Publications by authors named "Sayed Sartaj Sohrab"

32 Publications

prediction and experimental validation of siRNAs targeting ORF1ab of MERS-CoV in Vero cell line.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Feb 27;28(2):1348-1355. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Post Box No-80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is well known to cause respiratory syndrome and this virus was identified and isolated for the first time from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2012 from infected patient. In this report, we have conducted the prediction, designing and evaluation of siRNAs targeting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus orf1ab gene to inhibit the virus replication. By using bioinformatics software, total twenty-one functional, off-target reduced siRNA were selected from four hundred and sixty-two siRNAs based on their greater potency and specificity. We have evaluated only seven siRNAs to analyze their performance and efficacy as antivirals by reverse transfection approach in Vero cells. There was no cytotoxicity of siRNAs at various concentrations was observed in Vero cells. Based on the real-time PCR results, better inhibition of viral replication was observed in the siRNA-1 and 4 as compared to other siRNAs. The results generated from this work provided suitable information about the efficacy of siRNAs which encouraged us to further evaluate the remaining siRNAs to determine their inhibitory effect on the virus replication. We concluded that the insilico prediction and designing resulted in the screening of potential siRNAs with better efficiency, and strength. This can be used to develop oligonucleotide-based antiviral therapeutics against MERS-CoV in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.11.066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833792PMC
February 2021

Designing and evaluation of MERS-CoV siRNAs in HEK-293 cell line.

J Infect Public Health 2021 Feb 29;14(2):238-243. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Post Box, No-80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia; Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Background: The MERS-CoV was identified for the first time from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2012 from a hospitalized patient. This virus has now been spread to 27 countries with a total of 858 deaths and 2494 confirmed cases and has become a serious concern for the human population. Camels are well known for the transmission of the virus to the human population.

Methods: In this report, we have discussed the designing, prediction, and evaluation of potential siRNAs against the orf1ab gene of MERS-CoV. The online software was used to predict and design the siRNAs and finally, total twenty-one siRNA were filtered out from four hundred and sixty-two sIRNAs as per their scoring and specificity criteria. We have used only ten siRNAs to evaluate their cytotoxicity and efficacy by reverse transfection approach in HEK-293-T cell lines.

Results: Based on the results and data generated; no cytotoxicity was observed for any siRNAs at various concentrations in HEK-293-T cells. The ct value of real-time PCR showed the inhibition of viral replication in siRNA-1, 2, 4, 6, and 9. The data generated provided the preliminary information and encouraged us to evaluate the remaining siRNAs separately as well as in combination to analyses the replication of MERS-CoV inhibition in other cell lines.

Conclusion: Based on the results obtained; it is concluded that the prediction of siRNAs using online software resulted in the filtration of potential siRNAs with high accuracy and strength. This technology can be used to design and develop antiviral therapy not only for MERS-CoV but also against other viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2020.12.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771261PMC
February 2021

In silico Prediction and Designing of Potential siRNAs to be Used as Antivirals Against SARS-CoV-2.

Curr Pharm Des 2021 Jan 11. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah,. Saudi Arabia.

Background: The unusual pneumonia outbreak that originated in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019 was found to be caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or COVID-19.

Methods: In this work, we have performed an in silico design and prediction of potential siRNAs based on genetic diversity and recombination patterns, targeting various genes of SARS-CoV-2 for antiviral therapeutics. We performed extensive sequence analysis to analyze the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships, and to identify the possible source of virus reservoirs and recombination patterns, and the evolution of the virus as well as we designed the siRNAs which can be used as antivirals against SARS-CoV-2.

Results: The sequence analysis and phylogenetic relationships indicated high sequence identity and closed clusters with many types of coronavirus. In our analysis, the full-genome of SARS-CoV-2 showed the highest sequence (nucleotide) identity with SARS-bat-ZC45 (87.7%). The overall sequence identity ranged from 74.3% to 87.7% with selected SARS viruses. The recombination analysis indicated the bat SARS virus is a potential recombinant and serves as a major and minor parent. We have predicted 442 siRNAs and finally selected only 19 functional, and potential siRNAs.

Conclusions: The siRNAs were predicted and selected based on their greater potency and specificity. The predicted siRNAs need to be validated experimentally for their effective binding and antiviral activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612827999210111194101DOI Listing
January 2021

Natural Products Homoharringtonine and Emetine Alkaloids for SARSCoV-2 Treatment Options.

Curr Pharm Des 2020 Dec 10. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box 80216, Jeddah 21589. Saudi Arabia.

Background: Viruses are known as the major causative agents for infectious diseases globally. The coronaviruses are one of the serious pathogens to cause serious diseases in humans. Recently identified SARS-CoV-2 from Wuhan City, China has emerged as a serious threat to human health and caused a global pandemic. Bats have been confirmed as a primary source of infection. The vaccination of the human population and animals serving as a potential reservoir is a straight forward strategy to control the transmission of any pathogen to humans. Natural products from many herbal plants are well known to have novel antiviral properties and evaluated against various viral diseases. There are many alkaloids have shown to be effective against coronaviruses.

Methods: Recently, the antiviral efficacy of natural alkaloids known as Homoharringtonine (HTT) and Emetine has been evaluated and provided promising results against coronaviruses including SARS-CoVs. These alkaloids may be very useful and can be used as antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 because they have already been reported to inhibit the replication of SASRS-CoV and other viruses in cell lines.

