Publications by authors named "John Lednicky"

115 Publications

Venezuela's humanitarian crisis, resurgence of vector-borne diseases, and implications for spillover in the region.

Lancet Infect Dis 2019 05 21;19(5):e149-e161. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

In the past 5-10 years, Venezuela has faced a severe economic crisis, precipitated by political instability and declining oil revenue. Public health provision has been affected particularly. In this Review, we assess the impact of Venezuela's health-care crisis on vector-borne diseases, and the spillover into neighbouring countries. Between 2000 and 2015, Venezuela witnessed a 359% increase in malaria cases, followed by a 71% increase in 2017 (411 586 cases) compared with 2016 (240 613). Neighbouring countries, such as Brazil, have reported an escalating trend of imported malaria cases from Venezuela, from 1538 in 2014 to 3129 in 2017. In Venezuela, active Chagas disease transmission has been reported, with seroprevalence in children (<10 years), estimated to be as high as 12·5% in one community tested (n=64). Dengue incidence increased by more than four times between 1990 and 2016. The estimated incidence of chikungunya during its epidemic peak is 6975 cases per 100 000 people and that of Zika virus is 2057 cases per 100 000 people. The re-emergence of many vector-borne diseases represents a public health crisis in Venezuela and has the possibility of severely undermining regional disease elimination efforts. National, regional, and global authorities must take action to address these worsening epidemics and prevent their expansion beyond Venezuelan borders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30757-6DOI Listing
May 2019

Corrigendum: Human West Nile Virus Disease Outbreak in Pakistan, 2015-2016.

Front Public Health 2018 29;6:384. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Department of Comparative Diagnostic and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00020.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00384DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362614PMC
January 2019

Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Venezuela as a Regional Public Health Threat in the Americas.

Emerg Infect Dis 2019 04 17;25(4):625-632. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Venezuela's tumbling economy and authoritarian rule have precipitated an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Hyperinflation rates now exceed 45,000%, and Venezuela's health system is in free fall. The country is experiencing a massive exodus of biomedical scientists and qualified healthcare professionals. Reemergence of arthropod-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases has sparked serious epidemics that also affect neighboring countries. In this article, we discuss the ongoing epidemics of measles and diphtheria in Venezuela and their disproportionate impact on indigenous populations. We also discuss the potential for reemergence of poliomyelitis and conclude that action to halt the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases within Venezuela is a matter of urgency for the country and the region. We further provide specific recommendations for addressing this crisis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2504.181305DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6433037PMC
April 2019

Complete Genome Sequence of Mobuck Virus Isolated from a Florida White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

Microbiol Resour Announc 2019 Jan 17;8(3). Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Here, we report the complete genome sequence of mobuck virus isolated from a Florida white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in 2017. This is the second report of mobuck virus in the United States and expands the known geographic range of this novel orbivirus into Florida.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.01324-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6346154PMC
January 2019

Emergence of Madariaga virus as a cause of acute febrile illness in children, Haiti, 2015-2016.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 01 10;13(1):e0006972. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States of America.

Madariaga virus (MADV), also known as South American eastern equine encephalitis virus, has been identified in animals and humans in South and Central America, but not previously in Hispaniola or the northern Caribbean. MADV was isolated from virus cultures of plasma from an 8-year-old child in a school cohort in the Gressier/Leogane region of Haiti, who was seen in April, 2015, with acute febrile illness (AFI). The virus was subsequently cultured from an additional seven AFI case patients from this same cohort in February, April, and May 2016. Symptoms most closely resembled those seen with confirmed dengue virus infection. Sequence data were available for four isolates: all were within the same clade, with phylogenetic and molecular clock data suggesting recent introduction of the virus into Haiti from Panama sometime in the period from October 2012-January 2015. Our data document the movement of MADV into Haiti, and raise questions about the potential for further spread in the Caribbean or North America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6328082PMC
January 2019

Condensational particle growth device for reliable cell exposure at the air-liquid interface to nanoparticles.

