[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated 4 related human cases of cowpox virus infection reported in France during 2011. Three patients were infected by the same strain, probably transmitted by imported pet rats, and the fourth patient was infected by another strain. The 2 strains were genetically related to viruses previously isolated from humans with cowpox infection in Europe.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a tick-borne virus responsible for hemorrhagic manifestations and multiple organ failure, with a high mortality rate. In infected humans, damage to endothelial cells and vascular leakage may be a direct result of virus infection or an immune response-mediated indirect effect. The main target cells are mononuclear phagocytes, endothelial cells and hepatocytes; the liver being a key target for the virus, which was described as susceptible to interferon host response and to induce apoptosis. To better understand the early liver cell alterations due to virus infection, the protein profile of in vitro CCHFV-infected HepG2 cells was analysed using two quantitative proteomic approaches, 2D-DIGE and iTRAQ. A set of 243 differentially expressed proteins was identified. Bioinformatics analysis (Ingenuity Pathways Analysis) revealed multiple host cell pathways and functions altered after CCHFV infection, with notably 106 proteins related to cell death, including 79 associated with apoptosis. Different protein networks emerged with associated pathways involved in inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis, ubiquitination/sumoylation, regulation of the nucleo-cytoplasmic transport, and virus entry. Collectively, this study revealed host liver protein abundances that were modified at the early stages of CCHFV infection, offering an unparalleled opportunity of the description of the potential pathogenesis processes and of possible targets for antiviral research.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Phlebotomine sand flies are known to transmit Leishmania, bacteria, and viruses that affect humans and animals in many countries worldwide. Sand fly-borne viruses belong mainly to the Phlebovirus, Vesiculovirus, and Orbivirus genera, and some of them are associated with outbreaks or sporadic human cases in the Mediterranean Europe. Up to now, Toscana virus is the only phlebovirus of medical importance identified in France. To study the diversity of the sand fly population living in the southeastern France, an entomological study was conducted from May to October, 2007. Most of the trapped sand flies belonged to Phlebotomus perniciosus (82.0%) and Sergentomyia minuta (17.3%) species; only three specimens were Phlebotomus ariasi. Molecular characterization of the P. perniciosus specimen based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene demonstrated different subpopulations living in the same areas. Most of the specimens belonged to the haplotypes pern01 and pern09, already described in France, but some belonged to original new haplotypes. The detection of one viral sequence clustering with Massilia/Granada virus, and of four sequences corresponding to two potential new phleboviruses (proposed names Olbia and Provencia viruses, respectively), revealed an unexpected diversity of phlebovirus species in France.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a widely distributed tick-borne member of the Nairovirus genus (Bunyaviridae) with a high mortality rate in humans. CCHFV induces a severe disease in infected patients that includes, among other symptoms, massive liver necrosis and failure. The interaction between liver cells and CCHFV is therefore important for understanding the pathogenesis of this disease. Here, we described the in vitro CCHFV-infection and -replication in the hepatocyte cell line, Huh7, and the induced cellular and molecular response modulation. We found that CCHFV was able to infect and replicate to high titres and to induce a cytopathic effect (CPE). We also observed by flow cytometry and real time quantitative RT-PCR evidence of apoptosis, with the participation of the mitochondrial pathway. On the other hand, we showed that the replication of CCHFV in hepatocytes was able to interfere with the death receptor pathway of apoptosis. Furthermore, we found in CCHFV-infected cells the over-expression of PUMA, Noxa and CHOP suggesting the crosstalk between the ER-stress and mitochondrial apoptosis. By ELISA, we observed an increase of IL-8 in response to viral replication; however apoptosis was shown to be independent from IL-8 secretion. When we compared the induced cellular response between CCHFV and DUGV, a mild or non-pathogenic Nairovirus for humans, we found that the most striking difference was the absence of CPE and apoptosis. Despite the XBP1 splicing and PERK gene expression induced by DUGV, no ER-stress and apoptosis crosstalk was observed. Overall, these results suggest that CCHFV is able to induce ER-stress, activate inflammatory mediators and modulate both mitochondrial and death receptor pathways of apoptosis in hepatocyte cells, which may, in part, explain the role of the liver in the pathogenesis of CCHFV.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29712. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A one-step real time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay was developed to detect all published Dugbe virus (DUGV) genomes of the Nairovirus genus. Primers and probes were designed to detect specific sequences on the most conserved regions of the S segment. The limit of detection of the assay was 10 copies per reaction which is an improvement of 3 log(10)FFU/mL over the sensitivity of conventional RT-PCR. The specificity of the primers and probe was confirmed with the closely related Nairoviruses CCHFV and Hazara virus, and on the non-related viruses Coronavirus and Influenza A virus. This qRT-PCR assay was used to screen nucleic acids extracted from 498 ticks collected in the Republic of Chad. One sample was found positive suggesting that DUGV is present in this part of the world. The molecular assay developed in this study is sensitive, specific and rapid and can be used for research and epidemiological studies.
