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Jean-Yves Sgro
Inst. for Mol.Virology
731B Bock Labs
1525 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706

Table of Contents for this page:

  • Current Issue
  • Current Issue of Viruses


  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 163: Pathogenicity and Transmissibility of North American H7 Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses in Chickens and Turkeys

  • Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses can silently circulate in poultry and wild aquatic birds and potentially mutate into highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses. In the U.S., recent emergence and spread of H7N8 and H7N9 HPAI viruses not only caused devastating losses to domestic poultry but also underscored the capability of LPAI viruses to mutate into HPAI viruses. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated pathogenicity and transmissibility of H7N8 and H7N9 LPAI viruses (the progenitors of HPAI viruses) in chickens and turkeys. We also included H7N2 isolated from an outbreak of LPAI in commercial chickens. H7 viruses replicated more efficiently in the respiratory tract than in the gastrointestinal tract, suggesting that their replication is restricted to the upper respiratory tract. Specifically, H7N2 replicated most efficiently in two-week-old chickens and turkeys. In contrast, H7N8 replicated least efficiently in those birds. Further, replication of H7N2 and H7N9 was restricted in the upper respiratory tract of four-week-old specific-pathogen-free (SPF) and broiler chickens. Despite their restricted replication, the two viruses efficiently transmitted from infected to naaamp;amp;iuml;ve birds by direct contact, leading to seroconversion of contacted chickens. Our findings suggest the importance of continuous monitoring and surveillance of LPAI viruses in the fields.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 162: Integrated MicroRNA and mRNA Profiling in Zika Virus-Infected Neurons

  • Zika virus (ZIKV) infections have caused a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, such as Guillain-Barraamp;amp;eacute; syndrome, myelitis, meningoencephalitis, and congenital microcephaly. No effective therapies currently exist for treating patients infected with ZIKV. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small RNAs involved in the regulation of a wide variety of cellular and physiological processes. In this study, we analyzed digital miRNA and mRNA profiles in ZIKV-infected primary mouse neurons using the nCounter technology. A total of 599 miRNAs and 770 mRNAs were examined. We demonstrate that ZIKV infection causes global downregulation of miRNAs with only few upregulated miRNAs. ZIKV-modulated miRNAs including miR-155, miR-203, miR-29a, and miR-124-3p are known to play critical role in flavivirus infection, anti-viral immunity and brain injury. ZIKV infection also results in downregulation of miRNA processing enzymes. In contrast, ZIKV infection induces dramatic upregulation of anti-viral, inflammatory and apoptotic genes. Furthermore, our data demonstrate an inverse correlation between ZIKV-modulated miRNAs and target host mRNAs induced by ZIKV. Biofunctional analysis revealed that ZIKV-modulated miRNAs and mRNAs regulate the pathways related to neurological development and neuroinflammatory responses. Functional studies targeting specific miRNA are warranted to develop therapeutics for the management of ZIKV neurological disease.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 161: Ebola Virus Isolation Using Huh-7 Cells has Methodological Advantages and Similar Sensitivity to Isolation Using Other Cell Types and Suckling BALB/c Laboratory Mice

  • Following the largest Ebola virus disease outbreak from 2013 to 2016, viral RNA has been detected in survivors from semen and breast milk long after disease recovery. However, as there have been few cases of sexual transmission, it is unclear whether every RNA positive fluid sample contains infectious virus. Virus isolation, typically using cell culture or animal models, can serve as a tool to determine the infectivity of patient samples. However, the sensitivity of these methods has not been assessed for the Ebola virus isolate, Makona. Described here is an efficiency comparison of Ebola virus Makona isolation using Vero E6, Huh-7, monocyte-derived macrophage cells, and suckling laboratory mice. Isolation sensitivity was similar in all methods tested. Laboratory mice and Huh-7 cells were less affected by toxicity from breast milk than Vero E6 and MDM cells. However, the advantages associated with isolation in Huh-7 cells over laboratory mice, including cost effectiveness, sample volume preservation, and a reduction in animal use, make Huh-7 cells the preferred substrate tested for Ebola virus Makona isolation.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 160: A Novel MVA-Based HIV Vaccine Candidate (MVA-gp145-GPN) Co-Expressing Clade C Membrane-Bound Trimeric gp145 Env and Gag-Induced Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) Triggered Broad and Multifunctional HIV-1-Specific T Cell and Antibody Responses

  • The development of an effective Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine that is able to stimulate both the humoral and cellular HIV-1-specific immune responses remains a major priority challenge. In this study, we described the generation and preclinical evaluation of single and double modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based candidates expressing the HIV-1 clade C membrane-bound gp145(ZM96) trimeric protein and/or the Gag(ZM96)-Pol-Nef(CN54) (GPN) polyprotein that was processed to form Gag-induced virus-like particles (VLPs). In vitro characterization of MVA recombinants revealed the stable integration of HIV-1 genes without affecting its replication capacity. In cells that were infected with Env-expressing viruses, the gp145 protein was inserted into the plasma membrane exposing critical epitopes that were recognized by broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), whereas Gag-induced VLPs were released from cells that were infected with GPN-expressing viruses. VLP particles as well as purified MVA virions contain Env and Gag visualized by immunoelectron microscopy and western-blot of fractions that were obtained after detergent treatments of purified virus particles. In BALB/c mice, homologous MVA-gp145-GPN prime/boost regimen induced broad and polyfunctional Env- and Gag-specific CD4 T cells and antigen-specific T follicular helper (Tfh) and Germinal Center (GC) B cells, which correlated with robust HIV-1-specific humoral responses. Overall, these results support the consideration of MVA-gp145-GPN vector as a potential vaccine candidate against HIV-1.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 159: Induction of Tier 1 HIV Neutralizing Antibodies by Envelope Trimers Incorporated into a Replication Competent Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Vector

  • A chimeric vesicular stomatitis virus with the glycoprotein of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, VSV-GP, is a potent viral vaccine vector that overcomes several of the limitations of wild-type VSV. Here, we evaluated the potential of VSV-GP as an HIV vaccine vector. We introduced genes for different variants of the HIV-1 envelope protein Env, i.e., secreted or membrane-anchored, intact or mutated furin cleavage site or different C-termini, into the genome of VSV-GP. We found that the addition of the Env antigen did not attenuate VSV-GP replication. All HIV-1 Env variants were expressed in VSV-GP infected cells and some were incorporated very efficiently into VSV-GP particles. Crucial epitopes for binding of broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 such as MPER (membrane-proximal external region), CD4 binding site, V1V2 and V3 loop were present on the surface of VSV-GP-Env particles. Binding of quaternary antibodies indicated a trimeric structure of VSV-GP incorporated Env. We detected high HIV-1 antibody titers in mice and showed that vectors expressing membrane-anchored Env elicited higher antibody titers than vectors that secreted Envs. In rabbits, Tier 1A HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies were detectable after prime immunization and titers further increased after boosting with a second immunization. Taken together, VSV-GP-Env is a promising vector vaccine against HIV-1 infection since this vector permits incorporation of native monomeric and/or trimeric HIV-1 Env into a viral membrane.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 158: THO Complex Subunit 7 Homolog Negatively Regulates Cellular Antiviral Response against RNA Viruses by Targeting TBK1

  • RNA virus invasion induces a cytosolic RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) signaling pathway by promoting assembly of the Mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS) signalosome and triggers the rapid production of type I interferons (IFNs) and proinflammatory cytokines. During this process, the pivotal kinase TANK binding kinase 1 (TBK1) is recruited to the MAVS signalosome to transduce a robust innate antiviral immune response by phosphorylating transcription factors interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and nuclear factor (NF)-aamp;amp;kappa;B and promoting their nuclear translocation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the negative regulation of TBK1 are largely unknown. In the present study, we found that THO complex subunit 7 homolog (THOC7) negatively regulated the cellular antiviral response by promoting the proteasomal degradation of TBK1. THOC7 overexpression potently inhibited Sendai virus- or polyI:C-induced IRF3 dimerization and phosphorylation and IFN-aamp;amp;beta; production. In contrast, THOC7 knockdown had the opposite effects. Moreover, we simulated a node-activated pathway to show that THOC7 regulated the RIG-I-like receptors (RLR)-/MAVS-dependent signaling cascade at the TBK1 level. Furthermore, THOC7 was involved in the MAVS signalosome and promoted TBK1 degradation by increasing its K48 ubiquitin-associated polyubiquitination. Together, these findings suggest that THOC7 negatively regulates type I IFN production by promoting TBK1 proteasomal degradation, thus improving our understanding of innate antiviral immune responses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 157: The Roles of prM-E Proteins in Historical and Epidemic Zika Virus-mediated Infection and Neurocytotoxicity

  • The Zika virus (ZIKV) was first isolated in Africa in 1947. It was shown to be a mild virus that had limited threat to humans. However, the resurgence of the ZIKV in the most recent Brazil outbreak surprised us because it causes severe human congenital and neurologic disorders including microcephaly in newborns and Guillain-Barraamp;amp;eacute; syndrome in adults. Studies showed that the epidemic ZIKV strains are phenotypically different from the historic strains, suggesting that the epidemic ZIKV has acquired mutations associated with the altered viral pathogenicity. However, what genetic changes are responsible for the changed viral pathogenicity remains largely unknown. One of our early studies suggested that the ZIKV structural proteins contribute in part to the observed virologic differences. The objectives of this study were to compare the historic African MR766 ZIKV strain with two epidemic Brazilian strains (BR15 and ICD) for their abilities to initiate viral infection and to confer neurocytopathic effects in the human brainaamp;amp;rsquo;s SNB-19 glial cells, and further to determine which part of the ZIKV structural proteins are responsible for the observed differences. Our results show that the historic African (MR766) and epidemic Brazilian (BR15 and ICD) ZIKV strains are different in viral attachment to host neuronal cells, viral permissiveness and replication, as well as in the induction of cytopathic effects. The analysis of chimeric viruses, generated between the MR766 and BR15 molecular clones, suggests that the ZIKV E protein correlates with the viral attachment, and the C-prM region contributes to the permissiveness and ZIKV-induced cytopathic effects. The expression of adenoviruses, expressing prM and its processed protein products, shows that the prM protein and its cleaved Pr product, but not the mature M protein, induces apoptotic cell death in the SNB-19 cells. We found that the Pr region, which resides on the N-terminal side of prM protein, is responsible for prM-induced apoptotic cell death. Mutational analysis further identified four amino-acid residues that have an impact on the ability of prM to induce apoptosis. Together, the results of this study show that the difference of ZIKV-mediated viral pathogenicity, between the historic and epidemic strains, contributed in part the functions of the structural prM-E proteins.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 156: Immune Exhaustion: Past Lessons and New Insights from Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus

  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is a paradigm-forming experimental system with a remarkable track record of contributing to the discovery of many of the fundamental concepts of modern immunology. The ability of LCMV to establish a chronic infection in immunocompetent adult mice was instrumental for identifying T cell exhaustion and this system has been invaluable for uncovering the complexity, regulators, and consequences of this state. These findings have been directly relevant for understanding why ineffective T cell responses commonly arise during many chronic infections including HIV and HCV, as well as during tumor outgrowth. The principal feature of exhausted T cells is the inability to elaborate the array of effector functions necessary to contain the underlying infection or tumor. Using LCMV to determine how to prevent and reverse T cell exhaustion has highlighted the potential of checkpoint blockade therapies, most notably PD-1 inhibition strategies, for improving cellular immunity under conditions of antigen persistence. Here, we discuss the discovery, properties, and regulators of exhausted T cells and highlight how LCMV has been at the forefront of advancing our understanding of these ineffective responses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 155: Protein Disulfide Isomerase Inhibitor Suppresses Viral Replication and Production during Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of Dengue Virus Infection in Human Monocytic Cells

  • One of several mechanisms that leads to the development of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) is called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Monocytes can be infected by the ADE phenomenon, which occurs in dengue secondary infection. This study aimed to investigate the proteins involved in ADE of DENV infection in the human monocytic cell line U937. The phosphoproteins were used to perform and analyze for protein expression using mass spectrometry (GeLC-MS/MS). The differential phosphoproteins revealed 1131 altered proteins compared between isotype- and DENV-specific antibody-treated monocytes. The altered proteins revealed 558 upregulated proteins and 573 downregulated proteins. Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), which is an enzyme that had a high-ranking fold change and that catalyzes the formation, breakage, and rearrangement of disulfide bonds within a protein molecule, was selected for further study. PDI was found to be important for dengue virus infectivity during the ADE model. The effect of PDI inhibition was also shown to be involved in the early stage of life cycle by time-of-drug-addition assay. These results suggest that PDI is important for protein translation and virion assembly of dengue virus during infection in human monocytes, and it may play a significant role as a chaperone to stabilize dengue protein synthesis.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 154: Preexisting Virus-Specific T Lymphocytes-Mediated Enhancement of Adenovirus Infections to Human Blood CD14+ Cells

  • Antigen-specific T lymphocytes play a critical role in controlling viral infections. However, we report here that preexisting virus-specific T cell responses also contribute to promoting adenovirus (Ad) infection. Previously, we found that CD14+ monocytes from Ad-seropositive individuals exhibited an increased susceptibility to Ad infection, when compared with that of Ad-seronegative individuals. But the underlying mechanisms for this enhancement of viral infection are not completely clarified. In this study, we found that the efficacy of Ad infection into CD14+ monocytes was significantly decreased after CD3+ T lymphocytes depletion from PBMC samples of Ad-seropositive individuals. In contrast, adding virus-specific CD3+ T lymphocytes into PBMC samples of Ad-seronegative individuals resulted in a significant increase of infection efficacy. CD3+ T lymphocytes in PBMC samples from Ad-seropositive individuals were more sensitive to be activated by adenovirus stimulus, characterized by upregulation of multiple cytokines and activation markers and also enhancement of cell proliferation. Further studies demonstrated that GM-CSF and IL-4 can promote Ad infection by up-regulating the expression of scavenger receptor 1 (SR-A) and integrins aamp;amp;alpha;Vaamp;amp;beta;5 receptor of CD14+ cells. And taken together, these results suggest a novel role of virus-specific T cells in mediating enhancement of viral infection, and provide insights to understand the pathogenesis and complicated interactions between viruses and host immune cells.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 153: Glycosylation of HIV Env Impacts IgG Subtype Responses to Vaccination

  • The envelope protein (Env) is the only surface protein of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and as such the exclusive target for protective antibody responses. Experimental evidences from mouse models suggest a modulating property of Env to steer antibody class switching towards the less effective antibody subclass IgG1 accompanied with strong TH2 helper responses. By simple physical linkage we were able to imprint this bias, exemplified by a low IgG2a/IgG1 ratio of antigen-specific antibodies, onto an unrelated antigen, namely the HIV capsid protein p24. Here, our results indicate the glycan moiety of Env as the responsible immune modulating activity. Firstly, in Card9aamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; mice lacking specific C-Type lectin responsiveness, DNA immunization significantly increased the IgG2a/IgG1 ratio for the Env-specific antibodies while the antibody response against the F-protein of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) serving as control antigen remained unchanged. Secondly, sequential shortening of the Env encoding sequence revealed the C2V3 domain as responsible for the strong IgG1 responses and TH2 cytokine production. Removing all potential N-glycosylation sites from the C2V3 domain by site-specific mutagenesis reversed the vaccine-induced immune response towards a Th1-dominated T-cell response and a balanced IgG2a/IgG1 ratio. Accordingly, the stretch of oligomannose glycans in the C2V3 domain of Env might mediate a specific uptake and/or signaling modus in antigen presenting cells by involving interaction with an as yet unknown C-type lectin receptor. Our results contribute to a deeper understanding of the impact of Env glycosylation on HIV antigen-specific immune responses, which will further support HIV vaccine development.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 152: Interferon Regulatory Factor 3-Mediated Signaling Limits Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus Propagation in Cells from an Insectivorous Bat

