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Chikungunya Virus Makes Inroads into the Americas - Body Horrors | DiscoverMagazine.com

Chikungunya Virus Makes Inroads into the Americas - Body Horrors | DiscoverMagazine.com | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Well, it's here. The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus finally trekked its way into the Western Hemisphere, arrived in the Americas, and has begun infecting
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Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Virus and bioinformatics articles with some microbiology and immunology thrown in for good measure
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It's a group effort - the curators:

It's a group effort - the curators: | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

get in touch if you want to help curate this topic

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Fighting HIV where no-one admits it's a problem - BBC News

Fighting HIV where no-one admits it's a problem - BBC News | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
HIV infection rates are soaring in Russia, but there is a reluctance to address the issue.
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Modification of promoter spacer length in vaccinia virus as a strategy to control the antigen expression

Vaccinia viruses (VACV) with distinct early promoters have been developed to enhance antigen expression and improve antigen-specific CD8 T cell responses. We generated several recombinant VACV based on the attenuated modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) strain, which express GFP or the Leishmania LACK antigen under the control of an optimized promoter, using different spacer lengths. Longer spacer length increased GFP and LACK early expression, which correlated with an enhanced LACK-specific memory CD4 and CD8 T cell response. These results show the importance of promoter spacer length for early antigen expression by VACV and provide alternative strategies for the design of poxvirus-based vaccines.

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Involvement of host regulatory pathways during geminivirus infection: a novel platform for generating durable resistance

Geminiviruses are widely distributed throughout the world and cause devastating yield losses in almost all the economically important crops. In this review, the newly identified roles of various novel plant factors and pathways participating in plant–virus interaction are summarized with a particular focus on the exploitation of various pathways involving ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway, small RNA pathways, cell division cycle components, and the epigenetic mechanism as defense responses during plant–pathogen interactions. Capturing the information on these pathways for the development of strategies against geminivirus infection is argued to provide the basis for new genetic approaches to resistance.

  

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Poxvirus Countermeasures During an Emergency in the United States

Poxvirus Countermeasures During an Emergency in the United States | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Although smallpox was eradicated worldwide by 1980, national security experts remain concerned that it could be used in a deliberate attack. The United States and other governments have given priority to developing and stockpiling vaccines and antivirals to protect their populations from the potential reintroduction of this deadly disease. Public health officials are also concerned about the spread of related zoonotic orthopoxviruses such as monkeypox and cowpox, against which smallpox vaccine provides protection. This report analyzes how medical countermeasures available in the US Strategic National Stockpile will be given priority and used in the event of an intentional or accidental release of smallpox in the United States.

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Rift Valley fever virus' proteins imitate human DNA repair factors

Rift Valley fever virus' proteins imitate human DNA repair factors | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A potential mechanism to combat diseases caused by haemorrhagic fever viruses has been discovered by researchers at the University of Montreal's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. These diseases present a dramatic risk to human health as they often spread quickly and kill a high percentage ...
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Identification and molecular characterization of a novel monopartite geminivirus associated with mulberry mosaic dwarf disease

Identification and molecular characterization of a novel monopartite geminivirus associated with mulberry mosaic dwarf disease | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

High-throughput sequencing of small sRNAs allowed the identification of a novel DNA virus in a Chinese mulberry tree affected by a disease showing mosaic and dwarfing symptoms. Rolling circle amplification and polymerase chain reaction with specific primers, followed by sequencing of eight independent full-length clones, showed that this virus has a monopartite circular DNA genome (~2.95 kb) containing ORFs in both polarity strands, as previously reported for geminiviruses. A field survey showed the close association of the virus with diseased mulberries, so we tentatively named the virus as mulberry mosaic dwarf-associated virus (MMDaV). MMDaV genome codes for five and two putative proteins in the virion-sense and in the complementary-sense strands, respectively. Although three MMDaV virion-sense putative proteins did not share sequence homology with any protein in databases, functional domains [coiled-coil and transmembrane (TM) domain] were identified in two of them. In addition, the protein containing a TM domain was encoded by an ORF located in a similar genomic position in MMDaV and in several other geminiviruses. As reported for members of the genera Mastrevirus and Becurtovirus, MMDaV replication-associated proteins are expressed through the alternative splicing of an intron, which was shown to be functional in vivo. A similar intron was found in the genome of citrus chlorotic dwarf-associated virus (CCDaV), a divergent geminivirus recently found in citrus. Based on pairwise comparisons and phylogenetic analyses, CCDaV and MMDaV appear to be closely related to each other, thus supporting their inclusion in a putative novel genus in the family Geminiviridae.