Journal of virological methods 06/2011; 176(1-2):74-7. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genus Nairovirus in the family Bunyaviridae contains 34 tick-borne viruses classified into seven serogroups. Hazara virus (HAZV) belongs to the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) serogroup that also includes CCHF virus (CCHFV) a major pathogen for humans. HAZV is an interesting model to study CCHFV due to a close serological and phylogenetical relationship and a classification which allows handling in a BSL2 laboratory. Nairoviruses are characterized by a tripartite negative-sense single stranded RNA genome (named L, M and S segments) that encode the RNA polymerase, the Gn-Gc glycoproteins and the nucleoprotein (NP), respectively. Currently, there are neither vaccines nor effective therapies for the treatment of any bunyavirus infection in humans. In this study we report, for the first time, the use of RNA interference (RNAi) as an approach to inhibit nairovirus replication.
Chemically synthesized siRNAs were designed to target the mRNA produced by the three genomic segments. We first demonstrated that the siRNAs targeting the NP mRNA displayed a stronger antiviral effect than those complementary to the L and M transcripts in A549 cells. We further characterized the two most efficient siRNAs showing, that the induced inhibition is specific and associated with a decrease in NP synthesis during HAZV infection. Furthermore, both siRNAs depicted an antiviral activity when used before and after HAZV infection. We next showed that HAZV was sensitive to ribavirin which is also known to inhibit CCHFV. Finally, we demonstrated the additive or synergistic antiviral effect of siRNAs used in combination with ribavirin.
Our study highlights the interest of using RNAi (alone or in combination with ribavirin) to treat nairovirus infection. This approach has to be considered for the development of future antiviral compounds targeting CCHFV, the most pathogenic nairovirus.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Each year, during winter months, human Metapneumovirus (hMPV) is associated with epidemics of bronchiolitis resulting in the hospitalization of many infants. Bronchiolitis is an acute illness of the lower respiratory tract with a consequent inflammation of the bronchioles. The rapid onset of inflammation suggests the innate immune response may have a role to play in the pathogenesis of this hMPV infection. Since, the matrix protein is one of the most abundant proteins in the Paramyxoviridae family virion, we hypothesized that the inflammatory modulation observed in hMPV infected patients may be partly associated with the matrix protein (M-hMPV) response. By western blot analysis, we detected a soluble form of M-hMPV released from hMPV infected cell as well as from M-hMPV transfected HEK 293T cells suggesting that M-hMPV may be directly in contact with antigen presenting cells (APCs) during the course of infection. Moreover, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy allowed determining that M-hMPV was taken up by dendritic cells (moDCs) and macrophages inducing their activation. Furthermore, these moDCs enter into a maturation process inducing the secretion of a broad range of inflammatory cytokines when exposed to M-hMPV. Additionally, M-hMPV activated DCs were shown to stimulate IL-2 and IFN-γ production by allogeneic T lymphocytes. This M-hMPV-mediated activation and antigen presentation of APCs may in part explain the marked inflammatory immune response observed in pathology induced by hMPV in patients.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17818. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne disease described in more than 30 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. The causative agent is the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) that is a member of the genus Nairovirus of the family Bunyaviridae. CCHFV that is characterized by a high genetic variability is transmitted to humans by tick bites or contact with fluids from an infected individual or animal. The initial symptoms of CCHF are nonspecific and gradually progress to a hemorrhagic phase that can be lethal (case-fatality rate: 10 to 50%). Characteristic laboratory findings of CCHF are thrombocytopenia, elevated liver and muscle enzymes, and coagulation defects. The pathogenesis of CCHF remains unclear but might involve excessive pro-inflammatory cytokine production and dysfunction of the innate immune response. Diagnosis of CCHF is based mainly on isolation of the virus, identification of the viral genome by molecular techniques (RT-PCR), and serological detection of anti-CCHFV antibodies. There is currently no specific treatment for CCHFV infection and the efficacy of ribavirin is controversial. In absence of an effective vaccine, prevention is based mainly on vector control, protection measures, and information to increase the awareness of the population and of healthcare workers.