  • Insectivorous bats are speculated to be ancestral hosts of Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (CoV). MERS-CoV causes disease in humans with thirty-five percent fatality, and has evolved proteins that counteract human antiviral responses. Since bats experimentally infected with MERS-CoV do not develop signs of disease, we tested the hypothesis that MERS-CoV would replicate less efficiently in bat cells than in human cells because of its inability to subvert antiviral responses in bat cells. We infected human and bat (Eptesicus fuscus) cells with MERS-CoV and observed that the virus grew to higher titers in human cells. MERS-CoV also effectively suppressed the antiviral interferon beta (IFNaamp;amp;beta;) response in human cells, unlike in bat cells. To determine if IRF3, a critical mediator of the interferon response, also regulated the response in bats, we examined the response of IRF3 to poly(I:C), a synthetic analogue of viral double-stranded RNA. We observed that bat IRF3 responded to poly(I:C) by nuclear translocation and post-translational modifications, hallmarks of IRF3 activation. Suppression of IRF3 by small-interfering RNA (siRNA) demonstrated that IRF3 was critical for poly(I:C) and MERS-CoV induced induction of IFNaamp;amp;beta; in bat cells. Our study demonstrates that innate antiviral signaling in E. fuscus bat cells is resistant to MERS-CoV-mediated subversion.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 151: Human Norovirus: Experimental Models of Infection

  • Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide. HuNoV infections lead to substantial societal and economic burdens. There are currently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics for the prevention or treatment of HuNoVs. A lack of well-characterized in vitro and in vivo infection models has limited the development of HuNoV countermeasures. Experimental infection of human volunteers and the use of related viruses such as murine NoV have provided helpful insights into HuNoV biology and vaccine and therapeutic development. There remains a need for robust animal models and reverse genetic systems to further HuNoV research. This review summarizes available HuNoV animal models and reverse genetic systems, while providing insight into their usefulness for vaccine and therapeutic development.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 150: Genetic Determinants of the Re-Emergence of Arboviral Diseases

  • Mosquito-borne diseases constitute a large portion of infectious diseases, causing more than 700,000 deaths annually. Mosquito-transmitted viruses, such as yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, chikungunya, and Zika viruses, have re-emerged recently and remain a public health threat worldwide. Global climate change, rapid urbanization, burgeoning international travel, expansion of mosquito populations, vector competence, and host and viral genetics may all together contribute to the re-emergence of arboviruses. In this brief review, we summarize the host and viral genetic determinants that may enhance infectivity in the host, viral fitness in mosquitoes and viral transmission by mosquitoes.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 149: Characterization of Mouse Monoclonal Antibodies Against the HA of A(H7N9) Influenza Virus

  • Many cases of human infection with the H7N9 virus have been detected in China since 2013. H7N9 viruses are maintained in chickens and are transmitted to humans at live bird markets. During circulation in birds, H7N9 viruses have accumulated amino acid substitutions in their hemagglutinin (HA), which resulted in an antigenically change in the recent H7N9 viruses. Here, we characterized 46 mouse monoclonal antibodies against the HA of the prototype strain. 16 H7-HA-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) possessed hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and neutralization activities by recognizing the major antigenic site A; four other H7-HA-specific clones also showed HI and neutralizing activities via recognition of the major antigenic sites A and D; seven mAbs that reacted with several HA subtypes and possibly recognized the HA stem partially protected mice from lethal infection with prototype H7N9 virus; and the remaining 19 mAbs had neither HI nor neutralization activity. All human H7N9 viruses tested showed a similar neutralization sensitivity to the first group of 16 mAbs, whereas human H7N9 viruses isolated in 2016‒2017 were not neutralized by a second group of 4 mAbs. These results suggest that amino acid substitutions at the epitope of the second mAb group appear to be involved in the antigenic drift of the H7N9 viruses. Further analysis is required to fully understand the antigenic change in H7N9 viruses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 148: Geographic Distribution of HCV-GT3 Subtypes and Naturally Occurring Resistance Associated Substitutions

  • Background: Little is known about the frequency or geographic distributions of naturally occurring resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) in the nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) domain of hepatitis-C virus (HCV) genotype-3 (GT-3) different subtypes. We investigated naturally occurring GT-3 RASs that confer resistance to NS5A inhibitors. Methods: From a publicly accessible database, we retrieved 58 complete GT-3 genomes and an additional 731 worldwide NS5A sequences from patients infected with GT-3 that were naive to direct-acting antiviral treatment. Results: We performed a phylogenetic analysis of NS5A domains in complete HCV genomes to determine more precisely HCV-GT-3 subtypes, based on commonly used target regions (e.g., 5aamp;amp;prime;untranslated region and NS5B partial domain). Among 789 NS5A sequences, GT-3nonA subtypes were more prevalent in Asia than in other geographic regions (Paamp;amp;lt;0.0001). The A30K RAS was detected more frequently in HCV GT3nonA (84.6%) than in GT-3A subtypes (0.8%), and the amino acid change was polymorphic in isolates from Asia. Conclusions: These results provided information on the accuracy of HCV-3 subtyping with a phylogenetic analysis of the NS5A domain with data from the Los Alamos HCV genome database. This information and the worldwide geographic distribution of RASs according to HCV GT-3 subtypes are crucial steps in meeting the challenges of treating HCV GT-3.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 147: Detection of RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase of Hubei Reo-Like Virus 7 by Next-Generation Sequencing in Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes from Brazil

  • Advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics have expanded our knowledge of the diversity of viruses (pathogens and non-pathogens) harbored by mosquitoes. Hubei reo-like virus 7 (HRLV 7) was recently detected by the virome analysis of fecal samples from migratory birds in Australia. We now report the detection of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequences of HRLV 7 in pools of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes species from the Brazilian Amazon forest. Phylogenetic inferences indicated that all HRLV 7 strains fall within the same independent clade. In addition, HRLV 7 shared a close ancestral lineage with the Dinovernavirus genus of the Reoviridae family. Our findings indicate that HRLV 7 is present in two species of mosquitoes.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 146: A New Genotype of Feline Morbillivirus Infects Primary Cells of the Lung, Kidney, Brain and Peripheral Blood

  • Paramyxoviruses comprise a large number of diverse viruses which in part give rise to severe diseases in affected hosts. A new genotype of feline morbillivirus, tentatively named feline morbillivirus genotype 2 (FeMV-GT2), was isolated from urine of cats with urinary tract diseases. Whole genome sequencing showed about 78% nucleotide homology to known feline morbilliviruses. The virus was isolated in permanent cell lines of feline and simian origin. To investigate the cell tropism of FeMV-GT2 feline primary epithelial cells from the kidney, the urinary bladder and the lung, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), as well as organotypic brain slice cultures were used for infection experiments. We demonstrate that FeMV-GT2 is able to infect renal and pulmonary epithelial cells, primary cells from the cerebrum and cerebellum, as well as immune cells in the blood, especially CD4+ T cells, CD20+ B cells and monocytes. The cats used for virus isolation shed FeMV-GT2 continuously for several months despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies in the blood. Our results point towards the necessity of increased awareness for this virus when clinical signs of the aforementioned organs are encountered in cats which cannot be explained by other etiologies.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 145: Fcγ Receptor Type I (CD64)-Mediated Impairment of the Capacity of Dendritic Cells to Activate Specific CD8 T Cells by IgG-opsonized Friend Virus

  • Dendritic cells (DCs) express Fcaamp;amp;gamma; receptors (Fcaamp;amp;gamma;Rs) for the binding immune complexes (ICs) consisting of IgG and antigens (Ags). ICaamp;amp;ndash;Fcaamp;amp;gamma;R interactions have been demonstrated to enhance activation and antigen-presenting functions of DCs. Utilizing Friend virus (FV), an oncogenic mouse retrovirus, we investigated the effect of IgG-opsonization of retroviral particles on the infection of DCs and the subsequent presentation of viral antigens by DCs to virus-specific CD8 T cells. We found that opsonization by virus-specific non-neutralizing IgG abrogated DC infection and as a consequence significantly reduced the capacity of DCs to activate virus-specific CD8 T cells. Effects of IgG-opsonization were mediated by the high-affinity Fcaamp;amp;gamma;R type I, CD64, expressed on DCs. Our results suggest that different opsonization patterns on the retroviral surface modulate infection and antigen-presenting functions of DCs, whereby, in contrast to complement, IgG reduces the capacity of DCs to activate cytotoxic T cell (CTL) responses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 144: Human Sapovirus among Outpatients with Acute Gastroenteritis in Spain: A One-Year Study

  • Viral agents of human gastroenteritis affect people of all ages across the globe. As a mainly self-limiting disease, it is difficult to evaluate the real prevalence of etiological agents circulating in each region. Many of the analyzed outbreaks are caused by viruses of the family Caliciviridae, especially the genus Norovirus (NoV). Most studies have focused on other enteric viruses, leaving sapovirus (SaV) underestimated as an important emerging human threat. This one-year study analyzed clinical samples from hospital outpatients with acute gastroenteritis in Spain, with the aim of revealing the importance of human SaV as an emerging viral pathogen. A total of 2667 stools were tested using reverse transcription (RT)-qPCR to detect and quantify SaV. Sapovirus was detected in all age groups, especially in infants, children, and the elderly. The prevalence was 15.64% (417/2667), and was slightly higher in 0aamp;amp;ndash;2- and 3aamp;amp;ndash;5-year-olds (19.53% and 17.95%, respectively) and much lower in 13aamp;amp;ndash;18-year-olds (9.86%). Positive samples were detected throughout the year, with peaks of detection during autumn and the late winter to early spring months. The mean value for the quantified samples was 6.5 aamp;amp;times; 105 genome copies per gram of stool (GC/g) (range 2.4 aamp;amp;times; 103aamp;amp;ndash;6.6 aamp;amp;times; 1011 GC/g). RT-nested PCR and sequencing were used for further genotyping. Genetic characterization showed a predominance of genogroup I (GI), followed by GII and GIV. The detection of multiple genotypes suggests the circulation of different strains without any clear tendency. The results obtained suggest SaV as the second major gastroenteritis agent after NoV in the region.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 143: Divergent Evolution of E1A CR3 in Human Adenovirus Species D

  • Adenovirus E1A is the first viral protein expressed during infection. E1A controls critical aspects of downstream viral gene expression and cell cycle deregulation, and its function is thought to be highly conserved among adenoviruses. Various bioinformatics analyses of E1A from 38 human adenoviruses of species D (HAdV-D), including likelihood clade model partitioning, provided highly significant evidence of divergence of HAdV-Ds into two distinct groups for the conserved region 3 (CR3), present only in the E1A 13S isoform. This variance within E1A 13S of HAdV-Ds was not found in any other human adenovirus (HAdV) species. By protein sequence and structural analysis, the zinc finger motif of E1A CR3, previously shown as critical for transcriptional activation, showed the greatest differences. Subsequent codon usage bias analysis revealed substantial divergence in E1A 13S between the two groups of HAdV-Ds, suggesting that these two sub-groups of HAdV-D evolved under different cellular conditions. Hence, HAdV-D E1A embodies a previously unappreciated evolutionary divergence among HAdVs.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 142: Staufen1 Protein Participates Positively in the Viral RNA Replication of Enterovirus 71

  • The double-stranded RNA-binding protein Staufen1 (Stau1) has multiple functions during RNA virus infection. In this study, we investigated the role of Stau1 in viral translation by using a combination of enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) infection, RNA reporter transfection, and in vitro functional and biochemical assays. We demonstrated that Stau1 specifically binds to the 5aamp;amp;prime;-untranslated region of EV-A71 viral RNA. The RNA-binding domain 2-3 of Stau1 is responsible for this binding ability. Subsequently, we created a Stau1 knockout cell line using the CRISPR/Cas9 approach to further characterize the functional role of Stau1aamp;amp;rsquo;s interaction with viral RNA in the EV-A71-infected cells. Both the viral RNA accumulation and viral protein expression were downregulated in the Stau1 knockout cells compared with the wild-type naaamp;amp;iuml;ve cells. Moreover, dysregulation of viral RNA translation was observed in the Stau1 knockout cells using ribosome fractionation assay, and a reduced RNA stability of 5aamp;amp;prime;-UTR of the EV-A71 was also identified using an RNA stability assay, which indicated that Stau1 has a role in facilitating viral translation during EV-A71 infection. In conclusion, we determined the functional relevance of Stau1 in the EV-A71 infection cycle and herein describe the mechanism of Stau1 participation in viral RNA translation through its interaction with viral RNA. Our results suggest that Stau1 is an important host factor involved in viral translation and influential early in the EV-A71 replication cycle.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 141: Metabolic Reprogramming of the Host Cell by Human Adenovirus Infection

  • Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that alter many cellular processes to create an environment optimal for viral replication. Reprogramming of cellular metabolism is an important, yet underappreciated feature of many viral infections, as this ensures that the energy and substrates required for viral replication are available in abundance. Human adenovirus (HAdV), which is the focus of this review, is a small DNA tumor virus that reprograms cellular metabolism in a variety of ways. It is well known that HAdV infection increases glucose uptake and fermentation to lactate in a manner resembling the Warburg effect observed in many cancer cells. However, HAdV infection induces many other metabolic changes. In this review, we integrate the findings from a variety of proteomic and transcriptomic studies to understand the subtleties of metabolite and metabolic pathway control during HAdV infection. We review how the E4ORF1 protein of HAdV enacts some of these changes and summarize evidence for reprogramming of cellular metabolism by the viral E1A protein. Therapies targeting altered metabolism are emerging as cancer treatments, and similar targeting of aberrant components of virally reprogrammed metabolism could have clinical antiviral applications.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 140: Rift Valley Fever Virus Exposure amongst Farmers, Farm Workers, and Veterinary Professionals in Central South Africa

  • Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a re-emerging arboviral disease of public health and veterinary importance in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Major RVF epidemics were documented in South Africa in 1950aamp;amp;ndash;1951, 1974aamp;amp;ndash;1975, and 2010aamp;amp;ndash;2011. The number of individuals infected during these outbreaks has, however, not been accurately estimated. A total of 823 people in close occupational contact with livestock were interviewed and sampled over a six-month period in 2015aamp;amp;ndash;2016 within a 40,000 km2 study area encompassing parts of the Free State and Northern Cape provinces that were affected during the 2010aamp;amp;ndash;2011 outbreak. Seroprevalence of RVF virus (RVFV) was 9.1% (95% Confidence Interval (CI95%): 7.2aamp;amp;ndash;11.5%) in people working or residing on livestock or game farms and 8.0% in veterinary professionals. The highest seroprevalence (SP = 15.4%; CI95%: 11.4aamp;amp;ndash;20.3%) was detected in older age groups (aamp;amp;ge;40 years old) that had experienced more than one known large epidemic compared to the younger participants (SP = 4.3%; CI95%: 2.6aamp;amp;ndash;7.3%). The highest seroprevalence was in addition found in people who injected animals, collected blood samples (Odds ratio (OR) = 2.3; CI95%: 1.0aamp;amp;ndash;5.3), slaughtered animals (OR = 3.9; CI95%: 1.2aamp;amp;ndash;12.9) and consumed meat from an animal found dead (OR = 3.1; CI95%: 1.5aamp;amp;ndash;6.6), or worked on farms with dams for water storage (OR = 2.7; CI95%: 1.0aamp;amp;ndash;6.9). We estimated the number of historical RVFV infections of farm staff in the study area to be most likely 3849 and 95% credible interval between 2635 and 5374 based on seroprevalence of 9.1% and national census data. We conclude that human RVF cases were highly underdiagnosed and heterogeneously distributed. Improving precautions during injection, sample collection, slaughtering, and meat processing for consumption, and using personal protective equipment during outbreaks, could lower the risk of RVFV infection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 139: The One Health Approach is Necessary for the Control of Rift Valley Fever Infections in Egypt: A Comprehensive Review

  • Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging transboundary, mosquito-borne, zoonotic viral disease caused high morbidity and mortality in both human and ruminant populations. It is considered an important threat to both agriculture and public health in African and the Middle Eastern countries including Egypt. Five major RVF epidemics have been reported in Egypt (1977, 1993, 1994, 1997, and 2003). The virus is transmitted in Egypt by different mosquitoaamp;amp;rsquo;s genera such as Aedes, Culex, Anopheles, and Mansonia, leading to abortions in susceptible animal hosts especially sheep, goat, cattle, and buffaloes. Recurrent RVF outbreaks in Egypt have been attributed in part to the lack of routine surveillance for the virus. These periodic epizootics have resulted in severe economic losses. We posit that there is a critical need for new approaches to RVF control that will prevent or at least reduce future morbidity and economic stress. One Health is an integrated approach for the understanding and management of animal, human, and environmental determinants of complex problems such as RVF. Employing the One Health approach, one might engage local communities in surveillance and control of RVF efforts, rather than continuing their current status as passive victims of the periodic RVF incursions. This review focuses upon endemic and epidemic status of RVF in Egypt, the virus vectors and their ecology, transmission dynamics, risk factors, and the ecology of the RVF at the animal/human interface, prevention, and control measures, and the use of environmental and climate data in surveillance systems to predict disease outbreaks.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 138: Subterranean Clover Stunt Virus Revisited: Detection of Two Missing Genome Components

  • Subterranean clover stunt virus (SCSV) is a type species of the genus Nanovirus in the family Nanoviridae. It was the first single-stranded DNA plant virus with a multipartite genome, of which genomic DNA sequences had been determined. All nanoviruses have eight genome components except SCSV, for which homologs of two genome components present in all other nanovirus genomes, DNA-U2 and DNA-U4, were lacking. We analysed archived and more recent samples from SCSV-infected legume plants to verify its genome composition and found the missing genome components. These results indicated that SCSV also has eight genome components and is a typical member of the genus Nanovirus.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 137: Filovirus Virulence in Interferonα/β and γ Double Knockout Mice, and Treatment with Favipiravir

  • The 2014 Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa highlighted the need for vaccines and therapeutics to prevent and treat filovirus infections. A well-characterized small animal model that is susceptible to wild-type filoviruses would facilitate the screening of anti-filovirus agents. To that end, we characterized knockout mice lacking aamp;amp;alpha;/aamp;amp;beta; and aamp;amp;gamma; interferon receptors (IFNAGR KO) as a model for wild-type filovirus infection. Intraperitoneal challenge of IFNAGR KO mice with several known human pathogenic species from the genus Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus, except Bundibugyo ebolavirus and Taaamp;amp;iuml; Forest ebolavirus, caused variable mortality rate. Further characterization of the prototype Ebola virus Kikwit isolate infection in this KO mouse model showed 100% lethality down to a dilution equivalent to 1.0 aamp;amp;times; 10aamp;amp;minus;1 pfu with all deaths occurring between 7 and 9 days post-challenge. Viral RNA was detectable in serum after challenge with 1.0 aamp;amp;times; 102 pfu as early as one day after infection. Changes in hematology and serum chemistry became pronounced as the disease progressed and mirrored the histological changes in the spleen and liver that were also consistent with those described for patients with Ebola virus disease. In a proof-of-principle study, treatment of Ebola virus infected IFNAGR KO mice with favipiravir resulted in 83% protection. Taken together, the data suggest that IFNAGR KO mice may be a useful model for early screening of anti-filovirus medical countermeasures.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 136: Immunogenicity and Efficacy of a Novel Multi-Antigenic Peptide Vaccine Based on Cross-Reactivity between Feline and Human Immunodeficiency Viruses

  • For the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine, evolutionarily conserved epitopes between feline and human immunodeficiency viruses (FIV and HIV-1) were determined by analyzing overlapping peptides from retroviral genomes that induced both anti-FIV/HIV T cell-immunity in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the FIV-vaccinated cats and the HIV-infected humans. The conserved T-cell epitopes on p24 and reverse transcriptase were selected based on their robust FIV/HIV-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL), CD4+ CTL, and polyfunctional T-cell activities. Four such evolutionarily conserved epitopes were formulated into four multiple antigen peptides (MAPs), mixed with an adjuvant, to be tested as FIV vaccine in cats. The immunogenicity and protective efficacy were evaluated against a pathogenic FIV. More MAP/peptide-specific CD4+ than CD8+ T-cell responses were initially observed. By post-third vaccination, half of the MAP/peptide-specific CD8+ T-cell responses were higher or equivalent to those of CD4+ T-cell responses. Upon challenge, 15/19 (78.9%) vaccinated cats were protected, whereas 6/16 (37.5%) control cats remained uninfected, resulting in a protection rate of 66.3% preventable fraction (p = 0.0180). Thus, the selection method used to identify the protective FIV peptides should be useful in identifying protective HIV-1 peptides needed for a highly protective HIV-1 vaccine in humans.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 135: Effect of Pullet Vaccination on Development and Longevity of Immunity

  • Avian respiratory disease causes significant economic losses in commercial poultry. Because of the need to protect long-lived poultry against respiratory tract pathogens from an early age, vaccination programs for pullets typically involve serial administration of a variety of vaccines, including infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), Newcastle disease virus (NDV), and infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV). Often the interval between vaccinations is only a matter of weeks, yet it is unknown whether the development of immunity and protection against challenge when vaccines are given in short succession occurs in these birds, something known as viral interference. Our objective was to determine whether serially administered, live attenuated vaccines against IBV, NDV, and ILTV influence the development and longevity of immunity and protection against challenge in long-lived birds. Based on a typical pullet vaccination program, specific-pathogen-free white leghorns were administered multiple live attenuated vaccines against IBV, NDV, and ILTV until 16 weeks of age (WOA), after which certain groups were challenged with IBV, NDV, or ILTV at 20, 24, 28, 32, and 36 WOA. Five days post-challenge, viral load, clinical signs, ciliostasis, tracheal histopathology, and antibody titers in serum and tears were evaluated. We demonstrate that pullets serially administered live attenuated vaccines against IBV, NDV, and ILTV were protected against homologous challenge with IBV, NDV, or ILTV for at least 36 weeks, and conclude that the interval between vaccinations used in this study (at least 2 weeks) did not interfere with protection. This information is important because it shows that a typical pullet vaccination program consisting of serially administered live attenuated vaccines against multiple respiratory pathogens can result in the development of protective immunity against each disease agent.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 134: Twelfth International Foamy Virus Conference—Meeting Report

  • The 12th International Foamy Virus Conference took place on 30aamp;amp;ndash;31 August 2018 at the Technische Universitaamp;amp;auml;t Dresden, Dresden, Germany. The meeting included presentations on current research on non-human primate and non-primate foamy viruses (FVs; also called spumaretroviruses) as well as keynote talks on related research areas in retroviruses. The taxonomy of foamy viruses was updated earlier this year to create five new genera in the subfamily, Spumaretrovirinae, based on their animal hosts. Research on viruses from different genera was presented on topics of potential relevance to human health, such as natural infections and cross-species transmission, replication, and viral-host interactions in particular with the immune system, dual retrovirus infections, virus structure and biology, and viral vectors for gene therapy. This article provides an overview of the current state-of-the-field, summarizes the meeting highlights, and presents some important questions that need to be addressed in the future.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 133: Non-Structural Protein 2B of Human Rhinovirus 16 Activates Both PERK and ATF6 Rather Than IRE1 to Trigger ER Stress

  • To understand the underlying mechanisms of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress caused by human rhinovirus (HRV) 16 and non-structural transmembrane protein 2B, the expressions of ER chaperone glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and three signal transduction pathways, including protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK), activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1), were evaluated after HRV16 infection and 2B gene transfection. Our results showed that both HRV16 infection and 2B gene transfection increased the expression of ER chaperone GRP78, and induced phosphorylation of PERK and cleavage of ATF6 in a time-dependent manner. Our data also revealed that the HRV16 2B protein was localized to the ER membrane. However, both HRV16 infection and HRV16 2B gene transfection did not induce ER stress through the IRE1 pathway. Moreover, our results showed that apoptosis occurred in H1-HeLa cells infected with HRV16 or transfected with 2B gene accompanied with increased expression of CHOP and cleaved caspase-3. Taken together, non-structural protein 2B of HRV16 induced an ER stress response through the PERK and ATF6 pathways rather than the IRE1 pathway.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 132: Crosstalk between Autophagy and Type I Interferon Responses in Innate Antiviral Immunity

  • Autophagy exhibits dual effects during viral infections, promoting the clearance of viral components and activating the immune system to produce antiviral cytokines. However, some viruses impair immune defenses by collaborating with autophagy. Mounting evidence suggests that the interaction between autophagy and innate immunity is critical to understanding the contradictory roles of autophagy. Type I interferon (IFN-I) is a crucial antiviral factor, and studies have indicated that autophagy affects IFN-I responses by regulating IFN-I and its receptors expression. Similarly, IFN-I and interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) products can harness autophagy to regulate antiviral immunity. Crosstalk between autophagy and IFN-I responses could be a vital aspect of the molecular mechanisms involving autophagy in innate antiviral immunity. This review briefly summarizes the approaches by which autophagy regulates antiviral IFN-I responses and highlights the recent advances on the mechanisms by which IFN-I and ISG products employ autophagy against viruses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 131: Control of Acute Arboviral Infection by Natural Killer Cells

  • The recent explosive pandemic of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) followed by Zika (ZIKV) virus infections occurring throughout many countries represents the most unexpected arrival of arthropod-borne viral diseases in the past 20 years. Transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, the clinical picture associated with these acute arbovirus infections, including Dengue (DENV), CHIKV and ZIKV, ranges from classical febrile illness to life-threatening disease. Whereas ZIKV and CHIKV-mediated infections have previously been recognized as relatively benign diseases, in contrast to Dengue fever, recent epidemic events have brought waves of increased morbidity and mortality leading to a serious public health problem. Although the host immune response plays a crucial role in controlling infections, it may also promote viral spread and immunopathology. Here, we review recent developments in our understanding of the immune response, with an emphasis on the early antiviral immune response mediated by natural killer cells and emphasize their Janus-faced effects in the control of arbovirus infection and pathogenesis. Improving our understanding knowledge on of the mechanisms that control viral infection is crucial in the current race against the globalization of arbovirus epidemics.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 130: The Influence of Envelope C-Terminus Amino Acid Composition on the Ratio of Cell-Free to Cell-Cell Transmission for Bovine Foamy Virus

  • Foamy viruses (FVs) have extensive cell tropism in vitro, special replication features, and no clinical pathogenicity in naturally or experimentally infected animals, which distinguish them from orthoretroviruses. Among FVs, bovine foamy virus (BFV) has undetectable or extremely low levels of cell-free transmission in the supernatants of infected cells and mainly spreads by cell-to-cell transmission, which deters its use as a gene transfer vector. Here, using an in vitro virus evolution system, we successfully isolated high-titer cell-free BFV strains from the original cell-to-cell transmissible BFV3026 strain and further constructed an infectious cell-free BFV clone called pBS-BFV-Z1. Following sequence alignment with a cell-associated clone pBS-BFV-B, we identified a number of changes in the genome of pBS-BFV-Z1. Extensive mutagenesis analysis revealed that the C-terminus of envelope protein, especially the K898 residue, controls BFV cell-free transmission by enhancing cell-free virus entry but not the virus release capacity. Taken together, our data show the genetic determinants that regulate cell-to-cell and cell-free transmission of BFV.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 129: A Survey of Recent Adenoviral Respiratory Pathogens in Hong Kong Reveals Emergent and Recombinant Human Adenovirus Type 4 (HAdV-E4) Circulating in Civilian Populations

  • Human adenovirus type 4 (HAdV-E4), which is intriguingly limited to military populations, causes acute respiratory disease with demonstrated morbidity and mortality implications. This respiratory pathogen contains genome identity with chimpanzee adenoviruses, indicating zoonotic origins. A signature of these aamp;amp;ldquo;oldaamp;amp;rdquo; HAdV-E4 is the absence of a critical replication motif, NF-I, which is found in all HAdV respiratory pathogens and most HAdVs. However, our recent survey of flu-like disease in children in Hong Kong reveals that the emergent HAdV-E4 pathogens circulating in civilian populations contain NF-I, indicating recombination and reflecting host-adaptation that enables the aamp;amp;ldquo;newaamp;amp;rdquo; HAdV-E4 to replicate more efficiently in human cells and foretells more potential HAdV-E4 outbreaks in immune-naaamp;amp;iuml;ve civilian populations. Special attention should be paid by clinicians to this emergent and recombinant HAdV-E4 circulating in civilian populations.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 128: Angiomotin-Like 1 Links Paramyxovirus M Proteins to NEDD4 Family Ubiquitin Ligases

  • To define the links between paramyxovirus budding and cellular ESCRT machinery, we previously identified angiomotin-like 1 (AMOTL1) in a screen for host factors that bind to the matrix (M) protein of parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5). This protein harbors three L/PPXY sequences, allowing it to interact with WW domain containing proteins including NEDD4 family members. We hypothesize that paramyxoviruses use AMOTL1 as a linker to indirectly recruit the same NEDD4 ubiquitin ligases for budding that other enveloped viruses recruit directly through their PPXY late domains. In support of this hypothesis, we found that AMOTL1 could link together M proteins and NEDD4 family proteins in three-way co-IP experiments. Both PIV5 and mumps virus M proteins could be linked to the NEDD4 family proteins NEDD4-1, NEDD4L, and NEDL1, provided that AMOTL1 was co-expressed as a bridging protein. AMOT and AMOTL2 could not substitute for AMOTL1, as they lacked the ability to bind with paramyxovirus M proteins. Attachment of a PPXY late domain sequence to PIV5 M protein obviated the need for AMOTL1 as a linker between M and NEDD4 proteins. Together, these results suggest a novel host factor recruitment strategy for paramyxoviruses to achieve particle release.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 127: Genomic Characterization of Orf Virus Strain D1701-V (Parapoxvirus) and Development of Novel Sites for Multiple Transgene Expression