Aerosol Sci Technol 2019 16;53(12):1415-1428. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

A first-of-its-kind aerosol exposure device for toxicity testing, referred to as the Dosimetric Aerosol Inhalation Device (DAVID), was evaluated for its ability to deliver airborne nanoparticles to lung cells grown as air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures. For inhalation studies, ALI lung cell cultures exposed to airborne nanoparticles have more relevancy than the same cells exposed in submerged culture because ALI culture better represents the respiratory physiology and consequently more closely reflect cellular response to aerosol exposure. In DAVID, water condensation grows particles as small as 5 nm to droplets sized > 5 μm for inertial deposition at low flow rates. The application of DAVID for nanotoxicity analysis was evaluated by measuring the amount and variability in the deposition of uranine nanoparticles and then assessing the viability of ALI cell cultures exposed to clean-air under the same operational conditions. The results showed a low coefficient of variation, < 0.25, at most conditions, and low variability in deposition between the exposure wells, trials, and operational flow rates. At an operational flow rate of 4 LPM, no significant changes in cell viability were observed, and minimal effects observed at 6 LPM. The reliable and gentle deposition mechanism of DAVID makes it advantageous for nanoparticle exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2019.1659938DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7540808PMC
September 2019

Valve-Enabled Sample Preparation and RNA Amplification in a Coffee Mug for Zika Virus Detection.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2018 12 27;57(52):17211-17214. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA.

The recent outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection represent a public health challenge. Rapid, cost-effective, and reliable diagnostic tools for ZIKV detection at the point of care (POC) are highly desirable, especially for resource-limited nations. To address the need, we have developed an integrated device to achieve sample-to-answer ZIKV detection. The device features innovative ball-based valves enabling the storage and sequential delivery of reagents for virus lysis and a paper-based unit for RNA enrichment and purification. The paper unit is placed in a commercially available coffee mug that provides a constant temperature for reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), followed by colorimetric detection by naked eye or a cellphone camera. Using the device, we demonstrated the reproducible detection of ZIKV in human urine and saliva samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201809993DOI Listing
December 2018

Characterization of mule deerpox virus in Florida white-tailed deer fawns expands the known host and geographic range of this emerging pathogen.

Arch Virol 2019 Jan 21;164(1):51-61. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Bldg 1379, Mowry Road, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA.

Infections caused by mule deerpox virus (MDPV) have been sporadically reported in North American cervids. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns from a farm located in South Central Florida presented with ulcerative and crusting lesions on the coronary band as well as the mucocutaneous tissues of the head. Evaluation of the crusted skin lesions was undertaken using microscopic pathology and molecular techniques. A crusted skin sample was processed for virus isolation in four mammalian cell lines. The resulting isolate was characterized by negative staining electron microscopy and deep sequencing. Histopathologic evaluation of the skin lesions from the fawns revealed a hyperplastic and proliferative epidermis with ballooning degeneration of epidermal and follicular keratinocytes with intracytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusions. Electron microscopy of cell culture supernatant demonstrated numerous large brick-shaped particles typical of most poxviruses. Polymerase chain reaction assays followed by Sanger sequencing revealed a poxvirus gene sequence nearly identical to that of previous strains of MDPV. The full genome was recovered by deep sequencing and genetic analyses supported the Florida white-tailed deer isolate (MDPV-F) as a strain of MDPV. Herein, we report the first genome sequence of MDPV from a farmed white-tailed deer fawn in the South Central Florida, expanding the number of locations and geographic range in which MDPV has been identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-018-3991-7DOI Listing
January 2019

Clinical and Epidemiologic Patterns of Chikungunya Virus Infection and Coincident Arboviral Disease in a School Cohort in Haiti, 2014-2015.

Clin Infect Dis 2019 03;68(6):919-926

Emerging Pathogens Institute, College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine.

Background: Beginning in December 2013, an epidemic of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection spread across the Caribbean and into virtually all countries in the Western hemisphere, with >2.4 million cases reported through the end of 2017.

