Prevalence, distribution and antibiotic resistance of Arcobacter spp. were investigated in cattle, goats, floor and treated water samples in this study. The prevalence of Arcobacter in adult and young was recorded as 8/110 (7.27%) and 4/83 (4.81%), respectively, which showed insignificant difference (P = 0.3503) in detection rates between adult and young cattle. A total of 33.33% of the floor samples and 11.11% of the treated water samples analysed were determined as positive for Arcobacter. Among the species isolated, over all, A. butzleri (45%) was the most frequently detected species, followed by A. skirrowii (5%). A. butzleri was isolated from adult cattle, floor and water samples at the rates of 75.0%, 33.4% and 50%, respectively. Co-colonization of species was not uncommon, and 50% of the samples were carrying more than one Arcobacter species. Only 12.5% sample from cattle (adult) was detected positive for only A. skirrowii. All samples from young animals, floor and water contained mixed isolates. None of the samples from goat farm was found to be carrying Arcobacter species. On profiling of antimicrobial resistance patterns, it was found that only one A. butzleri isolate (3.7%) was sensitive to all nine antibiotics tested. A. butzleri was found highly resistant to ampicillin (55.6%), followed by cefotaxime (33.4%) and ciprofloxacin (33.4%). Overall, 20% of the isolates showed multidrug resistance (resistant ≥4 antibiotics). Gentamicin and enrofloxacin can be used as drugs of choice for the treatment for Arcobacter infections.
Nipah virus (NiV; Paramyxoviridae) caused fatal encephalitis in humans during an outbreak in Malaysia in 1998/1999 after transmission from infected pigs. Our previous study demonstrated that the respiratory, lymphatic and central nervous systems are targets for virus replication in experimentally infected pigs. To continue the studies on pathogenesis of NiV in swine, six piglets were inoculated oronasally with 2.5 x 10(5) PFU per animal. Four pigs developed mild clinical signs, one exudative epidermitis, and one neurologic signs due to suppurative meningoencephalitis, and was euthanized at 11 days post-inoculation (dpi). Neutralizing antibodies reached in surviving animals titers around 1280 at 16 dpi. Nasal and oro-pharyngeal shedding of the NiV was detected between 2 and 17 dpi. Virus appeared to be cleared from the tissues of the infected animals by 23 dpi, with low amount of RNA detected in submandibular and bronchial lymph nodes of three pigs, and olfactory bulb of one animal. Despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies, virus was isolated from serum at 24 dpi, and the viral RNA was still detected in serum at 29 dpi. Our results indicate slower clearance of NiV from some of the infected pigs. Bacteria were detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of five NiV inoculated animals, with isolation of Streptococcus suis and Enterococcus faecalis. Staphylococcus hyicus was isolated from the skin lesions of the animal with exudative epidermitis. Along with the observed lymphoid depletion in the lymph nodes of all NiV-infected animals, and the demonstrated ability of NiV to infect porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro, this finding warrants further investigation into a possible NiV-induced immunosuppression of the swine host.
Duck Tembusu virus (DTMUV), a newly emerging virus in ducks, was first reported in China in 2010. However, an unknown severe contagious disease associated with severe neurological signs and egg production losses in ducks, resembling to DTMUV infection, was observed in Thailand since 2007. To determine the presence of DTMUV in 2007, the clinical samples from affected ducks collected in 2007 were tested for DTMUV using pathological and virological analyses. Gross and histopathological lesions of affected ducks were mostly restricted to the ovary, brain and spinal cord, and correlated with the presence of flavivirus antigen in the brain and spinal cord samples. Subsequently, DTMUV was identified by RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing of the polyprotein gene. Phylogenetic analysis of the polyprotein gene sequence revealed that the 2007 Thai DTMUV was a unique virus, belonged within DTMUV cluster 1, but distinctively separated from the Malaysian DTMUV, which was the most closely related DTMUV. It is interesting to note that the 2007 Thai DTMUV was genetically different from the currently circulating Thai and Chinese DTMUVs, which belonged to cluster 2. Our findings indicated that the 2007 Thai DTMUV emerged earlier from a common ancestor with the recently reported DTMUVs; however, it was genetically distinctive to any of the currently circulating DTMUVs. In conclusion, our data demonstrated the presence of DTMUV in the Thai ducks since 2007, prior to the first report of DTMUV in China in 2010. This study indicates that DTMUV may have circulated in the region long before 2010 and highlights high genetic diversity of DTMUVs in Asia.
