Advances in Virology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Clinical Symptoms of Human Rotavirus Infection Observed in Children in Sokoto, Nigeria Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:26:58 +0000 Rotavirus has been identified among the most important causes of infantile diarrhoea, especially in developing countries. The present study was undertaken to determine the occurrence and clinical symptoms of human rotavirus disease among children presenting with varying degree of diarrhoea in selected urban hospitals in Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria. Diarrhoea samples were collected from 200 diarrheic children younger than 5 years of age and tested using a commercially available DAKO Rotavirus ELISA kit which detects the presence of human group A rotaviruses. A questionnaire, based on WHO generic protocol, was completed for each child to generate the primary data. Of the total number of samples collected, 51 were found to be positive for human group A rotavirus indicating 25.5% prevalence of the disease in Sokoto state. The symptoms associated with the disease were analyzed and discussed. B. R. Alkali, A. I. Daneji, A. A. Magaji, and L. S. Bilbis Copyright © 2015 B. R. Alkali et al. All rights reserved. Evaluating Andrographolide as a Potent Inhibitor of NS3-4A Protease and Its Drug-Resistant Mutants Using In Silico Approaches Mon, 26 Oct 2015 08:31:24 +0000 Current combination therapy of PEG-INF and ribavirin against the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) genotype-1 infections is ineffective in maintaining sustained viral response in 50% of the infection cases. New compounds in the form of protease inhibitors can complement the combination therapy. Asunaprevir is new to the drug regiment as the NS3-4A protease inhibitor, but it is susceptible to two mutations, namely, R155K and D168A in the protein. Thus, in our study, we sought to evaluate Andrographolide, a labdane-diterpenoid from the Andrographis paniculata plant as an effective compound for inhibiting the NS3-4A protease as well as its concomitant drug-resistant mutants by using molecular docking and dynamic simulations. Our study shows that Andrographolide has best docking scores of −15.0862, −15.2322, and −13.9072 compared to those of Asunaprevir −3.7159, −2.6431, and −5.4149 with wild-type R155K and D168A mutants, respectively. Also, as shown in the MD simulations, the compound was good in binding the target proteins and maintains strong bonds causing very less to negligible perturbation in the protein backbone structures. Our results validate the susceptibility of Asunaprevir to protein variants as seen from our docking studies and trajectory period analysis. Therefore, from our study, we hope to add one more option in the drug regiment to tackle drug resistance in HCV infections. Vivek Chandramohan, Anubhav Kaphle, Mamatha Chekuri, Sindhu Gangarudraiah, and Gowrishankar Bychapur Siddaiah Copyright © 2015 Vivek Chandramohan et al. All rights reserved. Measles Virus: Identification in the M Protein Primary Sequence of a Potential Molecular Marker for Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Mon, 26 Oct 2015 07:16:06 +0000 Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE), a rare lethal disease of children and young adults due to persistence of measles virus (MeV) in the brain, is caused by wild type (wt) MeV. Why MeV vaccine strains never cause SSPE is completely unknown. Hypothesizing that this phenotypic difference could potentially be represented by a molecular marker, we compared glycoprotein and matrix (M) genes from SSPE cases with those from the Moraten vaccine strain, searching for differential structural motifs. We observed that all known SSPE viruses have residues P64, E89, and A209 (PEA) in their M proteins whereas the equivalent residues for vaccine strains are either S64, K89, and T209 (SKT) as in Moraten or PKT. Through the construction of MeV recombinants, we have obtained evidence that the wt MeV-M protein PEA motif, in particular A209, is linked to increased viral spread. Importantly, for the 10 wt genotypes (of 23) that have had their M proteins sequenced, 9 have the PEA motif, the exception being B3, which has PET. Interestingly, cases of SSPE caused by genotype B3 have yet to be reported. In conclusion, our results strongly suggest that the PEA motif is a molecular marker for wt MeV at risk to cause SSPE. Hasan Kweder, Michelle Ainouze, Joanna Brunel, Denis Gerlier, Evelyne Manet, and Robin Buckland Copyright © 2015 Hasan Kweder et al. All rights reserved. Seroprevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Infection in HIV Coinfected Individuals in Eastern India with Risk Factor Analysis Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:01:28 +0000 Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is the cause of most genital herpes while HSV-1 is responsible for orolabial and facial lesions. In immunocompromised individuals, like HIV patients, impaired immunity leads to more frequent symptomatic and asymptomatic HSV infection. Fifty-two blood samples from HIV patients with clinically diagnosed HSV infection were taken as cases, while 45 blood samples each from HIV-infected (HIV control) and noninfected patients without any herpetic lesion (non-HIV control) were taken as control. Serum was tested for IgM and IgG antibodies of both HSV-1 and HSV-2 by ELISA. The seroprevalence was compared among the three