Henipaviruses (Hendra and Nipah virus) are highly pathogenic members of the family Paramyxoviridae. Fruit-eating bats of the Pteropus genus have been suggested as their natural reservoir. Human Henipavirus infections have been reported in a region extending from Australia via Malaysia into Bangladesh, compatible with the geographic range of Pteropus. These bats do not occur in continental Africa, but a whole range of other fruit bats is encountered. One of the most abundant is Eidolon helvum, the African Straw-coloured fruit bat.
After the outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV) in 1998-99, which resulted in 105 human deaths and the culling of more than one million pigs, a search was initiated for the natural host reservoir of NiV on Tioman Island off the east coast of Malaysia. Three different syncytia-forming viruses were isolated from fruit bats on the island. They were Nipah virus, Tioman virus (a novel paramyxovirus related to Menangle virus), and a reovirus, named Pulau virus (PuV), which is the subject of this study. PuV displayed the typical ultra structural morphology of a reovirus and was neutralised by serum against Nelson Bay reovirus (NBV), a reovirus isolated from a fruit bat (Pteropus poliocephalus) in Australia over 30 years ago. PuV was fusogenic and formed large syncytia in Vero cells. Comparison of dsRNA segments between PuV and NBV showed distinct mobility differences for the S1 and S2 segments. Complete sequence analysis of all four S segments revealed a close relationship between PuV and NBV, with nucleotide sequence identity varying from 88% for S3 segment to 56% for the S1 segment. Similarly phylogenetic analysis of deduced protein sequences confirmed that PuV is closely related to NBV. In this paper we discuss the similarities and differences between PuV and NBV which support the classification of PuV as a novel mammalian, fusogenic reovirus within the Nelson Bay orthoreovirus species, in the genus Orthoreovirus, family Reoviridae.
A novel HIV-1 genotype designated CRF53_01B was recently characterized from three epidemiologically unrelated persons in Malaysia. Here we announced three recently isolated full-length genomes of CRF53_01B, which is likely to be phylogenetically linked to CRF33_01B, circulating widely in Southeast Asia. The genome sequences may contribute to HIV-1 molecular surveillance and future vaccine development in the region.
Real-time PCR assay has many advantages over conventional PCR methods, including rapidity, quantitative measurement, low risk of contamination, high sensitivity, high specificity, and ease of standardization (Mackay et al., Nucleic Acids Res 30:1292-1305, 2002). The real-time PCR system relies upon the measurement of a fluorescent reporter during PCR, in which the amount of emitted fluorescence is directly proportional to the amount of the PCR product in a reaction (Gibsons et al., Genome Res 6:995-1001, 1996). Here, we describe the use of SYBR Green I-based and TaqMan(®) real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the detection and quantification of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV).
Virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates from new sub-genotypes within genotype VII are rapidly spreading through Asia and the Middle East causing outbreaks of Newcastle disease (ND) characterized by significant illness and mortality in poultry, suggesting the existence of a fifth panzootic. These viruses, which belong to the new sub-genotypes VIIh and VIIi, have epizootic characteristics and do not appear to have originated directly from other genotype VII NDV isolates that are currently circulating elsewhere, but are related to the present and past Indonesian NDV viruses isolated from wild birds since the 80s. Viruses from sub-genotype VIIh were isolated in Indonesia (2009-2010), Malaysia (2011), China (2011), and Cambodia (2011-2012) and are closely related to the Indonesian NDV isolated in 2007, APMV1/Chicken/Karangasem, Indonesia (Bali-01)/2007. Since 2011 and during 2012 highly related NDV isolates from sub-genotype VIIi have been isolated from poultry production facilities and occasionally from pet birds, throughout Indonesia, Pakistan and Israel. In Pakistan, the viruses of sub-genotype VIIi have replaced NDV isolates of genotype XIII, which were commonly isolated in 2009-2011, and they have become the predominant sub-genotype causing ND outbreaks since 2012. In a similar fashion, the numbers of viruses of sub-genotype VIIi isolated in Israel increased in 2012, and isolates from this sub-genotype are now found more frequently than viruses from the previously predominant sub-genotypes VIId and VIIb, from 2009 to 2012. All NDV isolates of sub-genotype VIIi are approximately 99% identical to each other and are more closely related to Indonesian viruses isolated from 1983 through 1990 than to those of genotype VII, still circulating in the region. Similarly, in addition to the Pakistani NDV isolates of the original genotype XIII (now called sub-genotype XIIIa), there is an additional sub-genotype (XIIIb) that was initially detected in India and Iran. This sub-genotype also appears to have as an ancestor a NDV strain from an Indian cockatoo isolated in 1982. These data suggest the existence of a new panzootic composed of viruses of subgenotype VIIi and support our previous findings of co-evolution of multiple virulent NDV genotypes in unknown reservoirs, e.g. as recorded with the virulent NDV identified in Dominican Republic in 2008. The co-evolution of at least three different sub-genotypes reported here and the apparent close relationship of some of those genotypes from ND viruses isolated from wild birds, suggests that identifying wild life reservoirs may help predict new panzootics.
