The relationship between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the germinal centre (GC) of the asymptomatic host remains an enigma. The occasional appearance of EBV-positive germinal centres in some patients, particularly those with a history of immunosuppression, suggests that EBV numbers in the GC are subject to immune control. The relationship, if any, between lymphoid hyperplasia with EBV-positive germinal centres and subsequent or concurrent lymphomagenesis remains to be clarified. As far as the development of EBV-associated Hodgkin's lymphoma is concerned, the suppression of virus replication, mediated by LMP1 on the one hand, and the loss of B-cell receptor signalling on the other, appears to be an important pathogenic mechanism. A further important emerging concept is that alterations in the microenvironment of the EBV-infected B-cell may be important for lymphomagenesis.
White tail disease (WTD) kills prawn larvae and causes drastic losses to the freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) industry. The main causative agent of WTD is Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV). The N-terminal end of the MrNV capsid protein is very rich in positively charged amino acids and is postulated to interact with RNA molecules. N-terminal and internal deletion mutagenesis revealed that the RNA-binding region is located at positions 20-29, where 80 % of amino acids are positively charged. Substitution of all these positively charged residues with alanine abolished the RNA binding. Mutants without the RNA-binding region still assembled into virus-like particles, suggesting that this region is not a part of the capsid assembly domain. This paper is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to report the specific RNA-binding region of MrNV capsid protein.
The antiretroviral factor tripartite motif protein 5 (TRIM5) gene-derived isoform (TRIMCyp) has been found in at least three species of Old World monkey: rhesus (Macaca mulatta), pig-tailed (Macaca nemestrina) and cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) macaques. Although the frequency of TRIMCyp has been well studied in rhesus and pig-tailed macaques, the frequency and prevalence of TRIMCyp in cynomolgus macaques remain to be definitively elucidated. Here, the geographical and genetic diversity of TRIM5α/TRIMCyp in cynomolgus macaques was studied in comparison with their anti-lentiviral activity. It was found that the frequency of TRIMCyp in a population in the Philippines was significantly higher than those in Indonesian and Malaysian populations. Major and minor haplotypes of cynomolgus macaque TRIMCyp with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the cyclophilin A domain were also found. The functional significance of the polymorphism in TRIMCyp was examined, and it was demonstrated that the major haplotype of TRIMCyp suppressed human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) but not HIV-2, whilst the minor haplotype of TRIMCyp suppressed HIV-2 but not HIV-1. The major haplotype of TRIMCyp did not restrict a monkey-tropic HIV-1 clone, NL-DT5R, which contains a capsid with the simian immunodeficiency virus-derived loop between α-helices 4 and 5 and the entire vif gene. These results indicate that polymorphisms of TRIMCyp affect its anti-lentiviral activity. Overall, the results of this study will help our understanding of the genetic background of cynomolgus macaque TRIMCyp, as well as the host factors composing species barriers of primate lentiviruses.
In recent years, bats have been identified as a natural reservoir for a diverse range of viruses. Nelson Bay orthoreovirus (NBV) was first isolated from the heart blood of a fruit bat (Pteropus poliocephalus) in 1968. While the pathogenesis of NBV remains unknown, other related members of this group have caused acute respiratory disease in humans. Thus the potential for NBV to impact human health appears plausible. Here, to increase our knowledge of NBV, we examined the replication and infectivity of NBV using different mammalian cell lines derived from bat, human, mouse and monkey. All cell lines supported the replication of NBV; however, L929 cells showed a greater than 2 log reduction in virus titre compared with the other cell lines. Furthermore, NBV did not induce major cytopathic effects in the L929 cells, as was observed in other cell lines. Interestingly, the related Pteropine orthoreoviruses, Pulau virus (PulV) and Melaka virus (MelV) were able to replicate to high titres in L929 cells but infection resulted in reduced cytopathic effect. Our study demonstrates a unique virus-host interaction between NBV and L929 cells, where cells effectively control viral infection/replication and limit the formation of syncytia. By elucidating the molecular mechanisms that control this unique relationship, important insights will be made into the biology of this fusogenic virus.