Methods: We monitored a cohort of school children in rural Haiti from May 2014, through February 2015, for occurrence of acute undifferentiated febrile illness, with clinical and laboratory data available for 252 illness episodes.

Results: Our findings document passage of the major CHIKV epidemic between May and July 2014, with 82 laboratory-confirmed cases. Subsequent peaks of febrile illness were found to incorporate smaller outbreaks of dengue virus serotypes 1 and 4 and Zika virus, with identification of additional infections with Mayaro virus, enterovirus D68, and coronavirus NL63. CHIKV and dengue virus serotype 1 infections were more common in older children, with a complaint of arthralgia serving as a significant predictor for infection with CHIKV (odds ratio, 16.2; 95% confidence interval, 8.0-34.4; positive predictive value, 66%; negative predictive value, 80%).

Conclusions: Viral/arboviral infections were characterized by a pattern of recurrent outbreaks and case clusters, with the CHIKV epidemic representing just one of several arboviral agents moving through the population. Although clinical presentations of these agents are similar, arthralgias are highly suggestive of CHIKV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciy582DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6399436PMC
March 2019

Spondweni Virus in Field-Caught Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes, Haiti, 2016.

Emerg Infect Dis 2018 09;24(9):1765-1767

Spondweni virus (SPONV) and Zika virus cause similar diseases in humans. We detected SPONV outside of Africa from a pool of Culex mosquitoes collected in Haiti in 2016. This finding raises questions about the role of SPONV as a human pathogen in Haiti and other Caribbean countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2409.171957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6106418PMC
September 2018

Evidence of Chikungunya Virus Disease in Pakistan Since 2015 With Patients Demonstrating Involvement of the Central Nervous System.

Front Public Health 2018 10;6:186. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

Department of Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.

Several arboviruses are endemic to and co-circulate in Pakistan. In recent years, Pakistan has observed a rise in arboviral infections. A cross-sectional study for arboviral diseases, which included screening for Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), was initiated in 2015 to determine which pathogens were causing disease in patients presenting to health care services. Exposure to CHIKV was verified via detection of viral nucleic acids or virus-specific IgM with virus-specific neutralizing antibodies. Out of 997 enrolled patients presenting with clinical features suggestive of arboviral disease, 102 patients were positive for CHIKV IgM antibodies and 60 patients were positive for CHIKV nucleic acids or neutralizing antibodies. The data presented here show that CHIKV has been circulating in Pakistan since April of 2015. CHIKV infections were detected in study subjects up to the conclusion of our enrollment period in July 2017. Syndromic and clinical data show that arthralgia was associated with CHIKV as was rash, fever greater than 38°C, and lymphopenia. Neurological symptoms were reported in 49% of CHIKV suspect patients and in 46.6% of confirmed infections. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis was diagnosed in 5% of confirmed infection and various manifestation of encephalitis diagnosed in an additional 16.6% of patients with confirmed CHIKV infections. CHIKV-exposed patients were just as likely to present with neurological symptoms and encephalitis as patients with West Nile Virus infections but were 4.57 times more likely to have lymphopenia. This proportion of neurological symptoms may be a complicating factor in countries where WNV and/or JEV co-circulate with CHIKV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048291PMC
July 2018

Complete Genome Sequence of Dengue Virus Serotype 2, Asian/American Genotype, Isolated from the Urine of a Venezuelan Child with Hemorrhagic Fever in 2016.

Genome Announc 2018 Jun 14;6(24). Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

The complete genome sequence was obtained for a 2 isolate from the urine of an 8-year-old girl who was hospitalized with dengue hemorrhagic fever in 2016 in Venezuela.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00529-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6003737PMC
June 2018

Keystone Virus Isolated From a Florida Teenager With Rash and Subjective Fever: Another Endemic Arbovirus in the Southeastern United States?