groups of study population, considering the demographic and socioeconomic parameters. The HSV-2 IgM was significantly higher () in the HIV patient group (34.6%) than the HIV control (2.2%) and non-HIV control (2.2%) groups, whereas HSV-2 IgG seroprevalence was higher in both HIV patient (61.5%) and HIV control (57.8%) groups than the non-HIV control group (17.8%). The prevalence of HSV-2 was significantly higher in persons with multiple partners and in the reproductive age group. The overall seroprevalence of HSV-1 IgM was too low (<5%), whereas it was too high (about 90%) with HSV-1 IgG in all three study groups. Soumyabrata Nag, Soma Sarkar, Debprasad Chattopadhyay, Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Rahul Biswas, and Manideepa SenGupta Copyright © 2015 Soumyabrata Nag et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of β-Propiolactone and Formalin Inactivation on Antigenicity and Immune Response of West Nile Virus Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:18:28 +0000 West Nile Virus (WNV) is a pathogenic arbovirus that belongs to genus Flavivirus under family Flaviviridae. Till now there are no approved vaccines against WNV for human use. In this study, the effect of two alkylating agents, formaldehyde and β-PL, generally used for inactivated vaccine preparation, was assessed on the basis of antigenic and immunogenic potential of the inactivated WNV. Lineage 5 WNV isolates were inactivated by both formalin and β-PL treatments. Inactivation was confirmed by repeated passage in BHK-21 cell line and infant mice. Viruses inactivated by both the treatments showed higher antigenicity. Immune response in mice model showed serum anti-WNV antibody titre was moderately higher in formalin inactivated antigen compared to β-PL inactivated antigen. However, no significant differences were observed in neutralization antibody titre. In conclusion, we can state that both formaldehyde and β-PL inactivation processes were found to be equally efficient for inactivation of WNV. However, they need to be compared with other inactivating agents along with study on cell mediated immune response. Pritom Chowdhury, Rashmee Topno, Siraj A. Khan, and Jagadish Mahanta Copyright © 2015 Pritom Chowdhury et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of Stilbenoids as Potential Therapeutic Agents for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis Wed, 26 Aug 2015 06:54:19 +0000 Rotavirus (RV) infections cause severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. Vaccines are available but cost prohibitive for many countries and only reduce severe symptoms. Vaccinated infants continue to shed infectious particles, and studies show decreased efficacy of the RV vaccines in tropical and subtropical countries where they are needed most. Continuing surveillance for new RV strains, assessment of vaccine efficacy, and development of cost effective antiviral drugs remain an important aspect of RV studies. This study was to determine the efficacy of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory stilbenoids to inhibit RV replication. Peanut (A. hypogaea) hairy root cultures were induced to produce stilbenoids, which were purified by high performance countercurrent chromatography (HPCCC) and analyzed by HPLC. HT29.f8 cells were infected with RV in the presence stilbenoids. Cell viability counts showed no cytotoxic effects on HT29.f8 cells. Viral infectivity titers were calculated and comparatively assessed to determine the effects of stilbenoid treatments. Two stilbenoids, trans-arachidin-1 and trans-arachidin-3, show a significant decrease in RV infectivity titers. Western blot analyses performed on the infected cell lysates complemented the infectivity titrations and indicated a significant decrease in viral replication. These studies show the therapeutic potential of the stilbenoids against RV replication. Judith M. Ball, Fabricio Medina-Bolivar, Katelyn Defrates, Emily Hambleton, Megan E. Hurlburt, Lingling Fang, Tianhong Yang, Luis Nopo-Olazabal, Richard L. Atwill, Pooja Ghai, and Rebecca D. Parr Copyright © 2015 Judith M. Ball et al. All rights reserved. Farming of Plant-Based Veterinary Vaccines and Their Applications for Disease Prevention in Animals Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:14:49 +0000 Plants have been studied for the production of pharmaceutical compounds for more than two decades now. Ever since the plant-made poultry vaccine against Newcastle disease virus made a breakthrough and went all the way to obtain regulatory approval, research to use plants for expression and delivery of vaccine proteins for animals was intensified. Indeed, in view of the high production costs of veterinary vaccines, plants represent attractive biofactories and offer many promising advantages in the production of recombinant vaccine proteins. Furthermore, the possibility of conducting immunogenicity and challenge studies in target animals has greatly exaggerated the progress. Although there are no edible plant-produced animal vaccines in the market, plant-based vaccine technology has great potentials. In this review, development, uses, and advantages of plant-based recombinant protein production in various expression platforms are discussed. In addition, examples of plant-based veterinary vaccines showing strong indication in terms of efficacy in animal disease prevention are also described. Pit Sze Liew and Mohd Hair-Bejo Copyright © 