Dengue serotype surveillance is important as any changes in serotype distribution may result in an outbreak or increase in severe dengue cases. This study aimed to determine circulating dengue serotypes in two hospitals in Selangor. Serum samples were collected from patients admitted for dengue at these two major public hospitals i.e. Hospital Sungai Buloh (HSB) and Hospital Tunku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) between November 2010 and August 2011 and subjected to real-time RT-PCR using SYBR® Green. All four dengue serotypes were detected in samples from both hospitals. The predominating serotype was dengue 1 in samples from both hospitals (HSB, DENV-1; 25.53 % and HTAR, DENV-1; 32.1 %).
Dengue virus-host cell interaction initiates when the virus binds to the attachment receptors followed by endocytic internalization of the virus particle. Successful entry into the cell is necessary for infection initiation. Currently, there is no protective vaccine or antiviral treatment for dengue infection. Targeting the viral entry pathway has become an attractive therapeutic strategy to block infection. This study aimed to investigate the effect of silencing the GRP78 and clathrin-mediated endocytosis on dengue virus entry and multiplication into HepG2 cells.
This study investigates the effects of 2-phenyl-1-benzopyran-4-one (flavone) on DENV-2 infectivity in Vero cells. Virus adsorption and attachment and intracellular virus replication were investigated using a foci forming unit assay (FFUA) and quantitative RT-PCR, respectively. Addition of flavone (100 μg/mL) significantly increased the number of DENV-2 foci by 35.66% ± 1.52 and 49.66% ± 2.51 when added during and after virus adsorption to the Vero cells, respectively. The average foci size after 4 days of infection increased by 33% ± 2.11 and 89% ± 2.13. The DENV-2 specific RNA copy number in the flavone-treated infected cells increased by 6.41- and 23.1-fold when compared to the mock-treated infected cells. Flavone (100 μg/mL) did not promote or inhibit Vero cell proliferation. The CC₅₀ value of flavone against Vero cells was 446 µg/mL. These results suggest that flavone might enhance dengue virus replication by acting antagonistically towards flavonoids known to inhibit dengue virus replication.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a global public health issue that has spread widely to more than 20 countries in Asia and has extended its geographic range to the south Pacific region including Australia. JE has become the most important cause of viral encephalitis in the world. Japanese encephalitis viruses (JEV) are divided into five genotypes, based on the nucleotide sequence of the envelope (E) gene. The Muar strain, isolated from patient in Malaya in 1952, is the sole example of genotype V JEV. Here, the XZ0934 strain of JEV was isolated from Culex tritaeniorhynchus, collected in China. The complete nucleotide and amino acid sequence of XZ0934 strain have been determined. The nucleotide divergence ranged from 20.3% to 21.4% and amino acid divergence ranged from 8.4% to 10.0% when compared with the 62 known JEV isolates that belong to genotype I-IV. It reveals low similarity between XZ0934 and genotype I-IV JEVs. Phylogenetic analysis using both complete genome and structural gene nucleotide sequences demonstrates that XZ0934 belongs to genotype V. This, in turn, suggests that genotype V JEV is emerging in JEV endemic areas. Thus, increased surveillance and diagnosis of viral encephalitis caused by genotype V JEV is an issue of great concern to nations in which JEV is endemic.