Clin Infect Dis 2019 01;68(1):143-145

Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Keystone virus, a California-serogroup orthobunyavirus, was first isolated in 1964 from mosquitoes in Keystone, Florida. There were no prior reports of isolation from humans, despite studies suggesting that ~20% of persons living in the region are seropositive. We report virus isolation from a Florida teenager with a rash and fever.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciy485DOI Listing
January 2019

Detection and phylogenetic characterization of arbovirus dual-infections among persons during a chikungunya fever outbreak, Haiti 2014.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 05 31;12(5):e0006505. Epub 2018 May 31.

Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America.

In the context of recent arbovirus epidemics, questions about the frequency of simultaneous infection of patients with different arbovirus species have been raised. In 2014, a major Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) epidemic impacted the Caribbean and South America. As part of ongoing screening of schoolchildren presenting with acute undifferentiated febrile illness in rural Haiti, we used RT-PCR to identify CHIKV infections in 82 of 100 children with this diagnosis during May-August 2014. Among these, eight were infected with a second arbovirus: six with Zika virus (ZIKV), one with Dengue virus serotype 2, and one with Mayaro virus (MAYV). These dual infections were only detected following culture of the specimen, suggesting low viral loads of the co-infecting species. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the ZIKV and MAYV strains differ from those detected later in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Moreover, CHIKV and ZIKV strains from co-infected patients clustered monophyletically in their respective phylogeny, and clock calibration traced back the common ancestor of each clade to an overlapping timeframe of introduction of these arboviruses onto the island.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5997359PMC
May 2018

A new "American" subgroup of African-lineage Chikungunya virus detected in and isolated from mosquitoes collected in Haiti, 2016.

PLoS One 2018 10;13(5):e0196857. Epub 2018 May 10.

US Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, Portsmouth, Virginia, United States of America.

As part of on-going arboviral surveillance activity in a semi-rural region in Haiti, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)-positive mosquito pools were identified in 2014 (the peak of the Caribbean Asian-clade epidemic), and again in 2016 by RT-PCR. In 2014, CHIKV was only identified in Aedes aegypti (11 positive pools/124 screened). In contrast, in sampling in 2016, CHIKV was not identified in Ae. aegypti, but, rather, in (a) a female Aedes albopictus pool, and (b) a female Culex quinquefasciatus pool. Genomic sequence analyses indicated that the CHIKV viruses in the 2016 mosquito pools were from the East-Central-South African (ECSA) lineage, rather than the Asian lineage. In phylogenetic studies, these ECSA lineage strains form a new ECSA subgroup (subgroup IIa) together with Brazilian ECSA lineage strains from an isolated human outbreak in 2014, and a mosquito pool in 2016. Additional analyses date the most recent common ancestor of the ECSA IIa subgroup around May 2007, and the 2016 Haitian CHIKV genomes around December 2015. Known CHIKV mutations associated with improved Ae. albopictus vector competence were not identified. Isolation of this newly identified lineage from Ae. albopictus is of concern, as this vector has a broader geographic range than Ae. aegypti, especially in temperate areas of North America, and stresses the importance for continued vector surveillance.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0196857PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5944945PMC
August 2018

Madariaga Virus: Identification of a Lineage III Strain in a Venezuelan Child With Acute Undifferentiated Febrile Illness, in the Setting of a Possible Equine Epizootic.

Clin Infect Dis 2018 08;67(4):619-621

Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Instituto Diagnóstico Barquisimeto (IDB)/ Biomedical Research Institute/IDB Hospital, Barquisimeto, Lara.

We report identification of Madariaga virus (MADV) in plasma and urine samples from a child with acute undifferentiated febrile illness in Venezuela. Our data document the occurrence of milder MADV infections (ie, without encephalitis), with a symptom complex that resembles that seen with other arboviral infections, including dengue and zika.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciy224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070041PMC
August 2018

Complete Genome Sequence of Serotype 6, Isolated from Florida White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

Genome Announc 2018 Apr 5;6(14). Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Here, we report the complete genome sequence of (EHDV) serotype 6 (EHDV-6), isolated from a Florida white-tailed deer () in 2016. To our knowledge, this is the first full genome sequence determined for an EHDV-6 isolate from Florida.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00160-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5887027PMC
April 2018

Human West Nile Virus Disease Outbreak in Pakistan, 2015-2016.