 

Geminivirus graphic by Russell Kightley Media

  
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Keep on looking, and we'll keep finding 'em...

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After Nearly Claiming His Life, Ebola Lurked in a Doctor’s Eye

After Nearly Claiming His Life, Ebola Lurked in a Doctor’s Eye | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Dr. Ian Crozier, who survived an Ebola infection last fall, calls himself a poster child for “post-Ebola syndrome,” which is also being reported in West Africa.
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Damage wrought by measles on the immune system could 'last years'

Damage wrought by measles on the immune system could 'last years' | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Scientists at the University of Princeton found the damage caused by the measles virus to a child's immune system can last up to three years, leaving them at risk of death from other serious diseases.
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Home : Statistics for Biologists

Home : Statistics for Biologists | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A collection of articles from the publisher of Nature that discusses statistical issues biologists should be aware of and provides practical advice to improve the statistical rigor and reproducibility of their work.
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Using Twitter to track flu patterns

Using Twitter to track flu patterns | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A team of researchers from Purdue and Perscio, an Indianapolis-based startup, created a computer model that uses Google searches and Tweets, along with transportation, weather and population data, to predict flu trends as many as five days in the...
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From the depths of a microscopic world, spontaneous cooperation

From the depths of a microscopic world, spontaneous cooperation | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A clever combination of two different types of computer simulations enabled a group of researchers to uncover an unexpectedly cooperative group dynamic: the spontaneous emergence of resource sharing among individuals in a community.
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Molecular homing beacon redirects human antibodies to fight pathogenic bacteria

Molecular homing beacon redirects human antibodies to fight pathogenic bacteria | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
With the threat of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens growing, new ideas to treat infections are sorely needed. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences report preliminary success testing an entirely novel approach—tagging ...
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Biostars - Bioinformatics Explained

Biostars - Bioinformatics Explained | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Tutorials and Q+A Forum for bioinformatic tools. 17 000 + users!

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Could be an interesting resource!

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Gammaherpesvirus Co-infection with Malaria Suppresses Anti-parasitic Humoral Immunity

Gammaherpesvirus Co-infection with Malaria Suppresses Anti-parasitic Humoral Immunity | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Author Summary Nearly 1 million deaths occur annually as a result of complications associated with P . falciparum infection, with children younger than 5 being the most susceptible age group. Earlier studies have demonstrated that children co-infected with P . falciparum and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have impaired immune responses to control EBV, and this can result in the development of a jaw tumor called endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma (eBL). It is not known if there is any impact of acute EBV infection on the generation of anti-malarial immunity. We have used mouse models of EBV [murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68)] and malaria ( P . yoelii XNL) to demonstrate that acute gammaherpesvirus infection can impair the generation of antibodies that control Plasmodium parasitemia, in turn causing a non-lethal P . yoelii XNL infection to become lethal. We identify a critical role for the MHV68 M2 protein in mediating the suppressive effect of acute MHV68 infection on the generation of humoral immunity to a secondary malaria infection. This work demonstrates that gammaherpesvirus infections can suppress the generation of an effective anti-malaria immune response and suggests that acute EBV infection should be investigated as a risk factor for the development of severe malaria in young children.
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Transmission of influenza A viruses

