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Assessment of West Nile Virus Lineage 2 Dynamics in Greece and Future Implications.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

The emergence of West Nile Virus lineage 2 (WNV-2) has contributed to multiple major human outbreaks in Greece since 2010. Studies to date investigating biological and environmental factors that contribute to West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission have resulted in complex statistical models. We sought to examine open publicly available data to ascertain if a predictive risk assessment could be employed for WNV-2 in Greece. Read More

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Emerging Roles of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans in Viral Pathogenesis.

Semin Thromb Hemost 2021 Apr 1;47(3):283-294. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Heparan sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan present in nearly all mammalian tissues. Heparan sulfate moieties are attached to the cell surface via heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) which are composed of a protein core bound to multiple heparan sulfate chains. HSPGs contribute to the structural integrity of the extracellular matrix and participate in cell signaling by releasing bound cytokines and chemokines once cleaved by an enzyme, heparanase. Read More

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Epidemiologic characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 antigen-based test results, rRT-PCR cycle threshold values, subgenomic RNA, and viral culture results from university testing.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

COVID-19 Response Team, CDC.

Background: Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and antigen tests are important diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2. Sensitivity of antigen tests has been shown to be lower than that of rRT-PCR; however, data to evaluate epidemiologic characteristics that affect test performance are limited.

Methods: Paired mid-turbinate nasal swabs were collected from university students and staff and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using both Quidel Sofia SARS Antigen Fluorescent Immunoassay (FIA) and rRT-PCR assay. Read More

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Farmers' knowledge, attitudes and practices towards management of cassava pests and diseases in forest transition and Guinea savannah agro-ecological zones of Ghana.

Gates Open Res 2020 18;4:101. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

University of Félix Houphouët Boigny, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

: Cassava is a major staple root crop in Ghana, which serves as a food security and an income generating crop for farming families. In spite of its importance, the crop is plagued with biotic factors such as pests and diseases, resulting in yield and income reductions. : Farmers' knowledge, attitudes and practices towards cassava pest and disease management were investigated. Read More

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February 2021

Evaluation of the Sysmex UF-4000i urine analyzer as a screening test to rule out urinary tract infection and reduce urine cultures.

Ann Biol Clin (Paris) 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Bacteriology-Virology and Hospital Hygiene Laboratory, University Hospital Centre Ibn Rochd of Casablanca, Morocco, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco.

Introduction: Urinary tract infection (UTI) diagnosis by urine culture is time- and labor- consuming. In the Ibn Rochd microbiology laboratory, up to 70% of urine culture samples yield no growth or insignificant growth.

Objective: To evaluate the new generation of Sysmex UF-4000i fluorescence flow cytometry analyzer with a blue semiconducting laser as a method to rule out negative urine samples for UTI, in comparison of urine culture. Read More

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MiR319-targeted OsTCP21 and OsGAmyb regulate tillering and grain yield in rice.

J Integr Plant Biol 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Key Laboratory of Plant Resource Conservation and Germplasm Innovation in Mountainous Region (Ministry of Education), College of Agricultural Sciences, Guizhou University, Guiyang, 550025, China.

Multiple genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) improve grain yield by promoting tillering. MiR319s are known to regulate several aspects of plant development; however, whether miR319s are essential for tillering regulation remains unclear. Here, we report that miR319 is highly expressed in basal part of rice plant at different development stages. Read More

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False-Positive Nonstructural Protein 1 Antigen in a Patient with Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Case Report with Literature Review.

Am J Case Rep 2021 Apr 9;22:e928865. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Rajavithi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.

BACKGROUND A rapid investigation of dengue viral infection is needed for physicians who manage patients with suspected dengue infection. The nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) test kit is commonly used to diagnose patients with acute febrile illness in dengue-endemic countries, although this test kit can yield false-positive results. The Dengue NS1 test kit mostly relies on cross-reaction among febrile illness patients with other viral infections rather than malignancies. Read More

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CRISPR/Cas: a Nobel Prize award-winning precise genome editing technology for gene therapy and crop improvement.

J Zhejiang Univ Sci B 2021 Apr;22(4):253-284

Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.