It is widely accepted that Newcastle disease is endemic in most African countries, but little attention has been afforded to establishing the sources and frequency of the introductions of exotic strains. Newcastle disease outbreaks have a high cost in Africa, particularly on rural livelihoods. Genotype VIIh emerged in South-East Asia and has since caused serious outbreaks in poultry in Malaysia, Indonesia, southern China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Genotype VIIh reached the African continent in 2011, with the first outbreaks reported in Mozambique. Here, we used a combination of phylogenetic evidence, molecular dating and epidemiological reports to trace the origins and spread of subgenotype VIIh Newcastle disease in southern Africa. We determined that the infection spread northwards through Mozambique, and then into the poultry of the north-eastern provinces of Zimbabwe. From Mozambique, it also reached neighbouring Malawi and Zambia. In Zimbabwe, the disease spread southward towards South Africa and Botswana, causing outbreaks in backyard chickens in early-to-mid 2013. In August 2013, the disease entered South Africa's large commercial industry, and the entire country was infected within a year, likely through fomites and the movements of cull chickens. Illegal poultry trading or infected waste from ships and not wild migratory birds was the likely source of the introduction to Mozambique in 2011.
Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV), belonging to the genus Henipavirus, are among the most pathogenic of viruses in humans. Old World fruit bats (family Pteropodidae) are the natural reservoir hosts. Molecular and serological studies found evidence of henipavirus infection in fruit bats from several African countries. However, little is known about the potential for spillover into domestic animals in East Africa, particularly pigs, which served as amplifying hosts during the first outbreak of NiV in Malaysia and Singapore. We collected sera from 661 pigs presented for slaughter in Uganda between December 2015 and October 2016. Using HeV G and NiV G indirect ELISAs, 14 pigs (2%) were seroreactive in at least one ELISA. Seroprevalence increased to 5.4% in October 2016, when pigs were 9.5 times more likely to be seroreactive than pigs sampled in December 2015 (p = 0.04). Eight of the 14 ELISA-positive samples reacted with HeV N antigen in Western blot. None of the sera neutralized HeV or NiV in plaque reduction neutralization tests. Although we did not detect neutralizing antibodies, our results suggest that pigs in Uganda are exposed to henipaviruses or henipa-like viruses. Pigs in this study were sourced from many farms throughout Uganda, suggesting multiple (albeit rare) introductions of henipaviruses into the pig population. We postulate that given the widespread distribution of Old World fruit bats in Africa, spillover of henipaviruses from fruit bats to pigs in Uganda could result in exposure of pigs at multiple locations. A higher risk of a spillover event at the end of the dry season might be explained by higher densities of bats and contact with pigs at this time of the year, exacerbated by nutritional stress in bat populations and their reproductive cycle. Future studies should prioritize determining the risk of spillover of henipaviruses from pigs to people, so that potential risks can be mitigated.
Equine influenza is a major cause of respiratory infections in horses and can spread rapidly despite the availability of commercial vaccines. In this study, we carried out molecular characterization of Equine Influenza Virus (EIV) isolated from the Malaysian outbreak in 2015 by sequencing of the HA and NA gene segments using Sanger sequencing. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences of HA and NA were compared with representative Florida clade 1 and clade 2 strains using phylogenetic analysis. The Florida clade 1 viruses identified in this outbreak revealed numerous amino acid substitutions in the HA protein as compared to the current OIE vaccine strain recommendations and representative strains of circulating Florida sub-lineage clade 1 and clade 2. Differences in HA included amino acids located within antigenic sites which could lead to reduced immune recognition of the outbreak strain and alter the effectiveness of vaccination against the outbreak strain. Detailed surveillance and genetic information sharing could allow genetic drift of equine influenza viruses to be monitored more effectively on a global basis and aid in refinement of vaccine strain selection for EIV.
Since its first emergence in 1998 in Malaysia, Nipah virus (NiV) has become a great threat to domestic animals and humans. Sporadic outbreaks associated with human-to-human transmission caused hundreds of human fatalities. Here, we collected all available NiV sequences and combined phylogenetics, molecular selection, structural biology and receptor analysis to study the emergence and adaptive evolution of NiV. NiV can be divided into two main lineages including the Bangladesh and Malaysia lineages. We formly confirmed a significant association with geography which is probably the result of long-term evolution of NiV in local bat population. The two NiV lineages differ in many amino acids; one change in the fusion protein might be involved in its activation via binding to the G protein. We also identified adaptive and positively selected sites in many viral proteins. In the receptor-binding G protein, we found that sites 384, 386 and especially 498 of G protein might modulate receptor-binding affinity and thus contribute to the host jump from bats to humans via the adaption to bind the human ephrin-B2 receptor. We also found that site 1645 in the connector domain of L was positive selected and involved in adaptive evolution; this site might add methyl groups to the cap structure present at the 5'-end of the RNA and thus modulate its activity. This study provides insight to assist the design of early detection methods for NiV to assess its epidemic potential in humans.