Transmission of influenza A viruses | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Influenza A viruses cause respiratory infections that range from asymptomatic to deadly in humans. Widespread outbreaks (pandemics) are attributable to ‘novel’ viruses that possess a viral hemagglutinin (HA) gene to which humans lack immunity. After a pandemic, these novel viruses form stable virus lineages in humans and circulate until they are replaced by other novel viruses. The factors and mechanisms that facilitate virus transmission among hosts and the establishment of novel lineages are not completely understood, but the HA and basic polymerase 2 (PB2) proteins are thought to play essential roles in these processes by enabling avian influenza viruses to infect mammals and replicate efficiently in their new host. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the contributions of HA, PB2, and other viral components to virus transmission and the formation of new virus lineages.

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Continual Reintroduction of Human Pandemic H1N1 Influenza A Viruses into Swine in the United States, 2009 to 2014

Continual Reintroduction of Human Pandemic #H1N1 #Influenza A Viruses into ... - Journal of Virology : http://t.co/mwHwHFtKur
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Knockdown of different influenza A virus subtypes in cell culture by a single antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide

Knockdown of different influenza A virus subtypes in cell culture by a single antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Influenza is a heavy socially significant viral infection that affects humans, birds, and wild and domestic animals. The threat of existing and new highly pathogenic subtypes of influenza A virus (IAV) makes it necessary to develop an effective drug that may affect different IAV strains. For this purpose, oligodeoxynucleotides (DNA fragments) attached to titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles through a polylysine linker, forming TiO2·PL-DNA nanocomposites, that penetrated into cells without transfection agents were used. For the first time, efficient (≥99.9%) suppression of the reproduction of different subtypes of IAV, including highly pathogenic H5N1 and H1N1, was achieved. These results were obtained using the TiO2·PL-DNA nanocomposite bearing a single antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (0.1μM) targeted to the conserved 3'-noncoding region of RNA segment 5, which is common to all tested strains. Very efficient suppression of the reproduction of different subtypes of IAV was probably achieved due to the use of the proposed delivery system for oligonucleotides in the form of the TiO2·PL-DNA nanocomposites. These results indicate the possibility of creating an efficient drug to affect existing and newly emerging pathogenic IAV strains.

 

Influenza virus graphic by Russell Kightley Media

 

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Biologist advances cancer research with new data analysis techniques

Biologist advances cancer research with new data analysis techniques | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Patience and persistence are beginning to pay off for University of Montana Professor Mark Grimes, whose research about the behavior of cell proteins in childhood cancer recently was published by the Public Library of Science Computational Biology.
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Complete Regression of Metastatic Cervical Cancer After Treatment With Human Papillomavirus–Targeted Tumor-Infiltrating T Cells

Complete Regression of Metastatic Cervical Cancer After Treatment With Human Papillomavirus–Targeted Tumor-Infiltrating T Cells | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Purpose Metastatic cervical cancer is a prototypical chemotherapy-refractory epithelial malignancy for which better treatments are needed. Adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) is emerging as a promising cancer treatment, but its study in epithelial malignancies has been limited. This study was conducted to determine if ACT could mediate regression of metastatic cervical cancer.

Patients and Methods Patients enrolled onto this protocol were diagnosed with metastatic cervical cancer and had previously received platinum-based chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. Patients were treated with a single infusion of tumor-infiltrating T cells selected when possible for human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 and E7 reactivity (HPV-TILs). Cell infusion was preceded by lymphocyte-depleting chemotherapy and was followed by administration of aldesleukin.

Results Three of nine patients experienced objective tumor responses (two complete responses and one partial response). The two complete responses were ongoing 22 and 15 months after treatment, respectively. One partial response was 3 months in duration. The HPV reactivity of T cells in the infusion product (as measured by interferon gamma production, enzyme-linked immunospot, and CD137 upregulation assays) correlated positively with clinical response (P = .0238 for all three assays). In addition, the frequency of HPV-reactive T cells in peripheral blood 1 month after treatment was positively associated with clinical response (P = .0238).