Médecine tropicale: revue du Corps de santé colonial 12/2010; 70(5-6):429-38.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phlebotomine sandflies are known to transmit leishmaniases, bacteria and viruses that affect humans and animals in many countries worldwide. These sandfly-borne viruses are mainly the Phlebovirus, the Vesiculovirus and the Orbivirus. Some of these viruses are associated with outbreaks or human cases in the Mediterranean Europe. In this paper, the viruses transmitted by Phlebotomine sandflies in Europe (Toscana virus, Sicilian virus, sandfly fever Naples virus) are reviewed and their medical importance, geographical distribution, epidemiology and potential spreading discussed. Data on vertebrate reservoirs is sparse for sandfly fever viruses. The factor currently known to limit the spread of diseases is mainly the distribution areas of potential vectors. The distribution areas of the disease may not be restricted to the areas where they have been recorded but could be as wide as those of their vectors, that is to say Larroussius and P. papatasi mainly but not exclusively. Consequently, field work in form of viral isolation from sandflies and possible reservoirs as well as laboratory work to establish vectorial competence of colonised sandflies need to be encouraged in a near future, and epidemiological surveillance should be undertaken throughout the European Union.
Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 03/2010; 15(10):19507. · 5.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a highly pathogenic, tick-borne member of the family Bunyaviridae and the genus Nairovirus. To better elucidate the pathogenesis of CCHFV, we analysed the host innate immune response induced in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) infected in vitro by CCHFV. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages (MPs) were both shown to be permissive for CCHFV and to replicate the virus, as monitored by genomic and antigenomic strand quantification. Virus replication was, however, controlled, corroborating an efficient alpha interferon-induced response. The upregulation of CD-83 and CD-86 indicated that CCHFV induced a partial maturation of DCs, which were also shown to activate the secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, but no tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). On the other hand, in MPs, CCHFV infection elicited a high IL-6 and TNF-alpha response and a moderate chemokine response. Nevertheless, when we compared these APC responses with those seen after infection with Dugbe virus (DUGV), a mildly pathogenic virus genetically close to CCHFV, we found that, in spite of some similarities, DUGV induced a higher cytokine/chemokine response in MPs. These results suggest that CCHFV is able to inhibit the activation of inflammatory mediators selectively in infection in vitro and that these differences could be relevant in pathogenesis.
Journal of General Virology 10/2009; 91(Pt 1):189-98. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flaviviruses are positive-stranded RNA viruses that are a public health problem because of their widespread distribution and their ability to cause a variety of diseases in humans. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne member of this genus and is the etiologic agent of West Nile encephalitis. Clinical manifestations of West Nile virus infection are diverse, and their pathogenic mechanisms depend on complex virus-cell interactions. In the present work, we used proteomics technology to analyze early Vero cell response to West Nile infection. The differential proteomes were resolved 24 h postinfection using two-dimensional DIGE followed by mass spectrometry identification. Quantitative analysis (at least 2-fold quantitative alteration, p < 0.05) revealed 127 differentially expressed proteins with 68 up-regulated proteins and 59 down-regulated proteins of which 93 were successfully identified. The implication for mammalian cellular responses to this neurotropic flavivirus infection was analyzed and made possible more comprehensive characterization of the virus-host interactions involved in pathogenesis. The present study thus provides large scale protein-related information that should be useful for understanding how the host metabolism is modified by West Nile infection and for identifying new potential targets for antiviral therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary vector at the origin of the 2007 outbreak in Libreville, Gabon is identified as Aedes albopictus, trapped around the nearby French military camp. The Chikungunya virus was isolated from mosquitoes and found to be identical to the A226V circulating human strain. This is the first field study showing the role of the recently arrived species Aedes albopictus in Chikungunya virus transmission in Central Africa, and it demonstrates this species' role in modifying the epidemiological presentation of Chikungunya in Gabon.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(3):e4691. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development and validation of a one-step, single-tube, real-time accelerated reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) for the detection of the L RNA segment of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) are described. The assay was performed at a constant temperature (63 degrees C), with a real-time follow-up using a LightCycler and a double-stranded-DNA-intercalating fluorochrome. The assay is highly sensitive and comparable to real-time RT-PCR, with a detection limit of approximately 10 RNA copies per assay. However, the RT-LAMP assay is much faster than traditional RT-PCR and generates results in <30 min for most diluted samples. The specificity of the primers was established using other, related arboviruses as well as virus-containing and virus-free sera. The RT-LAMP assay reported here is thus a valuable tool for the rapid detection of RVFV in field diagnostic laboratories.
