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New deadly virus may be 'bat bug'

New deadly virus may be 'bat bug' | Virology News | Scoop.it

"Bats may be the source of a new Sars-like virus which killed a man in Saudi Arabia, according to an analysis of the coronavirus' genome.

Two other people have been infected and one, who was flown to the UK for treatment in September, is still in intensive care.

Experts, writing in the journal mBio, said the virus was closely related to other viruses in bats.

It is thought the virus does not pass readily from one person to another.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses ranging from the common cold to the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. They infect a wide range of animals."

 

I repeat: fear the bat...there are lots of them, and they have a LOT of viruses that can infect people.

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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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 ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Flaviviridae

The Flaviviridae is a family of small enveloped viruses with RNA genomes of 9000–13 000 bases. Most infect mammals and birds. Many flaviviruses are host-specific and pathogenic, such as hepatitis C virus in the genus Hepacivirus. The majority of known members in the genus Flavivirus are arthropod borne, and many are important human and veterinary pathogens (e.g. yellow fever virus, dengue virus). This is a summary of the current International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) report on the taxonomy of the Flaviviridae, which is available at www.ictv.global/report/flaviviridae.

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ICTV Taxonomy Profiles

The Journal of General Virology ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles are a freely available series of concise, review-type articles that provide overviews of the classification, structure and properties of individual virus orders, families and genera.

ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles are written by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) study groups, comprised of leading experts in the field. The profiles summarise the individual chapters from the ICTV’s online 10th Report on Virus Taxonomy, and provide the latest taxonomic information on viruses.

The Microbiology Society is publishing these citable profiles online, while the full chapters are available to all through the ICTV website, thanks to a five-year Biomedical Resources grant from the Wellcome Trust.
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A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice 

The balance between detrimental, pro-aging, often stochastic processes and counteracting homeostatic mechanisms largely determines the progression of aging. There is substantial evidence suggesting that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the latter system because it modulates the physiological processes underlying aging1,2. The activity of the ECS declines during aging, as CB1 receptor expression and coupling to G proteins are reduced in the brain tissues of older animals3–5 and the levels of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are lower6. However, a direct link between endocannabinoid tone and aging symptoms has not been demonstrated. Here we show that a low dose of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density. THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months. The transcriptional effects of THC were critically dependent on glutamatergic CB1 receptors and histone acetylation, as their inhibition blocked the beneficial effects of THC. Thus, restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals could be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments
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I want to be an old mouse B-)
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First three round the Moon 

Roger Launius on a valentine to the astronauts behind Apollo 8 and Earthrise.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
I remember hanging on every news broadcast to find out what had happened. Stirring times!
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Analysis of feces from coronary heart disease patients reveals the genetic diversity of the Microviridae

Recent studies have declared that members of the ssDNA virus family Microviridae play an important role in multiple environments,as they have been found taking a dominant position in the human gut.The aim of this study was to analyze the overall composition of the gut virome in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients,and try to discover the potential link between the human gut virome and CHD.Viral metagenomics methods were performed to detect the viral sequences in fecal samples collected from CHD inpatients and healthy persons as controls.We present the analysis of the virome composition in these CHD patients and controls.Our data shows that the virome composition may be linked to daily living habits and the medical therapy of CHD. Virgaviridae and Microviridae were the two dominant types of viruses found in the enteric virome of CHD patients.Fourteen divergent viruses belonging to the family Microviridae were found,twelve of which were grouped into the subfamily Gokushovirinae,while the remaining two strains might represent two new subfamilies within Microviridae,according to the phylogenetic analysis.In addition,the genomic organization of these viruses has been characterized.
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Geneticists enlist engineered citrus tristeza virus to battle citrus disease

Geneticists enlist engineered citrus tristeza virus to battle citrus disease | Virology News | Scoop.it

he citrus greening Desperate farmers hope scientists can beat the citrus greening pathogen that is wrecking the US orange harvest.

