Virology News
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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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Plum pox virus capsid protein suppresses plant PAMP-triggered immunity

Perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by immune receptors launches defence mechanisms referred to as PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). Successful pathogens must suppress PTI pathways via the action of effectors to efficiently colonize their hosts. So far, plant PTI has been reported to be active against most classes of pathogens, except viruses, although this defence layer was recently hypothesized as an active part of antiviral immunity which needs to be suppressed by viruses for infection success. Here, we report that Arabidopsis PTI genes are regulated upon infection by viruses and contribute to plant resistance to Plum pox virus (PPV). Our experiments further show that PPV suppresses two early PTI responses, the oxidative burst and marker gene expression, during Arabidopsis infection. In planta expression of PPV capsid protein (CP) was found to strongly impair these responses in Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis, revealing its PTI-suppressor activity. In summary, we provide the first clear evidence that plant viruses acquired the ability to suppress PTI mechanisms via the action of effectors, highlighting a novel strategy employed by viruses to escape plant defences. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
What can I say - viruses are smart?!
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Mosquito monitoring stepped up at Schiphol after yellow fever carriers found 

Mosquito monitoring stepped up at Schiphol after yellow fever carriers found  | Virology News | Scoop.it
The product safety board NVWA is to step up its monitoring of mosquitoes at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport following the discovery of three yellow fever mosquitoes in two separate traps.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
So guess who's just gone through Schiphol....B-)
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Watch how this robotic-like T7 virus infects a cell

Watch how this robotic-like T7 virus infects a cell | Virology News | Scoop.it
If there was any doubt that viruses are basically microscopic machines, let this recreation of a T7 bacteriophage infecting an ecoli cell put those reservations to rest. In this animated video, the virus can be seen unfolding its six phage tail fibers as it latches on to an unsuspecting bacterium. Once stable and secure, it pierces the surface of the cell with its extended tail and injects its DNA directly into the cytoplasm. Following this genetic violation, the tail disassembles, allowing the cell's membrane to reseal. Mission accomplished.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Sublime B-)
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Meet the virus that slays cancer cells with extreme prejudice

Meet the virus that slays cancer cells with extreme prejudice | Virology News | Scoop.it
A simple virus that causes mild stomach upsets in humans can turn cancer cells into mincemeat like no one’s business. And cancer cells had better watch their backs, as the Canadian Cancer Society announced Wednesday that it is kicking in $38.1 million for cutting-edge research in Nova Scotia.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Reovirus as cancer killer!  An orphan finds a home.
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With more military personnel in places where Zika is common, the US Army is working on a vaccine.

With more military personnel in places where Zika is common, the US Army is working on a vaccine. | Virology News | Scoop.it
With American personnel stationed throughout the region where Zika is infecting people, and with Zika coming to the US, Army docs are working on a vaccine.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Of course they are...interesting to see what they work on - because it tells where they are / may be deployed.
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Virus Hacks Host Genome, Steals CRISPR to Protect Itself

Virus Hacks Host Genome, Steals CRISPR to Protect Itself | Virology News | Scoop.it
Viruses have often been described as the ultimate parasite, shedding all of their nonessential parts and leaving behind an extremely efficient genetic transfer apparatus. Phage viruses have evolved to infect various bacteria proficiently and hijack their replication machinery to make more viruses. Yet, this often doesn’t preclude a different virus from concomitantly infecting the same bacterium and competing with or overtaking the original phage invader.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
HATE the word "hack" in the context of infection: so lazy!
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Mosquito saliva increases disease severity following dengue virus infection

Mosquito saliva increases disease severity following dengue virus infection | Virology News | Scoop.it
Insects transmit diseases when, probing for blood vessels, they inject saliva together with viral, bacterial, or parasitic pathogens into the skin of mammalian hosts. A study in mice published on June 16, 2016 in PLOS Pathogens suggests a critical role of mosquito saliva in the outcome of dengue virus infection.
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Vaccine-derived strain of polio virus found in sewage in Indian city

Vaccine-derived strain of polio virus found in sewage in Indian city | Virology News | Scoop.it
City of nearly 7 million people in southern India has declared a "high alert" for polio after an active strain of the virus was found
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Mechanism for Rift Valley fever virus infection discovered

Viruses can't live without us -- literally. As obligate parasites, viruses need a host cell to survive. Scientists are exploiting this characteristic by developing therapeutics that close off pathways necessary for viral infection, essentially stopping pathogens in their tracks. Rift Valley fever virus and other bunyaviruses may soon be added to the list of viruses denied access to a human host. Researchers have now discovered a mechanism by which RVFV hijacks the host machinery to cause infection.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Bunyaviruses: rapidly becoming more important. Especially mosquito-transmitted ones
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Yellow fever vaccination kicks off in Uganda

Yellow fever vaccination kicks off in Uganda | Virology News | Scoop.it
Biggest News Source for News in Uganda and the East African Region ,Breaking news in Uganda and Daily news and the latest from Uganda
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Neglected filoviruses