Conclusion: This review specifically focuses on the recent findings of these alkaloids against coronaviruses and possible treatment options for SARS-CoV-2. It is expected that natural products as alkaloids from herbal plants could be considered as novel and valuable candidates for the new antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612826666201210121858DOI Listing
December 2020

Anti-S1 MERS-COV IgY Specific Antibodies Decreases Lung Inflammation and Viral Antigen Positive Cells in the Human Transgenic Mouse Model.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 Nov 1;8(4). Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 and causes severe and often fatal acute respiratory illness in humans. No approved prophylactic and therapeutic interventions are currently available. In this study, we have developed egg yolk antibodies (immunoglobulin Y (IgY)) specific for MERS-CoV spike protein (S1) in order to evaluate their neutralizing efficiency against MERS-CoV infection. S1-specific immunoglobulins were produced by injecting chickens with purified recombinant S1 protein of MERS-CoV at a high titer (5.7 mg/mL egg yolk) at week 7 post immunization. Western blotting and immune-dot blot assays demonstrated that the IgY antibody specifically bound to the MERS-CoV S1 protein. Anti-S1 antibodies were also able to recognize MERS-COV inside cells, as demonstrated by an immunofluorescence assay. Plaque reduction and microneutralization assays showed the neutralization of MERS-COV in Vero cells by anti-S1 IgY antibodies and non-significantly reduced virus titers in the lungs of MERS-CoV-infected mice during early infection, with a nonsignificant decrease in weight loss. However, a statistically significant ( = 0.0196) quantitative reduction in viral antigen expression and marked reduction in inflammation were observed in lung tissue. Collectively, our data suggest that the anti-MERS-CoV S1 IgY could serve as a potential candidate for the passive treatment of MERS-CoV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8040634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712919PMC
November 2020

Molecular diagnosis of begomovirus associated with Chilli leaf curl disease in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2020 Nov 12;27(11):3060-3064. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Post Box, No-80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.

Chilli ( L.) is well known as 'wonder spice'. This is a very valuable cash crop grown as a vegetable globally. Chilli leaf curl disease is a major threat and global concern for the cultivation of Chilli by farmers and growers. In this work, the molecular diagnosis, genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship, and begomovirus association with Chilli leaf curl disease have been discussed. The infected leaves were randomly harvested from the Chilli field, at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A group of begomovirus vector, whiteflies were also observed on the Chilli crop and infected weeds growing in the neighboring field. The begomovirus was confirmed by coat protein gene specific primer, dot blot hybridization, sequencing and sequence analysis. The full coat protein gene was found to have 774 nucleotides. The nucleotide sequences analysis shared the highest identity with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus reported earlier infecting tomato from Saudi Arabia, and the lowest identity was observed with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus Oman isolate. The overall sequence identity ranged from more than ninety percent among the analyzed sequences. The phylogenetic relationship analysis formed the major three clusters and showed the closed clustering with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus isolates. The natural spread of the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus on the Chilli crop from other crops poses an important and serious threat to Chili cultivation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Based on the literature review and current evidence, this is the first report of leaf curl disease of Chilli from Saudi Arabia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.09.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7569110PMC
November 2020

An edible vaccine development for coronavirus disease 2019: the concept.

Clin Exp Vaccine Res 2020 Jul 31;9(2):164-168. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

A novel coronavirus was emerged in December 2019 from Wuhan city, China and has now become a global threat to human health. Currently, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread to more than 34 countries with 2,445 deaths and 78,811 confirmed cases. Currently, there is no vaccine available against COVID-19. The traditional vaccines development requires more time and high cost and due to this, the disease outbreaks becomes more challenging. Now a days, plants have become more attractive platform for edible vaccine production than the other system. The development of an edible vaccine in a selected plant system has many significant advantages such as; easy and efficient oral delivery, low cost with higher scale production, avoidance of any trained medical personnel for delivery, lack of any pathogenic infection, multicomponent expression in a single plant, and so forth. In this manuscript, the concept, development, and importance of an edible vaccine have been discussed. By using this plant-based platform, an edible vaccines can be produced in many crops like banana, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, and tomato against various diseases. Due to increasing cases globally with COVID-19, there is an urgent requirement to develop an ideal vaccine and antiviral therapy against this virus to control the disease worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7774/cevr.2020.9.2.164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7445323PMC
July 2020

Genetic diversity of begomoviruses infecting tomato plant in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2020 Jan 22;27(1):222-228. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Post Box No: 80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.

Tomato is known as a highly valuable crop and grown worldwide for various uses. The cultivation and tomato production severely affected globally by several diseases caused by various pathogens. Begomoviruses causes yellow mosaic and leaf curl disease of tomato in the tropical, subtropical, temperate, and semi-arid regions. In Saudi Arabia, the tomato production adversely affected by disease caused by begomoviruses known as TYLCV and ToLCSDV In this study, the pathogen was identified by Polymerase Chain Reaction using virus-specific primers and transmitted by whiteflies to healthy tomato seedlings. In a field survey, the tomato plants were exhibiting symptoms like viral infection. The infected leaf was randomly collected from various fields of tomato growing areas like Jeddah, Makkah, Tabuk, and Hail. The full-length viral genome was amplified by Rolling Circle Amplification technology (RCA) while betasatellites were amplified by PCR using universal betasatellites primers. The full-length viral genome (∼2.7 kb) and betasatellites (∼1.4 kb) were cloned and sequenced bi-directionally. The generated sequences were assembled and analyzed to find out the genetic variability by using bioinformatics tools and the genetic variability and phylogenetic relationships with selected begomoviruses were analyzed. The sequences showed the highest identity with an isolate of ToLCSDV and TYLCV. The nucleotide similarity and phylogenetic relationship showed the closest cluster with ToLCSDV and TYLCV. The data generated in this study elucidate that the causal organism is a variant of either TYLCV or ToLCSDV. The provided information from this study will be highly valuable for researchers and vegetable growers not only in Saudi Arabia but also in Arabian Peninsula.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2019.08.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6933193PMC
January 2020

Genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis of HPV 16 & 18 variants isolated from cervical specimens of women in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2019 Feb 3;26(2):317-324. Epub 2018 May 3.

Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) are well known to be associated with the development of cervical cancer. HPV16 and HPV 18 are known as high-risk types and reported to be predominantly associated with cervical cancer. The prevalence and genetic diversity of HPV have been well documented globally but, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, data on HPV genetic diversity are lacking. In this study, we have analyzed the genetic diversity of both HPV16 and HPV18 based on their L1 gene sequence because L1 gene is a major capsid protein gene and has been utilized to develop a prophylactic vaccine. In January 2011-2012, a total of forty samples from cervical specimens of women in Saudi Arabia were collected. The association of HPV16, HPV18 was detected by polymerase chain reaction, sequenced and submitted to GenBank. The sequences identity matrix and the phylogenetic relationship were analyzed with selected HPVs. The highest sequence identity (99.5%) for HPV16 and (99.3%) for HPV was observed with selected HPVs. The phylogenetic analysis results showed that HPVs from Saudi Arabia formed a closed cluster with African, Asian, East Asian as well as American HPVs distributed into multiple linages from various geographical locations. The results provided the valuable information about genetic diversity, but there is an urgent need to generate full genome sequence information which will provide a clearer picture of the genetic diversity and evolution of HPVs in Saudi Arabia. In conclusion, the generated data will be highly beneficial for developing molecular diagnostic tools, analyzing and correlating the epidemiological data to determine the risk of cervical cancer and finally to develop a vaccine for Saudi Arabian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2018.05.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6717139PMC
February 2019

Taxonomic diversity of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and genes in the Red Sea coast.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Aug 22;677:474-483. Epub 2019 Apr 22.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Medical Laboratory Technology Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Despite development of a record number of recreational sites and industrial zones on the Red Sea coast in the last decade, antibiotic-resistant bacteria in this environment remain largely unexplored. In this study, 16S rDNA sequencing was used to identify bacteria isolated from 12 sediment samples collected from the Red Sea coastal, offshore, and mangroves sites. Quantitative PCR was used to estimate the quantity of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in genomic DNA in the samples. A total of 470 bacteria were isolated and classified into 137 distinct species, including 10 candidate novel species. Site-specific bacterial communities inhabiting the Red Sea were apparent. Relatively, more resistant isolates were recovered from the coast, and samples from offshore locations contained the most multidrug-resistant bacteria. Eighteen ARGs were detected in this study encoding resistance to aminoglycoside, beta-lactam, sulfonamide, macrolide, quinolone, and tetracycline antibiotics. The qnrS, aacC2, ermC, and bla genes were commonly found in coastal and offshore sites. Relatively higher abundance of ARGs, including aacC2 and aacC3, were found in the apparently anthropogenically contaminated (beach) samples from coast compared to other collected samples. In conclusion, a relative increase in antimicrobial-resistant isolates was found in sediment samples from the Red Sea, compared to other studies. Anthropogenic activities likely contribute to this increase in bacterial diversity and ARGs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.283DOI Listing
August 2019

Role of viruses, prions and miRNA in neurodegenerative disorders and dementia.

Virusdisease 2018 Dec 29;29(4):419-433. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Drug Design & Development Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, Intramural Research Program, National, Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Research Center, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224 USA.

Dementia is known as loss of cellular communications in the brain at a region caused by multi-factorial diseases and pathogenic infections. Approximately eighty percent reported cases of Alzheimer's disease are followed by vascular dementia. The common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, concentration problems, thinking, and language solving situations. Dementia is a multifactorial disease but based on latest research; various reports have been published describing the linkage and role of viruses, prions and miRNAs in neurodegeneration and neurodegenerative disorders resulting into dementia and due to this we selected to review and provide latest information related to dementia. MiRNAs are small non-coding RNAs carrying genetic regulatory information contributing to neurological disorders among human and animals. A prion is an infectious agent made of protein material. Recently, it has been reported that prions play a significant role in signaling processes, resulting in amyloidogenesis and neurological disorders. Viruses attack human immune system and central nervous system and affect classical pathways of neurodegenerative diseases. Comprehensive understandings of the expression profiles and activities of these miRNAs, Prions, Viruses will illuminate their roles as potential therapeutic targets in neurodegeneration and may lead to the discovery of breakthrough treatment strategies for neurodegenerative disorders and dementia. The provided information will further be significant not only in neuro-scientific research, but also in designing and development of management strategies for dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13337-018-0492-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6261888PMC
December 2018

IgY antibodies for the immunoprophylaxis and therapy of respiratory infections.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2019 19;15(1):264-275. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

c Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center , King Abdulaziz University , Jeddah , Saudi Arabia.