Duck Tembusu virus (DTMUV), a newly identified flavivirus, has rapidly spread to China, Malaysia and Thailand. The potential threats to public health have been well-highlighted; however its virulence and pathogenesis remain largely unknown. Here, by using reverse genetics, a recombinant chimeric DTMUV based on Japanese encephalitis live vaccine strain SA14-14-2 was obtained by substituting the corresponding prM and E genes (named ChinDTMUV). In vitro characterization demonstrated that ChinDTMUV replicated efficiently in mammalian cells with small-plaque phenotype in comparison with its parental viruses. Mouse tests showed ChinDTMUV exhibited avirulent phenotype in terms of neuroinvasiveness, while it retained neurovirulence from its parental virus DTMUV. Furthermore, immunization with ChinDTMUV was evidenced to elicit robust IgG and neutralizing antibody responses in mice. Overall, we successfully developed a viable chimeric DTMUV, and these results provide a useful platform for further investigation of the pathogenesis of DTMUV and development of a live attenuated DTMUV vaccine candidate.
Nipah virus (NiV) is an emerging paramyxovirus that can cause lethal respiratory illness in humans. No vaccine/therapeutic is currently licensed for humans. Human-to-human transmission was previously reported during outbreaks and NiV could be isolated from respiratory secretions, but the proportion of cases in Malaysia exhibiting respiratory symptoms was significantly lower than that in Bangladesh. Previously, we showed that primary human basal respiratory epithelial cells are susceptible to both NiV-Malaysia (M) and -Bangladesh (B) strains causing robust pro-inflammatory responses. However, the cells of the human respiratory epithelium that NiV targets are unknown and their role in NiV transmission and NiV-related lung pathogenesis is still poorly understood. Here, we characterized NiV infection of the human respiratory epithelium using a model of the human tracheal/bronchial (B-ALI) and small airway (S-ALI) epithelium cultured at an air-liquid interface. We show that NiV-M and NiV-B infect ciliated and secretory cells in B/S-ALI, and that infection of S-ALI, but not B-ALI, results in disruption of the epithelium integrity and host responses recruiting human immune cells. Interestingly, NiV-B replicated more efficiently in B-ALI than did NiV-M. These results suggest that the human tracheal/bronchial epithelium is favourable to NiV replication and shedding, while inducing a limited host response. Our data suggest that the small airways epithelium is prone to inflammation and lesions as well as constituting a point of virus entry into the pulmonary vasculature. The use of relevant models of the human respiratory tract, such as B/S-ALI, is critical for understanding NiV-related lung pathogenesis and identifying the underlying mechanisms allowing human-to-human transmission.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an alphavirus of the family Togaviridae, causes fever, polyarthritis and rash. There are three genotypes: West African, Asian and East/Central/South African (ECSA). The latter two genotypes have caused global outbreaks in recent years. Recent ECSA CHIKV outbreaks have been associated with severe neurological disease, but it is not known if different CHIKV genotypes are associated with different neurovirulence. In this study, the neurovirulence of Asian (MY/06/37348) and ECSA (MY/08/065) strains of CHIKV isolated in Malaysia were compared. Intracerebral inoculation of either virus into suckling mice was followed by virus titration, histopathology and gene expression analysis of the harvested brains. Both strains of CHIKV replicated similarly, yet mice infected with MY/06/37348 showed higher mortality. Histopathology findings showed that both CHIKV strains spread within the brain (where CHIKV antigen was localized to astrocytes and neurons) and beyond to skeletal muscle. In MY/06/37348-infected mice, apoptosis, which is associated with neurovirulence in alphaviruses, was observed earlier in brains. Comparison of gene expression showed that a pro-apoptotic gene (eIF2αK2) was upregulated at higher levels in MY/06/37348-infected mice, while genes involved in anti-apoptosis (BIRC3), antiviral responses and central nervous system protection (including CD40, IL-10RA, MyD88 and PYCARD) were upregulated more highly in MY/08/065-infected mice. In conclusion, the higher mortality observed following MY/06/37348 infection in mice is due not to higher viral replication in the brain, but to differentially expressed genes involved in host immune responses. These findings may help to identify therapeutic strategies and biomarkers for neurological CHIKV infections.
