Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) has emerged as the most important cause of large outbreaks of severe and sometimes fatal hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) across the Asia-Pacific region. EV-A71 outbreaks have been associated with (sub)genogroup switches, sometimes accompanied by recombination events. Understanding EV-A71 population dynamics is therefore essential for understanding this emerging infection, and may provide pivotal information for vaccine development. Despite the public health burden of EV-A71, relatively few EV-A71 complete-genome sequences are available for analysis and from limited geographical localities. The availability of an efficient procedure for whole-genome sequencing would stimulate effort to generate more viral sequence data. Herein, we report for the first time the development of a next-generation sequencing based protocol for whole-genome sequencing of EV-A71 directly from clinical specimens. We were able to sequence viruses of subgenogroup C4 and B5, while RNA from culture materials of diverse EV-A71 subgenogroups belonging to both genogroup B and C was successfully amplified. The nature of intra-host genetic diversity was explored in 22 clinical samples, revealing 107 positions carrying minor variants (ranging from 0 to 15 variants per sample). Our analysis of EV-A71 strains sampled in 2013 showed that they all belonged to subgenogroup B5, representing the first report of this subgenogroup in Vietnam. In conclusion, we have successfully developed a high-throughput next-generation sequencing-based assay for whole-genome sequencing of EV-A71 from clinical samples.
A reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) detected Coconut cadang-cadang viroid (CCCVd) within 60 min at 60 °C in total nucleic acid extracted from oil palm leaves infected with CCCVd. Positive reactions showed colour change from orange to green in the reaction mix after the addition of fluorescent reagent, and a laddering pattern band on 2% agarose gel electrophoresis. Conventional RT-PCR with LAMP primers produced amplicons with a sequence identical to the 297-nt CCCVd oil palm variant with the primers being specific for CCCVd and not for other viroids such as PSTVd and CEVd. RT-LAMP was found to be rapid and specific for detecting oil palm CCCVd.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne arbovirus which has recently re-emerged globally and poses a major threat to public health. Infection leads to severe arthralgia, and disease management remains supportive in the absence of vaccines and anti-viral interventions. The high specificities of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been exploited in immunodiagnostics and immunotherapy in recent decades. In this study, eight different clones of mAbs were generated and characterised. These mAbs targeted the linear epitopes on the CHIKV E2 envelope glycoprotein, which is the major target antigen during infection. All the mAbs showed binding activity against the purified CHIKV virion or recombinant E2 when analysed by immunofluorescence, ELISA and Western blot. The epitopes of each mAb were mapped by overlapping synthetic peptide-based ELISA. The epitopes are distributed at different functional domains of E2 glycoprotein, namely at domain A, junctions of β-ribbons with domains A and B, and domain C. Alignment of mAb epitope sequences revealed that some are well-conserved within different genotypes of CHIKV, while some are identical to and likely to cross-react with the closely-related alphavirus O'nyong-nyong virus. These mAbs with their mapped epitopes are useful for the development of diagnostic or research tools, including immunofluorescence, ELISA and Western blot.
Enterovirus 71 (EV 71) is a causative agent of mild Hand Foot and Mouth Disease but is capable of causing severe complications in the CNS in young children. Reverse genetics technology is currently widely used to study the pathogenesis of the virus. The aim of this work was to determine and evaluate the factors which can contribute to infectivity of EV 71 RNA transcripts in vitro. Two strategies, overlapping RT-PCR and long distance RT-PCR, were employed to obtain the full-length genome cDNA clones of the virus. The length of the poly(A) tail and the presence of non-viral 3'-terminal sequences were studied in regard to their effects on infectivity of the in vitro RNA transcripts of EV 71 in cell culture. The data revealed that only cDNA clones obtained after long distance RT-PCR were infectious. No differences were observed in virus titres after transfection with in vitro RNA harbouring a poly(A) tail of 18 or 30 adenines in length, irrespective of the non-viral sequences at the 3'-terminus.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious epidemic disease threatening the cattle industry since the sixteenth century. In recent years, the development of diagnostic assays for FMD has benefited considerably from the advances of recombinant DNA technology. In this study, the immunodominant region of the capsid protein VP1 of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was fused to the T7 bacteriophage and expressed on the surface of the bacteriophage capsid protein. The recombinant protein of about 42 kDa was detected by the anti-T7 tag monoclonal antibody in Western blot analysis. Phage ELISA showed that both the vaccinated and positive infected bovine sera reacted significantly with the recombinant T7 particle. This study demonstrated the potential of the T7 phage displaying the VP1 epitope as a diagnostic reagent.