Neglected filoviruses | Virology News | Scoop.it

Eight viruses are currently assigned to the family Filoviridae. Marburg virus, Sudan virus and, in particular, Ebola virus have received the most attention both by researchers and the public from 1967 to 2013. During this period, natural human filovirus disease outbreaks occurred sporadically in Equatorial Africa and, despite high case-fatality rates, never included more than several dozen to a few hundred infections per outbreak. Research emphasis shifted almost exclusively to Ebola virus in 2014, when this virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak that has thus far involved more than 28 646 people and caused more than 11 323 deaths in Western Africa. Consequently, major efforts are currently underway to develop licensed medical countermeasures against Ebola virus infection. However, the ecology of and mechanisms behind Ebola virus emergence are as little understood as they are for all other filoviruses. Consequently, the possibility of the future occurrence of a large disease outbreak caused by other less characterized filoviruses (i.e. Bundibugyo virus, Lloviu virus, Ravn virus, Reston virus and Taï Forest virus) is impossible to rule out. Yet, for many of these viruses, not even rudimentary research tools are available, let alone medical countermeasures. This review summarizes the current knowledge on these less well-characterized filoviruses.


Filovirus graphic by Russell Kightley Media

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HIV gp140 Vaccine Boosts Immune Responses Primed by DNA and MVA Vaccines after More than a 2-Year Gap

HIV gp140 Vaccine Boosts Immune Responses Primed by DNA and MVA Vaccines after More than a 2-Year Gap | Virology News | Scoop.it

A phase I safety and immunogenicity study investigated South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) HIV-1 subtype C (HIV-1C) DNA vaccine encoding Gag-RT-Tat-Nef and gp150, boosted with modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) expressing matched antigens. Following the finding of partial protective efficacy in the RV144 HIV vaccine efficacy trial, a protein boost with HIV-1 subtype C V2-deleted gp140 with MF59 was added to the regimen. A total of 48 participants (12 U.S. participants and 36 Republic of South Africa [RSA] participants) were randomized to receive 3 intramuscular (i.m.) doses of SAAVI DNA-C2 of 4 mg (months 0, 1, and 2) and 2 i.m. doses of SAAVI MVA-C of 1.45 × 109 PFU (months 4 and 5) (n = 40) or of a placebo (n = 8). Approximately 2 years after vaccination, 27 participants were rerandomized to receive gp140/MF59 at 100 μg or placebo, as 2 i.m. injections, 3 months apart. The vaccine regimen was safe and well tolerated. After the DNA-MVA regimen, CD4+ T-cell and CD8+ T-cell responses occurred in 74% and 32% of the participants, respectively. The protein boost increased CD4+ T-cell responses to 87% of the subjects. All participants developed tier 1 HIV-1C neutralizing antibody responses as well as durable Env binding antibodies that recognized linear V3 and C5 peptides. The HIV-1 subtype C DNA-MVA vaccine regimen showed promising cellular immunogenicity. Boosting with gp140/MF59 enhanced levels of binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as CD4+ T-cell responses to HIV-1 envelope. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00574600 and NCT01423825.)


HIV Graphic from Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:
This is a pretty big deal - because it reports an extension of a wholly South African-originated vaccine trial, that consisted of a DNA prime with a subtype C gp150 gene and an artificial Gag-RT-Tat-Nef polyprotein gene, followed by a rMVA boost, that was as immunogenic as anything else trialled around the same time.

And development of which was shut down for political reasons in 2009, but that is old news....

This new development, where a subtype C gp140 (soluble form of Env) was given with MF59 adjuvant to trial participants 2 years after the initial vaccinations, showed that recall responses were strong - in both cellular and humoral arms of the immune system. Moreover, neutralising Ab were elicited.

This is a very promising development in the saga of HIV vaccinology, and it is to be hoped that further trials will be funded.

And both my sister-in-law and my wife are involved B-) What can I say, we're a virological family!
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Made-to-order icosahedral nanocages 

Researchers have designed and produced a self-assembling protein shell shaped like an icosahedron -- similar to those that encapsulate viruses. The achievement may open new avenues for engineering cargo-containing nano-cages to package and deliver drugs and vaccines directly into cells, or building small reactors to catalyze biochemical reactions. The shell is also amenable to genetic fusion, such as the addition of fluorescent proteins.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Copying viruses...B-)
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This Viral DNA Infects Cells by Changing From a Solid to a Liquid

This Viral DNA Infects Cells by Changing From a Solid to a Liquid | Virology News | Scoop.it
Two new studies are showing that viral infections are possible owing to a remarkable biological phase transition. The research shows that viral DNA transforms from a glassy solid to a fluid-like state when the conditions for infection are just right. The new insight could result in new antiviral therapies.
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How a Flu Virus Invades a Cell

How a Flu Virus Invades a Cell | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Washington are the first to visualize the insidious way that the flu virus latches onto a cell and plows its way inside, causing an infection.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
BEAUTIFUL EM! 
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Memory loss caused by West Nile virus explained

Thousands of West Nile virus survivors live with neurological problems such as memory loss that last for years. New research shows that these long-term problems may be due to the patient's own immune system destroying parts of their neurons, which suggests that intervening in the immune response may help prevent brain damage or help patients recover.
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Detection of chikungunya virus in saliva and urine


Background
Saliva and urine have been used for arthropod-borne viruses molecular detection but not yet for chikungunya virus (CHIKV). We investigated the use of saliva and urine for molecular detection of CHIKV during the French Polynesian outbreak.