Since it was first recognized in bacteria and archaea as a mechanism for innate viral immunity in the early 2010s, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) has rapidly been developed into a robust, multifunctional genome editing tool with many uses. Following the discovery of the initial CRISPR/Cas-based system, the technology has been advanced to facilitate a multitude of different functions. These include development as a base editor, prime editor, epigenetic editor, and CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) and CRISPR activator (CRISPRa) gene regulators. Read More

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First report of apple rubbery wood virus 1 in apple in China.

Plant Dis 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Zhaotong Apple Industry Development Center, Zhaotong, China;

More than 30 viral and subviral pathogens infect apple (Malus domestica, an important fruit crop in China) trees and rootstocks, posing a threat to its production. With advances in diagnostic technologies, new viruses including apple rubbery wood virus 1 (ARWV-1), apple rubbery wood virus 2 (ARWV-2), apple luteovirus 1 (ALV), and citrus virus A (CiVA) have been detected (Beatriz et al. 2018; Rott et al. Read More

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Encapsulation of NIR-II AIEgens in Virus-like Particles for Bioimaging.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Energy Materials Chemistry of Ministry of Education & Hubei Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials Science, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, P. R. China.

The development of organic nanoparticles that fluoresce in the near-infrared, especially in the second near-infrared (NIR-II) window, improves in vivo fluorescence imaging due to deeper penetration and higher spatiotemporal resolution. We report two kinds of NIR-II fluorescent molecules with twisted intramolecular charge-transfer (TICT) and aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics. The virus-like particles (VLPs) of simian virus 40 (SV40) were used as templates to encapsulate the molecules in a well-defined structure (referred to as CH1-SV40 and CH2-SV40). Read More

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Identification of prognostic alternative splicing events related to the immune microenvironment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Mol Med 2021 04 8;27(1):36. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Intensive Care Unit, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Southern White Elephant Town, Ouhai, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, 325000, People's Republic of China.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant tumors in the world, and its 5-year survival rate is less than 20%, despite various treatments being available. Increasing evidence indicates that alternative splicing (AS) plays a nonnegligible role in the formation and development of the tumor microenvironment (TME). However, the comprehensive analysis of the impact on prognostic AS events on immune-related perspectives in HCC is lacking but urgently needed. Read More

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identification and confirmation of inhibitors for SPCSV RNA silencing suppressor, a viral RNase III.

J Virol 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, Helsinki 00014, Finland

Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD), caused by synergistic infection of (SPCSV) and (SPFMV), is responsible for substantial yield loss all over the world. However, there are currently no approved treatments for this severe disease. The crucial role played by RNase III of SPCSV (CSR3) as RNA silencing suppressor during the viruses' synergistic interaction in sweetpotato makes it an ideal drug target for developing antiviral treatment. Read More

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Keratic Precipitates: The Underutilized Diagnostic Clue.

Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021 Apr 7:1-10. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore, Singapore.

The morphology of keratic precipitates (KPs) may yield important diagnostic clues. However, KPs have not been described in a standardized manner and the traditional classification of granulomatous or non-granulomatous KPs is not helpful in differentiating infectious from noninfectious uveitis. A granulomatous uveitis may initially appear non-granulomatous. Read More

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Perspective: Application of the American College of Medical Genetics Variant Interpretation Criteria to Common Variable Immunodeficiency Disorders.

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Virology and Immunology, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand.

Common variable immunodeficiency disorders (CVIDs) are rare primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs) mostly associated with late onset antibody failure leading to immune system failure. Patients with CVID are predisposed to disabling complications such as bronchiectasis and systemic autoimmunity. In recent years a large number of genetic defects have become associated with these disorders. Read More

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Effect of Inactivation Methods on SARS-CoV-2 Virion Protein and Structure.

Viruses 2021 03 26;13(4). Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA.

The risk posed by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus -2 (SARS-CoV-2) dictates that live-virus research is conducted in a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) facility. Working with SARS-CoV-2 at lower biosafety levels can expedite research yet requires the virus to be fully inactivated. In this study, we validated and compared two protocols for inactivating SARS-CoV-2: heat treatment and ultraviolet irradiation. Read More

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In Vitro Assessment of the Antiviral Activity of Ketotifen, Indomethacin and Naproxen, Alone and in Combination, against SARS-CoV-2.