2015 Pit Sze Liew and Mohd Hair-Bejo. All rights reserved. Viral Etiology of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbations during the A/H1N1pdm09 Pandemic and Postpandemic Period Thu, 07 May 2015 07:02:38 +0000 Viral infections are one of the main causes of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD). Emergence of A/H1N1pdm influenza virus in the 2009 pandemic changed the viral etiology of exacerbations that were reported before the pandemic. The aim of this study was to describe the etiology of respiratory viruses in 195 Spanish patients affected by AE-COPD from the pandemic until the 2011-12 influenza epidemic. During the study period (2009–2012), respiratory viruses were identified in 48.7% of samples, and the proportion of viral detections in AE-COPD was higher in patients aged 30–64 years than ≥65 years. Influenza A viruses were the pathogens most often detected during the pandemic and the following two influenza epidemics in contradistinction to human rhino/enteroviruses that were the main viruses causing AE-COPD before the pandemic. The probability of influenza virus detection was 2.78-fold higher in patients who are 30–64 years old than those ≥65. Most respiratory samples were obtained during the pandemic, but the influenza detection rate was higher during the 2011-12 epidemic. There is a need for more accurate AE-COPD diagnosis, emphasizing the role of respiratory viruses. Furthermore, diagnosis requires increased attention to patient age and the characteristics of each influenza epidemic. Ivan Sanz, Sonia Tamames, Silvia Rojo, Mar Justel, José Eugenio Lozano, Carlos Disdier, Tomás Vega, and Raúl Ortiz de Lejarazu Copyright © 2015 Ivan Sanz et al. All rights reserved. Mixed Viral Infections Circulating in Hospitalized Patients with Respiratory Tract Infections in Kuwait Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:21:28 +0000 The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of viral mixed detection in hospitalized patients with respiratory tract infections and to evaluate the correlation between viral mixed detection and clinical severity. Hospitalized patients with respiratory tract infections (RTI) were investigated for 15 respiratory viruses by using sensitive molecular techniques. In total, 850 hospitalized patients aged between 3 days and 80 years were screened from September 2010 to April 2014. Among the 351 (47.8%) patients diagnosed with viral infections, viral mixed detection was identified in 49 patients (14%), with human rhinovirus (HRV) being the most common virus associated with viral mixed detection (7.1%), followed by adenovirus (AdV) (4%) and human coronavirus-OC43 (HCoV-OC43) (3.7%). The highest combination of viral mixed detection was identified with HRV and AdV (2%), followed by HRV and HCoV-OC43 (1.4%). Pneumonia and bronchiolitis were the most frequent reason for hospitalization with viral mixed detection (9.1%). There were statistical significance differences between mixed and single detection in patients diagnosed with bronchiolitis () and pneumonia (). Our findings might indicate a significant association between respiratory virus mixed detection and the possibility of developing more severe LRTI such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia when compared with single detection. Sahar Essa, Abdullah Owayed, Haya Altawalah, Mousa Khadadah, Nasser Behbehani, and Widad Al-Nakib Copyright © 2015 Sahar Essa et al. All rights reserved. Nelfinavir Impairs Glycosylation of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Envelope Proteins and Blocks Virus Maturation Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:15:44 +0000 Nelfinavir (NFV) is an HIV-1 aspartyl protease inhibitor that has numerous effects on human cells, which impart attractive antitumor properties. NFV has also been shown to have in vitro inhibitory activity against human herpesviruses (HHVs). Given the apparent absence of an aspartyl protease encoded by HHVs, we investigated the mechanism of action of NFV herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in cultured cells. Selection of HSV-1 resistance to NFV was not achieved despite multiple passages under drug pressure. NFV did not significantly affect the level of expression of late HSV-1 gene products. Normal numbers of viral particles appeared to be produced in NFV-treated cells by electron microscopy but remain within the cytoplasm more often than controls. NFV did not inhibit the activity of the HSV-1 serine protease nor could its antiviral activity be attributed to inhibition of Akt phosphorylation. NFV was found to decrease glycosylation of viral glycoproteins B and C and resulted in aberrant subcellular localization, consistent with induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response by NFV. These results demonstrate that NFV causes alterations in HSV-1 glycoprotein maturation and egress and likely acts on one or more host cell functions that are important for HHV replication. Soren Gantt, Eliora Gachelet, Jacquelyn Carlsson, Serge Barcy, Corey Casper, and Michael Lagunoff Copyright © 2015 Soren Gantt et al. All rights reserved. The Antiviral Effect of High-Molecular Weight Poly-Gamma-Glutamate against Newcastle Disease Virus on Murine Macrophage Cells Tue, 30 Dec 2014 06:08:37 +0000 This study demonstrates the capacity of HM-γ-PGA treatment to significantly protect murine macrophage cells (RAW 264.7 cells) against NDV infection. Such protection