Emergence of drug resistance among the causative organisms for respiratory tract infections represents a critical challenge to the global health care community. Further, although vaccination can prevent disease, vaccine development is impeded by several factors. Therefore, novel approaches to treat and manage respiratory infections are urgently needed. Passive immunization represents a possible alternative to meet this need. Immunoglobulin Y antibodies (IgYs) from the yolk of chicken eggs have previously been used against bacterial and viral infections in human and animals. Their advantages include lack of reaction with mammalian Fc receptors, low production cost, and ease of extraction. Compared to mammalian IgGs, they have higher target specificity and greater binding avidity. They also possess remarkable pathogen-neutralizing activity in the respiratory tract and lungs. In this review, we provide an overview of avian IgYs and describe their potential therapeutic applications for the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2018.1514224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6363154PMC
February 2020

Recent Status of Nanomaterial Fabrication and Their Potential Applications in Neurological Disease Management.

Nanoscale Res Lett 2018 Aug 10;13(1):231. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, PO Box # 196, Gondar, Ethiopia.

Nanomaterials (NMs) are receiving remarkable attention due to their unique properties and structure. They vary from atoms and molecules along with those of bulk materials. They can be engineered to act as drug delivery vehicles to cross blood-brain barriers (BBBs) and utilized with better efficacy and safety to deliver specific molecules into targeted cells as compared to conventional system for neurological disorders. Depending on their properties, various metal chelators, gold nanoparticles (NPs), micelles, quantum dots, polymeric NPs, liposomes, solid lipid NPs, microparticles, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes have been utilized for various purposes including the improvement of drug delivery system, treatment response assessment, diagnosis at early stage, and management of neurological disorder by using neuro-engineering. BBB regulates micro- and macromolecule penetration/movement, thus protecting it from many kinds of illness. This phenomenon also prevents drug delivery for the neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and primary brain tumors. For some neurological disorders (AD and PD), the environmental pollution was considered as a major cause, as observed that metal and/or metal oxide from different sources are inhaled and get deposited in the lungs/brain. Old age, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are other factors for rapid deterioration of human health and onset of AD. In addition, gene mutations have also been examined to cause the early onset familial forms of AD. AD leads to cognitive impairment and plaque deposits in the brain leading to neuronal cell death. Based on these facts and considerations, this review elucidates the importance of frequently used metal chelators, NMs and/or NPs. The present review also discusses the current status and future challenges in terms of their application in drug delivery for neurological disease management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s11671-018-2638-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6086777PMC
August 2018

Molecular evidence for the occurrence of TYLCV on in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Virusdisease 2018 Jun 2;29(2):203-206. Epub 2018 Apr 2.

2Department of Arid Land Agriculture, Faculty of Meteorology Environment and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Begomoviruses are whiteflies transmitted virus causing serious disease in many important plants exhibiting variable symptoms with significant economic loss globally. Mentha is an important crop being grown here in Saudi Arabia for various purposes. The begomovirus associated disease was observed on Mentha crops during field survey which were growing near to tomato field. There is no published report available about the association of begomovirus on Mentha from this region. So, this work was conducted to identify the causative agent associated with yellow vein mosaic disease. Naturally infected samples were collected from various locations and causative agent was identified by PCR using begomovirus specific primers and further cloned and sequenced bidirectionally. The full genome had total 2785 nucleotides while betasatellite molecule had 1365 nucleotides. Based on full-genome sequence analysis, the identity matrix and phylogenetic analysis showed the highest identity (99.6%) with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) reported from tomato in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The identified begomovirus was observed as isolate of TYLCV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13337-018-0447-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6003059PMC
June 2018

Consequence of HIV and HCV co-infection on host immune response, persistence and current treatment options.

Virusdisease 2018 Mar 27;29(1):19-26. Epub 2018 Jan 27.

1Special Infectious Agents Unit (SIAU), King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80216, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common opportunistic pathogen especially among Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients. Due to incongruous studies, the pathological effect of HCV on HIV induced disease are still not fully understood. While some studies have showed no effect of HCV on HIV infection, others reported a defined role of HCV in aggravating the rates of AIDS-related illnesses and mortality. The explanation of such variances may be due to the host immune response, viral genotypes, sub-type and quasi-species distribution. The factors that complicate the management of HIV/HCV patients are: (1) reduced HCV antibody production, (2) drug interactions, (3) liver disease and (4) different epidemiologic characteristics. However, it is abundantly clear that the morbidity and mortality caused by HCV have increased since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) against HIV. In this review, the consequence of HIV/HCV co-infection on host immune response, viral replication, disease progression, mortality and morbidity, viral load, persistence and current treatment options have been discussed. Based on the clinical studies, it is necessary to evaluate the effect of HCV therapy on HIV progression and to provide a fully active HCV treatment for patients receiving HIV treatment. In conclusion, it is recommended to provide fully active HAART therapy in combination with a known HCV therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13337-018-0424-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877845PMC
March 2018

Association of HCV mutated proteins and host SNPs in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Infect Genet Evol 2018 06 1;60:160-172. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Department of Biological Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:

Hepatitis C virus plays a significant role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) globally. The pathogenic mechanisms of hepatocellular carcinoma with HCV infection are generally linked with inflammation, cytokines, fibrosis, cellular signaling pathways, and liver cell proliferation modulating pathways. HCV encoded proteins (Core, NS3, NS4, NS5A) interact with a broad range of hepatocytes derived factors to modulate an array of activities such as cell signaling, DNA repair, transcription and translational regulation, cell propagation, apoptosis, membrane topology. These four viral proteins are also implicated to show a strong conversion potential in tissue culture. Furthermore, Core and NS5A also trigger the accretion of the β-catenin pathway as a common target to contribute viral induced transformation. There is a strong association between HCV variants within Core, NS4, and NS5A and host single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with the HCC pathogenesis. Identification of such viral mutants and host SNPs is very critical to determine the risk of HCC and response to antiviral therapy. In this review, we highlight the association of key variants, mutated proteins, and host SNPs in development of HCV induced HCC. How such viral mutants may modulate the interaction with cellular host machinery is also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2018.02.034DOI Listing
June 2018

Identification of a monopartite begomovirus associated with yellow vein mosaic of in Saudi Arabia.