Viruses 2021 03 26;13(4). Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Utrecht University, 3584CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The 2019 coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) is caused by infection with the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, the treatment options for COVID-19 are limited. The purpose of the experiments presented here was to investigate the effectiveness of ketotifen, naproxen and indomethacin, alone or in combination, in reducing SARS-CoV-2 replication. Read More

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GmNF-YC4-2 Increases Protein, Exhibits Broad Disease Resistance and Expedites Maturity in Soybean.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 30;22(7). Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.

The NF-Y gene family is a highly conserved set of transcription factors. The functional transcription factor complex is made up of a trimer between NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC proteins. While mammals typically have one gene for each subunit, plants often have multigene families for each subunit which contributes to a wide variety of combinations and functions. Read More

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Repurposing Drugs for Mayaro Virus: Identification of EIDD-1931, Favipiravir and Suramin as Mayaro Virus Inhibitors.

Microorganisms 2021 Mar 31;9(4). Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Despite the emerging threat of the Mayaro virus (MAYV) in Central and South-America, there are no licensed antivirals or vaccines available for this neglected mosquito-borne virus. Here, we optimized a robust antiviral assay based on the inhibition of the cytopathogenic effect that could be used for high-throughput screening to identify MAYV inhibitors. We first evaluated different cell lines and virus inputs to determine the best conditions for a reliable and reproducible antiviral assay. Read More

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Modulation of Endosome Function, Vesicle Trafficking and Autophagy by Human Herpesviruses.

Cells 2021 Mar 4;10(3). Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy, Santiago 8330025, Chile.

Human herpesviruses are a ubiquitous family of viruses that infect individuals of all ages and are present at a high prevalence worldwide. Herpesviruses are responsible for a broad spectrum of diseases, ranging from skin and mucosal lesions to blindness and life-threatening encephalitis, and some of them, such as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), are known to be oncogenic. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that some herpesviruses may be associated with developing neurodegenerative diseases. Read More

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Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV): A Preliminary Study on Antiviral Properties of Some Aromatic and Medicinal Plants.

Pathogens 2021 Mar 29;10(4). Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, 09042 Monserrato, Italy.

Plant products provide an alternative and successful source of lead compounds for the pharmaceutical industry. The present study was aimed to evaluate, in cell-based assays, the antiviral properties of essential oils obtained from plants that commonly grow in Sardinia, Italy, against a broad spectrum of RNA/DNA viruses. The essential oils of (Roth) G. Read More

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The Picornavirus Precursor 3CD Has Different Conformational Dynamics Compared to 3C and 3D in Functionally Relevant Regions.

Viruses 2021 Mar 9;13(3). Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

Viruses have evolved numerous strategies to maximize the use of their limited genetic material, including proteolytic cleavage of polyproteins to yield products with different functions. The poliovirus polyprotein 3CD is involved in important protein-protein, protein-RNA and protein-lipid interactions in viral replication and infection. It is a precursor to the 3C protease and 3D RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, but has different protease specificity, is not an active polymerase, and participates in other interactions differently than its processed products. Read More

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Addressing Antiretroviral Drug Resistance with Host-Targeting Drugs-First Steps towards Developing a Host-Targeting HIV-1 Assembly Inhibitor.

Viruses 2021 Mar 10;13(3). Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

The concerning increase in HIV-1 resistance argues for prioritizing the development of host-targeting antiviral drugs because such drugs can offer high genetic barriers to the selection of drug-resistant viral variants. Targeting host proteins could also yield drugs that act on viral life cycle events that have proven elusive to inhibition, such as intracellular events of HIV-1 immature capsid assembly. Here, we review small molecule inhibitors identified primarily through HIV-1 self-assembly screens and describe how all act either narrowly post-entry or broadly on early and late events of the HIV-1 life cycle. Read More

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Enhancing the Protective Immune Response to Administration of a LIVP-GFP Live Attenuated Vaccinia Virus to Mice.

Pathogens 2021 Mar 21;10(3). Epub 2021 Mar 21.

State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo, Novosibirsk 630559, Russia.

