overexpressed P450, with AAEL014617 and AAEL006798 as potential candidates for the molecular mechanism of permethrin resistance in Ae. aegypti. Our findings indicated that most detoxification enzymes and immune system enzymes altered their gene expression between the two strains of Ae. aegypti in response to Zika virus infection. Understanding the interactions of arboviruses with resistant mosquito vectors at the molecular level allows for the possible development of new approaches in mitigating arbovirus transmission. This information sheds light on Zika-induced changes in insecticide resistant Ae. aegypti with implications for mosquito control strategies.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 469: Barcoding of Plant Viruses with Circular Single-Stranded DNA Based on Rolling Circle Amplification

  • The experience with a diagnostic technology based on rolling circle amplification (RCA), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses, and direct or deep sequencing (Circomics) over the past 15 years is surveyed for the plant infecting geminiviruses, nanoviruses and associated satellite DNAs, which have had increasing impact on agricultural and horticultural losses due to global transportation and recombination-aided diversification. Current state methods for quarantine measures are described to identify individual DNA components with great accuracy and to recognize the crucial role of the molecular viral population structure as an important factor for sustainable plant protection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 468: Quantitative Infection Dynamics of Cafeteria Roenbergensis Virus

  • The discovery of giant viruses in unicellular eukaryotic hosts has raised new questions on the nature of viral life. Although many steps in the infection cycle of giant viruses have been identified, the quantitative life history traits associated with giant virus infection remain unknown or poorly constrained. In this study, we provide the first estimates of quantitative infection traits of a giant virus by tracking the infection dynamics of the bacterivorous protist Cafeteria roenbergensis and its lytic virus CroV. Leveraging mathematical models of infection, we quantitatively estimate the adsorption rate, onset of DNA replication, latency time, and burst size from time-series data. Additionally, by modulating the initial ratio of viruses to hosts, we also provide evidence of a potential MOI-dependence on adsorption and burst size. Our work provides a baseline characterization of giant virus infection dynamics relevant to ongoing efforts to understand the ecological role of giant viruses.
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