Front Public Health 2018 27;6:20. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Department of Comparative Diagnostic and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.

Like most of the world, Pakistan has seen an increase in mosquito-transmitted diseases in recent years. The magnitude and distribution of these diseases are poorly understood as Pakistan does not have a nation-wide system for reporting disease. A cross-sectional study to determine which flaviviruses were causing of arboviral disease in Pakistan was instituted. West Nile virus (WNV) is a cause of seasonal fever with neurotropic findings in countries that share borders with Pakistan. Here, we describe the active and persistent circulation of WNV in humans in the southern region of Pakistan. This is the first report of WNV causing neurological disease in human patients in this country. Of 997 enrolled patients presenting with clinical features suggestive of arboviral disease, 105 were positive for WNV IgM antibodies, and 71 of these patients possessed WNV-specific neutralizing antibodies. Cross-reactivity of WNV IgM antibodies with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) occurred in 75 of these 105 patients. WNV co-infections with Dengue viruses were not a contributing factor for the severity of disease. Nor did prior exposure to dengue virus contribute to incidence of neurological involvement in WNV-infected patients. Patients with WNV infections were more likely to present with altered mental status, seizures, and reduced Glasgow Coma scores when compared with JEV-infected patients. Human WNV cases and vector numbers exhibited a temporal correlation with climate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5835076PMC
February 2018

An efficient virus aerosol sampler enabled by adiabatic expansion.

J Aerosol Sci 2018 Mar 4;117:74-84. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Protection of public health against pathogenic viruses transmitted through the airborne route requires effective sampling of airborne viruses for determination of their concentration and distribution. However, sampling viable airborne viruses is challenging as conventional bioaerosol sampling devices operate on inertia-based mechanisms that inherently have low sampling efficiency for virus aerosols in the ultrafine size range (< 100 nm). Herein, a Batch Adiabatic-expansion for Size Intensification by Condensation (BASIC) approach was developed for efficient sampling of virus aerosols. The BASIC utilizes adiabatic expansion in a supersaturated container to activate condensation of water vapor onto virus aerosol particles, thus amplifying the size of the particles by orders of magnitude. Using aerosolized MS2 bacteriophage, the BASIC's performance was evaluated and optimized both from the perspectives of physical size amplification as well as preservation of the viability of the MS2 bacteriophage. Experimental results show that one compression/expansion (C/E) cycle under a compression pressure of 103.5 kPa and water temperature of 25 °C was sufficient to increase the particle diameter from < 100 nm to > 1 µm; further increases in the number of C/E cycles neither increased particle number concentration nor diameter. An increase in compression pressure was associated with physical size amplification and a higher concentration of collected viable MS2. Water temperature of 40 °C was found to be the optimal for size amplification as well as viability preservation. No significant effect on particle size enlargement was observed by changing the dwell time after expansion. The results illustrate the BASIC's capability as a simple, quick and inexpensive tool for rapid sampling of viable airborne viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaerosci.2018.01.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7094368PMC
March 2018

Evidence for Cross-species Influenza A Virus Transmission Within Swine Farms, China: A One Health, Prospective Cohort Study.

Clin Infect Dis 2018 02;66(4):533-540

Global Health Institute, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Background: Our understanding of influenza A virus transmission between humans and pigs is limited.

Methods: Beginning in 2015, we used a One Health approach and serial sampling to prospectively study 299 swine workers and 100 controls, their 9000 pigs, and 6 pig farm environments in China for influenza A viruses (IAVs) using molecular, culture, and immunological techniques. Study participants were closely monitored for influenza-like illness (ILI) events.