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.
Cocirculation of subtype B and CRF01_AE in Southeast Asia has led to the establishment of new recombinant forms. In our previous study, we found five samples suspected of being recombinants between subtype B and CRF01_AE, and here, we analyzed near full-length sequences of two samples and compared them to known CRFs_01B, subtype B, and CRF01_AE. Five overlapped segments were amplified with nested PCR from PBMC DNA, sequenced, and analyzed for genome mosaicism. The two Indonesian samples, 07IDJKT189 and 07IDJKT194, showed genome-mosaic patterns similar to CRF33_01B references from Malaysia, with one short segment in the 3' end of the p31 integrase-coding region, which was rather more similar to subtype B than CRF01_AE, consisting of unclassified sequences. These results suggest gene-specific continuous diversification and spread of the CRF33_01B genomes in Southeast Asia.
Coconut cadong-cadong viroid (CCCVd) causes the Lethal cadang-cadang disease of coconut palms in the Philippines and it is recently reported to be associated with the orange spotting disease on oil palm in Malaysia. The low concentration of the viroid RNA in oil palm as well as the high content of polyphenols and polysaccharides in this plant which interfere with the purification steps makes it difficult to extract and detect this viroid from oil palm. A previously described method was modified and optimized for extraction and detection of CCCVd from infected oil palms. Briefly, 7 g of leaf material was homogenized in a mortar or a blender using liquid nitrogen. 10 ml of extraction buffer (100 mM Tris-HCl pH 7.5, 100 mM NaCl, 10 mM EDTA) along with 100 mM 2-mercaptoethanol and 10 ml water saturated phenol was added to the frozen powder. After centrifuging at 4 degrees C, 4000 g for 30 min, the aqueous phase was extracted once more with phenol then once with chloroform-isoamyl alcohol (24:1). After adding sodium acetate, pH 5.6 to 200 mM, the mixture was precipitated with 2.5 vol ethanol overnight in -20 freezer and then the pellet was washed with 70% ethanol and air-dried. One milliliter of 8 M LiCl was added to the dried pellet and after shaking overnight at 4 degrees C and another centrifugation step the supernatant was collected and precipitated again with ethanol and then the resulting pellet was washed and air-dried. To carry out northern blotting, samples equivalent to 40 g of plant tissue were mixed with formamide buffer and loaded onto a 12% polyacrylamide gel containing 7 M urea and after separation by electrophoresis, were electroblotted onto membrane and fixed by UV cross-linking. Pre-hybridization and hybridization using hybridization buffer (50% formamide, 25%SSPE, 0.1% Ficol and PVP, 0.1 % SDS, 0.02 % DNA (5mg/ml)) was carried out at 45 degrees C for 90 min and 16 h, respectively followed by two low stringency washes (0.5 X SSC, 0.1% SDS, at room temperature for 5 min) and one high stringency wash (0.1X SSC, 0.1% SDS at 60 degrees C for 1 hour). In vitro synthesized DIG-labeled full-length CCCVd(-) RNA probe was used in hybridization step. DIG Nucleic Acid Detection Kit (Roche) instructions were followed for detection procedure and as a result the blue bands corresponding to the position of the viroid were appeared on the membrane. The result of this study showed the ability of DIG labeled probe in detection of the viroid and also provided a suitable extraction and hybridization method for the detection of CCCVd from oil palm.