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Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in the Americas

Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in the Americas | Virology News | Scoop.it
22532 suspected cases (22532 in Central and South America, 0 in the Caribbean, 0 in North America), 7358 confirmed cases (14 North America, 5 Caribbean, 7336 Central and South America) (7350 autochthonous transmission and 8 travel related imported cases)
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Los Angeles, California and the 1918-1919 Influenza Epidemic 

Los Angeles, California and the 1918-1919 Influenza Epidemic  | Virology News | Scoop.it
#silentfilm cartoon at time of Spanish Influenza - PHOTOPLAY January 1919 "Those Workless Fludays" by R.L.Goldberg - https://t.co/ILoZSCLpQd https://t.co/rUNJH0kh5m
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Italy row over 'fake news' on cervical cancer vaccine

Italy row over 'fake news' on cervical cancer vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
Italy's health minister has taken the unusual step of criticising national broadcaster Rai's coverage of a vaccine against a cancer-causing virus, sparking a row about media freedom and misinformation. The minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, accused the team behind the popular Rai3 documentary series
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Peptide in frog slime can kill flu - Futurity

Peptide in frog slime can kill flu - Futurity | Virology News | Scoop.it
A component of a South Indian frog's skin mucus kills H1 influenza viruses. "I was almost knocked off my chair," says Joshy Jacob.
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Levels of HIV-1 persistence on antiretroviral therapy are not associated with markers of inflammation or activation

Levels of HIV-1 persistence on antiretroviral therapy are not associated with markers of inflammation or activation | Virology News | Scoop.it
Author summary HIV-infected individuals who are receiving antiretroviral therapy continue to have low but persistent amounts of virus in blood as well as high levels of immune activation. Elevated immune activation has been linked to medical complications, like heart disease. Whether activation is being driven by or driving HIV persistence is not known. To answer this question, we measured levels of HIV, inflammation and immune activation in 101 HIV-infected individuals before and during long-term antiretroviral therapy. We found that pre-treatment levels of HIV correlated with on-treatment measures of HIV persistence. HIV levels correlated with inflammation and activation before starting therapy but not during long-term treatment, suggesting that virus persistence is not driving or driven by immune activation or inflammation. Higher levels of activation and inflammation before therapy were associated with higher levels during treatment, indicating that immune events that occurred before treatment initiation had long-lasting effects despite sustained control of the virus. These findings should stimulate studies of genetic or viral factors that affect levels of virus, activation and inflammation prior to treatment, and should inform the design of strategies to reduce HIV persistence and dampen harmful immune activation and inflammation in people who are on long-term treatment.
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BMC Infectious Diseases: "The airborne microbiome - implications for aerosol transmission and infection control"

BMC Infectious Diseases: "The airborne microbiome - implications for aerosol transmission and infection control" | Virology News | Scoop.it


Special Collection on "The airborne microbiome - implications for aerosol transmission and infection control" - soliciting submissions

Many infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, whooping cough, Aspergillus and other fungal infections, human and avian influenza, measles, chickenpox, and some of the emerging viruses, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) can be potentially spread through aerosol transmission. With the advent of deep-sequencing technologies these can be applied to environmental air samples using metagenomic techniques to characterise the presence and variety of airborne pathogens in the everyday air that we breathe in different environments (hospitals, clinics, homes, offices, entertainment venues, public transport - buses, trains, planes, etc.). This series aims to explore and characterise the airborne microbiome in different environments, using different methods, in order to understand and assess the risk that such airborne pathogens may pose to both vulnerable and otherwise healthy individuals, and explore possible interventions to control their transmission. We welcome submission of research articles and opinion pieces focused on the airborne microbiome in relation to infectious diseases.



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GeoVax Awarded $658,000 NIH Grant for its HIV Vaccine Program

ATLANTA, GA - (NewMediaWire) - April 03, 2017 - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, announced today it ha
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 ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Geminiviridae

The geminiviruses are a family of small, non-enveloped viruses with single-stranded, circular DNA genomes of 2500–5200 bases. Geminiviruses are transmitted by various types of insect (whiteflies, leafhoppers, treehoppers and aphids). Members of the genus Begomovirus are transmitted by whiteflies, those in the genera Becurtovirus, Curtovirus, Grablovirus, Mastrevirus and Turncurtovirus are transmitted by specific leafhoppers, the single member of the genus Topocuvirus is transmitted by a treehopper and one member of the genus Capulavirus is transmitted by an aphid. Geminiviruses are plant pathogens causing economically important diseases in most tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This is a summary of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Report on the taxonomy of the Geminiviridae which is available at www.ictv.global/report/geminiviridae.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
You KNOW y'all are interested in geminivirus taxonomy...B-)
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Journal of General Virology – Introduction to ‘ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles’