can be explained by the induction of antiviral state of HM-γ-PGA in RAW 264.7 cells via TLR4-mediated IRF-3, IRF-7, IFN-β, and IFN-related gene induction as shown in time-dependent changes in mRNA expression confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, the present research also showed that HM-γ-PGA can induce proinflammatory cytokine secretion in RAW 264.7 as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Therefore, our findings suggest that HM-γ-PGA can be a potential antiviral substance that can inhibit NDV infection through its stimulation of antiviral state on RAW 264.7 cells. These results have been consistent with the previous studies showing that HM-γ-PGA can protect RAW 264.7 cells and mice against influenza infection. However, it should be noted that although murine macrophage cells are susceptible to NDV, they are not the natural host cells of the virus; thus further in vivo and in vitro studies involving chicken and chicken immune cells are needed to fully assess the efficacy and applicability of HM-γ-PGA in the poultry industry. Melbourne Talactac, Jong-Soo Lee, Hojin Moon, Mohammed Y. E. Chowdhury, and Chul Joong Kim Copyright © 2014 Melbourne Talactac et al. All rights reserved. Detection of Influenza Virus Infection Using Two PCR Methods Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:22:30 +0000 Rapid, accurate, and cost-effective methods to identify the cause of respiratory tract infections are needed to maximize clinical benefit. Outpatients with acute respiratory illness were tested for influenza using a singleplex reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (SRT-PCR) method. A multiplex RT-PCR (MRT-PCR) method tested for influenza and 17 other viruses and was compared with SRT-PCR using chi-square tests. Among 935 patients, 335 (36%) tested positive for influenza A and influenza B using SRT-PCR. Using MRT-PCR, 320 (34.2%) tested positive for influenza A and influenza B. This study supports MRT-PCR as a comparable method for detecting influenza among patients seeking outpatient care for acute respiratory illnesses. Richard K. Zimmerman, Charles R. Rinaldo, Mary Patricia Nowalk, G. K. Balasubramani, Mark G. Thompson, Arlene Bullotta, Michael Susick, and Stephen Wisniewski Copyright © 2014 Richard K. Zimmerman et al. All rights reserved. Structural Differences Observed in Arboviruses of the Alphavirus and Flavivirus Genera Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:08:31 +0000 Arthropod borne viruses have developed a complex life cycle adapted to alternate between insect and vertebrate hosts. These arthropod-borne viruses belong mainly to the families Togaviridae, Flaviviridae, and Bunyaviridae. This group of viruses contains many pathogens that cause febrile, hemorrhagic, and encephalitic disease or arthritic symptoms which can be persistent. It has been appreciated for many years that these viruses were evolutionarily adapted to function in the highly divergent cellular environments of both insect and mammalian phyla. These viruses are hybrid in nature, containing viral-encoded RNA and proteins which are glycosylated by the host and encapsulate viral nucleocapsids in the context of a host-derived membrane. From a structural perspective, these virus particles are macromolecular machines adapted in design to assemble into a packaging and delivery system for the virus genome and, only when associated with the conditions appropriate for a productive infection, to disassemble and deliver the RNA cargo. It was initially assumed that the structures of the virus from both hosts were equivalent. New evidence that alphaviruses and flaviviruses can exist in more than one conformation postenvelopment will be discussed in this review. The data are limited but should refocus the field of structural biology on the metastable nature of these viruses. Raquel Hernandez, Dennis T. Brown, and Angel Paredes Copyright © 2014 Raquel Hernandez et al. All rights reserved. Appearance of L90I and N205S Mutations in Effector Domain of NS1 Gene of pdm (09) H1N1 Virus from India during 2009–2013 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:24:27 +0000 In the present study, full length sequencing of NS gene was done in 91 samples which were obtained from patients over the time period of five years from 2009 to 2013. The sequencing of NS gene was undertaken in order to determine the changes/mutations taking place in the NS gene of A H1N1 pdm (09) since its emergence in 2009. Analysis has shown that the majority of samples belong to New York (G1 type) strain with valine at position 123. Effector domain of NS1 protein displays the appearance of three mutations L90I, I123V, and N205S in almost all the samples from 2010 onwards. Phylogenetic analysis of available NS1 sequences from India has grouped all the sequences into four clusters with mean genetic distance ranging from 12% to 24% between the clusters. Variability in length of NS1 protein was seen in sequences from these clusters, 230-amino-acid-residue NS1 for all strains from year 2007 to 2008 and for 21 strains from year 2009 and 219-residue products for 37 strains from year 2009 and all strains from year 2010 to 2013. Mutations like K62R, K131Q, L147R, and A202P were observed for the first time in NS1 protein and their function remains to be determined. Sachin Kumar, Shashi Khare, Bano Saidullah, Inderjeet Gandhoke, Hanu Ram, Supriya Singh, L. S. Chauhan, and Arvind Rai Copyright © 2014 Sachin Kumar et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Characterization of Chicken Anemia Virus Circulating in Chicken Flocks in Egypt Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Introduction. Although many previous studies reported detection of chicken anemia virus (CAV) in Egypt since 1990, genomic characterization of this circulating CAV has not been published. In the present study, four nucleotide sequences of detected CAV were genetically characterized. Methods. These nucleotide sequences were obtained from commercial chicken flocks in two different locations of Egypt during 2010. The target region for sequencing was 675 bp nucleotide of partial coding region of VP1 protein. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the detected CAV were aligned and compared to worldwide CAV isolates including commonly used vaccine strains. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences was also carried out. Results. Our results showed that all the Egyptian CAV sequences were grouped in one group with viruses from diverse geographic regions. This group is characterized by amino acids profile 75I, 97L, 139Q, and 144Q in VP1. The phylogenetic and amino acid analyses of deduced amino acid indicated that the detected CAV sequences differ from CAV vaccine strains. Conclusion. This is the first report that describes molecular characterization of circulating CAV in Egypt. The study showed that the detected CAV, in Egypt are field viruses and unrelated to vaccine strains. Mohammed AboElkhair, Alaa G. Abd El-Razak, and Abd Elnaby Y. Metwally Copyright © 2014 Mohammed AboElkhair et al. All rights reserved. Influenza Virus Aerosols in the Air and Their Infectiousness Wed, 13 Aug 2014 13:13:07 +0000 Influenza is one of the most contagious and rapidly spreading infectious diseases and an important global cause of hospital admissions and mortality. There are some amounts of the virus in the air constantly. These amounts is generally not enough to cause disease in people, due to infection prevention by healthy immune systems. However, at a higher concentration of the airborne virus, the risk of human infection increases dramatically. Early detection of the threshold virus concentration is essential for prevention of the spread of influenza infection. This review discusses different approaches for measuring the amount of influenza A virus particles in the air and assessing their infectiousness. Here we also discuss the data describing the relationship between the influenza virus subtypes and virus air transmission, and distribution of viral particles in aerosol drops of different sizes. Nikolai Nikitin, Ekaterina Petrova, Ekaterina Trifonova, and Olga Karpova Copyright © 2014 Nikolai Nikitin et al. All rights reserved. Novel Gyroviruses, including Chicken Anaemia Virus, in Clinical and Chicken Samples from South Africa Tue, 29 Apr 2014 11:37:02 +0000 Introduction. Chicken anaemia virus, CAV, was until recently the only member of the Gyrovirus genus. 6 novel gyroviruses, AGV2, HGyV1, and GyV3-6, have since been discovered in human and chicken samples. Methods. PCR amplification of the VP2 gene was used to detect AGV2/HGyV1, GyV3, and CAV in a range of clinical samples including stool, respiratory, CSF, and HIV-positive plasma. Screening of fresh local chicken meat was also performed. Results. AGV2/HGyV1 or GyV3 was detected in stools from healthy children (17/49, 34.7%) and patients with diarrhoea (22/149, 14.8%). 1.2% (3/246) nasopharyngeal respiratory samples were positive. No AGV2/HGyV1 or GyV3 was detected in nasal swabs from wheezing patients, in CSF from patients with meningitis, and in HIVpositive plasma. CAV was found in 51% (25/49) of stools from healthy children and 16% (24/149) in diarrhoea samples. Screening of 28 chicken samples showed a higher prevalence of gyrovirus (20/28, 71%) compared to CAV (1/28, 3.6%). Phylogenetic analysis of the CAV VP1 gene showed South African sequences clustering with Brazilian isolates from genotypes D2 and A2. Conclusion. Novel gyroviruses, including CAV, are present in the South African population with diarrhoea and respiratory illness as well as in healthy children. Their presence suggests an origin from chicken meat consumption. Heidi E. M. Smuts Copyright © 2014 Heidi E. M. Smuts. All rights reserved. Screening of Viral Pathogens from Pediatric Ileal Tissue Samples after Vaccination Sun, 23 Mar 2014 12:57:25 +0000 In 2010, researchers reported that the two US-licensed rotavirus vaccines contained DNA or DNA fragments from porcine circovirus (PCV). Although PCV, a common virus among pigs, is not thought to cause illness in humans, these findings raised several safety concerns. In this study, we sought to determine whether viruses, including PCV, could be detected in ileal tissue samples of children vaccinated with one of the two rotavirus vaccines. A broad spectrum, novel DNA detection technology, the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), was utilized, and confirmation of viral pathogens using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was conducted. The LLMDA technology was recently used to identify PCV from one rotavirus vaccine. Ileal tissue samples were analyzed from 21 subjects, aged 15–62 months. PCV was not detected in any ileal tissue samples by the LLMDA or PCR. LLMDA identified a human rotavirus A from one of the vaccinated subjects, which is likely due to a recent infection