Human enterovirus 71 (EV-71) is genotyped for molecular epidemiological investigation mainly using the two structural genes, VP1 and VP4. Based on these, EV-71 is divided into three genotypes, A, B and C, and within the genotypes B and C, there are further subgenotypes, B1-B5 and C1-C5. Classification using these genes is useful but gives incomplete phylogenetic information. In the present study, the phylogenetic relationships amongst all the known EV-71 and human enterovirus A (HEV-A) isolates with complete genome sequences were examined. A different tree topology involving EV-71 isolates of subgenotypes, C4 and B5 was obtained in comparison to that drawn using VP1. The nucleotide sequence divergence of the C4 isolates was 18.11% (17-20%) when compared to other isolates of subgenotype C. However, this positions the C4 isolates within the cut-off divergence value of 17-22% used to designate the virus genotypes. Hence, it is proposed here that C4 should be designated as a new genotype D. In addition, the subgenotype B5 isolates had an average nucleotide divergence of only 6.14% (4-8%) when compared to other subgenotype B4 isolates. This places the B5 isolates within the subgenotype B4. It is proposed here that the B5 isolates to be redesignated as B4. With the newly proposed genotype D and inclusion of subgenotype B5 within B4, the average nucleotide divergence between genotypes was 18.99% (17-22%). Inter- and intra-subgenotype average divergences were 12.02% (10-14%) and 3.92% (1-10%), respectively. A phylogenetic tree built using the full genome sequences is robust as it takes into consideration changes in the sequences of both the structural and non-structural genes. Similar nucleotide similarities, however, were obtained if only VP1 and 3D RNA polymerase genes were used. Furthermore, addition of 3D RNA polymerase sequences will also show recombination events. Hence, in the absence of full genome sequences, it is proposed here that a combination of VP1 and 3D RNA polymerase gene sequences be used for initial genotyping of EV-71 isolates.
Variants of Coconut cadang-cadang viroid have been identified in a plantation oil palm growing in Malaysia. Three size classes are described, comprising 297, 293, and 270 nt. Compared with the 296-nt form of coconut cadang-cadang viroid (CCCVd), all variants substituted C31 --> U in the pathogenicity domain and A175 --> C in the right-hand terminus. Other mutations and deletions accounted for the different sizes. These are the first sequences reported for variants of Coconut cadang-cadang viroid in a species other than coconut palm, and this is the first evidence that variants closely related to CCCVd occur outside the Philippines.
In recent years novel human respiratory disease agents have been described for Southeast Asia and Australia. The causative pathogens were classified as pteropine orthoreoviruses with a strong phylogenetic relationship to orthoreoviruses of bat origin.
Vertical transmission may contribute to the maintenance of arthropod-borne viruses, but its existence in chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is unclear. Experimental vertical transmission of infectious clones of CHIKV in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from Malaysia was investigated. Eggs and adult progeny from the second gonotrophic cycles of infected parental mosquitoes were tested. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 56.3% of pooled eggs and 10% of adult progeny had detectable CHIKV RNA, but no samples had detectable infectious virus by plaque assay. Transfected CHIKV RNA from PCR-positive eggs did not yield infectious virus in BHK-21 cells. Thus, vertical transmission of viable CHIKV was not demonstrated. Noninfectious CHIKV RNA persists in eggs and progeny of infected Ae. aegypti, but the mechanism and significance are unknown. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that vertical transmission exists in CHIKV, as positive results reported in previous studies were almost exclusively based only on viral RNA detection.
Indonesia is one of the biggest dengue endemic countries, and, thus, is an important place to investigate the evolution of dengue virus (DENV). We have continuously isolated DENV in Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia, since 2008. We previously reported sequential changes in the predominant serotype from DENV type 2 (DENV-2) to DENV type 1 (DENV-1) in November 2008 and from DENV-1 to DENV-2 in July 2013. The predominance of DENV-2 continued in 2014, but not in 2015. We herein phylogenetically investigated DENV-2 transitions in Surabaya between 2008 and 2014 to analyze the divergence and evolution of DENV-2 concomitant with serotype shifts. All DENV-2 isolated in Surabaya were classified into the Cosmopolitan genotype, and further divided into 6 clusters. Clusters 1-3, dominated by Surabaya strains, were defined as the "Surabaya lineage". Clusters 4-6, dominated by strains from Singapore, Malaysia, and many parts of Indonesia, were the "South East Asian lineage". The most recent common ancestor of these strains existed in 1988, coinciding with the time that an Indonesian dengue outbreak took place. Cluster 1 appeared to be unique because no other DENV-2 isolate was included in this cluster. The predominance of DENV-2 in 2008 and 2013-14 were caused by cluster 1, whereas clusters 2 and 3 sporadically emerged in 2011 and 2012. The characteristic amino acids of cluster 1, E-170V and E-282Y, may be responsible for its prevalence in Surabaya. No amino acid difference was observed in the envelope region between strains in 2008 and 2013-14, suggesting that the re-emergence of DENV-2 in Surabaya was due to the loss or decrease of herd immunity in the 5-year period when DENV-2 subsided. The South East Asian lineage primarily emerged in Surabaya in 2014, probably imported from other parts of Indonesia or foreign countries.