  • The Orf virus (ORFV; Parapoxvirus) strain D1701 with an attenuated phenotype and excellent immunogenic capacity is successfully used for the generation of recombinant vaccines against different viral infections. Adaption for growth in Vero cells was accompanied by additional major genomic changes resulting in ORFV strain variant D1701-V. In this study, restriction enzyme mapping, blot hybridization and DNA sequencing of the deleted region s (A, AT and D) in comparison to the predecessor strain D1701-B revealed the loss of 7 open reading frames (ORF008, ORF101, ORF102, ORF114, ORF115, ORF116, ORF117). The suitability of deletion site D for expression of foreign genes is demonstrated using novel synthetic early promoter eP1 and eP2. Comparison of promoter strength showed that the original vegf-e promoter Pv as well as promoter eP2 display an up to 11-fold stronger expression than promoter eP1, irrespective of the insertion site. Successful integration and expression of the fluorescent marker genes is demonstrated by gene- and insertion-site specific PCR assays, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. For the first time ORFV recombinants are generated simultaneously expressing transgenes in two different insertion loci. That allows production of polyvalent vaccines containing several antigens against one or different pathogens in a single vectored ORFV vaccine.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 126: Antiviral Role of IFITM Proteins in Classical Swine Fever Virus Infection

  • The proteins IFITM1, IFITM2, and IFITM3 are host effectors against a broad range of RNA viruses whose roles in classical swine fever virus (CSFV) infection had not yet been reported. We investigated the effect of these proteins on CSFV replication in mammalian cells. The proteins were overexpressed and silenced using lentiviruses. Confocal microscopy was used to determine the distribution of these proteins in the cells, and immunofluorescence colocalization analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between IFITMs and the CSFV endosomal pathway, including early endosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes. IFITM1, IFITM2, or IFITM3 overexpression significantly inhibited CSFV replication, whereas protein knockdown enhanced CSFV replication. In porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs), IFITM1 was mainly located at the cell surface, whereas IFITM2 and IFITM3 were mainly located in the cytoplasm. Following CSFV infection, the distribution of IFITM1 changed. IFITM1, IFITM2, and IFITM3 colocalization with Lamp1, IFITM2 with Rab5 and Rab7, and IFITM3 with Rab7 were observed in CSFV-infected cells. Collectively, these results provide insights into the possible mechanisms associated with the anti-CSFV action of the IFITM family.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 125: Shared Common Ancestry of Rodent Alphacoronaviruses Sampled Globally

  • The recent discovery of novel alphacoronaviruses (alpha-CoVs) in European and Asian rodents revealed that rodent coronaviruses (CoVs) sampled worldwide formed a discrete phylogenetic group within this genus. To determine the evolutionary history of rodent CoVs in more detail, particularly the relative frequencies of virus-host co-divergence and cross-species transmission, we recovered longer fragments of CoV genomes from previously discovered European rodent alpha-CoVs using a combination of PCR and high-throughput sequencing. Accordingly, the full genome sequence was retrieved from the UK rat coronavirus, along with partial genome sequences from the UK field vole and Poland-resident bank vole CoVs, and a short conserved ORF1b fragment from the French rabbit CoV. Genome and phylogenetic analysis showed that despite their diverse geographic origins, all rodent alpha-CoVs formed a single monophyletic group and shared similar features, such as the same gene constellations, a recombinant beta-CoV spike gene, and similar core transcriptional regulatory sequences (TRS). These data suggest that all rodent alpha CoVs sampled so far originate from a single common ancestor, and that there has likely been a long-term association between alpha CoVs and rodents. Despite this likely antiquity, the phylogenetic pattern of the alpha-CoVs was also suggestive of relatively frequent host-jumping among the different rodent species.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 124: Modeling Host-Virus Interactions in Viral Infectious Diseases Using Stem-Cell-Derived Systems and CRISPR/Cas9 Technology

  • Pathologies induced by viral infections have undergone extensive study, with traditional model systems such as two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures and in vivo mouse models contributing greatly to our understanding of host-virus interactions. However, the technical limitations inherent in these systems have constrained efforts to more fully understand such interactions, leading to a search for alternative in vitro systems that accurately recreate in vivo physiology in order to advance the study of viral pathogenesis. Over the last decade, there have been significant technological advances that have allowed researchers to more accurately model the host environment when modeling viral pathogenesis in vitro, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), adult stem-cell-derived organoid culture systems and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. Such technological breakthroughs have ushered in a new era in the field of viral pathogenesis, where previously challenging questions have begun to be tackled. These include genome-wide analysis of host-virus crosstalk, identification of host factors critical for viral pathogenesis, and the study of viral pathogens that previously lacked a suitable platform, e.g., noroviruses, rotaviruses, enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and Zika virus. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in the study of viral pathogenesis and host-virus crosstalk arising from the use of iPSC, organoid, and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 123: Sediments from Arctic Tide-Water Glaciers Remove Coastal Marine Viruses and Delay Host Infection

  • Over the past few decades, the Arctic region has been strongly affected by global warming, leading to increased sea surface temperatures and melting of land and sea ice. Marine terminating (tide-water) glaciers are expected to show higher melting and calving rates, with an increase in the input of fine sediment particles in the coastal marine environment. We experimentally investigated whether marine viruses, which drive microbial interactions and biogeochemical cycling are removed from the water column through adsorption to glacier-delivered fine sediments. Ecologically relevant concentrations of 30, 100 and 200 mgaamp;amp;middot;Laamp;amp;minus;1 sediments were added to filtered lysates of 3 cultured algal viruses and to a natural marine bacterial virus community. Total virus removal increased with sediment concentration whereby the removal rate depended on the virus used (up to 88% for an Arctic algal virus), suggesting a different interaction strength with the sediment. Moreover, we observed that the adsorption of viruses to sediment is a reversible process, and that desorbed viruses are still able to infect their respective hosts. Nonetheless, the addition of sediment to infection experiments with the Arctic prasinovirus MpoV-45T substantially delayed host lysis and the production of progeny viruses. We demonstrate that glacier-derived fine sediments have the potency to alter virus availability and consequently, host population dynamics.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 122: Back to the Future for Influenza Preimmunity—Looking Back at Influenza Virus History to Infer the Outcome of Future Infections

  • The influenza virus-host interaction is a classic arms race. The recurrent and evolving nature of the influenza virus family allows a single host to be infected several times. Locked in co-evolution, recurrent influenza virus infection elicits continual refinement of the host immune system. Here we give historical context of circulating influenza viruses to understand how the individual immune history is mirrored by the history of influenza virus circulation. Original Antigenic Sin was first proposed as the negative influence of the hostaamp;amp;rsquo;s first influenza virus infection on the next and Imprinting modernizes Antigenic Sin incorporating both positive and negative outcomes. Building on imprinting, we refer to preimmunity as the continual refinement of the host immune system with each influenza virus infection. We discuss imprinting and the interplay of influenza virus homology, vaccination, and host age establishing preimmunity. We outline host signatures and outcomes of tandem infection according to the sequence of virus and classify these relationships as monosubtypic homologous, monosubtypic heterologous, heterosubtypic, or heterotypic sequential infections. Finally, the preimmunity knowledge gaps are highlighted for future investigation. Understanding the effects of antigenic variable recurrent influenza virus infection on immune refinement will advance vaccination strategies, as well as pandemic preparedness.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 121: Overexpression of the Interferon-Inducible Isoform 4 of NCOA7 Dissects the Entry Route of Enveloped Viruses and Demonstrates that HIV Enters Cells via Fusion at the Plasma Membrane

  • The HIV-1 entry-route is a matter of ongoing controversy, and there is evidence for fusion either at the cell surface or from within endosomes. A recent report demonstrated that isoform 4 of nuclear receptor coactivator 7 (NCOA7iso4) interacts with endolysosomal vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (V-ATPase), increasing lytic activity and thereby severely affecting the entry of vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G)-mediated, but not HIV-Env-mediated, entry and infection. As basal expression of NCOA7iso4 is low in the absence of type-1 interferons, its overexpression is a novel tool to study viral entry.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 120: Next-Generation Sequencing and CRISPR/Cas13 Editing in Viroid Research and Molecular Diagnostics

  • Viroid discovery as well as the economic significance of viroids and biological properties are presented. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies combined with informatics have been applied to viroid research and diagnostics for almost a decade. NGS provides highly efficient, rapid, low-cost high-throughput sequencing of viroid genomes and of the 21aamp;amp;ndash;24 nt vd-sRNAs generated by the RNA silencing defense of the host. NGS has been utilized in various viroid studies which are presented. The discovery during the last few years that prokaryotes have heritable adaptive immunity mediated through clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated Cas proteins, have led to transformative advances in molecular biology, notably genome engineering and most recently molecular diagnostics. The potential application of the CRISPR-Cas13a system for engineering viroid interference in plants is suggested by targeting specific motifs of three economically important viroids. The CRISPR-Cas13 system has been utilized recently for the accurate detection of human RNA viruses by visual read out in 90 min or less and by paper-based assay. Multitarget RNA tests by this technology have a good potential for application as a rapid and accurate diagnostic assay for known viroids. The CRISPR/Cas system will work only for known viroids in contrast to NGS, but it should be much faster.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 119: Chewing the Fat: The Conserved Ability of DNA Viruses to Hijack Cellular Lipid Metabolism

  • Viruses manipulate numerous host factors and cellular pathways to facilitate the replication of viral genomes and the production of infectious progeny. One way in which viruses interact with cells is through the utilization and exploitation of the host lipid metabolism. While it is likely that mostaamp;amp;mdash;if not allaamp;amp;mdash;viruses require lipids or intermediates of lipid synthesis to replicate, many viruses also actively induce lipid metabolic pathways to sustain a favorable replication environment. From the formation of membranous replication compartments, to the generation of ATP or protein modifications, viruses exhibit differing requirements for host lipids. Thus, while the exploitation of lipid metabolism is a common replication strategy, diverse viruses employ a plethora of mechanisms to co-opt these critical cellular pathways. Here, we review recent literature regarding the exploitation of host lipids and lipid metabolism specifically by DNA viruses. Importantly, furthering the understanding of the viral requirements for host lipids may offer new targets for antiviral therapeutics and provide opportunities to repurpose the numerous FDA-approved compounds targeting lipid metabolic pathways as antiviral agents.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 118: Phage Reduce Stability for Regaining Infectivity during Antagonistic Coevolution with Host Bacterium

  • The coevolution between phage and host bacterium is an important force that drives the evolution of the microbial community, yet the coevolution mechanisms have still not been well analyzed. Here, by analyzing the interaction between a Bacillus phage vB_BthS_BMBphi and its host bacterium, the coevolution mechanisms of the first-generation phage-resistant bacterial mutants and regained-infectivity phage mutants were studied. The phage-resistant bacterial mutants showed several conserved mutations as a potential reason for acquiring phage resistance, including the mutation in flagellum synthesis protein FlhA and cell wall polysaccharide synthesis protein DltC. All the phage-resistant bacterial mutants showed a deleted first transmembrane domain of the flagellum synthesis protein FlhA. Meanwhile, the regain-infectivity phage mutants all contained mutations in three baseplate-associated phage tail proteins by one nucleotide, respectively. A polymorphism analysis of the three mutant nucleotides in the wild-type phage revealed that the mutations existed before the interaction of the phage and the bacterium, while the wild-type phage could not infect the phage-resistant bacterial mutants, which might be because the synchronized mutations of the three nucleotides were essential for regaining infectivity. This study for the first time revealed that the synergism mutation of three phage baseplate-associated proteins were essential for the phagesaamp;amp;rsquo; regained infectivity. Although the phage mutants regained infectivity, their storage stability was decreased and the infectivity against the phage-resistant bacterial mutants was reduced, suggesting the phage realized the continuation of the species by way of aamp;amp;ldquo;dying to surviveaamp;amp;rdquo;.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 117: Drug Repurposing Campaigns for Human Cytomegalovirus Identify a Natural Compound Targeting the Immediate-Early 2 (IE2) Protein: A Comment on“The Natural Flavonoid Compound Deguelin Inhibits HCMV Lytic Replication within Fibroblasts”

  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that establishes a lifelong persistence in the host through both chronic and latent states of infection [...]

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 115: New Method for Differentiation of Granuloviruses (Betabaculoviruses) Based on Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (Real-Time PCR)

  • Baculoviridae is a highly diverse family of rod-shaped viruses with double-stranded DNA. To date, almost 100 species have had their complete genomic sequences deposited in the GenBank database, a quarter of which comprises granuloviruses (GVs). Many of the genomes are sequenced using next-generation sequencing, which is currently considered the best method for characterizing new species, but it is time-consuming and expensive. Baculoviruses form a safe alternative to overused chemical pesticides and therefore there is a constant need for identifying new species that can be active components of novel biological insecticides. In this study, we have described a fast and reliable method for the detection of new and differentiation of previously analyzed granulovirus species based on a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique with melting point curve analysis. The sequences of highly conserved baculovirus genes, such as granulin and late expression factors 8 and 9 (lef-8 and lef-9), derived from GVs available to date have been analyzed and used for degenerate primer design. The developed method was tested on a representative group of eight betabaculoviruses with comparisons of melting temperatures to allow for quick and preliminary granulovirus detection. The proposed real-time PCR procedure may be a very useful tool as an easily accessible screening method in a majority of laboratories.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 116: Characterization of Host and Bacterial Contributions to Lung Barrier Dysfunction Following Co-infection with 2009 Pandemic Influenza and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

  • Influenza viruses are a threat to global public health resulting in ~500,000 deaths each year. Despite an intensive vaccination program, influenza infections remain a recurrent, yet unsolved public health problem. Secondary bacterial infections frequently complicate influenza infections during seasonal outbreaks and pandemics, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), is frequently associated with these co-infections, including the 2009 influenza pandemic. Damage to alveolar epithelium is a major contributor to severe influenza-bacterial co-infections and can result in gas exchange abnormalities, fluid leakage, and respiratory insufficiency. These deleterious manifestations likely involve both pathogen- and host-mediated mechanisms. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the mechanisms (pathogen- and/or host-mediated) underlying influenza-bacterial co-infection pathogenesis. To address this, we characterized the contributions of viral-, bacterial-, and host-mediated factors to the altered structure and function of alveolar epithelial cells during co-infection with a focus on the 2009 pandemic influenza (pdm2009) and MRSA. Here, we characterized pdm2009 and MRSA replication kinetics, temporal host kinome responses, modulation of MRSA virulence factors, and disruption of alveolar barrier integrity in response to pdm2009-MRSA co-infection. Our results suggest that alveolar barrier disruption during co-infection is mediated primarily through host response dysregulation, resulting in loss of alveolar barrier integrity.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 114: The Two Prevalent Genotypes of an Emerging Infectious Disease, Deformed Wing Virus, Cause Equally Low Pupal Mortality and Equally High Wing Deformities in Host Honey Bees

  • Deformed wing virus (DWV) is an emerging infectious disease of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) that is considered a major cause of elevated losses of honey bee colonies. DWV comprises two widespread genotypes: the originally described genotype A, and genotype B. In adult honey bees, DWV-B has been shown to be more virulent than DWV-A. However, their comparative effects on earlier host developmental stages are unknown. Here, we experimentally inoculated honey bee pupae and tested for the relative impact of DWV-A versus DWV-B on mortality and wing deformities in eclosing adults. DWV-A and DWV-B caused similar, and only slightly elevated, pupal mortality (mean 18% greater mortality than control). Both genotypes caused similarly high wing deformities in eclosing adults (mean 60% greater wing deformities than control). Viral titer was high in all of the experimentally inoculated eclosing adults, and was independent of wing deformities, suggesting that the phenotype aamp;amp;lsquo;deformed wingsaamp;amp;rsquo; is not directly related to viral titer or viral genotype. These viral traits favor the emergence of both genotypes of DWV by not limiting the reproduction of its vector, the ectoparasitic Varroa destructor mite, in infected pupae, and thereby facilitating the spread of DWV in honey bees infested by the mite.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 113: Phage Lytic Enzymes

  • Phage lytic enzymes are enzymes produced by bacterial viruses, either as part of their virion to facilitate bacterial infection through local peptidoglycan degradation, or as soluble proteins to induce massive cell lysis at the end of the lytic replication cycle [...]