We previously described three new Malaysian orthoreoviruses designated Pulau virus, Melaka virus and Kampar virus. Melaka and Kampar viruses were shown to cause respiratory disease in humans. These viruses, together with Nelson Bay virus, isolated from Australian bats, are tentatively classified as different strains within the species Pteropine orthoreovirus (PRV), formerly known as Nelson Bay orthoreovirus, based on the small (S) genome segments. Here we report the sequences of the large (L) and medium (M) segments, thus completing the whole-genome characterization of the four PRVs. All L and M segments were highly conserved in size and sequence. Conserved functional motifs previously identified in other orthoreovirus gene products were also found in the deduced proteins encoded by the cognate segments of these viruses. Detailed sequence analysis identified two genetic lineages divided into the Australian and Malaysian PRVs, and potential genetic reassortment among the M and S segments of the three Malaysian viruses.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), the prototype member of the JEV serocomplex, genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae, is the most significant arthropod-borne encephalitis worldwide in terms of morbidity and mortality. At least four genotypes (GI-GIV) of the virus have been identified; however, to date, the genomic nucleotide sequence of only one GII virus has been determined (FU strain, Australia, 1995). This study sequenced three additional GII strains of JEV isolated between 1951 and 1978 in Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively, and compared them with the FU strain, as well as with virus strains representing the other three genotypes. Based on nucleotide and amino acid composition, the genotype II strains were the most similar to GI strains; however, these two genotypes are epidemiologically distinct. Selection analyses revealed that the strains utilized in this study are under predominantly purifying selection, and evidence of positive selection was detected at aa 24 of the NS4B protein, a protein that functions as an alpha/beta interferon signalling inhibitor.
Chikungunya fever swept across many South and South-east Asian countries, following extensive outbreaks in the Indian Ocean Islands in 2005. However, molecular epidemiological data to explain the recent spread and evolution of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in the Asian region are still limited. This study describes the genetic Characteristics and evolutionary relationships of CHIKV strains that emerged in Sri Lanka and Singapore during 2006-2008. The viruses isolated in Singapore also included those imported from the Maldives (n=1), India (n=2) and Malaysia (n=31). All analysed strains belonged to the East, Central and South African (ECSA) lineage and were evolutionarily more related to Indian than to Indian Ocean Islands strains. Unique genetic characteristics revealed five genetically distinct subpopulations of CHIKV in Sri Lanka and Singapore, which were likely to have emerged through multiple, independent introductions. The evolutionary network based on E1 gene sequences indicated the acquisition of an alanine to valine 226 substitution (E1-A226V) by virus strains of the Indian sublineage as a key evolutionary event that contributed to the transmission and spatial distribution of CHIKV in the region. The E1-A226V substitution was found in 95.7 % (133/139) of analysed isolates in 2008, highlighting the widespread establishment of mutated CHIKV strains in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. As the E1-A226V substitution is known to enhance the transmissibility of CHIKV by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, this observation has important implications for the design of vector control strategies to fight the virus in regions at risk of chikungunya fever.
The full-length genomes of two DENV-1 viruses isolated during the 2005-2006 dengue incidents in Brunei were sequenced. Twenty five primer sets were designed to amplify contiguous overlapping fragments of approximately 500-600 base pairs spanning the entire sequence of the genome. The amplified PCR products were sent to a commercial laboratory for sequencing and the nucleotides and the deduced amino acids were determined. Sequence analysis of the envelope gene at the nucleotide and amino acid levels between the two isolates showed 92 and 96 % identity, respectively. Comparison of the envelope gene sequences with 68 other DENV-1 viruses of known genotypes placed the two isolates into two different genotypic groups. Isolate DS06/210505 belongs to genotype V together with some of the recent isolates from India (2003) and older isolates from Singapore (1990) and Burma (1976), while isolate DS212/110306 was clustered in genotype IV with the prototype Nauru strain (1974) and with some of the recent isolates from Indonesia (2004) and the Philippines (2002, 2001). In the full-length genome analysis at the nucleotide level, isolate DS06/210505 showed 94 % identity to the French Guyana strain (1989) in genotype V while isolate DS212/110306 had 96 % identity to the Nauru Island strain (1974) in genotype IV. This work constitutes the first complete genetic characterization of not only Brunei DENV-1 virus isolates, but also the first strain from Borneo Island. This study was the first to report the isolation of dengue virus in the country.