BACKGROUND: Early and rapid detection of dengue virus (DENV) infection during the febrile period is crucial for proper patient management and prevention of disease spread. An easy to perform and highly sensitive method is needed for routine implementation especially in the resource-limited rural healthcare settings where dengue is endemic.
METHODS: A single-tube reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay with a set of nine primers was developed for the detection of all four DENV serotypes and their different genotypes. The sensitivity and specificity of the RT-LAMP were evaluated. The clinical applicability of RT-LAMP assay for detection of DENV RNA was assessed in a total of 305 sera of clinically-suspected dengue patients. The test results of RT-LAMP were statistically compared to those of quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), IgM- and IgG-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).
RESULTS: Acute DENV infection was confirmed in 171 samples (n = 305); 43.3% (74/171) and 46.8% (80/171) of the samples were positive for DENV using RT-LAMP and qRT-PCR, respectively. The combination of RT-LAMP with the dengue IgM and IgG ELISA increased detection of acute DENV infection to 97.7% (167/171), in comparison to only 70.8% (121/171) when dengue IgM and IgG ELISA alone were used. The RT-LAMP assays showed high concordance (κ = 0.939) with the qRT-PCR. The RT-LAMP assay detected up to 10 copies of virus RNA within an hour but 100% reproducibility (12/12) was achieved with 100 copies. There was no cross reactivity of RT-LAMP with other closely related arboviruses.
CONCLUSION: The RT-LAMP assay developed in this study is sensitive, specific and simple to perform. The assay improved the detection of dengue when used in combination with serological methods.
The majority of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection results in chronic infection, which can lead to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Global burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is estimated at 150 million individuals, or 3% of the world's population. The distribution of the seven major genotypes of HCV varies with geographical regions. Since Asia has a high incidence of HCV, we assessed the distribution of HCV genotypes in Thailand and Southeast Asia. From 588 HCV-positive samples obtained throughout Thailand, we characterized the HCV 5' untranslated region, Core, and NS5B regions by nested PCR. Nucleotide sequences obtained from both the Core and NS5B of these isolates were subjected to phylogenetic analysis, and genotypes were assigned using published reference genotypes. Results were compared to the epidemiological data of HCV genotypes identified within Southeast Asian. Among the HCV subtypes characterized in the Thai samples, subtype 3a was the most predominant (36.4%), followed by 1a (19.9%), 1b (12.6%), 3b (9.7%) and 2a (0.5%). While genotype 1 was prevalent throughout Thailand (27-36%), genotype 3 was more common in the south. Genotype 6 (20.9%) constituted subtype 6f (7.8%), 6n (7.7%), 6i (3.4%), 6j and 6m (0.7% each), 6c (0.3%), 6v and 6xa (0.2% each) and its prevalence was significantly lower in southern Thailand compared to the north and northeast (p = 0.027 and p = 0.030, respectively). Within Southeast Asia, high prevalence of genotype 6 occurred in northern countries such as Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, while genotype 3 was prevalent in Thailand and Malaysia. Island nations of Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines demonstrated prevalence of genotype 1. This study further provides regional HCV genotype information that may be useful in fostering sound public health policy and tracking future patterns of HCV spread.