Results: Upon enrollment, swine workers had higher serum neutralizing antibody titers against swine H1N1 and higher nasal wash total immunoglobulin A (IgA) and specific IgA titers against swine H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. Over a period of 12 months, IAVs were detected by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in 46 of 396 (11.6%) environmental swabs, 235 of 3300 (7.1%) pig oral secretion, 23 of 396 (5.8%) water, 20 of 396 (5.1%) aerosol, and 19 of 396 (4.8%) fecal-slurry specimens. Five of 32 (15.6%) participants with ILI events had nasopharyngeal swab specimens that were positive for IAV, and 17 (53.1%) demonstrated 4-fold rises in neutralization titers against a swine virus. Reassorted Eurasian avian-lineage H1N1, A(H1N1)pdm09-like, and swine-lineage H3N2 viruses were identified in pig farms. The A(H1N1)pdm09-like H1N1 viruses identified in swine were nearly genetically identical to the human H1N1 viruses isolated from the participants with ILI.

Conclusions: There was considerable evidence of A(H1N1)pdm09-like, swine-lineage H1N1, and swine-lineage H3N2 viruses circulating, likely reassorting, and likely crossing species within the pig farms. These data suggest that stronger surveillance for novel influenza virus emergence within swine farms is imperative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix823DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5848305PMC
February 2018

Evidence for Mother-to-Child Transmission of Zika Virus Through Breast Milk.

Clin Infect Dis 2018 03;66(7):1120-1121

Infectious Diseases Research Incubator and the Zoonosis and Emerging Pathogens Regional Collaborative Network, Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado, Lara, Venezuela.

Zikavirus (ZIKV) is an emerging viral pathogen that continues to spread throughout different regions of the world. Herein we report a case that provides further evidence that ZIKV transmission can occur through breastfeeding by providing a detailed clinical, genomic, and virological case-based description.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix968DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019007PMC
March 2018

Single-walled carbon nanotubes modulate pulmonary immune responses and increase pandemic influenza a virus titers in mice.

Virol J 2017 12 22;14(1):242. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Department of Environmental and Global Health, Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, 2187 Mowry Road, Box 110885, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA.

Background: Numerous toxicological studies have focused on injury caused by exposure to single types of nanoparticles, but few have investigated how such exposures impact a host's immune response to pathogen challenge. Few studies have shown that nanoparticles can alter a host's response to pathogens (chiefly bacteria) but there is even less knowledge of the impact of such particles on viral infections. In this study, we performed experiments to investigate if exposure of mice to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) alters immune mechanisms and viral titers following subsequent influenza A virus (IAV) infection.

Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 20 μg of SWCNT or control vehicle by intratracheal instillation followed by intranasal exposure to 3.2 × 10 TCID IAV or PBS after 3 days. On day 7 mice were euthanized and near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging was used to track SWCNT in lung tissues. Viral titers, histopathology, and mRNA expression of antiviral and inflammatory genes were measured in lung tissue. Differential cell counts and cytokine levels were quantified in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF).

Results: Viral titers showed a 63-fold increase in IAV in SWCNT + IAV exposed lungs compared to the IAV only exposure. Quantitation of immune cells in BALF indicated an increase of neutrophils in the IAV group and a mixed profile of lymphocytes and neutrophils in SWCNT + IAV treated mice. NIRF indicated SWCNT remained in the lung throughout the experiment and localized in the junctions of terminal bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and surrounding alveoli. The dual exposure exacerbated pulmonary inflammation and tissue lesions compared to SWCNT or IAV single exposures. IAV exposure increased several cytokine and chemokine levels in BALF, but greater levels of IL-4, IL-12 (P70), IP-10, MIP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, and RANTES were evident in the SWCNT + IAV group. The expression of tlr3, ifnβ1, rantes, ifit2, ifit3, and il8 was induced by IAV alone but several anti-viral targets showed a repressed trend (ifits) with pre-exposure to SWCNT.

Conclusions: These findings reveal a pronounced effect of SWCNT on IAV infection in vivo as evidenced by exacerbated lung injury, increased viral titers and several cytokines/chemokines levels, and reduction of anti-viral gene expression. These results imply that SWCNT can increase susceptibility to respiratory viral infections as a novel mechanism of toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-017-0909-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741862PMC
December 2017

Complete Genome Sequence of Human Coronavirus Strain 229E Isolated from Plasma Collected from a Haitian Child in 2016.