from a wild type rotavirus. LLMDA also identified human parechovirus, a common gastroenteritis viral infection, from two subjects. Additionally, LLMDA detected common gastrointestinal bacterial organisms from the Enterobacteriaceae, Bacteroidaceae, and Streptococcaceae families from several subjects. This study provides a survey of viral and bacterial pathogens from pediatric ileal samples, and may shed light on future studies to identify pathogen associations with pediatric vaccinations. Laura Hewitson, James B. Thissen, Shea N. Gardner, Kevin S. McLoughlin, Margaret K. Glausser, and Crystal J. Jaing Copyright © 2014 Laura Hewitson et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of the Protective HIV-1 CTL Epitopes and the Corresponding HLA Class I Alleles: A Step towards Designing CTL Based HIV-1 Vaccine Tue, 18 Mar 2014 07:57:56 +0000 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) possesses a major threat to the human life largely due to the unavailability of an efficacious vaccine and poor access to the antiretroviral drugs against this deadly virus. High mutation rate in the viral genome underlying the antigenic variability of the viral proteome is the major hindrance as far as the antibody based vaccine development is concerned. Although the exact mechanism by which CTL epitopes and the restricting HLA alleles mediate their action towards slow disease progression is still not clear, the important CTL restricted epitopes for controlling viral infections can be utilized in future vaccine design. This study was designed for the characterization the HIV-1 optimal CTL epitopes and their corresponding HLA alleles. CTL epitope cluster distribution analysis revealed only two HIV-1 proteins, namely, Nef and Gag, which have significant cluster forming capacity. We have found the role of specific HLA supertypes such as HLA B*07, HLA B*58, and HLA A*03 in selecting the hydrophobic and conserved amino acid positions within Nef and Gag proteins, to be presented as epitopes. The analyses revealed that the clusters of optimal epitopes for Nef and p24 proteins of HIV-1 could potentially serve as a source of vaccine. Sajib Chakraborty, Taibur Rahman, and Rajib Chakravorty Copyright © 2014 Sajib Chakraborty et al. All rights reserved. Comment on “Emergence of Hepatitis B Virus Genotype F in Aligarh Region of North India” Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:12:25 +0000 Sibnarayan Datta Copyright © 2014 Sibnarayan Datta. All rights reserved. Genotyping of HCV RNA Reveals That 3a Is the Most Prevalent Genotype in Mardan, Pakistan Wed, 26 Feb 2014 06:52:05 +0000 The clinical outcomes of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) range from acute resolving hepatitis to chronic liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Identification of the infecting virus genotype is indispensable for the exploration of many aspects of HCV infection, including epidemiology, pathogenesis, and response to antiviral therapy. 1419 individuals were screened for anti-HCV in this study, of which 166 (11.7%) were found reactive by ICT (Immunochromatographic test). These 166 anti-HCV positive and 26 normal individuals were further analyzed. RNA was extracted from serum and reverse-transcribed to cDNA and the core region of HCV genome was targeted and amplified by multiplex PCR. HCV RNA was detected in 121 individuals, of which 87 were male and 34 were female. Genotype 3a was the most prevalent among all the genotypes observed followed by 3b. Genotypes 1a, 2a, and 2b were found in 10.89%, 13.22%, and 6.61% patients, respectively. 25.41% of the HCV RNA positive samples were not typed. 6.05% of patients were found having mixed genotypes. These findings will not only help the physicians to prescribe more appropriate treatment for the HCV infection but will also draw the attention of health-related policy makers to devise strategies to curb the disease more effectively. Sajid Ali, Ayaz Ahmad, Raham Sher Khan, Sanaullah Khan, Muhammad Hamayun, Sumera Afzal Khan, Amjad Iqbal, Abid Ali Khan, Abdul Wadood, Taj Ur Rahman, and Ali Hydar Baig Copyright © 2014 Sajid Ali et al. All rights reserved. Mutations in the H, F, or M Proteins Can Facilitate Resistance of Measles Virus to Neutralizing Human Anti-MV Sera Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:31:51 +0000 Although there is currently no evidence of emerging strains of measles virus (MV) that can resist neutralization by the anti-MV antibodies present in vaccinees, certain mutations in circulating wt MV strains appear to reduce the efficacy of these antibodies. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that resistance to neutralization by such antibodies could allow MV to persist. In this study, we use a novel in vitro system to determine the molecular basis of MV’s resistance to neutralization. We find that both wild-type and laboratory strain MV variants that escape neutralization by anti-MV polyclonal sera possess multiple mutations in their H, F, and M proteins. Cytometric analysis of cells expressing viral escape mutants possessing minimal mutations and their plasmid-expressed H, F, and M proteins indicates that immune resistance is due to particular mutations that can occur in any of these three proteins that affect at distance, rather than directly, the native conformation of the MV-H globular head and hence its epitopes. A high percentage of the escape mutants contain mutations found in cases