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 112: Piscine Orthoreovirus 3 Is Not the Causative Pathogen of Proliferative Darkening Syndrome (PDS) of Brown Trout (Salmo trutta fario)

  • The proliferative darkening syndrome (PDS) is a lethal disease of brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) which occurs in several alpine Bavarian limestone rivers. Because mortality can reach 100%, PDS is a serious threat for affected fish populations. Recently, Kuehn and colleagues reported that a high throughput RNA sequencing approach identified a piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) as a causative agent of PDS. We investigated samples from PDS-affected fish obtained from two exposure experiments performed at the river Iller in 2008 and 2009. Using a RT-qPCR and a well-established next-generation RNA sequencing pipeline for pathogen detection, PRV-specific RNA was not detectable in PDS fish from 2009. In contrast, PRV RNA was readily detectable in several organs from diseased fish in 2008. However, similar virus loads were detectable in the control fish which were not exposed to Iller water and did not show any signs of the disease. Therefore, we conclude that PRV is not the causative agent of PDS of brown trout in the rhithral region of alpine Bavarian limestone rivers. The abovementioned study by Kuehn used only samples from the exposure experiment from 2008 and detected a subclinical PRV bystander infection. Work is ongoing to identify the causative agent of PDS.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 111: The Role of Marek’s Disease Virus UL12 and UL29 in DNA Recombination and the Virus Lifecycle

  • Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is an oncogenic alphaherpesvirus that infects chickens and integrates its genome into the telomeres of latently infected cells. MDV encodes two proteins, UL12 and UL29 (ICP8), that are conserved among herpesviruses and could facilitate virus integration. The orthologues of UL12 and UL29 in herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) possess exonuclease and single strand DNA-binding activity, respectively, and facilitate DNA recombination; however, the role of both proteins in the MDV lifecycle remains elusive. To determine if UL12 and/or UL29 are involved in virus replication, we abrogated their expression in the very virulent RB-1B strain. Abrogation of either UL12 or UL29 resulted in a severe impairment of virus replication. We also demonstrated that MDV UL12 can aid in single strand annealing DNA repair, using a well-established reporter cell line. Finally, we assessed the role of UL12 and UL29 in MDV integration and maintenance of the latent virus genome. We could demonstrate that knockdown of UL12 and UL29 does not interfere with the establishment or maintenance of latency. Our data therefore shed light on the role of MDV UL12 and UL29 in MDV replication, DNA repair, and maintenance of the latent virus genome.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 110: Mechanisms of Strain Diversity of Disease-Associated in-Register Parallelβ-Sheet Amyloids and Implications About Prion Strains

  • The mechanism of prion strain diversity remains unsolved. Investigation of inheritance and diversification of protein-based pathogenic information demands the identification of the detailed structures of abnormal isoforms of the prion protein (PrPSc); however, achieving purification is difficult without affecting infectivity. Similar prion-like properties are recognized also in other disease-associated in-register parallel aamp;amp;beta;-sheet amyloids including Tau and aamp;amp;alpha;-synuclein (aamp;amp;alpha;Syn) amyloids. Investigations into structures of those amyloids via solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and cryo-electron microscopy recently made remarkable advances due to their relatively small sizes and lack of post-translational modifications. Herein, we review advances regarding pathogenic amyloids, particularly Tau and aamp;amp;alpha;Syn, and discuss implications about strain diversity mechanisms of prion/PrPSc from the perspective that PrPSc is an in-register parallel aamp;amp;beta;-sheet amyloid. Additionally, we present our recent data of molecular dynamics simulations of aamp;amp;alpha;Syn amyloid, which suggest significance of compatibility between aamp;amp;beta;-sheet propensities of the substrate and local structures of the template for stability of amyloid structures. Detailed structures of aamp;amp;alpha;Syn and Tau amyloids are excellent models of pathogenic amyloids, including PrPSc, to elucidate strain diversity and pathogenic mechanisms.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 109: Cell-Penetrating Mx1 Enhances Anti-Viral Resistance against Mucosal Influenza Viral Infection

  • Dynamin-like GTPase myxovirus resistance protein 1 (Mx1) is an intracellular anti-viral protein following the activation of type I and type III interferon signaling. Mx1 inhibits viral replication by blocking the transcription of viral RNA, and a deficiency in this protein enhances susceptibility to influenza infection. Thus, Mx1 could be another efficient target of anti-influenza therapy. To test our hypothesis, we fused poly-arginine cell-penetrating peptides to the C terminus of Mx1 (Mx1-9R) and examined the anti-viral activity of Mx1-9R in vitro and in vivo. Madin-Darby Canine Kidney epithelial cells internalized the Mx1-9R within 12 h. Pre-exposure Mx1-9R treatment inhibited viral replication and viral RNA expression in infected cells. Further, intranasal administration of Mx1-9R improved the survival of mice infected with the PR8 influenza viral strain. These data support the consideration of Mx1-9R as a novel therapeutic agent against mucosal influenza virus infection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 108: Whole Genome Sequencing of A(H3N2) Influenza Viruses Reveals Variants Associated with Severity during the 2016–2017 Season

  • Influenza viruses cause a remarkable disease burden and significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and these impacts vary between seasons. To understand the mechanisms associated with these differences, a comprehensive approach is needed to characterize the impact of influenza genomic traits on the burden of disease. During 2016–2017, a year with severe A(H3N2), we sequenced 176 A(H3N2) influenza genomes using next generation sequencing (NGS) for routine surveillance of circulating influenza viruses collected via the French national influenza community-based surveillance network or from patients hospitalized in the intensive care units of the University Hospitals of Lyon, France. Taking into account confounding factors, sequencing and clinical data were used to identify genomic variants and quasispecies associated with influenza severity or vaccine failure. Several amino acid substitutions significantly associatedwith clinical traits were found, including NA V263I and NS1 K196E which were associated with severity and co-occurred only in viruses from the 3c.2a1 clade. Additionally, we observed that intra-host diversity as a whole and on a specific set of gene segments increased with severity. These results support the use of whole genome sequencing as a tool for the identification of genetic traits associated with severe influenza in the context of influenza surveillance.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 107: Requirement of Cellular Protein CCT7 for the Replication of Fowl Adenovirus Serotype 4 (FAdV-4) in Leghorn Male Hepatocellular Cells Via Interaction with the Viral Hexon Protein

  • Fowl adenovirus serotype 4 (FAdV-4) causes hepatitis-hydropericardium syndrome (HHS), leading to severe economic losses in the poultry industry. Although the pathogenesis of FAdV-4 infection has caused much attention, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we identified chaperonin containing TCP-1 subunit eta (CCT7) as an interacting partner of the FAdV-4 capsid protein hexon. We found that ectopic expression of CCT7 in leghorn male hepatocellular (LMH) cells enhanced hexon expression in pRK5-flag-hexon transfected cells. On the contrary, knockdown of cellular CCT7 by RNAi markedly reduced hexon expression in FAdV-4-infected cells and suppressed viral replication. These data suggest that CCT7 is required for FAdV-4 replication and may serve as a potential target for controlling FAdV-4 infection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 106: Viruses Teaching Immunology: Role of LCMV Model and Human Viral Infections in Immunological Discoveries

  • Virology has played an essential role in deciphering many immunological phenomena, thus shaping our current understanding of the immune system. Animal models of viral infection and human viral infections were both important tools for immunological discoveries. This review discusses two immunological breakthroughs originally identified with the help of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) model; immunological restriction by major histocompatibility complex and immunotherapy using checkpoint blockade. In addition, we discuss related discoveries such as development of tetramers, viral escape mutation, and the phenomenon of T-cell exhaustion.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 105: Persistent Viral Reservoirs in Lymphoid Tissues in SIV-Infected Rhesus Macaques of Chinese-Origin on Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy

  • Understanding HIV latent reservoirs in tissues is essential for the development of new strategies targeting these sites for eradication. Here, we assessed the size of latent reservoirs and the source of residual viruses in multiple lymphoid tissues of SIV-infected and fully suppressed rhesus macaques of Chinese-origin (cRMs). Eight cRMs were infected with SIVmac251 and treated with tenofovir and emtricitabine daily for 24 weeks initiated 4 weeks post-infection. Four of the eight animals reached sustained full viral suppression with undetectable viremia. The levels of cell-associated SIV DNA varied in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and multiple lymphoid tissues, but with higher levels in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MesLNs). The levels of cell-associated SIV RNA also varied in different tissues. The higher frequency of viral RNA detection in the MesLNs was also observed by in situ hybridization. Consistently, the infection unit per million cells (IUPM) in the MesLNs was higher than in PBMCs and other tested lymphoid tissues by quantitative viral outgrowth assay (QVOA). Furthermore, env gp120 from tissue SIV RNA was amplified by single genome amplification. Phylogenetic analysis revealed diverse variants from tissues parallel to the viral inoculum in all viral suppressed animals. These results demonstrate that the latency and viral reservoirs in the lymphoid tissues still exist in aviremic macaques under full suppressive therapy. Moreover, the size of viral latent reservoirs differs in various lymphoid tissues with a relatively larger size in the MesLNs.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 104: The Characteristics and Genome Analysis of vB_AviM_AVP, the First Phage Infecting Aerococcus viridans

  • Aerococcus viridans is an opportunistic pathogen that is clinically associated with various human and animal diseases. In this study, the first identified A. viridans phage, vB_AviM_AVP (abbreviated as AVP), was isolated and studied. AVP belongs to the family Myoviridae. AVP harbors a double-stranded DNA genome with a length of 133,806 bp and a G + C content of 34.51%. The genome sequence of AVP showed low similarity (aamp;amp;lt;1% identity) to those of other phages, bacteria, or other organisms in the database. Among 165 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), there were only 69 gene products exhibiting similarity (aamp;amp;le;65% identity) to proteins of known functions in the database. In addition, the other 36 gene products did not match any viral or prokaryotic sequences in any publicly available database. On the basis of the putative functions of the ORFs, the genome of AVP was divided into three modules: nucleotide metabolism and replication, structural components, and lysis. A phylogenetic analysis of the terminase large subunits and capsid proteins indicated that AVP represents a novel branch of phages. The observed characteristics of AVP indicate that it represents a new class of phages.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 103: Current In Vitro Models to Study Varicella Zoster Virus Latency and Reactivation

  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a highly prevalent human pathogen that causes varicella (chicken pox) during primary infection and establishes latency in peripheral neurons. Symptomatic reactivation often presents as zoster (shingles), but it has also been linked to life-threatening diseases such as encephalitis, vasculopathy and meningitis. Zoster may be followed by postherpetic neuralgia, neuropathic pain lasting after resolution of the rash. The mechanisms of varicella zoster virus (VZV) latency and reactivation are not well characterized. This is in part due to the human-specific nature of VZV that precludes the use of most animal and animal-derived neuronal models. Recently, in vitro models of VZV latency and reactivation using human neurons derived from stem cells have been established facilitating an understanding of the mechanisms leading to VZV latency and reactivation. From the models, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and nerve growth factor (NGF) have all been implicated as potential modulators of VZV latency/reactivation. Additionally, it was shown that the vaccine-strain of VZV is impaired for reactivation. These models may also aid in the generation of prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to treat VZV-associated pathologies. This review summarizes and analyzes the current human neuronal models used to study VZV latency and reactivation, and provides some strategies for their improvement.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 102: Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Versus Immune Response

  • Decades ago, Friedmann and Roblin postulated several barriers to gene therapy, including tissue targeting, delivery across the bloodaamp;amp;ndash;brain barrier (BBB), and host immune responses. These issues remain pertinent till today. Since then, several advances have been made in elucidating structures of adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes, antibody epitopes, and ways to modify antibody-binding sites. AAVs capsid has also been engineered to re-direct tissue tropism, reduce ubiquitination, and promote passage across the BBB. Furthermore, the use of high(er) dose recombinant AAV (rAAV) has been accompanied by a better understanding of immune responses in both experimental animals and early clinical trials, and novel work is being performed to modulate the immune response. While the immune responses to rAAV remains a major challenge in translating experimental drugs to approved medicine, and will likely require more than a single solution, we now better understand the hurdles to formulate and test experimental solutions to surmount them.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 101: Orthopoxvirus Seroprevalence in Cats and Veterinary Personnel in North-Eastern Italy in 2011

  • Orthopoxviruses (OPV) are emerging zoonotic pathogens, and an increasing number of human infections is currently reported in Europe and in other continents, warranting heightened attention on this topic. Following two OPV infections reported in veterinarians scratched by sick cats in 2005 and 2007 in North-Eastern-Italy, involving a previously undescribed OPV, a similar strain was isolated by a sick cat from the same territory in 2011, i.e., 6 years later, raising attention on OPV circulation in this region. A surveillance program was launched to assess the OPV seroprevalence among the veterinarians working in local veterinary clinics and in the local wild and domestic cat population; seroprevalence was 33.3% in veterinarians and 19.5% in cats. Seroprevalence in cats was unevenly distributed, peaking at 40% in the area where OPV-infected cats had been observed.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 100: HIV-1 Fusion with CD4+ T cells Is Promoted by Proteins Involved in Endocytosis and Intracellular Membrane Trafficking

  • The HIV-1 entry pathway into permissive cells has been a subject of debate. Accumulating evidence, including our previous single virus tracking results, suggests that HIV-1 can enter different cell types via endocytosis and CD4/coreceptor-dependent fusion with endosomes. However, recent studies that employed indirect techniques to infer the sites of HIV-1 entry into CD4+ T cells have concluded that endocytosis does not contribute to infection. To assess whether HIV-1 enters these cells via endocytosis, we probed the role of intracellular trafficking in HIV-1 entry/fusion by a targeted shRNA screen in a CD4+ T cell line. We performed a screen utilizing a direct virus-cell fusion assay as readout and identified several host proteins involved in endosomal trafficking/maturation, including Rab5A and sorting nexins, as factors regulating HIV-1 fusion and infection. Knockdown of these proteins inhibited HIV-1 fusion irrespective of coreceptor tropism, without altering the CD4 or coreceptor expression, or compromising the virusaamp;amp;rsquo; ability to mediate fusion of two adjacent cells initiated by virus-plasma membrane fusion. Ectopic expression of Rab5A in non-permissive cells harboring Rab5A shRNAs partially restored the HIV-cell fusion. Together, these results implicate endocytic machinery in productive HIV-1 entry into CD4+ T cells.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 99: PSMB1 Negatively Regulates the Innate Antiviral Immunity by Facilitating Degradation of IKK-ε

