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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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Virology Journal | Abstract | Immunization with live virus vaccine protects highly susceptible DBA/2J mice from lethal influenza A H1N1 infection

The mouse represents an important model system to study the host response to influenza A infections and to evaluate new prevention or treatment strategies.
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Deadly Dengue Virus

Deadly Dengue Virus | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
This video was produced by youth participating in the 2012 Science in Action Summer Intensive. A project of the Academy’s Digital Learning Department, generously funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

 

SERIOUSLY good graphics of dengue virions, change in envelope glycoprotein conformation, and entry into the cell.

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Rating HPV biomarkers in head, neck cancers

Rating HPV biomarkers in head, neck cancers | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A new study of head and neck cancers finds that combinations of biomarkers are better than DNA alone in determining whether the human papillomavirus is involved.

Not all head and neck cancers are created equal. Those started by infection with the human papillomavirus are less often fatal than those with other causes, such as smoking. Detection of a reliable fingerprint for HPV could help patients avoid unnecessarily harsh treatment. A new study finds that while one popular biomarker for HPV is not a reliable predictor of mortality from the cancers alone, combinations of some biomarkers showed much more promise.

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PLOS ONE: A Genetic and Pathologic Study of a DENV2 Clinical Isolate Capable of Inducing Encephalitis and Hematological Disturbances in Immunocompetent Mice

PLOS ONE: A Genetic and Pathologic Study of a DENV2 Clinical Isolate Capable of Inducing Encephalitis and Hematological Disturbances in Immunocompetent Mice | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Dengue virus (DENV) is the causative agent of dengue fever (DF), a mosquito-borne illness endemic to tropical and subtropical regions...

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Bovine herpes virus type 1 induces apoptosis through Fas-dependent and mitochondria-controlled manner in Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells

Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) is an important pathogen in cattle that is responsible for substantial economic losses. Previous studies suggest that BHV-1 may induce apoptosis in Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells via a mechanism only involving caspases and p53. However, the mechanism for BHV-1-induced MDBK cell apoptosis still requires more research.
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Chemists develop reversible method of tagging proteins

Chemists have developed a method that for the first time provides scientists the ability to attach chemical probes onto proteins and subsequently remove them in a repeatable cycle.
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BMC Genomics | De novo Assembly of highly diverse viral populations

Extensive genetic diversity in viral populations within infected hosts and the divergence of variants from existing reference genomes impede the analysis of deep viral sequencing data.

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Latest Insights on Adenovirus Structure and Assembly

Latest Insights on Adenovirus Structure and Assembly | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Adenovirus (AdV) capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å) and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25), but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber) had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies.

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Mutational analysis ... [of] the rotavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

The rotavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), VP1, contains canonical RdRp motifs and a priming loop that is hypothesized to undergo conformational rearrangements during RNA synthesis. In the absence of viral core shell protein VP2, VP1 fails to interact stably with divalent cations or nucleotides and has a retracted priming loop. To identify residues of potential import to nucleotide and divalent cation stabilization, we aligned VP1 of divergent rotaviruses and the structural homolog reovirus λ3. VP1 mutants were engineered and characterized for RNA synthetic capacity in vitro. Conserved aspartic acids in RdRp motifs A and C and arginines in motif F that likely stabilize divalent cations and nucleotides were required for efficient RNA synthesis. Mutation of individual priming loop residues diminished or enhanced RNA synthesis efficiency without obviating the need for VP2, which suggests that this structure serves as a dynamic regulatory element that links RdRp activity to particle assembly.

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Chandipura Virus: An emerging tropical pathogen

Chandipura Virus: An emerging tropical pathogen | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Chandipura Virus (CHPV), a member of Rhabdoviridae, is responsible for an explosive outbreak in rural areas of India. It affects mostly children and is characterized by influenza-like illness and neurologic dysfunctions. It is transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks and sand flies.

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Beaver chases kids at Va. nature center, found to be rabid

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Fairfax County Police say a beaver that was later found to be rabid chased some children at a nature center in West Springfield.
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Parents urged to get children vaccinated following outbreak of rubella

Parents urged to get children vaccinated following outbreak of rubella | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

"HAMPSHIRE parents are being warned of the dangers of not getting their children vaccinated following an outbreak of rubella across the county.