of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) and our results could potentially shed light on the pathogenesis of this rare fatal disease. Hasan Kweder, Michelle Ainouze, Sara Louise Cosby, Claude P. Muller, Camille Lévy, Els Verhoeyen, François-Loïc Cosset, Evelyne Manet, and Robin Buckland Copyright © 2014 Hasan Kweder et al. All rights reserved. Recent Advances in Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Mon, 09 Dec 2013 09:58:27 +0000 Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory infection in infants and the elderly, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. The interdisciplinary fields, especially biotechnology and nanotechnology, have facilitated the development of modern detection systems for RSV. Many anti-RSV compounds like fusion inhibitors and RNAi molecules have been successful in laboratory and clinical trials. But, currently, there are no effective drugs for RSV infection even after decades of research. Effective diagnosis can result in effective treatment, but the progress in both of these facets must be concurrent. The development in prevention and treatment measures for RSV is at appreciable pace, but the implementation into clinical practice still seems a challenge. This review attempts to present the promising diverse research approaches and advancements in the area of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment that contribute to RSV management. Swapnil Subhash Bawage, Pooja Munnilal Tiwari, Shreekumar Pillai, Vida Dennis, and Shree Ram Singh Copyright © 2013 Swapnil Subhash Bawage et al. All rights reserved. Emergence of Hepatitis B Virus Genotype F in Aligarh Region of North India Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:09:29 +0000 Introduction. HBV genotypes and subtypes are useful clinical and epidemiological markers. In this study prevalent HBV genotypes were assessed in relation to serological profile and clinical status. Material & Methods. 107 cases of HBV were genotyped. Detailed clinical history was elicited from them. HBsAg, HBeAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBe, and anti-HBc-IgM were assessed. HBV genotyping was performed using Kirschberg's type specific primers (TSP-PCR), heminested PCR, and Naito's monoplex PCR. Nucleotide sequencing was performed. Results. A total of 97 (91%) were genotyped following the methods of Kirschberg et al./Naito et al. Genotype D was by far the most prevalent genotype 91 (85.04%) in this region. A surprising finding was the detection of genotype F in 5 (4.67%) of our patients. Genotype A strangely was observed only in one case. In 85.7% genotype D was associated with moderate to severe liver disease, 43.9% HBeAg, and 18.7% anti-HBc-IgM positivity. Majority of genotype F (80%) was seen in mild to moderate liver disease. It was strongly associated with HBeAg 60% and 20% anti-HBc-IgM positivity. Conclusion. Emergence of genotype F in India merits further study regarding its clinical implications and treatment modalities. Knowledge about HBV genotypes can direct a clinician towards more informed management of HBV patients. Hiba Sami, Meher Rizvi, Mohd Azam, Rathindra M. Mukherjee, Indu Shukla, M. R. Ajmal, and Abida Malik Copyright © 2013 Hiba Sami et al. All rights reserved. Elucidating the Interacting Domains of Chandipura Virus Nucleocapsid Protein Mon, 28 Oct 2013 11:00:35 +0000 The nucleocapsid (N) protein of Chandipura virus (CHPV) plays a crucial role in viral life cycle, besides being an important structural component of the virion through proper organization of its interactions with other viral proteins. In a recent study, the authors had mapped the associations among CHPV proteins and shown that N protein interacts with four of the viral proteins: N, phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), and glycoprotein (G). The present study aimed to distinguish the regions of CHPV N protein responsible for its interactions with other viral proteins. In this direction, we have generated the structure of CHPV N protein by homology modeling using SWISS-MODEL workspace and Accelrys Discovery Studio client 2.55 and mapped the domains of N protein using PiSQRD. The interactions of N protein fragments with other proteins were determined by ZDOCK rigid-body docking method and validated by yeast two-hybrid and ELISA. The study revealed a unique binding site, comprising of amino acids 1–30 at the N terminus of the nucleocapsid protein (N1) that is instrumental in its interactions with N, P, M, and G proteins. It was also observed that N2 associates with N and G proteins while N3 interacts with N, P, and M proteins. Kapila Kumar, Sreejith Rajasekharan, Sahil Gulati, Jyoti Rana, Reema Gabrani, Chakresh K. Jain, Amita Gupta, Vijay K. Chaudhary, and Sanjay Gupta Copyright © 2013 Kapila Kumar et al. All rights reserved. Viruses as Modulators of Mitochondrial Functions Thu, 24 Oct 2013 11:14:16 +0000 Mitochondria are multifunctional organelles with diverse roles including energy production and distribution, apoptosis, eliciting host immune response, and causing diseases and aging. Mitochondria-mediated immune responses might be an evolutionary adaptation by which mitochondria might have prevented the entry of invading microorganisms thus establishing them as an integral part of the cell. This makes them a target for all the invading pathogens including viruses. Viruses either induce or inhibit various mitochondrial processes in a