3 Biotech 2018 Feb 24;8(2):92. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

2Department of Arid Land Agriculture, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mentha is a very important crop grown and used extensively for many purposes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Begomoviruses are whitefly-transmitted viruses causing serious disease in many important plants exhibiting variable symptoms with significant economic loss globally. During farmers' field survey, yellow vein mosaic disease was observed in plants growing near tomato fields in Saudi Arabia. The causative agent was identified in 11 out of 19 samples using begomovirus-specific primers and the association of begomovirus with yellow vein mosaic disease in was confirmed. The full-length viral genome and betasatellite were amplified, cloned, and sequenced bidirectionally. The full DNA-A genome was found to have 2785 nucleotides with 1365 bp-associated betasatellite molecule. An attempt was made to amplify DNA-B, but none of the samples produced any positive amplicon of expected size which indicated the presence of monopartite begomovirus. The sequence identity matrix and phylogenetic analysis, based on full genome showed the highest identity (99.6%) with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and in phylogenetic analysis it formed a closed cluster with Tomato leaf curl virus infecting tomato and Corchorus crop in Saudi Arabia. The sequence analysis results of betasatellites showed the highest identity (98.9%) with Tomato yellow leaf curl betasatellites infecting tomato and phylogenetic analysis using betasatellites formed a close cluster with Tomato yellow leaf curl betasatellites infecting tomato and Corchorus crops, which has already been reported to cause yellow vein mosaic and leaf curl disease in many cultivated and weed crops growing in Saudi Arabia. The identified begomovirus associated with yellow vein mosaic disease in mentha could be a mutated strain of TYLCV and tentatively designated as TYLCV-Mentha isolate. Based on published data and latest information, this is the first report of identification of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus associated with yellow vein mosaic disease of from Saudi Arabia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13205-018-1120-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796946PMC
February 2018

Inhibition of Neurogenesis by Zika Virus Infection.

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 2018 ;17(2):78-86

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, P.O. Box No. 21589, Saudi Arabia.

Background & Objective: The link between Zika Virus (ZIKV) epidemic and neurological disorder has raised an urgent global alarm. The current epidemic of ZIKV has triggered quick responses in the scientific world. The first case of ZIKV was reported in 2015 from Brazil and now has spread over 30 countries. Nearly four hundred cases of traveler associated ZIKV infection have also been reported in the United States. ZIKV is primarily transmitted by mosquito belonging to the genus Aedes that are widely distributed throughout the world. Additionally, the virus can also be transmitted from male to female by sexual contact. The epidemiological investigations during the current outbreak found a causal link between infection in pregnant women and the development of microcephaly (MCPH) in their unborn babies. This finding is a cause of grave concern since MCPH is a serious neural developmental disorder that can lead to significant post-natal developmental abnormalities and disabilities. Recently, published data indicates that ZIKV infection severely affects the growth of fetal neural progenitor cells and cerebral neurons resulting in malformation of cerebral cortex leading to MCPH. Recently, it has been reported that ZIKV infection deregulates the signaling pathway of neuronal cell and inhibits the neurogenesis.

Conclusion: In this review, we discussed the information about cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration of human neuronal cells and inhibition of neurogenesis. The provided information in this review will be very useful further not only in neuro-scientific research but also in the desig and development of management strategies for MCPH and other mosquito-borne diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871527317666180202115114DOI Listing
June 2019

Design and Delivery of Therapeutic siRNAs: Application to MERS-Coronavirus.

Curr Pharm Des 2018 ;24(1):62-77

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Background: The MERS-CoV is a novel human coronavirus causing respiratory syndrome since April 2012. The replication of MERS-CoV is mediated by ORF 1ab and viral gene activity can be modulated by RNAi approach. The inhibition of virus replication has been documented in cell culture against multiple viruses by RNAi approach. Currently, very few siRNA against MERS-CoV have been computationally designed and published.

Methods: In this review, we have discussed the computational designing and delivery of potential siRNAs. Potential siRNA can be designed to silence a desired gene by considering many factors like target site, specificity, length and nucleotide content of siRNA, removal of potential off-target sites, toxicity and immunogenic responses. The efficient delivery of siRNAs into targeted cells faces many challenges like enzymatic degradation and quick clearance through renal system. The siRNA can be delivered using transfection, electroporation and viral gene transfer. Currently, siRNAs delivery has been improved by using advanced nanotechnology like lipid nanoparticles, inorganic nanoparticles and polymeric nanoparticles.

Conclusion: The efficacy of siRNA-based therapeutics has been used not only against many viral diseases but also against non-viral diseases, cancer, dominant genetic disorders, and autoimmune disease. This innovative technology has attracted researchers, academia and pharmaceuticals industries towards designing and development of highly effective and targeted disease therapy. By using this technology, effective and potential siRNAs can be designed, delivered and their efficacy with toxic effects and immunogenic responses can be tested against MERS-CoV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612823666171109112307DOI Listing
September 2019

Recent Development and Future Prospects of Plant-Based Vaccines.