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For anyone who actually WANTS to check on the taxonomic status of their favourite virus?
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Busting myths of origin

New studies show that there is no such thing as "pure" European—or anyone else. Almost all of us are the children of repeated ancient migrations, according to researchers who study ancient human origins. Indigenous Europeans, for example, descend from at least three major migrations in the past 15,000 years, including two from the Middle East. Those migrants swept across Europe, mingled with previous immigrants, and then remixed to create the peoples of today. Using revolutionary new methods to analyze DNA and the isotopes found in bones and teeth, scientists are exposing the tangled roots of peoples around the world, as varied as Germans, ancient Philistines, and Kashmiris. Few of us are actually the direct descendants of the ancient skeletons found in our backyards or historic homelands. Only a handful of groups today, such as Australian Aborigines, have deep bloodlines untainted by mixing with immigrants.
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A novel mosquito-borne reassortant orbivirus isolated from Xishuangbanna, China 

In this study, we report a novel mosquito-borne reassortant Orbivirus species, which we named Banna orbivirus (BAOV). The virus was isolated from a Culex tritaeniorhynchus pool collected in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China in 2007. Whole genome and phylogenetic analyses revealed that BAOV is a reassortant of several Tibet orbivirus strains. It has a double-stranded RNA genome of 19, 270 bp, containing ten segments (S1–S10) of various lengths. The 10 segments of BAOV had high nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity with segments of either Fengkai orbivirus or Tibet orbivirus (TIBOV, XZ0906 strain). Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the novel BAOV is a reassortant derived from XZ0906 and Fengkai orbiviruses, and is a Tibet orbivirus. This is the first report of a novel genomic reassortment of Tibet orbivirus isolated in China; these findings contribute to our understanding of the diversity of orbiviruses.
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Discovery of novel astroviruses, caliciviruses and rotaviruses in Kenyan bats

Abstract: This is the first country-wide surveillance of bat-borne viruses in Kenya spanning from 2012–2015 covering sites perceived to have medium to high level bat-human interaction. The objective of this surveillance study was to apply a non-invasive approach using fresh feces to detect viruses circulating within the diverse species of Kenyan bats. We screened for both DNA and RNA viruses; specifically, astroviruses (AstVs), adenoviruses (ADVs), caliciviruses (CalVs), coronaviruses (CoVs), flaviviruses, filoviruses, paramyxoviruses (PMVs), polyomaviruses (PYVs) and rotaviruses. We used family-specific primers, amplicon sequencing and further characterization by phylogenetic analysis. Except for filoviruses, eight virus families were detected with varying distributions and positive rates across the five regions (former provinces) studied. AstVs (12.83%), CoVs (3.97%), PMV (2.4%), ADV (2.26%), PYV (1.65%), CalVs (0.29%), rotavirus (0.19%) and flavivirus (0.19%). Novel CalVs were detected in Rousettus aegyptiacus and Mops condylurus while novel Rotavirus-A-related viruses were detected in Taphozous bats and R. aegyptiacus. The two Rotavirus A (RVA) strains detected were highly related to human strains with VP6 genotypes I2 and I16. Genotype I16 has previously been assigned to human RVA-strain B10 from Kenya only, which raises public health concern, particularly considering increased human-bat interaction. Additionally, 229E-like bat CoVs were detected in samples originating from Hipposideros bats roosting in sites with high human activity. Our findings confirm the presence of diverse viruses in Kenyan bats while providing extended knowledge on bat virus distribution. The detection of viruses highly related to human strains and hence of public health concern, underscores the importance of continuous surveillance.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Good work - and needed for a lot wider spectrum of animals in Africa.
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In situ structure of the Legionella Dot/Icm type IV secretion system by electron cryotomography

Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are large macromolecular machines that translocate protein and DNA and are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple human diseases. Here, using electron cryotomography (ECT), we report the in situ structure of the Dot/Icm type IVB secretion system (T4BSS) utilized by the human pathogen Legionella pneumophila. This is the first structure of a type IVB secretion system, and also the first structure of any T4SS in situ. While the Dot/Icm system shares almost no sequence similarity with type IVA secretion systems (T4ASSs), its overall structure is seen here to be remarkably similar to previously reported T4ASS structures (those encoded by the R388 plasmid in Escherichia coli and the cag pathogenicity island in Helicobacter pylori). This structural similarity suggests shared aspects of mechanism. However, compared to the negative‐stain reconstruction of the purified T4ASS from the R388 plasmid, the L. pneumophila Dot/Icm system is approximately twice as long and wide and exhibits several additional large densities, reflecting type‐specific elaborations and potentially better structural preservation in situ.

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Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Resurfaces:Threat To Humankind

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Resurfaces:Threat To Humankind | Virology News | Scoop.it
The vaccine has been very effective in various diseases, however, the rate of infections it prevents are still increasing and continues to resurface as time passes by.
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Bacterial Spores as Vaccine Vehicles

Bacterial Spores as Vaccine Vehicles | Virology News | Scoop.it
For the first time, bacterial spores have been evaluated as vaccine vehicles. Bacillus subtilis spores displaying the tetanus toxin fragment C (TTFC) antigen were used for oral and intranasal immunization and were shown to generate mucosal and systemi
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Insertion of a ligand to HER2 in gB retargets HSV tropism and obviates the need for activation of the other entry glycoproteins

Insertion of a ligand to HER2 in gB retargets HSV tropism and obviates the need for activation of the other entry glycoproteins | Virology News | Scoop.it
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) entry into the cells requires glycoproteins gD, gH/gL and gB, activated in a cascade fashion by conformational modifications induced by cognate receptors and intermolecular signaling. The receptors are nectin1 and HVEM (Herpes virus entry mediator) for gD, and αvβ6 or αvβ8 integrin for gH. In earlier work, insertion of a single chain antibody (scFv) to the cancer receptor HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) in gD, or in gH, resulted in HSVs specifically retargeted to the HER2-positive cancer cells, hence in highly specific non-attenuated oncolytic agents. Here, the scFv to HER2 was inserted in gB (gBHER2). The insertion re-targeted the virus tropism to the HER2-positive cancer cells. This was unexpected since gB is known to be a fusogenic glycoprotein, not a tropism determinant. The gB-retargeted recombinant offered the possibility to investigate how HER2 mediated entry. In contrast to wt-gB, the activation of the chimeric gBHER2 did not require the activation of the gD and of gH/gL by their respective receptors. Furthermore, a soluble form of HER2 could replace the membrane-bound HER2 in mediating virus entry, hinting that HER2 acted by inducing conformational changes to the chimeric gB. This study shows that (i) gB can be modified and become the major determinant of HSV tropism; (ii) the chimeric gBHER2 bypasses the requirement for receptor-mediated activation of other essential entry glycoproteins.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
This is pretty heavy duty stuff: basically, they could retarget HSV to HER2-expressing cells by including a MAb fragment to HER2 in gB, and HER2 was sufficient to mediate cell entry. Targetted therapy using HSV, here we come?!
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Nigeria needs 2 million doses of Meningitis vaccine

Nigeria needs 2 million doses of  Meningitis vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
by G9ija Dr Fred Weli, a family health expert in Port Harcourt, says Nigeria will need about 2 million doses of vaccine to fight current meningitis epidemic. Weli told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that current 500,000 doses available in the country were grossly inadequate to fight the epidemic.…
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Early Clinical Trial Shows 'Cancer Vaccines' Can Protect Humans From Tumours

Early Clinical Trial Shows 'Cancer Vaccines' Can Protect Humans From Tumours | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new hope. 
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New antibody test can detect person’s risk for developing HPV-related cancer of the oropharynx

New antibody test can detect person’s risk for developing HPV-related cancer of the oropharynx | Virology News | Scoop.it
Cancer of the oropharynx has become increasingly common: In the United States alone, the number of newly diagnosed cases has tripled over the past three decades. About 70 percent of these tumors are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16.
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