Latest figures have revealed that there have been 14 confirmed cases of the potentially dangerous infection in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight between January and July this year – compared to none during the same period in 2011.

Although the infection can easily be prevented by youngsters receiving their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jabs, if caught it can be dangerous, particularly to pregnant women, causing rubella-associated miscarriages and birth defects.

Rubella is a viral infection that is spread in a similar way as a cold and will normally pass within seven to 10 days. But it becomes serious if a pregnant woman catches the infection during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy as it can disrupt the development of the baby, causing congenital rubella syndrome which could include cataracts, deafness, heart abnormalities and brain damage.

 

It is believed the outbreak has been caused by a dip in the number of children getting vaccinated, forcing health bosses to urge parents into action."

 

What IS it with these people??  They'd rather cause someone to have an abortion because of catching rubella from their child, than vaccinate the child??


Via Ed Rybicki
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How deadly Marburg virus silences immune system: Breakthrough findings point to targets for drugs and vaccines

How deadly Marburg virus silences immune system: Breakthrough findings point to targets for drugs and vaccines | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Scientists have determined the structure of a critical protein from the Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola virus.
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PLOS ONE: A Symmetric Region of the HIV-1 Integrase Dimerization Interface Is Essential for Viral Replication

PLOS ONE: A Symmetric Region of the HIV-1 Integrase Dimerization Interface Is Essential for Viral Replication | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

HIV-1 integrase (IN) is an important target for contemporary antiretroviral drug design research...

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PLOS ONE: Bacterial Neuraminidase Rescues Influenza Virus Replication from Inhibition by a Neuraminidase Inhibitor

PLOS ONE: Bacterial Neuraminidase Rescues Influenza Virus Replication from Inhibition by a Neuraminidase Inhibitor | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) cleaves terminal sialic acid residues on oligosaccharide chains that are receptors for virus binding, thus playing an important role in the release of virions from infected cells to promote the spread of cell-to-cell infection. In addition, NA plays a role at the initial stage of viral infection in the respiratory tract by degrading hemagglutination inhibitors in body fluid which competitively inhibit receptor binding of the virus. Current first line anti-influenza drugs are viral NA-specific inhibitors, which do not inhibit bacterial neuraminidases. Since neuraminidase producing bacteria have been isolated from oral and upper respiratory commensal bacterial flora, we posited that bacterial neuraminidases could decrease the antiviral effectiveness of NA inhibitor drugs in respiratory organs when viral NA is inhibited. Using in vitro models of infection, we aimed to clarify the effects of bacterial neuraminidases on influenza virus infection in the presence of the NA inhibitor drug zanamivir. We found that zanamivir reduced progeny virus yield to less than 2% of that in its absence, however the yield was restored almost entirely by the exogenous addition of bacterial neuraminidase from Streptococcus pneumoniae. Furthermore, cell-to-cell infection was severely inhibited by zanamivir but restored by the addition of bacterial neuraminidase. Next we examined the effects of bacterial neuraminidase on hemagglutination inhibition and infectivity neutralization activities of human saliva in the presence of zanamivir. We found that the drug enhanced both inhibitory activities of saliva, while the addition of bacterial neuraminidase diminished this enhancement. Altogether, our results showed that bacterial neuraminidases functioned as the predominant NA when viral NA was inhibited to promote the spread of infection and to inactivate the neutralization activity of saliva. We propose that neuraminidase from bacterial flora in patients may reduce the efficacy of NA inhibitor drugs during influenza virus infection.

 

That's potentially pretty serious - especially in coinfections.

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A Multicenter Blinded Analysis Indicates No Association between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and either Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus or Polytropic Murine Leu...

The disabling disorder known as chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) has been linked in two independent studies to infection with xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and polytropic murine leukemia virus (pMLV). Although the associations were not confirmed in subsequent studies by other investigators, patients continue to question the consensus of the scientific community in rejecting the validity of the association. Here we report blinded analysis of peripheral blood from a rigorously characterized, geographically diverse population of 147 patients with CFS/ME and 146 healthy subjects by the investigators describing the original association. This analysis reveals no evidence of either XMRV or pMLV infection.