The core antigen (HBcAg) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the markers for the identification of the viral infection. The main purpose of this study was to develop a TaqMan real-time detection assay based on the concept of phage display mediated immuno-PCR (PD-IPCR) for the detection of HBcAg. PD-IPCR combines the advantages of immuno-PCR (IPCR) and phage display technology. IPCR integrates the versatility of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with the sensitivity and signal generation power of PCR. Whereas, phage display technology exploits the physical association between the displayed peptide and the encoding DNA within the same phage particle. In this study, a constrained peptide displayed on the surface of an M13 recombinant bacteriophage that interacts tightly with HBcAg was applied as a diagnostic reagent in IPCR. The phage displayed peptide and its encoding DNA can be used to replace monoclonal antibody (mAb) and chemically bound DNA, respectively. This method is able to detect as low as 10ng of HBcAg with 10(8)pfu/ml of the recombinant phage which is about 10,000 times more sensitive than the phage-ELISA. The PD-IPCR provides an alternative means for the detection of HBcAg in human serum samples.
Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNv) infects giant freshwater prawns and causes white tail disease (WTD). The coding region of the capsid protein of MrNv was amplified with RT-PCR and cloned into the pTrcHis2-TOPO vector. The recombinant plasmid was introduced into Escherichia coli and protein expression was induced with IPTG. SDS-PAGE showed that the recombinant protein containing the His-tag and myc epitope has a molecular mass of about 46 kDa and it was detected by the anti-His antibody in Western blotting. The protein was purified using immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) and transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that the recombinant protein assembled into virus-like particles (VLPs) with a diameter of about 30±3 nm. The size of the particles was confirmed by dynamic light scattering. Nucleic acids were extracted from the VLPs and treatment with nucleases showed that they were mainly RNA molecules. This is the first report describing the production of MrNv capsid protein in bacteria and its assembly into VLPs.
A modified method for the rapid isolation of specific ligands to whole virus particles is described. Biopanning against cymbidium mosaic virus was carried out with a commercial 12-mer random peptide display library. A solution phase panning method was devised using streptavidin-coated superparamagnetic beads. The solution based panning method was more efficient than conventional immobilized target panning when using whole viral particles of cymbidium mosaic virus as a target. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of cymbidium mosaic virus-binding peptides isolated from the library identified seven peptides with affinity for cymbidium mosaic virus and one peptide which was specific to cymbidium mosaic virus and had no significant binding to odontoglossum ringspot virus. This method should have broad application for the screening of whole viral particles towards the rapid development of diagnostic reagents without the requirement for cloning and expression of single antigens.
The use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in molecular diagnosis is now accepted worldwide and has become an essential tool in the research laboratory. In the laboratory, a rapid detection, serotyping and quantitation, one-step real-time RT-PCR assay was developed for dengue virus using TaqMan probes. In this assay, a set of forward and reverse primers were designed targeting the serotype conserved region at the NS5 gene, at the same time flanking a variable region for all four serotypes which were used to design the serotype-specific TaqMan probes. This multiplex one-step RT-PCR assay was evaluated using 376 samples collected during the year 2003. These groups included RNA from prototype dengue virus (1-4), RNA from acute serum from which dengue virus was isolated, RNA from tissue culture supernatants of dengue virus isolated, RNA from seronegative acute samples (which were culture and IgM negative) and RNA from samples of dengue IgM positive sera. The specificity of this assay was also evaluated using a panel of sera which were positive for other common tropical disease agents including herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, measles virus, varicella-zoster virus, rubella virus, mumps virus, WWF, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, S. typhi, Legionella, Leptospira, Chlamydia, and Mycoplasma. The sensitivity, specificity and real-time PCR efficiency of this assay were 89.54%, 100% and 91.5%, respectively.