Genome Announc 2017 Nov 22;5(47). Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Human coronavirus strain 229E (HCoV-229E) and human alphaherpesvirus 1 were isolated from the plasma of a Haitian child in 2016 with suspected arbovirus diseases. To our knowledge, this is the first description of HCoV-229E in human plasma, which is the focus of this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01313-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701476PMC
November 2017

A Role of Sp1 Binding Motifs in Basal and Large T-Antigen-Induced Promoter Activities of Human Polyomavirus HPyV9 and Its Variant UF-1.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Nov 14;18(11). Epub 2017 Nov 14.

Division 12, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Viruses Affecting Immunocompromised Patients, Robert Koch Institute, 13353 Berlin, Germany.

Human polyomavirus 9 (HPyV9) was originally detected in the serum of a renal transplant patient. Seroepidemiological studies showed that ~20-50% of the human population have antibodies against this virus. HPyV9 has not yet been associated with any disease and little is known about the route of infection, transmission, host cell tropism, and genomic variability in circulating strains. Recently, the HPyV9 variant UF-1 with an eight base-pair deletion, a thirteen base-pair insertion and with point mutations, creating three putative Sp1 binding sites in the late promoter was isolated from an AIDS patient. Transient transfection studies with a luciferase reporter plasmid driven by HPyV9 or UF1 promoter demonstrated that UF1 early and late promoters were stronger than HPyV9 promoters in most cell lines, and that the UF1 late promoter was more potently activated by HPyV9 large T-antigen (LTAg). Mutation of two Sp1 motifs strongly reduced trans-activation of the late UF1 promoter by HPyV9 LTAg in HeLa cells. In conclusion, the mutations in the UF1 late promoter seem to strengthen its activity and its response to stimulation by HPyV9 LTAg in certain cells. It remains to be investigated whether these promoter changes have an influence on virus replication and affect the possible pathogenic properties of the virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713382PMC
November 2017

Genomic Sequences of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Viruses Isolated from Florida White-Tailed Deer.

Genome Announc 2017 Oct 26;5(43). Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

(EHDV) serotypes 1 and 2 were isolated from Florida white-tailed deer in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and their genomes were completely sequenced. To our knowledge, these are the first full genome sequences for EHDV-1 and -2 from Florida.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01174-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5658499PMC
October 2017

Collection of Viable Aerosolized Influenza Virus and Other Respiratory Viruses in a Student Health Care Center through Water-Based Condensation Growth.

mSphere 2017 Sep-Oct;2(5). Epub 2017 Oct 11.

Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

The dynamics and significance of aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses are still controversial, for the major reasons that virus aerosols are inefficiently collected by commonly used air samplers and that the collected viruses are inactivated by the collection method. Without knowledge of virus viability, infection risk analyses lack accuracy. This pilot study was performed to (i) determine whether infectious (viable) respiratory viruses in aerosols could be collected from air in a real world environment by the able irus erosol ampler (VIVAS), (ii) compare and contrast the efficacy of the standard bioaerosol sampler, the BioSampler, with that of the VIVAS for the collection of airborne viruses in a real world environment, and (iii) gain insights for the use of the VIVAS for respiratory virus sampling. The VIVAS operates via a water vapor condensation process to enlarge aerosolized virus particles to facilitate their capture. A variety of viable human respiratory viruses, including influenza A H1N1 and H3N2 viruses and influenza B viruses, were collected by the VIVAS located at least 2 m from seated patients, during a late-onset 2016 influenza virus outbreak. Whereas the BioSampler when operated following our optimized parameters also collected virus aerosols, it was nevertheless overall less successful based on a lower frequency of virus isolation in most cases. This side-by-side comparison highlights some limitations of past studies based on impingement-based sampling, which may have generated false-negative results due to either poor collection efficiency and/or virus inactivation due to the collection process. The significance of virus aerosols in the natural transmission of respiratory diseases has been a contentious issue, primarily because it is difficult to collect or sample virus aerosols using currently available air sampling devices. We tested a new air sampler based on water vapor condensation for efficient sampling of viable airborne respiratory viruses in a student health care center as a model of a real world environment. The new sampler outperformed the industry standard device (the SKC BioSampler) in the collection of natural virus aerosols and in maintaining virus viability. These results using the VIVAS indicate that respiratory virus aerosols are more prevalent and potentially pose a greater inhalation biohazard than previously thought. The VIVAS thus appears to be a useful apparatus for microbiology air quality tests related to the detection of viable airborne viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00251-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5636224PMC
October 2017