The nucleocapsid protein of Nipah virus produced in Escherichia coli assembled into herringbone-like particles. The amino- and carboxy-termini of the N protein were shortened progressively to define the minimum contiguous sequence involved in capsid assembly. The first 29 aa residues of the N protein are dispensable for capsid formation. The 128 carboxy-terminal residues do not play a role in the assembly of the herringbone-like particles. A region with amino acid residues 30-32 plays a crucial role in the formation of the capsid particle. Deletion of any of the four conserved hydrophobic regions in the N protein impaired capsid formation. Replacement of the central conserved regions with the respective sequences from the Newcastle disease virus restored capsid formation.
The JC polyomavirus (JCV) is ubiquitous in humans infecting children asymptomatically, then persisting in renal tissue. Since JCV DNA can be readily isolated from urine, it should be a useful tool with which to study the evolution of DNA viruses in humans. We showed that JCV DNA from the urine of Japanese, Taiwanese, Dutch and German patients can be classified into A and B types, based upon restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). This work was extended in the present study. We established multiple JCV DNA clones from the UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden, South Korea, People's Republic of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and Ghana. Using type-specific RFLPs, most clones except the four clones from Ghana were classified as either type A or B. We constructed a molecular phylogenetic tree for the Ghanaian clones and several representative type A and B clones. According to the phylogenetic tree, the Ghanaian clones constituted a major new group, tentatively named type C. From the findings presented here and elsewhere, the following conclusions were drawn: (i) type A is prevalent only in Europe; (ii) type B is found mainly in Asia and Africa; and (iii) type C is localized to part of Africa. Our findings should help to clarify how JCV evolved in humans.
The DNA genomes of isolates of rice tungro bacilliform virus from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand were cloned and compared with that of the type isolate from the Philippines. Restriction endonuclease maps revealed differences between the isolates and cross-hybridization showed that they fell into two groups, those from the Indian subcontinent and those from south-east Asian countries. The genomes of isolates from the Indian subcontinent contained a deletion of 64 bp when compared with those from south-east Asia. The implications of this variation are discussed.
Rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV) has an RNA genome of more than 12 kb with various features which classify it as a plant picornavirus. The capsid comprises three coat protein (CP) species, CP1, CP2 and CP3, with predicted molecular masses of 22.5, 22.0 and 33 kDa, respectively, which are cleaved from a polyprotein. In order to obtain information on the properties of these proteins, each was expressed in E. coli, purified as a fusion to the maltose-binding protein and used for raising a polyclonal antiserum. CP1, CP2 and CP3 with the expected molecular masses were detected specifically in virus preparations. CP3 is probably the major antigenic determinant on the surface of RTSV particles, as was shown by ELISA, Western blotting and immunogold electron microscopy using antisera obtained against whole virus particles and to each CP separately. In some cases, especially in crude extracts, CP3 antiserum detected several other proteins (40-42 kDa), which could be products of CP3 post-translational modification. No serological differences were detected between the three CPs from isolates from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and India. The CP3-related 40-42 kDa proteins of the Indian RTSV isolate have a slightly higher electrophoretic mobility (42-44 kDa) and a different response to cellulolytic enzyme preparations, which allows them to be differentiated from south-east Asian isolates.
The DNA of three biological variants, G1, Ic and G2, which originated from the same greenhouse isolate of rice tungro bacilliform virus (RTBV) at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), was cloned and sequenced. Comparison of the sequences revealed small differences in genome sizes. The variants were between 95 and 99% identical at the nucleotide and amino acid levels. Alignment of the three genome sequences with those of three published RTBV sequences (Phi-1, Phi-2 and Phi-3) revealed numerous nucleotide substitutions and some insertions and deletions. The published RTBV sequences originated from the same greenhouse isolate at IRRI 20, 11 and 9 years ago. All open reading frames (ORFs) and known functional domains were conserved across the six variants. The cysteine-rich region of ORF3 showed the greatest variation. When the six DNA sequences from IRRI were compared with that of an isolate from Malaysia (Serdang), similar changes were observed in the cysteine-rich region in addition to other nucleotide substitutions and deletions across the genome. The aligned nucleotide sequences of the IRRI variants and Serdang were used to analyse phylogenetic relationships by the bootstrapped parsimony, distance and maximum-likelihood methods. The isolates clustered in three groups: Serdang alone; Ic and G1; and Phi-1, Phi-2, Phi-3 and G2. The distribution of phylogenetically informative residues in the IRRI sequences shared with the Serdang sequence and the differing tree topologies for segments of the genome suggested that recombination, as well as substitutions and insertions or deletions, has played a role in the evolution of RTBV variants. The significance and implications of these evolutionary forces are discussed in comparison with badnaviruses and caulimoviruses.