Curr Drug Metab 2017 ;18(9):831-841

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. Saudi Arabia.

Background: Growing world population and continuous disease emergence have invited the development of more efficient new vaccines against a range of diseases. Conventional vaccines are being wildly used in the world but their production requires higher cost, more time and better infrastructure. Thus, the idea of plant-based edible vaccine technology has emerged and showed promising results with strong and effective protection against many diseases. Plants have been utilized since more than two decades as pharmaceuticals against many diseases.

Methods: Plant-based technology has great potential to express genes and produce clinically important compounds in the desired tissue. Plant biotechnology has played important role in the production of pharmaceutical compounds like vaccines, antibodies, antigens, sub-units, growth hormones and enzymes by utilizing genetic modification. It has also been opened a new approach for developing an edible vaccine as an oral delivery.

Results: Edible vaccines have been shown to induce both mucosal as well as systemic immunity. Currently, many pharmaceuticals proteins as an edible vaccine have been developed in different plant expression systems and evaluated against various life-threatening diseases and some of them have reached advanced phase of the clinical trial and exhibited promising results.

Conclusion: In this review, we have discussed about the molecular pharming, edible vaccines, plant base technology and current status of developed edible vaccines in the different plant tissue expression system, mechanism of action and clinical applications with clinical trials stage, significance, requirements, advantage and disadvantage of edible vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1389200218666170711121810DOI Listing
September 2018

Comparative bacterial community analysis in relatively pristine and anthropogenically influenced mangrove ecosystems on the Red Sea.

Can J Microbiol 2017 Aug 4;63(8):649-660. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

a Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mangrove habitats are ecologically important ecosystems that are under severe pressure worldwide because of environmental changes and human activities. In this study, 16S rRNA gene amplicon deep-sequencing was used to compare bacterial communities in Red Sea mangrove ecosystems at anthropogenically influenced coastal sites with those at a relatively pristine island site. In total, 32 phyla were identified from the mangrove rhizospheres, with Proteobacteria predominating at each of the studied sites; however, the relative abundance was significantly decreased at the coastal sites (Mastorah, MG-MS; Ar-Rayis, MG-AR) compared with the pristine island site near Dhahban (MG-DBI). The phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Spirochetes, and Planctomycetes were present at a relative abundance of >1% at the MG-MS and MG-AR sites, but their concentration was <1% at the MG-DBI site. A total of 1659 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified at the species level, and approximately 945 OTUs were shared across the different sampling sites. Multivariate principal coordinate data analysis separated the MG-DBI site from the MG-AR and MG-MS cluster. Specific bacterial taxa were enriched at each location, and in particular, the genera Pseudoalteromonas and Cobetia were predominantly identified in the MG-DBI site compared with the anthropogenically influenced coastal sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjm-2016-0587DOI Listing
August 2017

Viral Infection and Obesity: Current Status and Future Prospective.

Curr Drug Metab 2017 ;18(9):798-807

Special Infectious Agents Unit; King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. Saudi Arabia.

Background: The association of pathogenic viruses with obesity has now been well-known in both human and animals. Globally, human obesity has become a serious problem leading to the emergence of multiple lifethreatening diseases. Adenoviruses contribute a significant role in the induction of obesity by affecting various pathways. Due to impaired immunity, obese individuals are more prone to nosocomial infections leading to complications of obesity. In contrast, several other important factors contributing to human obesity are known.

Methods: Currently, many published reports showed strong evidence of the role and linkage of Ad36 infection in human obesity. The Ad36 pathogenesis effect on the hepatic steatosis reduces leptin gene expression, reduced antibody response in vaccination, reduces immune system, insulin sensitivity, increases glucose uptake, activates the lipogenic and pro-inflammatory pathways in adipose tissue increases the level of Macrophage Chemo attractant Protein-1 leading chronic inflammation and affect lipid metabolism.

Results: The E4-ORF1 gene of Ad36 play an important role in the induction of adipogenesis and regulation of adipocyte differentiation and also known to activate the sensitizing effect of insulin. The use of E4-ORF1gene as a ligand to develop new drugs against diabetes and the prevention of Ad36 infection by an effective vaccination will attract researchers and open new area of research in the field of obesity and obesity-related multiple diseases.

Conclusion: Therefore, the identification and management of important contributory factors by identifying the regulation of adipocyte differentiation leading to a chronic condition like adipogenesis and insulin resistance resulting in obesity is an urgent requirement globally for human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1389200218666170116110443DOI Listing
September 2018

Association of tomato leaf curl Sudan virus with leaf curl disease of tomato in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Virusdisease 2016 Jun 4;27(2):145-53. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Faculty of Metrology and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Tomato is an important vegetable crop and its production is adversely affected by leaf curl disease caused by begomovirus. Leaf curl disease is a serious concern for tomato crops caused by begomovirus in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tomato leaf curl disease has been shown to be mainly caused either by tomato leaf curl Sudan virus or tomato yellow leaf curl virus as well as tomato leaf curl Oman virus. Many tomato plants infected with monopartite begomoviruses were also found to harbor a symptom enhancing betasatellites. Here we report the association of tomato leaf curl Sudan virus causing leaf curl disease of tomato in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The complete genome sequence analysis showed highest (99.9 %) identity with tomato leaf curl Sudan virus causing leaf curl disease in Arabian Peninsula. In phylogenetic relationships analysis, the identified virus formed closest cluster with tomato leaf curl Sudan virus. In recombination analysis study, the major parent was identified as tomato leaf curl Sudan virus. Findings of this study strongly supports the associated virus is a variant of tomato leaf curl Sudan virus causing disease in Sudan, Yemen and Arabian Peninsula. The betasatellites sequence analysis showed highest identity (99.8 %) with tomato leaf curl betasatellites-Amaranthus-Jeddah. The phylogenetic analysis result based on betasatellites formed closed cluster with tomato yellow leaf curl Oman betasatellites. The importance of these findings and occurrence of begomovirus in new geographic regions causing leaf curl disease of tomato in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13337-016-0308-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4909005PMC
June 2016