Heat precipitation procedure has been regularly incorporated as a selective purification step in various thermostable proteins expressed in different hosts. This method is efficient in precipitation of most of the host proteins and also deactivates various host proteases that can be harmful to the desired gene products. In this study, introduction of heat treatment procedure in the purification of hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) produced in Escherichia coli has been investigated. Thermal treatment of the cell homogenate at 60 degrees C for 30 min prior to subsequent clarification steps has resulted in 1.4 times and 18% higher in purity and recovery yield, respectively, compared to the non-heat-treated cell homogenate. In direct capture of HBcAg by using anion-exchangers from unclarified feedstock, pre-conditioning the feedstock by heat treatment at 60 degrees C for 45 min has increased the recovery yield of HBcAg by 2.9-fold and 42% in purity compared to that treated for 10 min. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis showed that the antigenicity of the core particles was not affected by the heat treatment process.
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains can be classified as virulent or avirulent based upon the severity of the disease. Differentiation of the virus into virulent and avirulent is necessary for effective control of the disease. Biopanning experiments were performed using a disulfide constrained phage displayed heptapeptide library against three pathotypes of NDV strains: velogenic (highly virulent), mesogenic (moderately virulent) and lentogenic (avirulent). A phage clone bearing the peptide sequence SWGEYDM capable of distinguishing virulent from avirulent NDV strains was isolated. This phage clone was employed as a diagnostic reagent in a dot blot assay and it successfully detected only virulent NDV strains.
Avian influenza viruses are pathogens of economical and public health concerns. However, infections caused by low pathogenic avian influenza particularly H9N2 subtype are not associated with clear clinical features. Hence, rapid detection and subtyping of the virus will enable immediate measures to be implemented for preventing widespread transmission. This study highlights the development of a multiplex real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) assay using SYBR Green 1 chemistry for universal detection of avian influenza viruses and specific subtyping of H9N2 isolates based on melting temperatures (T(m)) discriminations. Three melting peaks generated simultaneously at temperatures 85.2+/-1.0, 81.9+/-0.9 and 78.7+/-0.9 degrees C represent NP, H9 and N2 gene products, respectively. The RRT-PCR assay was about 10-100-fold more sensitive when compared to the conventional RT-PCR method using reference H9N2 isolate. In addition, the RRT-PCR assay was 100% sensitive as well as 92% specific according to the standard virus isolation method in detecting experimentally infected specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens.
A commercial dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA was evaluated to demonstrate its potential application for early laboratory diagnosis of acute dengue virus infection. Dengue virus NS1 antigen was detected in 199 of 213 acute serum samples from patients with laboratory confirmation of acute dengue virus infection but none of the 354 healthy blood donors' serum specimens. The dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA gave an overall sensitivity of 93.4% (199/213) and a specificity of 100% (354/354). The sensitivity was significantly higher in acute primary dengue (97.3%) than in acute secondary dengue (70.0%). The positive predictive value of the dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA was 100% and negative predictive value was 97.3%. Comparatively, virus isolation gave an overall positive isolation rate of 68.1% with a positive isolation rate of 73.9 and 31.0% for acute primary dengue and acute secondary dengue, respectively. Molecular detection of dengue RNA by RT-PCR gave an overall positive detection rate of 66.7% with a detection rate of 65.2 and 75.9% for acute primary dengue and acute secondary dengue, respectively. The results indicate that the commercial dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA may be superior to virus isolation and RT-PCR for the laboratory diagnosis of acute dengue infection based on a single serum sample.