highly specific manner so that they can replicate and produce progeny. Some viruses encode the Bcl2 homologues to counter the proapoptotic functions of the cellular and mitochondrial proteins. Others modulate the permeability transition pore and either prevent or induce the release of the apoptotic proteins from the mitochondria. Viruses like Herpes simplex virus 1 deplete the host mitochondrial DNA and some, like human immunodeficiency virus, hijack the host mitochondrial proteins to function fully inside the host cell. All these processes involve the participation of cellular proteins, mitochondrial proteins, and virus specific proteins. This review will summarize the strategies employed by viruses to utilize cellular mitochondria for successful multiplication and production of progeny virus. Sanjeev K. Anand and Suresh K. Tikoo Copyright © 2013 Sanjeev K. Anand and Suresh K. Tikoo. All rights reserved. Hepatitis Delta Virus: A Peculiar Virus Wed, 02 Oct 2013 11:58:58 +0000 The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is distributed worldwide and related to the most severe form of viral hepatitis. HDV is a satellite RNA virus dependent on hepatitis B surface antigens to assemble its envelope and thus form new virions and propagate infection. HDV has a small 1.7 Kb genome making it the smallest known human virus. This deceivingly simple virus has unique biological features and many aspects of its life cycle remain elusive. The present review endeavors to gather the available information on HDV epidemiology and clinical features as well as HDV biology. Carolina Alves, Cristina Branco, and Celso Cunha Copyright © 2013 Carolina Alves et al. All rights reserved. Production of Platinum Atom Nanoclusters at One End of Helical Plant Viruses Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:10:59 +0000 Platinum atom clusters (Pt nanoparticles, Pt-NPs) were produced selectively at one end of helical plant viruses, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and potato virus X (PVX), when platinum coordinate compounds were reduced chemically by borohydrides. Size of the platinum NPs depends on conditions of the electroless deposition of platinum atoms on the virus. Results suggest that the Pt-NPs are bound concurrently to the terminal protein subunits and the 5′ end of encapsidated TMV RNA. Thus, a special structure of tobacco mosaic virus and potato X virus particles with nanoparticles of platinum, which looks like a push-pin with platinum head and virus needle, was obtained. Similar results were obtained with ultrasonically fragmented TMV particles. By contrast, the Pt-NPs fully filled the central axial hole of in vitro assembled RNA-free TMV-like particles. We believe that the results presented here will be valuable in the fundamental understanding of interaction of viral platforms with ionic metals and in a mechanism of nanoparticles formation. Yuri Drygin, Olga Kondakova, and Joseph Atabekov Copyright © 2013 Yuri Drygin et al. All rights reserved. The Possible Role of TLR2 in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients with Precore Mutation Wed, 25 Sep 2013 09:06:12 +0000 Recognition mechanisms of innate immune response help to improve immunotherapeutic strategies in HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is an important component of innate immunity. In this study, the frequency of precore mutations of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and serum TLR2 were evaluated in CHB patients. Fifty-one patients with chronic hepatitis B, negative for HBeAg and detectable HBV DNA, were examined for the presence of mutations in pre-core region of HBV genome by direct sequencing. Serum TLR2 was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Interactions of truncated HBeAg and TLR2 proteins were evaluated with molecular docking software. The G1896A pre-core mutation were detected in 29 (57%) which was significantly associated with higher concentration of serum TLR2 in comparison with patients without this mutation (4.8 2.9 versus 3.4 2.2 ng/mL, ). There was also a significant correlation between serum ALT and TLR-2 (; ). Docking results illustrated residues within the N-terminus of truncated HBeAg and TLR2, which might facilitate the interaction of these proteins. These findings showed the dominance of G1896A pre-core mutation of HBV variants in this community which was correlated with serum TLR2. Moreover TLR2 is critical for induction of inflammatory cytokines and therefore ALT elevation. Malihe Moradzadeh, Sirous Tayebi, Hossein Poustchi, Kourosh Sayehmiri, Parisa Shahnazari, Elnaz Naderi, Ghodratollah Montazeri, and Ashraf Mohamadkhani Copyright © 2013 Malihe Moradzadeh et al. All rights reserved. Recombinant Varicella-Zoster Virus Vaccines as Platforms for Expression of Foreign Antigens Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:56:33 +0000 Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccines induce immunity against childhood chickenpox and against shingles in older adults. The safety, efficacy, and widespread use of VZV vaccines suggest that they may also be effective as recombinant vaccines against other infectious diseases that affect the young and the elderly. The generation of recombinant VZV vaccines and their evaluation in animal models are reviewed. The potential advantages and limitations of recombinant VZV vaccines are addressed. Wayne L. Gray Copyright © 2013 Wayne L. Gray. All rights reserved.