Journal of clinical microbiology 10/2008; 46(11):3653-9. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NS2B-NS3 serine protease of Saint Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV), a potential target for antiviral drug design, has been over-expressed as a recombinant His-tag protein in Escherichia coli for future structural determination. The production process resulted in a soluble protease with co-purification of DnaK, a bacterial molecular chaperone already described in E. coli protein expression. Two approaches were tested to remove this specific contaminant. The fusion protein bound to the purification resin was washed with MgATP plus soluble denatured E. coli proteins before elution, but this method proved to be poorly efficient due to a substantial loss of the targeted recombinant protease. After the immobilized metal affinity chromatography step, the use of gel permeation chromatography with addition of arginine in the mobile phase led to effective separation of the native viral protease from the DnaK aggregates. By this way, SLEV DeltaNS2B-NS3pro protease was purified as a functional protein with a purity greater than 90% suitable for crystallization attempts.
Journal of Chromatography B 07/2008; 868(1-2):58-63. · 2.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study reports the first isolation and partial genetic characterization of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) from patients during a 2006-2007 dengue-like syndrome outbreak in Gabon. The isolated viruses were phylogenetically close to strains isolated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 7 years ago and to strains isolated more recently in Cameroon. These results indicate a continuing circulation of a genetically stable CHIKV population during 7 years in Central Africa.
Journal of Medical Virology 04/2008; 80(3):430-3. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that causes epidemic fever, rash and polyarthralgia in Africa and Asia. Although it is known since the 1950s, new epidemiological and clinical features reported during the recent outbreak in the Indian Ocean can be regarded as the emergence of a new disease. Numerous severe forms of the infection have been described that put emphasis on the lack of efficient antiviral therapy. Among the virus-encoded enzymes, nsP2 constitutes an attractive target for the development of antiviral drugs. It is a multifunctional protein of approximately 90 kDa with a helicase motif in the N-terminal portion of the protein while the papain-like protease activity resides in the C-terminal portion. The nsP2 proteinase is an essential enzyme whose proteolytic activity is critical for virus replication. In this work, a recombinant CHIKV nsP2pro and a C-terminally truncated variant were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by metal-chelate chromatography. The enzymatic properties of the proteinase were then determined using specific synthetic fluorogenic substrates. This study constitutes the first characterization of a recombinant CHIKV nsP2 cysteine protease, which may be useful for future drug screening.
Virus Research 03/2008; 131(2):293-8. · 2.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the isolation of chikungunya virus from a patient during an outbreak of a denguelike syndrome in Cameroon in 2006. The virus was phylogenetically grouped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo cluster, indicating a continuous circulation of a genetically similar chikungunya virus population during 6 years in Central Africa.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell fusing agent virus (CFAV) is a positive strand RNA insect virus first isolated from a mosquito cell line. Based on viral morphology, phenotypic and phylogenetic studies, CFAV had been tentatively assigned to the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae). The determination of the CFAV polyprotein complete sequence showed a putative serine protease domain analogue to the flaviviral NS2B/NS3 complex. This complex had been extensively studied, because it represented one of the main targets for antiflavivirus therapy development. We report herein the biochemical characterization of CFAV DeltaNS2B-NS3pro protease complex. CFAV polyprotein sequence was computationally analysed to identify the amino-acid regions involved in protease activity. We designed, expressed and purified a catalytically active protease whose enzymatic properties were determined using fluorogenic substrates. Our results showed that, despite the low level of conservation of its amino-acid sequence, CFAV protease exhibited physico-chemical properties of other flaviviruses (high pH value requirement for optimal activity, inhibition by salt and preference for substrates featuring a basic residue at P(1) position).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report herein the study of the cleavage fragments generated by autoproteolysis of the St. Louis encephalitis virus recombinant protease. The cleavage sites leading to truncated forms were identified by microsequencing, which revealed an unexpected altered specificity of the recombinant proteinase towards unusual sequences.
Protein and Peptide Letters 02/2007; 14(1):79-82. · 1.99 Impact Factor