Tioman virus is a newly described bat-urine derived paramyxovirus isolated in Tioman Island, Malaysia in 2001. Hitherto, neither human nor animal infection by this virus has been reported. Nonetheless, its close relationship to another paramyxovirus, the Menangle virus which had caused diseases in humans and pigs [Philbey, A.W., Kirkland, P.D., Ross, A.D., Davis, R.J., Gleeson, A.B., Love, R.J., Daniels, P.W., Gould, A.R., Hyatt, A.D., 1998. An apparently new virus (family Paramyxoviridae) infectious for pigs, humans, and fruit bats. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 4, 269-271], raises the possibility that it may be potentially pathogenic. In this study, mice were experimentally infected with Tioman virus by intraperitoneal and intracerebral routes, and the cellular targets and topographical distribution of viral genome and antigens were examined using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The possible association between viral infection and apoptosis was also investigated using the TUNEL assay and immunohistochemistry to FasL, Caspase-3, Caspase-8, Caspase-9 and bcl-2. The results showed that Tioman virus inoculated intracerebrally was neurotropic causing plaque-like necrotic areas, and appeared to preferentially replicate in the neocortex and limbic system. Viral infection of inflammatory cells was also demonstrated. TUNEL and Caspase-3 positivity was found in inflammatory cells but not in neurons, while FasL, Caspase-8 and Caspase-9 were consistently negative. This suggests that neuronal infection was associated with necrosis rather than apoptosis. Moreover, the data suggest that there may be an association between viral infection and apoptosis in inflammatory cells, and that it could, at least in part, involve Caspase-independent pathways. Bcl-2 was expressed in some neurons and inflammatory cells indicating its possible role in anti-apoptosis. There was no evidence of central nervous system infection via the intraperitoneal route.
Banna virus (BAV, genus Seadornavirus, family Reoviridae) is an arbovirus suspected to be responsible for encephalitis in humans. Two genotypes of this virus are distinguishable: A (Chinese isolate, BAV-Ch) and B (Indonesian isolate, BAV-In6969) which exhibit only 41% amino-acid identity in the sequence of their VP9. The VP7 to VP12 of BAV-Ch and VP9 of BAV-In6969 were expressed in bacteria using pGEX-4T-2 vector. VP9 was chosen to establish an ELISA for BAV, based mainly on two observations: (i). VP9 is a major protein in virus-infected cells and is a capsid protein (ii). among all the proteins expressed, VP9 was obtained in high amount and showed the highest immuno-reactivity to anti-BAV ascitic fluid. The VP9s ELISA was evaluated in three populations: French blood donors and two populations (blood donors and patients with a neurological syndrome) from Malaysia, representing the region where the virus was isolated in the past. The specificity of this ELISA was >98%. In mice injected with live BAV, the assay detected IgG-antibody to BAV infection 21 days post-injection, which was confirmed by Western blot using BAV-infected cells. The VP9 ELISA permits to determine the sero-status of a population without special safety precautions and without any requirements to propagate the BAV. This test should be a useful tool for epidemiological survey of BAV.
A monoclonal antibody (MAb) based solid-phase blocking ELISA was developed for detection of antibodies to Nipah virus. The ELISA was designed to detect remaining antigens on the plate with anti-Nipah MAb conjugate after the reaction with sample serum, and enabled simple procedure, detection of neutralizing antibody to Nipah virus, and application of samples from different animal species. Forty of 200 swine reference sera examined were positive by the ELISA, of which thirty seven were found positive by serum neutralization test. Sera from a total of 131 fruit bats captured in Malaysia were also tested and all found negative by the both tests. It is considered that the solid-phase blocking ELISA can be used as a screening test for Nipah virus infection followed by the serum neutralization test as confirmatory test.
Nipah and Hendra viruses belong to the novel Henipavirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae family. Its zoonotic circulation in bats and recent emergence in Malaysia with fatal consequences for humans that were in close contact with infected pigs, has made the reinforcement of epidemiological and clinical surveillance systems a priority. In this study, TaqMan RT-PCR of the Nipah nucleoprotein has been developed so that Nipah virus RNA in field specimens or laboratory material can be characterized rapidly and specifically and quantitated. The linearity of the standard curve allowed quantification of 10(3) to 10(9) RNA transcripts. The sensitivity of the test was close to 1 pfu. The kinetics of Nipah virus production in Vero cells was monitored by the determination of infectious virus particles in the supernatant fluid and by quantitation of the viral RNA. Approximately, 1000 RNA molecules were detected per virion, suggesting the presence of many non-infectious particles, similar to other RNA viruses. TaqMan real-time RT-PCR failed to detect Hendra virus DNA. Importantly, the method was able to detect virus despite a similar ratio in viremic sera from hamsters infected with Nipah virus. This standardized technique is sensitive and reliable and allows rapid detection and quantitation of Nipah RNA in both field and experimental materials used for the surveillance and specific diagnosis of Nipah virus.