Complete Genomic Sequence of Dengue Virus Serotype 4 Isolated from Plasma Collected from a Haitian Child in 2014.

Genome Announc 2017 Oct 5;5(40). Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

While data are limited, there is increasing evidence that infections by dengue viruses are endemic in Haiti. In 2014, an outbreak caused by dengue virus 4 (DENV-4) followed a chikungunya fever outbreak. We present here the complete genome sequence of one isolate grouped within the genotype II South America and Caribbean DENV-4 clades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01160-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5629068PMC
October 2017

Detection of Alphacoronavirus vRNA in the Feces of Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) from a Colony in Florida, USA.

Diseases 2017 Feb 27;5(1). Epub 2017 Feb 27.

Department of Environmental and Global Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.

Bats are natural reservoirs of coronaviruses and other viruses with zoonotic potential. Florida has indigenous non-migratory populations of Brazilian free-tailed bats () that mostly roost in colonies in artificial structures. Unlike their counterparts in Brazil and Mexico, the viruses harbored by the Florida bats have been underexplored. We report the detection of an alphacoronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene sequence in the feces of two of 19 different that were capture/release bats that had been evaluated for overall health. The RdRp sequence is similar but not identical to previously detected sequences in the feces of two different species of bats ( and ) in Brazil. In common with the experience of others doing similar work, attempts to isolate the virus in cell cultures were unsuccessful. We surmise that this and highly related alphacoronavirus are carried by Brazilian free-tailed bats living in a wide eco-spatial region. As various coronaviruses (CoVs) that affect humans emerged from bats, our study raises the question whether CoVs such as the one detected in our work are yet-to-be-detected pathogens of humans and animals other than bats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diseases5010007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5456339PMC
February 2017

Isolation and identification of human coronavirus 229E from frequently touched environmental surfaces of a university classroom that is cleaned daily.

Am J Infect Control 2018 Jan 12;46(1):105-107. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Electronic address:

Frequently touched surfaces of a university classroom that is cleaned daily contained viable human coronavirus 229E (CoV-229E). Tests of a CoV-229E laboratory strain under conditions that simulated the ambient light, temperature, and relative humidity conditions of the classroom revealed that some of the virus remained viable on various surfaces for 7 days, suggesting CoV-229E is relatively stable in the environment. Our findings reinforce the notion that contact transmission may be possible for this virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2017.07.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7115338PMC
January 2018

Emergence of recombinant Mayaro virus strains from the Amazon basin.

Sci Rep 2017 08 18;7(1):8718. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Mayaro virus (MAYV), causative agent of Mayaro Fever, is an arbovirus transmitted by Haemagogus mosquitoes. Despite recent attention due to the identification of several cases in South and Central America and the Caribbean, limited information on MAYV evolution and epidemiology exists and represents a barrier to prevention of further spread. We present a thorough spatiotemporal evolutionary study of MAYV full-genome sequences collected over the last sixty years within South America and Haiti, revealing recent recombination events and adaptation to a broad host and vector range, including Aedes mosquito species. We employed a Bayesian phylogeography approach to characterize the emergence of recombinants in Brazil and Haiti and report evidence in favor of the putative role of human mobility in facilitating recombination among MAYV strains from geographically distinct regions. Spatiotemporal characteristics of recombination events and the emergence of this previously neglected virus in Haiti, a known hub for pathogen spread to the Americas, warrants close monitoring of MAYV infection in the immediate future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07152-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5562835PMC
August 2017