Conclusion Durable, complete regression of metastatic cervical cancer can occur after a single infusion of HPV-TILs. Exploratory studies suggest a correlation between HPV reactivity of the infusion product and clinical response. Continued investigation of this therapy is warranted.

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MapMyFlu: visualizing spatio-temporal relationships between related influenza sequences

MapMyFlu: visualizing spatio-temporal relationships between related influenza sequences | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Understanding the molecular dynamics of viral spreading is crucial for anticipating the epidemiological implications of disease outbreaks. In the case of influenza, reassortments or point mutations affect the adaption to new hosts or resistance to anti-viral drugs and can determine whether a new strain will result in a pandemic infection or a less severe progression. To this end, tools integrating molecular information with epidemiological parameters are important to understand how molecular characteristics reflect in the infection dynamics. We present a new web tool, MapMyFlu, which allows to spatially and temporally display influenza viruses related to a query sequence on a Google Map based on BLAST results against the NCBI Influenza Database. Temporal and geographical trends appear clearly and may help in reconstructing the evolutionary history of a particular sequence. The tool is accessible through a web server, hence without the need for local installation. The website has an intuitive design and provides an easy-to-use service, and is available at http://mapmyflu.ipmb.uni-heidelberg.de

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American doctor cured of Ebola finds the virus in eye - CNN.com

American doctor cured of Ebola finds the virus in eye  - CNN.com | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
American doctor Ian Crozier was treated for Ebola last year and declared free of the virus. But he had no way of knowing it still lurked in his eye.
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What difference does it make if viruses are strain-, rather than species-specific? | Frontiers | Systems Microbiology

Theoretical work has suggested an important role of lytic viruses in controlling the diversity of their prokaryotic hosts. Yet, providing strong experimental or observational support (or refutation) for this has proven evasive. Such models have usually assumed “host groups” to correspond to the “species” level, typically represented by 16S rDNA data. Recent model developments take into account the resolution of species into strains with differences in their susceptibility to viral attack. With strains as the host groups, the models will have explicit viral control of abundance at strain level, combined with explicit predator or resource control at community level, but the direct viral control at species level then disappears. Abundance of a species therefore emerges as the combination of how many strains, and at what abundance, this species can establish in competition with other species from a seeding community. We here discuss how species diversification and strain diversification may introduce competitors and defenders, respectively, and that the balance between the two may be a factor in the control of species diversity in mature natural communities. These models suggest that the balance between the two may be a factor in the control of species diversity in mature natural communities. These models can also give a dominance of individuals from strains with high cost of resistance; suggesting that the high proportion of “dormant“ cells among pelagic heterotrophic prokaryotes may reflect their need for expensive defense rather than the lack of suitable growth substrates in their environment.
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Sequential Conformational Changes in the Morbillivirus Attachment Protein Initiate the Membrane Fusion Process

Sequential Conformational Changes in the Morbillivirus Attachment Protein Initiate the Membrane Fusion Process | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Author Summary With the ultimate aim to develop pan -morbillivirus fusion inhibitors, we here characterized a potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody. The antibody recognizes the ectodomain of the membrane-bound tetrameric attachment (H) protein, which together with the fusion protein and a host cell receptor executes plasma membrane fusion to deliver the viral genetic information into the cell. The H-ectodomain consists of a short F-binding/activating stalk region supporting receptor-bindin
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Alexander Rich Dies at 90; Confirmed DNA’s Double Helix

Alexander Rich Dies at 90; Confirmed DNA’s Double Helix | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Dr. Rich, a molecular biologist, spent nearly 60 years investigating DNA and RNA and helping puzzle out the structure of collagen.
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Core services: Reward bioinformaticians

Core services: Reward bioinformaticians | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Biological data will continue to pile up unless those who analyse it are recognized as creative collaborators in need of career paths, says Jeffrey Chang.
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