Development of Cotton leaf curl virus resistant transgenic cotton using antisense ßC1 gene.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2016 May 20;23(3):358-62. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Division of Biotechnology, JK-AgriGenetics Ltd., Hyderabad, A.P., India.

Cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) is a serious pathogen causing leaf curl disease and affecting the cotton production in major growing areas. The transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum cv. Coker 310) plants were developed by using βC1 gene in antisense orientation gene driven by Cauliflower mosaic virus-35S promoter and nos (nopaline synthase) terminator and mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation and somatic embryogenesis system. Molecular confirmation of the transformants was carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot hybridization. The developed transgenic and inoculated plants remained symptomless till their growth period. In conclusion, the plants were observed as resistant to CLCuV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.11.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818328PMC
May 2016

The role of corchorus in spreading of tomato yellow leaf curl virus on tomato in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Virusdisease 2016 Mar 26;27(1):19-26. Epub 2015 Dec 26.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Post Box No-80216, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.

Corchorus (Corchorus capsularis L. and Corchorus olitorius L.) is one of the most important fiber crops grown in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. Field survey was conducted and naturally infected leaf samples were collected from corchorus and tomato plants in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The causal virus was transmitted by whiteflies to tomato plants and begomovirus infection was confirmed by Polymerase chain reaction. The complete viral genome and associated betasatellites were amplified, cloned and sequenced from both corchorus and tomato samples. The genetic variability and phylogenetic relationships were determined for both isolates (corchorus and tomato). The complete genome sequences showed highest (99.5 % nt) similarity with tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and formed closest cluster with TYLCV-Tomato reported from Jizan and Al-Qasim, Saudi Arabia and betasatellites sequences showed highest similarity (99.8 % nt) with Tomato yellow leaf curl betasatellites-Jeddah followed by Tomato yellow leaf curl Oman betasatellites and formed closed cluster with TYLCV-Tomato. On the basis of results obtained from whiteflies transmission, sequence similarity and phylogenetic relationships; it is concluded that the identified virus could be a variant of TYLCV circulating in the Kingdom. The significance of this study demonstrated that the corchorus is serving as reservoir and alternative host and playing an important role in spreading the begomovirus associated disease in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13337-015-0292-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4758306PMC
March 2016

Evaluation of propolis, honey, and royal jelly in amelioration of peripheral blood leukocytes and lung inflammation in mouse conalbumin-induced asthma model.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2015 Nov 22;22(6):780-8. Epub 2014 Nov 22.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Centre, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.

Bee products have been used since ancient times to treat many diseases, including respiratory ailments. The present study aimed to examine the modulatory effect of honey, royal jelly, and propolis extract on peripheral blood leukocytes and lung inflammation in a mouse conalbumin-induced asthma model. The mice in group I were not sensitised or treated; they were kept as controls. The mice in group II were sensitised and challenged with conalbumin. Twenty-four hours after the first challenge with antigen, the mice in group III received 0.5 mg/kg of dexamethasone intraperitoneally per day for 18 consecutive days and kept as positive controls. The mice in groups IV, V, and VI received 650, 1000, and 30 mg/kg of honey, royal jelly, and propolis (aqueous and ethanolic extract), respectively, once per day for 18 consecutive days. Blood was collected from all of the mice for white blood cell differentiation, and the lungs were removed for histopathological studies. The groups treated with propolis extract exhibited considerable ameliorative effects against asthma, which might be explained by the flavonoids and phenolics found in propolis, which might have antioxidative effects. Otherwise, the sensitised and honey- or royal jelly-treated groups exhibited an increased incidence of asthma cascade events due to increased inflammatory cells. These results might be due to the immunostimulatory and vasodilatory effects of royal jelly and honey, which are antagonistic to bronchial asthma cases. Histopathological examination revealed that the sensitised treated propolis extract groups had significant decreases in inflammatory scores compared with other treatments and the sensitised untreated group. These results confirmed the previous data of peripheral blood cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.11.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625423PMC
November 2015

Development of interspecific Solanum lycopersicum and screening for Tospovirus resistance.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2015 Nov 20;22(6):730-8. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Division of Biotechnology, JK Agri-Genetics Ltd., Hyderabad, A.P., India.