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PLOS ONE: Improvement of Disease Prediction and Modeling through the Use of Meteorological Ensembles: Human Plague in Uganda

PLOS ONE: Improvement of Disease Prediction and Modeling through the Use of Meteorological Ensembles: Human Plague in Uganda | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Climate and weather influence the occurrence, distribution, and incidence of infectious diseases, particularly those caused by vector-borne or zoonotic pathogens. Thus, models based on meteorological data have helped predict when and where human cases are most likely to occur...

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Microbes and Infection - Realities of virus sensing

Microbes and Infection - Realities of virus sensing | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Detection of viral infections by the innate immune system is essential for the subsequent upregulation of host protective responses. This review will focus on the relevance of innate immune pathways in the induction of protective adaptive immune responses and will discuss the discrepancies often found between in vitro and in vivo investigations.

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PLOS Computational Biology: An Online Bioinformatics Curriculum

PLOS Computational Biology: An Online Bioinformatics Curriculum | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Online learning initiatives over the past decade have become increasingly comprehensive in their selection of courses and sophisticated in their presentation, culminating in the recent announcement of a number of consortium and startup activities that promise to make a university education on the internet, free of charge, a real possibility.

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Identification of B cell epitopes reactive to human papillomavirus type-16L1- derived peptides

Persistent infection of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 causes cervical cancer. To better understand immune responses to the prophylactic vaccine, HPV 16/18 L1 virus-like particles (HPV-VLPs), we investigated B cell epitopes of HPV16 L1-derived peptides.
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Virology - Plant virus expression vectors set the stage as production platforms for biopharmaceutical proteins

Virology - Plant virus expression vectors set the stage as production platforms for biopharmaceutical proteins | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Transgenic plants present enormous potential as a cost-effective and safe platform for large-scale production of vaccines and other therapeutic proteins. A number of different technologies are under development for the production of pharmaceutical proteins from plant tissues. One method used to express high levels of protein in plants involves the employment of plant virus expression vectors. Plant virus vectors have been designed to carry vaccine epitopes as well as full therapeutic proteins such as monoclonal antibodies in plant tissue both safely and effectively. Biopharmaceuticals such as these offer enormous potential on many levels, from providing relief to those who have little access to modern medicine, to playing an active role in the battle against cancer. This review describes the current design and status of plant virus expression vectors used as production platforms for biopharmaceutical proteins.

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Rotavirus RNA polymerases resolve into two phylogenetically distinct classes that differ in their mechanism of template recognition

Rotavirus RNA polymerases resolve into two phylogenetically distinct classes that differ in their mechanism of template recognition | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Rotaviruses (RVs) are segmented double-stranded RNA viruses that cause gastroenteritis in mammals and birds. Within the RV genus, eight species (RVA-RVH) have been proposed. Here, we report the first RVF and RVG sequences for the viral RNA polymerase (VP1)-encoding segments and compare them to those of other RV species. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the VP1 RNA segments and proteins resolve into two major clades, with RVA, RVC, RVD and RVF in clade A, and RVB, RVG and RVH in clade B. Plus-strand RNA of clade A viruses, and not clade B viruses, contain a 3'-proximal UGUG cassette that serves as the VP1 recognition signal. VP1 structures for a representative of each RV species were predicted using homology modeling. Structural elements involved in interactions with the UGUG cassette were conserved among VP1 of clade A, suggesting a conserved mechanism of viral RNA recognition for these viruses.

 

Rotavirus graphic from Russell Kightley Media

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Scientists reveal how deadly virus silences immune system

Scientists reveal how deadly virus silences immune system | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the structure of a critical protein from the Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola virus.
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Reconstruction of the 1918 Influenza Virus: Unexpected Rewards from the Past

The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 killed approximately 50 million people. The unusually severe morbidity and mortality associated with the pandemic spurred physicians and scientists to isolate the etiologic agent, but the virus was not isolated in 1918. In 1996, it became possible to recover and sequence highly degraded fragments of influenza viral RNA retained in preserved tissues from several 1918 victims.

 

An update....

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PLOS ONE: The Genomic Signature of Human Rhinoviruses A, B and C

PLOS ONE: The Genomic Signature of Human Rhinoviruses A, B and C | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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