Methods
During the French Polynesian chikungunya outbreak (2014–2015), we collected the same day blood and saliva samples from 60 patients with probable chikungunya (47 during the 1st week post symptoms onset and 13 after), urine was available for 39 of them. All samples were tested using a CHIKV reverse-transcription PCR.

Results
Forty eight patients had confirmed chikungunya. For confirmed chikungunya presenting during the 1st week post symptoms onset, CHIKV RNA was detected from 86.1 % (31/36) of blood, 58.3 % (21/36) of saliva and 8.3 % (2/24) of urine. Detection rate of CHIKV RNA was significantly higher in blood compared to saliva. For confirmed chikungunya presenting after the 1st week post symptoms onset, CHIKV RNA was detected from 8.3 % (1/12) of blood, 8.3 % (1/12) of saliva and 0 % (0/8) of urine.

Conclusions
In contrast to Zika virus (ZIKV), saliva did not increased the detection rate of CHIKV RNA during the 1st week post symptoms onset. In contrast to ZIKV, dengue virus and West Nile virus, urine did not enlarged the window of detection of CHIKV RNA after the 1st week post symptoms onset. Saliva can be used for molecular detection of CHIKV during the 1st week post symptoms onset only if blood is impossible to collect but with a lower sensitivity compared to blood.

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Lethal feral rabbit virus spreads in S Australia

Lethal feral rabbit virus spreads in S Australia | Virology News | Scoop.it
A virus that causes feral rabbits to hemorrhage to death has spread throughout South Australia's southeast and mid-north.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
...and lethal feral political virus spreads in USA...note to Australians: SA is South Africa. Or maybe Saudi Arabia, if you put K in front of it. Or even U S of A. But just SA was claimed by us long ago B-)
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Innovative computer HIV capsid model provides real insight into virus maturation process

Innovative computer HIV capsid model provides real insight into virus maturation process | Virology News | Scoop.it
From a virus's point of view, invading our cells is a matter of survival. The virus makes a living by highjacking cellular processes to produce more of the proteins that make it up.
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More West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes detected in San Jose

More West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes detected in San Jose | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Santa Clara County Vector Control District on Thursday announced it has confirmed that adult mosquitoes collected from three more ZIP code areas in San Jose -- 95136, 95123, and 95118 -- have tested positive for West Nile virus. Fogging is scheduled there for next week.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
One of those other pesky flaviviruses....
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Rift Valley fever in Uganda

Kabale district has recorded another case of the hemorrhagic Rift Valley fever, barely 2 months after it was declared free of the epidemic.

Dr Alex Andema, the Kabale regional referral hospital director confirmed that one person was admitted at the hospital after developing signs and symptoms of the deadly fever.

Samples were taken from him and taken to Uganda Virus Laboratory in Entebbe and the results came out positive.

The fever is usually spread though handling of products of infected animals. "The vast majority of human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected domestic animals. The virus can be transmitted to humans through the handling of animal tissue during slaughtering or butchering, assisting with animal births, conducting veterinary procedures, or from the disposal of carcasses or fetuses," he said.

"There is no doubt the threat is real, we need to see how to put our hands together so that we can fight this epidemic," Said Dr Andama.

This is the 2nd outbreak of the Rift Valley fever in Uganda in less than 2 months. The disease was first recorded in Kenya in 1931 and later in the 1990s in Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Outside Africa, the disease has been reported in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
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Lumpy skin disease virus in Europe

On 7 Jun 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, Veterinary Department declared the territory of the Municipality of Bujanovac an infected area and the territory of the Pčinja administrative districts as at risk of the infectious disease nodular dermatitis (dermatitis nodosa) or lumpy skin disease (LSD).

Pursuant to the decision designating the protection and surveillance zones, the veterinary administration began implementation of all measures necessary to prevent spread, to control, and to eradicate LSD pursuant to the provisions of the Veterinary Act (Official Glasnik SR nos. 91/2005, 30/2010, 93/2012) and the recommendations of international organizations, namely the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
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HIV’s slow retrenchment

HIV’s slow retrenchment | Virology News | Scoop.it
THE latest dispatch from the war on HIV, the “Global AIDS Update 2016”, just published by UNAIDS, the UN agency responsible for combating the virus
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Omani dies after contracting Congo fever from livestock

Omani dies after contracting Congo fever from livestock | Virology News | Scoop.it
Tick-borne viral disease has claimed eight lives this year according to the Ministry of Health
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