  • Proteasome is a large protein complex, which degrades most intracellular proteins. It regulates numerous cellular processes, including the removal of misfolded or unfolded proteins, cell cycle control, and regulation of apoptosis. However, the function of proteasome subunits in viral immunity has not been well characterized. In this study, we identified PSMB1, a member of the proteasome aamp;amp;beta; subunits (PSMB) family, as a negative regulator of innate immune responses during viral infection. Knockdown of PSMB1 enhanced the RNA virus-induced cytokine and chemokine production. Overexpression of PSMB1 abolished virus-induced activation of the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) and interferon beta (IFNaamp;amp;beta;) promoters. Mechanistically, PSMB1 inhibited the activation of RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) and Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling pathways. PSMB1 was induced after viral infection and its interaction with IKK-aamp;amp;epsilon; promoted degradation of IKK-aamp;amp;epsilon; through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Collectively, our study demonstrates PSMB1 is an important regulator of innate immune signaling.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 98: Viroid-infected Tomato and Capsicum Seed Shipments to Australia

  • Pospiviroid species are transmitted through capsicum and tomato seeds. Trade in these seeds represents a route for the viroids to invade new regions, but the magnitude of this hazard has not been adequately investigated. Since 2012, tomato seed lots sent to Australia have been tested for pospiviroids before they are released from border quarantine, and capsicum seed lots have been similarly tested in quarantine since 2013. Altogether, more than 2000 seed lots have been tested. Pospiviroids were detected in more than 10% of the seed lots in the first years of mandatory testing, but the proportion of lots that were infected declined in subsequent years to less than 5%. Six pospiviroid species were detected: Citrus exocortis viroid, Columnea latent viroid, Pepper chat fruit viroid, Potato spindle tuber viroid, Tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid and Tomato apical stunt viroid. They were detected in seed lots exported from 18 countries from every production region. In many seed lots, the detectable fraction (prevalence) of infected seeds was estimated to be very small, as low as 6 aamp;amp;times; 10aamp;amp;minus;5 (~1 in 16,000; CI 5 aamp;amp;times; 10aamp;amp;minus;6 to 2.5 aamp;amp;times; 10aamp;amp;minus;4) for some lots. These findings raise questions about seed production practices, and the study indicates the geographic distributions of these pathogens are uncertain, and there is a continuing threat of invasion.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 97: The Oxysterol 25-Hydroxycholesterol Inhibits Replication of Murine Norovirus

  • Cholesterol, an essential component of mammalian cells, is also an important factor in the replicative-cycles of several human and animal viruses. The oxysterol, 25-hydroxycholesterol, is produced from cholesterol by the enzyme, cholesterol 25-hydroxylase. 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC) has been shown to have anti-viral activities against a wide range of viruses, including a range of positive-sense RNA viruses. In this study, we have investigated the role of 25-HC in norovirus replication using murine norovirus (MNV) as a model system. As a control, we employed herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), a pathogen previously shown to be inhibited by 25-HC. Consistent with previous studies, 25-HC inhibited HSV-1 replication in the MNV-susceptible cell line, RAW264.7. Treating RAW264.7 cells with sub-cytotoxic concentrations of 25-HC reduced the MNV titers. However, other sterols such as cholesterol or the oxysterol, 22-S-hydroxycholesterol (22-S-HC), did not inhibit MNV replication. Moreover, treating MNV-infected RAW264.7 cells with 25-HC-stimulated caspase 3/7 activity, which leads to enhanced apoptosis and increased cell death. Our study adds noroviruses to the list of viruses inhibited by 25-HC and begins to offer insights into the mechanism behind this inhibition.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 96: The Preclinical and Clinical Progress of Bacteriophages and Their Lytic Enzymes: The Parts are Easier than the Whole

  • The therapeutic potential of phages has been considered since their first identification more than a century ago. The evident concept of using a natural predator to treat bacterial infections has, however, since then been challenged considerably. Initially, the vast success of antibiotics almost eliminated the study of phages for therapy. Upon the renaissance of phage therapy research, the most provocative and unique properties of phages such as high specificity, self-replication and co-evolution prohibited a rapid preclinical and clinical development. On the one hand, the typical trajectory followed by small molecule antibiotics could not be simply translated into the preclinical analysis of phages, exemplified by the need for complex broad spectrum or personalized phage cocktails of high purity and the more complex pharmacokinetics. On the other hand, there was no fitting regulatory framework to deal with flexible and sustainable phage therapy approaches, including the setup and approval of adequate clinical trials. While significant advances are incrementally made to eliminate these hurdles, phage-inspired antibacterials have progressed in the slipstream of phage therapy, benefiting from the lack of hurdles that are typically associated with phage therapy. Most advanced are phage lytic enzymes that kill bacteria through peptidoglycan degradation and osmotic lysis. Both phages and their lytic enzymes are now widely considered as safe and have now progressed to clinical phase II to show clinical efficacy as pharmaceutical. Yet, more initiatives are needed to fill the clinical pipeline to beat the typical attrition rates of clinical evaluation and to come to a true evaluation of phages and phage lytic enzymes in the clinic.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 95: Metagenomic Characterization of the Viral Community of the South Scotia Ridge

  • Viruses are the most abundant biological entities in aquatic ecosystems and harbor an enormous amount of genetic diversity. Whereas their influence on marine ecosystems is widely acknowledged, current information about their diversity remains limited. We conducted a viral metagenomic analysis of water samples collected during the austral summer of 2016 from the South Scotia Ridge (SSR), near the Antarctic Peninsula. The taxonomic composition and diversity of the viral communities were investigated, and a functional assessment of the sequences was performed. Phylotypic analysis showed that most viruses belonged to the order Caudovirales, especially the family Podoviridae (41.92aamp;amp;ndash;48.7%), which is similar to the situation in the Pacific Ocean. Functional analysis revealed a relatively high frequency of phage-associated and metabolism genes. Phylogenetic analyses of phage TerL and Capsid_NCLDV (nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses) marker genes indicated that many sequences associated with Caudovirales and NCLDV were novel and distinct from known phage genomes. High Phaeocystis globosa virus virophage (Pgvv) signatures were found and complete and partial Pgvv-like were obtained, which influence hostaamp;amp;ndash;virus interactions. Our study expands existing knowledge of viral communities and their diversities from the Antarctic region and provides basic data for further exploring polar microbiomes.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 94: New Viruses from the Ectoparasite Mite Varroa destructor Infesting Apis mellifera and Apis cerana

  • Varroa destructor is an ectoparasitic mite of Asian or Eastern honeybees Apis cerana (A. cerana) which has become a serious threat to European subspecies of Western honeybees Apis mellifera (A. mellifera) within the last century. V. destructor and its vectored honeybee viruses became serious threats for colony survival. This is a short period for pathogen- and host-populations to adapt. To look for possible variation in the composition of viral populations we performed RNA metagenomic analysis of the Western honeybee subspecies A. m. ligustica, A. m. syriaca, A. m. intermissa, and A. cerana and their respective V. destructor mites. The analysis revealed two novel viruses: Varroa orthomyxovirus-1 (VOV-1) in A. mellifera and V. destructor and a Hubei like-virga virus-14 homolog in V. destructor. VOV-1 was more prevalent in V. destructor than in A. mellifera and we found evidence for viral replication in both hosts. Interestingly, we found differences in viral loads of A. cerana and their V. destructor, A. m. intermissa, and its V. destructor showed partial similarity, while A. m. ligustica and A. m. syriaca and their varroa where very similar. Deformed wing virus exhibited 82.20%, 99.20%, 97.90%, and 0.76% of total viral reads in A. m. ligustica, A. m. syriaca, A. m. intermissa, and A. cerana, respectively. This is the first report of a complete segmented-single-stranded negative-sense RNA virus genome in honeybees and V. destructor mites.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 93: Class A Scavenger Receptors Are Used by Frog Virus 3 During Its Cellular Entry

  • Frog virus 3 (FV3) is the type species of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae). FV3 and FV3-like viruses are globally distributed infectious agents with the capacity to replicate in three vertebrate classes (teleosts, amphibians, and reptiles). At the cellular level, FV3 and FV3-like viruses can infect cells from virtually all vertebrate classes. To date, the cellular receptors that are involved in the FV3 entry process are unknown. Class A scavenger receptors (SR-As) are a family of evolutionarily conserved cell-surface receptors that bind a wide range of chemically distinct polyanionic ligands and can function as cellular receptors for other DNA viruses, including vaccinia virus and herpes simplex virus. The present study aimed to determine whether SR-As are involved in FV3 cellular entry. By using well-defined SR-A competitive and non-competitive ligand-blocking assays and absolute qPCR, we demonstrated that the SR-A competitive ligands drastically reduced the quantities of cell-associated viral loads in frog cells. Moreover, inducing the expression of a human SR-AI in an SR-A null cell line significantly increased FV3–cell association. Together, our results indicate that SR-As are utilized by FV3 during the cellular entry process.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 92: Human Polyclonal Antibodies Produced from Transchromosomal Bovine Provides Prophylactic and Therapeutic Protections Against Zika Virus Infection in STAT2 KO Syrian Hamsters

  • Zika virus (ZIKV) infection can cause severe congenital diseases, such as microcephaly, ocular defects and arthrogryposis in fetuses, and Guillainaamp;amp;ndash;Barraamp;amp;eacute; syndrome in adults. Efficacious therapeutic treatments for infected patients, as well as prophylactic treatments to prevent new infections are needed for combating ZIKV infection. Here, we report that ZIKV-specific human polyclonal antibodies (SAB-155), elicited in transchromosomal bovine (TcB), provide significant protection from infection by ZIKV in STAT2 knockout (KO) golden Syrian hamsters both prophylactically and therapeutically. These antibodies also prevent testicular lesions in this hamster model. Our data indicate that antibody-mediated immunotherapy is effective in treating ZIKV infection. Because suitable quantities of highly potent human polyclonal antibodies can be quickly produced from the TcB system against ZIKV and have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in a small animal model, they have the potential as an effective countermeasure against ZIKV infection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 91: Immunological Cross-Reactivity of an Ancestral and the Most Recent Pandemic Norovirus GII.4 Variant

  • Norovirus (NoV) genotype GII.4 is responsible for the majority of NoV infections causing pandemics every few years. A NoV virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccine should optimally cover the high antigenic variation within the GII.4 genotype. We compared the immune responses generated by VLPs of the ancestral GII.4 1999 strain (GII.4 1995/96 US variant) and the most recent GII.4 Sydney 2012 pandemic strains in mice. No significant differences were observed in the type-specific responses but GII.4 1999 VLPs were more potent in inducing high-avidity antibodies with better cross-reactivity. GII.4 1999 immune sera blocked binding of GII.4 2006 and GII.4 2012 VLPs to the putative receptors in a surrogate neutralization assay, whereas GII.4 2012 immune sera only had low blocking activity against GII.4 2006 VLPs. Amino acid substitution in the NERK motif (amino acids 310, 316, 484, and 493, respectively), altering the access to conserved blocking epitope F, moderately improved the cross-blocking responses against mutated GII.4 2012 VLPs (D310N). NoV GII.4 1999 VLPs, uptaken and processed by antigen-presenting cells, induced stronger interferon gamma (IFN-aamp;amp;gamma;) production from mice splenocytes than GII.4 2012 VLPs. These results support the use of GII.4 1999 VLPs as a major component of a NoV vaccine.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 90: Double-Stranded RNA High-Throughput Sequencing Reveals a New Cytorhabdovirus in a Bean Golden Mosaic Virus-Resistant Common Bean Transgenic Line

  • Using double-strand RNA (dsRNA) high-throughput sequencing, we identified five RNA viruses in a bean golden mosaic virus (BGMV)-resistant common bean transgenic line with symptoms of viral infection. Four of the identified viruses had already been described as infecting common bean (cowpea mild mottle virus, bean rugose mosaic virus, Phaseolus vulgaris alphaendornavirus 1, and Phaseolus vulgaris alphaendornavirus 2) and one is a putative new plant rhabdovirus (genus Cytorhabdovirus), tentatively named bean-associated cytorhabdovirus (BaCV). The BaCV genome presented all five open reading frames (ORFs) found in most rhabdoviruses: nucleoprotein (N) (ORF1) (451 amino acids, aa), phosphoprotein (P) (ORF2) (445 aa), matrix (M) (ORF4) (287 aa), glycoprotein (G) (ORF5) (520 aa), and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L) (ORF6) (114 aa), as well as a putative movement protein (P3) (ORF3) (189 aa) and the hypothetical small protein P4. The predicted BaCV proteins were compared to homologous proteins from the closest cytorhabdoviruses, and a low level of sequence identity (15aamp;amp;ndash;39%) was observed. The phylogenetic analysis shows that BaCV clustered with yerba mate chlorosis-associated virus (YmCaV) and rice stripe mosaic virus (RSMV). Overall, our results provide strong evidence that BaCV is indeed a new virus species in the genus Cytorhabdovirus (family Rhabdoviridae), the first rhabdovirus to be identified infecting common bean.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 89: Co-Infection with Three Mycoviruses Stimulates Growth of a Monilinia fructicola Isolate on Nutrient Medium, but Does Not Induce Hypervirulence in a Natural Host

  • Monilinia fructicola and Monilinia laxa are the most destructive fungal species infecting stone fruit (Prunus species). High-throughput cDNA sequencing of M. laxa and M. fructicola isolates collected from stone fruit orchards revealed that 14% of isolates were infected with one or more of three mycoviruses: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirus 2 (SsHV2, genus Hypovirus), Fusarium poae virus 1 (FPV1, genus Betapartitivirus), and Botrytis virus F (BVF, genus Mycoflexivirus). Isolate M196 of M. fructicola was co-infected with all three viruses, and this isolate was studied further. Several methods were applied to cure M196 of one or more mycoviruses. Of these treatments, hyphal tip culture either alone or in combination with antibiotic treatment generated isogenic lines free of one or more mycoviruses. When isogenic fungal lines were cultured on nutrient agar medium in vitro, the triple mycovirus-infected parent isolate M196 grew 10% faster than any of the virus-cured isogenic lines. BVF had a slight inhibitory effect on growth, and FPV1 did not influence growth. Surprisingly, after inoculation to fruits of sweet cherry, there were no significance differences in disease progression between isogenic lines, suggesting that these mycoviruses did not influence the virulence of M. fructicola on a natural host.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 88: Design and Preclinical Development of a Phage Product for the Treatment of Antibiotic-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections

  • Bacteriophages, viruses that only kill specific bacteria, are receiving substantial attention as nontraditional antibacterial agents that may help alleviate the growing antibiotic resistance problem in medicine. We describe the design and preclinical development of AB-SA01, a fixed-composition bacteriophage product intended to treat Staphylococcus aureus infections. AB-SA01 contains three naturally occurring, obligately lytic myoviruses related to Staphylococcus phage K. AB-SA01 component phages have been sequenced and contain no identifiable bacterial virulence or antibiotic resistance genes. In vitro, AB-SA01 killed 94.5% of 401 clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolates, including methicillin-resistant and vancomycin-intermediate ones for a total of 95% of the 205 known multidrug-resistant isolates. The spontaneous frequency of resistance to AB-SA01 was aamp;amp;le;3 aamp;amp;times; 10aamp;amp;minus;9, and resistance emerging to one component phage could be complemented by the activity of another component phage. In both neutropenic and immunocompetent mouse models of acute pneumonia, AB-SA01 reduced lung S. aureus populations equivalently to vancomycin. Overall, the inherent characteristics of AB-SA01 component phages meet regulatory and generally accepted criteria for human use, and the preclinical data presented here have supported production under good manufacturing practices and phase 1 clinical studies with AB-SA01.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 87: Aerosol and Contact Transmission Following Intranasal Infection of Mice with Japanese Encephalitis Virus

  • The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a causative agent of severe viral encephalitis in humans, has a biological cycle fluctuating between transmission in mosquitoes and avian species and amplification in pigs. Contact transmission of JEV was recently shown in pigs in the absence of arthropod vectors. Here, we show JEV transmission between infected and contact mice and further demonstrate that JEV transmission occurs between animals via aerosols, as both viral RNA and infectious JEV were detected in direct contact- and aerosol-exposed contact animals. The results of this study change our understanding of JEV transmission in densely populated regions and may help to explain JEV outbreaks without the presence of arthropod vectors.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 86: Isolation of a T7-Like Lytic Pasteurella Bacteriophage vB_PmuP_PHB01 and Its Potential Use in Therapy against Pasteurella multocida Infections

  • A lytic bacteriophage PHB01 specific for Pasteurella multocida type D was isolated from the sewage water collected from a pig farm. This phage had the typical morphology of the family Podoviridae, order Caudovirales, presenting an isometric polyhedral head and a short noncontractile tail. PHB01 was able to infect most of the non-toxigenic P. multocida type D strains tested, but not toxigenic type D strains and those belonging to other capsular types. Phage PHB01, the first lytic phage specific for P. multocida type D sequenced thus far, presents a 37,287-bp double-stranded DNA genome with a 223-bp terminal redundancy. The PHB01 genome showed the highest homology with that of PHB02, a lytic phage specific for P. multocida type A. Phylogenetic analysis showed that PHB01 and PHB02 were composed of a genus that was close to the T7-virus genus. In vivo tests using mouse models showed that the administration of PHB01 was safe to the mice and had a good effect on treating the mice infected with different P. multocida type D strains including virulent strain HN05. These findings suggest that PHB01 has a potential use in therapy against infections caused by P. multocida type D.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 85: The Incorporation of Host Proteins into the External HIV-1 Envelope

  • The incorporation of biologically active host proteins into HIV-1 is a well-established phenomenon, particularly due to the budding mechanism of viral egress in which viruses acquire their external lipid membrane directly from the host cell. While this mechanism might seemingly imply that host protein incorporation is a passive uptake of all cellular antigens associated with the plasma membrane at the site of budding, this is not the case. Herein, we review the evidence indicating that host protein incorporation can be a selective and conserved process. We discuss how HIV-1 virions displaying host proteins on their surface can exhibit a myriad of altered phenotypes, with notable impacts on infectivity, homing, neutralization, and pathogenesis. This review describes the canonical and emerging methods to detect host protein incorporation, highlights the well-established host proteins that have been identified on HIV-1 virions, and reflects on the role of these incorporated proteins in viral pathogenesis and therapeutic targeting. Despite many advances in HIV treatment and prevention, there remains a global effort to develop increasingly effective anti-HIV therapies. Given the broad range of biologically active host proteins acquired on the surface of HIV-1, additional studies on the mechanisms and impacts of these incorporated host proteins may inform the development of novel treatments and vaccine designs.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 84: Meta-Analysis of Human IgG anti-HEV Seroprevalence in Industrialized Countries and a Review of Literature

  • Although Hepatitis E is increasingly described as a major cause of liver disease in industrialized countries, the epidemiology is far from being fully elucidated. We provide here a comprehensive review of documented clusters of cases, and of serological studies conducted in populations with distinct types of exposure. Seroprevalence rates range from aamp;amp;lt;5% to aamp;amp;gt;50% depending on the countries and the groups of population. Such discrepancies can be attributed to the type of serological assay used, but this solves only a part of the problem. We performed a meta-analysis of studies performed with the broadly used Wantai HEV-IgG ELISA and found striking differences that remain difficult to understand with the current knowledge of transmission pathways.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 83: A Victorivirus and Two Novel Mitoviruses Co-Infected the Plant Pathogen Nigrospora oryzae

  • Three dsRNAs, in sizes of approximately 2.5aamp;amp;ndash;5 kbp, were detected in the plant pathogenic fungus Nigrospora oryzae strain CS-7.5-4. Genomic analysis showed that the 5.0 kb dsRNA was a victorivirus named as Nigrospora oryzae victorivirus 2 (NoRV2). The genome of NoRV2 was 5166 bp in length containing two overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1 and ORF2. ORF1 was deduced to encode a coat protein (CP) showing homology to the CPs of viruses belonging to the Totiviridae family. The stop codon of ORF1 and the start codon of ORF2 were overlapped by the tetranucleotide sequence AUGA. ORF2 was predicted to encode an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), which was highly similar to the RdRps of victoriviruses. Virus-like particle examination demonstrated that the genome of NoRV2 was solely encapsidated by viral particles with a diameter of approximately 35 nm. The other two dsRNAs that were less than 3.0 kb were predicted to be the genomes of two mitoviruses, named as Nigrospora oryzae mitovirus 1 (NoMV1) and Nigrospora oryzae mitovirus 2 (NoMV2). Both NoMV1 and NoMV2 were A-U rich and with lengths of 2865 and 2507 bp, respectively. Mitochondrial codon usage inferred that each of the two mitoviruses contains a major large ORF encoding a mitoviral RdRp. Horizontal transfer experiments showed that the NoMV1 and NoMV2 could be cotransmitted horizontally via hyphal contact to other virus-free N. oryzae strains and causes phenotypic change to the recipient, such as an increase in growth rate. This is the first report of mitoviruses in N. oryzae.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 82: Establishment of an Alphavirus-Specific Neutralization Assay to Distinguish Infections with Different Members of the Semliki Forest Complex

  • Background: Alphaviruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors and can be found worldwide. Alphaviruses of the Semliki Forest complex such as chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Mayaro virus (MAYV) or Ross River virus (RRV) cause acute febrile illness and long-lasting arthralgia in humans, which cannot be clinically discriminated from a dengue virus or Zika virus infection. Alphaviruses utilize a diverse array of mosquito vectors for transmission and spread. For instance, adaptation of CHIKV to transmission by Aedes albopictus has increased its spread and resulted in large outbreaks in the Indian Ocean islands. For many alphaviruses commercial diagnostic tests are not available or show cross-reactivity among alphaviruses. Climate change and globalization will increase the spread of alphaviruses and monitoring of infections is necessary and requires virus-specific methods. Method: We established an alphavirus neutralization assay in a 384-well format by using pseudotyped lentiviral vectors. Results: MAYV-specific reactivity could be discriminated from CHIKV reactivity. Human plasma from blood donors infected with RRV could be clearly identified and did not cross-react with other alphaviruses. Conclusion: This safe and easy to use multiplex assay allows the discrimination of alphavirus-specific reactivity within a single assay and has potential for epidemiological surveillance. It might also be useful for the development of a pan-alphavirus vaccine.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 81: Detection and Characterization of Cucumis melo Cryptic Virus, Cucumis melo Amalgavirus 1, and Melon Necrotic Spot Virus in Cucumis melo

  • Three RNA virusesaamp;amp;mdash;Cucumis melo cryptic virus (CmCV), Cucumis melo amalgavirus 1 (CmAV1), and melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV)aamp;amp;mdash;were identified from a melon (Cucumis melo) transcriptome dataset. CmCV has two dsRNA genome segments; dsRNA-1 is 1592 bp in size, containing a conserved RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), and dsRNA-2 is 1715 bp in size, and encodes a coat protein (CP). The sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses of the CmCV RdRp and CP indicated CmCV clusters with approved or putative deltapartitiviruses in well-supported monophyletic clade. The RdRp of CmCV shared an amino acid sequence identity of 60.7% with the closest RdRp of beet cryptic virus 3, and is aamp;amp;lt;57% identical to other partitiviruses. CmAV1 is a nonsegmented dsRNA virus with a genome of 3424 bp, including two partially overlapping open reading frames (ORFs) encoding a putative CP and RdRp. The sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses of CmAV1 RdRp revealed that it belongs to the genus Amalgavirus in the family Amalgaviridae. The RdRp of CmAV1 shares 57.7% of its amino acid sequence identity with the most closely related RdRp of Phalaenopsis equestris amalgavirus 1, and is aamp;amp;lt;47% identical to the other reported amalgaviruses. These analyses suggest that CmCV and CmAV1 are novel species in the genera Amalgavirus and Deltapartitivirus, respectively. These findings enrich our understanding of new plant dsRNA virus species.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 80: The Importance of Being Non-Defective: A Mini Review Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Svoboda

  • Jan Svoboda triggered investigations on non-defective avian sarcoma viruses. These viruses were a critical factor in the genetic understanding of retroviruses. They provided the single and unique access to the field and facilitated the discovery of the first oncogene src and of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes. They continue to be of importance as singularly effective expression vectors that have provided insights into the molecular functions of numerous oncogenes. Combined with the contributions to the validation of the provirus hypothesis, Jan Svobodaaamp;amp;rsquo;s investigations of non-defective avian sarcoma viruses have shaped a large and important part of retrovirology.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 79: CSV2018: The 2nd Symposium of the Canadian Society for Virology

  • The 2nd Symposium of the Canadian Society for Virology (CSV2018) was held in June 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, as a featured event marking the 200th anniversary of Dalhousie University. CSV2018 attracted 175 attendees from across Canada and around the world, more than double the number that attended the first CSV symposium two years earlier. CSV2018 provided a forum to discuss a wide range of topics in virology including human, veterinary, plant, and microbial pathogens. Invited keynote speakers included David Kelvin (Dalhousie University and Shantou University Medical College) who provided a historical perspective on influenza on the 100th anniversary of the 1918 pandemic; Sylvain Moineau (Universitaamp;amp;eacute; Laval) who described CRISPR-Cas systems and anti-CRISPR proteins in warfare between bacteriophages and their host microbes; and Kate Oaamp;amp;rsquo;Brien (then from Johns Hopkins University, now relocated to the World Health Organization where she is Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals), who discussed the underlying viral etiology for pneumonia in the developing world, and the evidence for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as a primary cause. Reflecting a strong commitment of Canadian virologists to science communication, CSV2018 featured the launch of Halifaxaamp;amp;rsquo;s first annual Soapbox Science event to enable public engagement with female scientists, and the live-taping of the 499th episode of the This Week in Virology (TWIV) podcast, hosted by Vincent Racaniello (Columbia University) and science writer Alan Dove. TWIV featured interviews of CSV co-founders Nathalie Grandvaux (Universitaamp;amp;eacute; de Montraamp;amp;eacute;al) and Craig McCormick (Dalhousie University), who discussed the origins and objectives of the new society; Ryan Noyce (University of Alberta), who discussed technical and ethical considerations of synthetic virology; and Kate Oaamp;amp;rsquo;Brien, who discussed vaccines and global health. Finally, because CSV seeks to provide a better future for the next generation of Canadian virologists, the symposium featured a large number of oral and poster presentations from trainees and closed with the awarding of presentation prizes to trainees, followed by a tour of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and an evening of entertainment at the historic Alexander Keithaamp;amp;rsquo;s Brewery.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 78: Naturally Occurring Mutations within HBV Surface Promoter II Sequences Affect Transcription Activity, HBsAg and HBV DNA Levels in HBeAg-Positive Chronic Hepatitis B Patients

  • Mutations in hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface promoter II (SPII) have not been well studied in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. We aimed to investigate SPII mutations in such patients and their biological and clinical impacts. Direct sequencing was used to detect SPII mutations in 106 HBeAg-positive treatment-naïve CHB patients with genotype C (82.1% (87/106) was C2) HBV infection. Results showed that mutation frequency in transcription factor (TF) unbinding region was significantly higher than that in TF binding region of SPII (C1: 3.4% vs. 1.3%; C2: 2.6% vs. 1.3%; p aamp;amp;lt; 0.0001). Luciferase assay revealed distinct promoter activities among SPII mutants; especially SPII of G120A mutant had a 15-fold higher activity than that of wild-type (p aamp;amp;lt; 0.001). In vitro experiments in HepG2 cells showed that G82A, A115C and G120A mutants increased the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels, while C18T had an opposite effect. G82A, A115C and G120A mutants boosted the intracellular HBV total RNA level. G120A mutation resulted in an increased HBV DNA level in vitro, consistent with the serological results in patients. Thus, novel SPII mutations would affect promoter activity, HBsAg,HBV DNA and HBV total RNA levels, suggesting their potential biological and clinical significances.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 77: Comparison of Anti-Viral Activity of Frog Skin Anti-Microbial Peptides Temporin-Sha and [K3]SHa to LL-37 and Temporin-Tb against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

  • Temporins are anti-microbial peptides synthesized in the skin of frogs of the Ranidae family. The few studies to date that have examined their anti-viral properties have shown that they have potential as anti-viral therapies. In this work, we evaluated the anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) activity of the temporin-SHa (SHa) and its synthetic analog [K3]SHa. Human cathelicidin LL-37 and temporin-Tb (Tb), previously demonstrated to have anti-HSV-1 properties, were used as positive controls. We observed that SHa and [K3]SHa significantly inhibit HSV-1 replication in human primary keratinocytes when used at micromolar concentrations. This anti-viral activity was equivalent to that of Tb, but lower than that of LL-37. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that SHa did not act through the modulation of the cell innate immune response, but rather, displayed virucidal properties by reducing infectious titer of HSV-1 in suspension. In contrast, pre-incubation of the virus with LL-37 suggests that this peptide does not act directly on the viral particle at non-cytotoxic concentrations tested. The anti-HSV-1 activity of LL-37 appears to be due to the potentiation of cellular anti-viral defenses through the induction of interferon stimulated gene expression in infected primary keratinocytes. This study demonstrated that SHa and [K3]SHa, in addition to their previously reported antibacterial and antiparasitic activities, are direct-acting anti-HSV-1 peptides. Importantly, this study extends the little studied anti-viral attributes of frog temporins and offers perspectives for the development of new anti-HSV-1 therapies.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 76: Half a Century of Research on Membrane-Containing Bacteriophages: Bringing New Concepts to Modern Virology