The nucleic acid sequences of the pre-membrane/membrane and envelope protein genes of 23 geographically and temporally distinct dengue (DEN)-3 viruses were determined. This was accomplished by reverse transcriptase-PCR amplification of the structural genes followed by automated DNA sequence analysis. Comparison of nucleic acid sequences revealed that similarity among the viruses was greater than 90%. The similarity among deduced amino acids was between 95% and 100%, and in many cases identical amino acid substitutions occurred among viruses from similar geographical regions. Alignment of nucleic acid sequences followed by parsimony analysis allowed the generation of phylogenetic trees, demonstrating that geographically independent evolution of DEN-3 viruses had occurred. The DEN-3 viruses were separated into four genetically distinct subtypes. Subtype I consists of viruses from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the South Pacific islands; subtype II consists of viruses from Thailand; subtype III consists of viruses from Sri Lanka, India, Africa and Samoa; subtype IV consists of viruses from Puerto Rico and the 1965 Tahiti virus. Phylogenetic analysis has also contributed to our understanding of the molecular epidemiology and worldwide distribution of DEN-3 viruses.
Defective interfering (DI) particles of the flavivirus West Nile (WN) were generated after as few as two high multiplicity serial passages in Vero and LLC-MK2 cells. Six cell lines (Vero, LLC-MK2, L929, HeLa, BHK-21 and SW13) were used to assay interference by DI particles in a yield reduction assay. Interference was found to vary depending on the cell type used. The highest levels of interference were obtained in LLC-MK2 cells, whereas no detectable effect was observed in BHK-21 and SW13 cells. The ability of DI virus to be propagated varied depending on the cell line used; no detectable propagation of DI virus was observed in SW13 cells. Optimum interference was obtained following co-infection of cells with DI virus and standard virus at a multiplicity of 5. Interference between DI and standard viruses occurred only when they were co-infected or when cells were infected with DI virus 1 h before standard virus. Investigation of heterotypic interference by DI particles of WN virus strains from Sarawak, India and Egypt revealed that interference was dependent on the strain of WN virus or flavivirus used as standard virus. A measure of the similarity between five strains of WN virus and other flaviviruses was made on the basis of interference by DI viruses, and was found to be similar to that based on haemagglutination inhibition tests using a panel of monoclonal antibodies.
Forty-six strains of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus from a variety of geographic areas in Asia were examined by primer-extension sequencing of the RNA template. A 240 nucleotide sequence from the pre-M gene region was selected for study because it provided sufficient information for determining genetic relationships among the virus isolates. Using 12% divergence as a cutoff point for virus relationships, the 46 isolates fell into three distinct genotypic groups. One genotypic group consisted of JE virus isolates from northern Thailand and Cambodia. A second group was composed of isolates from southern Thailand, Malaysia, Sarawak and Indonesia. The remainder of the isolates, from Japan, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India and Nepal, made up a third group. The implications of these findings in relation to the epidemiology of JE are discussed. Results of this study demonstrate that the comparison of short nucleotide sequences can provide insight into JE virus evolution, transmission and, possibly, pathogenesis.
The ability of passage in HeLa cells to attenuate flaviviruses was investigated for three different strains of the mosquito-borne West Nile (WN) virus and two tick-borne viruses, louping-ill and Langat. One strain of WN virus, Sarawak, was attenuated 4000-fold for adult mice by intraperitoneal or intranasal challenge after six HeLa passages. The HeLa-passaged virus was also found to be antigenically different and temperature-sensitive in its growth characteristics compared with the parent. After six HeLa cell passages the Egypt 101 and Smithburn strains of WN virus lost their ability to infect monkey kidney cells and no longer killed adult mice, although inoculated animals became sick for several days. In contrast, two tick-borne flaviviruses remained as virulent for mice after six HeLa passages as the parent non-HeLa-passaged virus. Neither of the tick-borne viruses exhibited characteristics associated with temperature sensitivity. The results, therefore, indicate that the mosquito-borne, but not tick-borne, flaviviruses can be attenuated by very few passages in HeLa cells. This observation may provide a model system with which to analyse the molecular basis of attenuation and/or virulence of mosquito-borne flaviviruses.