Feline calicivirus (FCV) has been used by researchers as a surrogate for Norwalk virus (NV), since they share a similar genomic organization, physicochemical characteristics, and are grouped in the same family, Caliciviridae. Unlike NV, however, FCV can grow in established cell lines and produce a syncytial form of cytopathic effect. In this report, we describe the development and standardization of a plaque assay for FCV using monolayers of an established line of feline kidney (CrFK) cells in 12-well cell culture plates. The assay method has demonstrated reproducibility, ease of performance and resulted in clear plaque zones, readable in 24 h after virus inoculation. The infectivity titre of the virus by this plaque assay agreed well with tissue culture infectious dose(50) (TCID(50)) determinations. The described plaque assay would be a valuable tool in conducting various quantitative investigations using FCV as a model for NV and Norwalk-like viruses (NLV).
A sensitive and specific RT-nested PCR coupled with an ELISA detection system for detecting Newcastle disease virus is described. Two nested pairs of primer which were highly specific to all the three different pathotypes of NDV were designed from the consensus fusion gene sequence. No cross-reactions with other avian infectious agents such as infectious bronchitis virus, infectious bursal disease virus, influenza virus, and fowl pox virus were observed. Based on agarose electrophoresis detection, the RT-nested PCR was about 100 times more sensitive compared to that of a non-nested RT-PCR. To facilitate the detection of the PCR product, an ELISA detection method was then developed to detect the amplified PCR products and it was shown to be ten times more sensitive than gel electrophoresis. The efficacy of the nested PCR-ELISA was also compared with the conventional NDV detection method (HA test) and non-nested RT-PCR by testing against a total of 35 tissue specimens collected from ND-symptomatic chickens. The RT-nested PCR ELISA found NDV positive in 21 (60%) tissue specimens, while only eight (22.9%) and two (5.7%) out of 35 tissue specimens were tested NDV positive by both the non-nested RT-PCR and conventional HA test, respectively. Due to its high sensitivity for the detection of NDV from tissue specimens, this PCR-ELISA based diagnostic test may be useful for screening large number of samples.
A specific and sensitive method based on RT-PCR was developed to detect enterovirus 71 (EV71) from patients with hand, foot and mouth disease, myocarditis, aseptic meningitis and acute flaccid paralysis. RT-PCR primers from conserved parts of the VP1 capsid gene were designed on the basis of good correlation with sequences of EV71 strains. These primers successfully amplified 44 strains of EV71 including 34 strains isolated from Singapore in 1997 and 1998, eight strains from Malaysia isolated in 1997 and 1998, one Japanese strain and the neurovirulent strain EV71/7423/MS/87. RT-PCR of 30 strains of other enteroviruses including coxsackievirus A and B, and echoviruses failed to give any positive amplicons. Hence, RT-PCR with these primers showed 100% correlation with serotyping. Direct sequencing of the RT-PCR products of 20 EV71 strains revealed a distinct cluster with two major subgroups, thus enabling genetic typing of the viruses. The genetic heterogeneity of these strains culminated in amino acid substitutions within the VP1, VP2 and VP3 regions. The sequencing of a 2.9 kb fragment comprising the capsid region and the major part of 5' UTR of two Singapore strains revealed that they belonged to a group distinct from the prototype EV71/BrCr strain and the EV71/7423/MS/87 strain. The dendrogram generated from 341 bp fragments within the VP1 region revealed that the strains of Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan belong to two entirely different EV71 genogroups, distinct from the three genogroups identified in another recent study.