  • Half a century of research on membrane-containing phages has had a major impact on virology, providing new insights into virus diversity, evolution and ecological importance. The recent revolutionary technical advances in imaging, sequencing and lipid analysis have significantly boosted the depth and volume of knowledge on these viruses. This has resulted in new concepts of virus assembly, understanding of virion stability and dynamics, and the description of novel processes for viral genome packaging and membrane-driven genome delivery to the host. The detailed analyses of such processes have given novel insights into DNA transport across the protein-rich lipid bilayer and the transformation of spherical membrane structures into tubular nanotubes, resulting in the description of unexpectedly dynamic functions of the membrane structures. Membrane-containing phages have provided a framework for understanding virus evolution. The original observation on membrane-containing bacteriophage PRD1 and human pathogenic adenovirus has been fundamental in delineating the concept of aamp;amp;ldquo;viral lineagesaamp;amp;rdquo;, postulating that the fold of the major capsid protein can be used as an evolutionary fingerprint to trace long-distance evolutionary relationships that are unrecognizable from the primary sequences. This has brought the early evolutionary paths of certain eukaryotic, bacterial, and archaeal viruses together, and potentially enables the reorganization of the nearly immeasurable virus population (~1 aamp;amp;times; 1031) on Earth into a reasonably low number of groups representing different architectural principles. In addition, the research on membrane-containing phages can support the development of novel tools and strategies for human therapy and crop protection.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 75: Co-Delivery Effect of CD24 on the Immunogenicity and Lethal Challenge Protection of a DNA Vector Expressing Nucleocapsid Protein of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

  • Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is the causative agent of a globally-spread tick-borne zoonotic infection, with an eminent risk of fatal human disease. The imminent public health threat posed by the disseminated virus activity and lack of an approved therapeutic make CCHFV an urgent target for vaccine development. We described the construction of a DNA vector expressing a nucleocapsid protein (N) of CCHFV (pV-N13), and investigated its potential to stimulate the cytokine and total/specific antibody responses in BALB/c and a challenge experiment in IFNARaamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; mice. Because of a lack of sufficient antibody stimulation towards the N protein, we have selected cluster of differentiation 24 (CD24) protein as a potential adjuvant, which has a proliferative effect on B and T cells. Overall, our N expressing construct, when administered solely or in combination with the pCD24 vector, elicited significant cellular and humoral responses in BALB/c, despite variations in the particular cytokines and total antibodies. However, the stimulated antibodies produced as a result of the N protein expression have shown no neutralizing ability in the virus neutralization assay. Furthermore, the challenge experiments revealed the protection potential of the N expressing construct in an IFNAR aamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; mice model. The cytokine analysis in the IFNARaamp;amp;minus;/aamp;amp;minus; mice showed an elevation in the IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels. In conclusion, we have shown that targeting the S segment of CCHFV can be considered for a practical way to develop a vaccine against this virus, because of its ability to induce an immune response, which leads to protection in the challenge assays in the interferon (IFN)-gamma defective mice models. Moreover, CD24 has a prominent immunologic effect when it co-delivers with a suitable foreign gene expressing vector.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 74: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Vaccine Candidates: Cautious Optimism

  • Efforts towards developing a vaccine for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have yielded promising results. Utilizing a variety of platforms, several vaccine approaches have shown efficacy in animal models and begun to enter clinical trials. In this review, we summarize the current progress towards a MERS-CoV vaccine and highlight potential roadblocks identified from previous attempts to generate coronavirus vaccines.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 73: Characterization of the Lipidomic Profile of Human Coronavirus-Infected Cells: Implications for Lipid Metabolism Remodeling upon Coronavirus Replication

  • Lipids play numerous indispensable cellular functions and are involved in multiple steps in the replication cycle of viruses. Infections by human-pathogenic coronaviruses result in diverse clinical outcomes, ranging from self-limiting flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia with extrapulmonary manifestations. Understanding how cellular lipids may modulate the pathogenicity of human-pathogenic coronaviruses remains poor. To this end, we utilized the human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) as a model coronavirus to comprehensively characterize the host cell lipid response upon coronavirus infection with an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLCaamp;amp;ndash;MS)-based lipidomics approach. Our results revealed that glycerophospholipids and fatty acids (FAs) were significantly elevated in the HCoV-229E-infected cells and the linoleic acid (LA) to arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism axis was markedly perturbed upon HCoV-229E infection. Interestingly, exogenous supplement of LA or AA in HCoV-229E-infected cells significantly suppressed HCoV-229E virus replication. Importantly, the inhibitory effect of LA and AA on virus replication was also conserved for the highly pathogenic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Taken together, our study demonstrated that host lipid metabolic remodeling was significantly associated with human-pathogenic coronavirus propagation. Our data further suggested that lipid metabolism regulation would be a common and druggable target for coronavirus infections.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 72: Monitoring HIV-1 Assembly in Living Cells: Insights from Dynamic and Single Molecule Microscopy

  • The HIV-1 assembly process is a multi-complex mechanism that takes place at the host cell plasma membrane. It requires a spatio-temporal coordination of events to end up with a full mature and infectious virus. The molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 assembly have been extensively studied during the past decades, in order to dissect the respective roles of the structural and non-structural viral proteins of the viral RNA genome and of some host cell factors. Nevertheless, the time course of HIV-1 assembly was observed in living cells only a decade ago. The very recent revolution of optical microscopy, combining high speed and high spatial resolution, in addition to improved fluorescent tags for proteins, now permits study of HIV-1 assembly at the single molecule level within living cells. In this review, after a short description of these new approaches, we will discuss how HIV-1 assembly at the cell plasma membrane has been revisited using advanced super resolution microscopy techniques and how it can bridge the study of viral assembly from the single molecule to the entire host cell.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 71: Phylodynamic Analysis of Ebola Virus Disease Transmission in Sierra Leone

  • We generated genome sequences from 218 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Sierra Leone (SLE) during 2014aamp;amp;ndash;2015 to complement available datasets, particularly by including cases from a period of low sequence coverage during peak transmission of Ebola virus (EBOV) in the highly-affected Western Area division of SLE. The combined dataset was utilized to produce phylogenetic and phylodynamic inferences, to study sinkaamp;amp;ndash;source dynamics and virus dispersal from highly-populated transmission hotspots. We identified four districts in SLE where EBOV was introduced and transmission occurred without onward exportation to other districts. We also identified six districts that substantially contributed to the dispersal of the virus and prolonged the EVD outbreak: five of these served as major hubs, with lots of movement in and out, and one acted primarily as a source, exporting the virus to other areas of the country. Positive correlations between case numbers, inter-district transition events, and district population sizes reaffirm that population size was a driver of EBOV transmission dynamics in SLE. The data presented here confirm the role of urban hubs in virus dispersal and of a delayed laboratory response in the expansion and perpetuation of the EVD outbreak in SLE.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 70: A Rapid Method for Sequencing Double-Stranded RNAs Purified from Yeasts and the Identification of a Potent K1 Killer Toxin Isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Mycoviruses infect a large number of diverse fungal species, but considering their prevalence, relatively few high-quality genome sequences have been determined. Many mycoviruses have linear double-stranded RNA genomes, which makes it technically challenging to ascertain their nucleotide sequence using conventional sequencing methods. Different specialist methodologies have been developed for the extraction of double-stranded RNAs from fungi and the subsequent synthesis of cDNAs for cloning and sequencing. However, these methods are often labor-intensive, time-consuming, and can require several days to produce cDNAs from double-stranded RNAs. Here, we describe a comprehensive method for the rapid extraction and sequencing of dsRNAs derived from yeasts, using short-read next generation sequencing. This method optimizes the extraction of high-quality double-stranded RNAs from yeasts and 3aamp;amp;prime; polyadenylation for the initiation of cDNA synthesis for next-generation sequencing. We have used this method to determine the sequence of two mycoviruses and a double-stranded RNA satellite present within a single strain of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The quality and depth of coverage was sufficient to detect fixed and polymorphic mutations within viral populations extracted from a clonal yeast population. This method was also able to identify two fixed mutations within the alpha-domain of a variant K1 killer toxin encoded on a satellite double-stranded RNA. Relative to the canonical K1 toxin, these newly reported mutations increased the cytotoxicity of the K1 toxin against a specific species of yeast.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 69: Structural Basis for Epitopes in the gp120 Cluster A Region that Invokes Potent Effector Cell Activity

  • While a number of therapeutic options to control the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) now exist, a broadly effective preventive vaccine is still not available. Through detailed structural analysis of antibodies able to induce potent effector cell activity, a number of Env epitopes have been identified which have the potential to be considered vaccine candidates. These antibodies mainly target the gp120 Cluster A region which is only exposed upon viral binding to the target cell with epitopes becoming available for antibody binding during viral entry and fusion and, therefore, after the effective window for neutralizing antibody activity. This review will discuss recent advances in the structural characterization of these important targets with a special focus on epitopes that are involved in Fc-mediated effector function without direct viral neutralizing activities.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 68: Uncovering Flavivirus Host Dependency Factors through a Genome-Wide Gain-of-Function Screen

  • Flaviviruses, such as dengue (DENV), West Nile (WNV), yellow fever (YFV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses, are mosquito-borne pathogens that present a major risk to global public health. To identify host factors that promote flavivirus replication, we performed a genome-wide gain-of-function cDNA screen for human genes that enhance the replication of flavivirus reporter particles in human cells. The screen recovered seventeen potential host proteins that promote viral replication, including the previously known dolichyl-diphosphooligosaccharide--protein glycosyltransferase non-catalytic subunit (DDOST). Using silencing approaches, we validated the role of four candidates in YFV and WNV replication: ribosomal protein L19 (RPL19), ribosomal protein S3 (RPS3), DDOST and importin 9 (IPO9). Applying a panel of virological, biochemical and microscopic methods, we validated further the role of RPL19 and DDOST as host factors required for optimal replication of YFV, WNV and ZIKV. The genome-wide gain-of-function screen is thus a valid approach to advance our understanding of flavivirus replication.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 66: Expanding Repertoire of Plant Positive-Strand RNA Virus Proteases

  • Many plant viruses express their proteins through a polyprotein strategy, requiring the acquisition of protease domains to regulate the release of functional mature proteins and/or intermediate polyproteins. Positive-strand RNA viruses constitute the vast majority of plant viruses and they are diverse in their genomic organization and protein expression strategies. Until recently, proteases encoded by positive-strand RNA viruses were described as belonging to two categories: (1) chymotrypsin-like cysteine and serine proteases and (2) papain-like cysteine protease. However, the functional characterization of plant virus cysteine and serine proteases has highlighted their diversity in terms of biological activities, cleavage site specificities, regulatory mechanisms, and three-dimensional structures. The recent discovery of a plant picorna-like virus glutamic protease with possible structural similarities with fungal and bacterial glutamic proteases also revealed new unexpected sources of protease domains. We discuss the variety of plant positive-strand RNA virus protease domains. We also highlight possible evolution scenarios of these viral proteases, including evidence for the exchange of protease domains amongst unrelated viruses.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 67: Clinical Characterization of Host Response to Simian Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Infection in Permissive and Refractory Hosts: A Model for Determining Mechanisms of VHF Pathogenesis

  • Simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) causes a fulminant and typically lethal viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) in macaques (Cercopithecinae: Macaca spp.) but causes subclinical infections in patas monkeys (Cercopithecinae: Erythrocebus patas). This difference in disease course offers a unique opportunity to compare host responses to infection by a VHF-causing virus in biologically similar susceptible and refractory animals. Patas and rhesus monkeys were inoculated side-by-side with SHFV. Unlike the severe disease observed in rhesus monkeys, patas monkeys developed a limited clinical disease characterized by changes in complete blood counts, serum chemistries, and development of lymphadenopathy. Viral RNA was measurable in circulating blood 2 days after exposure, and its duration varied by species. Infectious virus was detected in terminal tissues of both patas and rhesus monkeys. Varying degrees of overlap in changes in serum concentrations of interferon (IFN)-aamp;amp;gamma;, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and interleukin (IL)-6 were observed between patas and rhesus monkeys, suggesting the presence of common and species-specific cytokine responses to infection. Similarly, quantitative immunohistochemistry of livers from terminal monkeys and whole blood flow cytometry revealed varying degrees of overlap in changes in macrophages, natural killer cells, and T-cells. The unexpected degree of overlap in host response suggests that relatively small subsets of a hostaamp;amp;rsquo;s response to infection may be responsible for driving hemorrhagic fever pathogenesis. Furthermore, comparative SHFV infection in patas and rhesus monkeys offers an experimental model to characterize hostaamp;amp;ndash;response mechanisms associated with viral hemorrhagic fever and evaluate pan-viral hemorrhagic fever countermeasures.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 65: Neuroinflammation, Microglia, and Cell-Association during Prion Disease

  • Prion disorders are transmissible diseases caused by a proteinaceous infectious agent that can infect the lymphatic and nervous systems. The clinical features of prion diseases can vary, but common hallmarks in the central nervous system (CNS) are deposition of abnormally folded protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres or PrPSc), astrogliosis, microgliosis, and neurodegeneration. Numerous proinflammatory effectors expressed by astrocytes and microglia are increased in the brain during prion infection, with many of them potentially damaging to neurons when chronically upregulated. Microglia are important first responders to foreign agents and damaged cells in the CNS, but these immune-like cells also serve many essential functions in the healthy CNS. Our current understanding is that microglia are beneficial during prion infection and critical to host defense against prion disease. Studies indicate that reduction of the microglial population accelerates disease and increases PrPSc burden in the CNS. Thus, microglia are unlikely to be a foci of prion propagation in the brain. In contrast, neurons and astrocytes are known to be involved in prion replication and spread. Moreover, certain astrocytes, such as A1 reactive astrocytes, have proven neurotoxic in other neurodegenerative diseases, and thus might also influence the progression of prion-associated neurodegeneration.

  • Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 64: An Optimized High-Throughput Neutralization Assay for Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Involving Detection of Secreted Porf2

  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a common cause of acute hepatitis worldwide. Current methods for evaluating the neutralizing activity of HEV-specific antibodies include immunofluorescence focus assays (IFAs) and real-time PCR, which are insensitive and operationally complicated. Here, we developed a high-throughput neutralization assay by measuring secreted pORF2 levels using an HEV antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit based on the highly replicating HEV genotype (gt) 3 strain Kernow. We evaluated the neutralizing activity of HEV-specific antibodies and the sera of vaccinated individuals (n = 15) by traditional IFA and the novel assay simultaneously. A linear regression analysis shows that there is a high degree of correlation between the two assays. Furthermore, the anti-HEV IgG levels exhibited moderate correlation with the neutralizing titers of the sera of vaccinated individuals, indicating that immunization with gt 1 can protect against gt 3 Kernow infection. We then determined specificity of the novel assay and the potential threshold of neutralizing capacity using anti-HEV IgG positive sera (n = 27) and anti-HEV IgG negative sera (n = 23). The neutralizing capacity of anti-HEV IgG positive sera was significantly stronger than that of anti-HEV IgG negative. In addition, ROC curve analysis shows that the potential threshold of neutralizing capacity of sera was 8.07, and the sensitivity and specificity of the novel assay was 88.6% and 100%, respectively. Our results suggest that the neutralization assay using the antigen ELISA kit could be a useful tool for HEV clinical research.
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