Following the WHO announcement of smallpox eradication, discontinuation of smallpox vaccination with vaccinia virus (VACV) was recommended. However, interest in VACV was soon renewed due to the opportunity of genetic engineering of the viral genome by directed insertion of foreign genes or introduction of mutations or deletions into selected viral genes. This genomic technology enabled production of stable attenuated VACV strains producing antigens of various infectious agents. Read More

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Antiviral activity against Zika virus of a new formulation of curcumin in poly lactic-co-glycolic acid nanoparticles.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2021 Mar;73(3):357-365

Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires(UBA), Centro de Investigaciones en Hidratos de Carbono (CIHIDECAR), UBA-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Objectives: In the search of an effective antiviral formulation, the natural product curcumin (CUR) was encapsulated into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles, a non-toxic bioresorbable and biocompatible copolymer. The resulting CUR containing particles (PLGA-CUR NPs) were characterized and analysed for antiviral activity against Zika virus (ZIKV) infection.

Methods: The PLGA-CUR NPs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis and release profile. Read More

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Mass molecular testing for COVID19 using NGS-based technology and a highly scalable workflow.

Sci Rep 2021 03 29;11(1):7122. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Laboratorio de Técnicas Especiais, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil.

Since the first reported case of the new coronavirus infection in Wuhan, China, researchers and governments have witnessed an unseen rise in the number of cases. Thanks to the rapid work of Chinese scientists, the pathogen now called SARS-CoV-2 has been identified and its whole genome was deposited in public databases by early January 2020. The availability of the genome has allowed researchers to develop Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) assays, which are now the gold-standard for molecular diagnosis of the respiratory syndrome COVID19. Read More

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Two Dimensional Anion Exchange-Size Exclusion Chromatography Combined with Mathematical Modeling for Downstream Processing of Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine.

J Chromatogr A 2021 Mar 15;1643:462070. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Evin, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

The production of high-quality purified virus particles in high quantities for vaccine preparation requires a scalable purification procedure in the downstream step. A purification scheme based on combined strong anion-exchange and size exclusion chromatography (2D-AEC-SEC) was developed for the production of non-structural protein-free foot and mouth disease vaccine, and the whole procedure was accomplished with 77.9% virus yield. Read More

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H, C, and N backbone chemical-shift assignments of SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein 1 (leader protein).

Biomol NMR Assign 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Centre of Biomolecular Drug Research (BMWZ), Leibniz University Hannover, Schneiderberg 38, 30167, Hannover, Germany.

The current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a worldwide health crisis, necessitating coordinated scientific research and urgent identification of new drug targets for treatment of COVID-19 lung disease. The covid19-nmr consortium seeks to support drug development by providing publicly accessible NMR data on the viral RNA elements and proteins. The SARS-CoV-2 genome comprises a single RNA of about 30 kb in length, in which 14 open reading frames (ORFs) have been annotated, and encodes approximately 30 proteins. Read More

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Pixel-Based Machine Learning and Image Reconstitution for Dot-ELISA Pathogen Diagnosis in Biological Samples.

Front Microbiol 2021 3;12:562199. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Microbiology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Serological methods serve as a direct or indirect means of pathogen infection diagnosis in plant and animal species, including humans. Dot-ELISA (DE) is an inexpensive and sensitive, solid-state version of the microplate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, with a broad range of applications in epidemiology. Yet, its applicability is limited by uncertainties in the qualitative output of the assay due to overlapping dot colorations of positive and negative samples, stemming mainly from the inherent color discrimination thresholds of the human eye. Read More

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Stochastic modelling of the effects of human-mobility restriction and viral infection characteristics on the spread of COVID-19.

Sci Rep 2021 03 25;11(1):6856. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 2-24-16 Nakamachi, Koganei-shi, Tokyo, 184-8588, Japan.

After several months of "lockdown" as the sole answer to the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing the re-opening of society against the implementation of non-pharmaceutical measures needed for minimizing interpersonal contacts has become important. Here, we present a stochastic model that examines this problem. In our model, people are allowed to move between discrete positions on a one-dimensional grid with viral infection possible when two people are collocated at the same site. Read More

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Quantitative characterization of extracellular vesicle uptake and content delivery within mammalian cells.

Nat Commun 2021 03 25;12(1):1864. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Institut Curie, PSL Research University, INSERM U932, Paris, France.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, are thought to mediate intercellular communication through the transfer of cargoes from donor to acceptor cells. Occurrence of EV-content delivery within acceptor cells has not been unambiguously demonstrated, let alone quantified, and remains debated. Here, we developed a cell-based assay in which EVs containing luciferase- or fluorescent-protein tagged cytosolic cargoes are loaded on unlabeled acceptor cells. Read More

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