Tospovirus has emerged as a serious viral pathogen for several crops including tomato. The tomato production is being severely affected worldwide by Tospovirus. Some reports have been published about the association of plant virus and development of human disease either by direct or indirect consumption. Resistance to this virus has been identified as good source in wild tomato species (Lycopersicum peruvianum). But the introgression of resistance genes into cultivated tomato lines and the development of interspecific hybrid are hampered due to incompatibility, fertilization barriers and embryo abortion. But this barrier has been broken by applying the embryo rescue methods. This study describes the development of interspecific hybrid tomato plants by highly efficient embryo rescue method and screening for Tospovirus resistance. The interspecific hybrid tomato plants were developed by making a cross between wild tomato species (L. peruvianum) and cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The immature embryos were cultured in standardized medium and interspecific hybrids were developed from embryogenic callus. The immature embryos excised from 7 to 35 days old fruits were used for embryo rescue and 31 days old embryos showed very good germination capabilities and produced the highest number of plants. Developed plants were hardened enough and shifted to green house. The hybrid nature of interspecific plants was further confirmed by comparing the morphological characters from their parents. The F1, F2 and F3 plants were found to have varying characters especially for leaf type, color of stem, fruits, size, shapes and they were further screened for virus resistance both in lab and open field followed by Enzyme linked Immunosorbant Assay confirmation. Finally, a total of 11 resistant plants were selected bearing red color fruits with desired shape and size.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.11.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625138PMC
November 2015

Complete genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of dengue type 1 virus isolated from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Virol J 2015 Jan 16;12. Epub 2015 Jan 16.

Special Infectious Agent Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Background: Dengue viruses (DENVs) are mosquito-borne viruses which can cause disease ranging from mild fever to severe dengue infection. These viruses are endemic in several tropical and subtropical regions. Multiple outbreaks of DENV serotypes 1, 2 and 3 (DENV-1, DENV-2 and DENV-3) have been reported from the western region in Saudi Arabia since 1994. Strains from at least two genotypes of DENV-1 (Asia and America/Africa genotypes) have been circulating in western Saudi Arabia until 2006. However, all previous studies reported from Saudi Arabia were based on partial sequencing data of the envelope (E) gene without any reports of full genome sequences for any DENV serotypes circulating in Saudi Arabia.

Findings: Here, we report the isolation and the first complete genome sequence of a DENV-1 strain (DENV-1-Jeddah-1-2011) isolated from a patient from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2011. Whole genome sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis showed high similarity between DENV-1-Jeddah-1-2011 strain and D1/H/IMTSSA/98/606 isolate (Asian genotype) reported from Djibouti in 1998. Further analysis of the full envelope gene revealed a close relationship between DENV-1-Jeddah-1-2011 strain and isolates reported between 2004-2006 from Jeddah as well as recent isolates from Somalia, suggesting the widespread of the Asian genotype in this region.

Conclusions: These data suggest that strains belonging to the Asian genotype might have been introduced into Saudi Arabia long before 2004 most probably by African pilgrims and continued to circulate in western Saudi Arabia at least until 2011. Most importantly, these results indicate that pilgrims from dengue endemic regions can play an important role in the spread of new DENVs in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Therefore, availability of complete genome sequences would serve as a reference for future epidemiological studies of DENV-1 viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-014-0235-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310205PMC
January 2015

Genetic diversity of the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in Saudi Arabia.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2014 Dec 15;8(12):1563-73. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Introduction: Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged and spread globally in the spring of 2009. Saudi Arabia also witnessed a severe H1N1 pandemic virus epidemic with considerable morbidity and mortality in different parts of the kingdom beginning in June 2009. The influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus was detected in samples collected between May 2009 and November 2010 from Makkah region. This study provides data on the viral diagnosis and genetic diversity of hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus from Saudi Arabia.

Methodology: Nasopharyngeal swabs from 100 clinically infected patients in the peak of the outbreak were collected from Makkah region and processed for viral diagnosis by viral culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HA and NA genes of 10 selected samples were sequenced and analyzed.

Results: A total of 100 samples were collected; only 10 samples were found to be positive for influenza A virus infection by real-time PCR. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the HA and NA genes of influenza A (H1N1) from Saudi Arabia showed significant similarities with selected isolates. The phylogenetic tree constructed for both HA and NA genes formed close clusters with selected reference isolates.

Conclusions: Nucleotide sequence analysis and phylogenetic relationships of the HA and NA genes of influenza A (H1N1) virus from Saudi Arabia with selected reference isolates indicates that they were genetically close and most probably originated from influenza A(H1N1)pdm09.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.4420DOI Listing
December 2014

Genetic variability of Cotton leaf curl betasatellite in Northern India.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2014 Dec 13;21(6):626-31. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

Division of Biotechnology, JK-AgriGenetics Ltd., Hyderabad, A.P., India.

Cotton is an important crop and its production is affected by various disease pathogens. Monopartite begomovirus associated betasatellites cause Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) in Northern India. In order to access the occurrence and genetic variability of Cotton leaf curl betasatellites, an extensive field survey was conducted in states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. We selected the betasatellite sequence for analysis as they are reported as important for disease severity and sequence variability. Based on the field observations, the disease incidence ranged from 30% to 80% during the survey. Full genome and DNA β were amplified from various samples while no amplicon was obtained in some samples. The nucleotide sequence homology ranged from 90.0% to 98.7% with Cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), 55.2-55.5% with Bhendi yellow vein mosaic virus, 55.8% with Okra leaf curl virus and 51.70% with Tomato leaf curl virus isolates. The lowest similarity (47.8%) was found in CLCuV-Sudan isolate. Phylogenetic analysis showed that analyzed isolates formed a close cluster with various CLCuV isolates reported earlier. The analysis results show sequence variation in Cotton leaf curl betasatellite which could be the result of recombination. The results obtained by genome amplification and sequence variability indicate that some new variants are circulating and causing leaf curl disease in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.11.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250495PMC
December 2014