[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of equid gammaherpesviruses on ocular surface diseases has been disputed, since the diagnosis is usually based on clinical symptoms and detection of viral DNA from samples obtained from live animals.
To describe the clinical course, results of PCR analysis, in situ hybridisation, cell culture and pathohistologic findings of select cases in a presumed outbreak of herpesvirus infection in a group of 15 Icelandic horses.
Pooled ocular and nasal swabs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of horses diagnosed clinically with herpesvirus associated keratoconjunctivitis were analysed for presence of EHV-2 and EHV-5 using realtime PCR. Necropsy specimens from one horse, euthanised due to deterioration of clinical symptoms were examined histopathologically, and analysed for presence of EHV-2 and EHV-5 using realtime PCR. In situ hybridisation and cell culture of select samples were performed.
All horses with symptoms of severe keratoconjunctivitis were positive for presence of either EHV-2 and/or EHV-5 using realtime PCR. Assessment of necropsy specimens of the most severely affected case, revealed presence of EHV-2 and/or EHV-5 in several ocular and extraocular anatomical locations. The remaining horses responded favourably to symptomatic treatment.
This case series illustrates a severe outbreak of keratoconjunctivitis in a group of Icelandic horses, with suspected gammaherpesvirus involvement. For the first time equid gammaherpesviruses were detected in intraocular anatomical locations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detection of West Nile virus (WNV) nucleic acid in a blood donation from Vienna, Aus-tria, as well as in Culex pipiens pupae and egg rafts, sampled close to the donor's residence , is reported. Complete genomic sequences of the human-and mosquito-derived viruses were established, genetically compared and phylogenetically analyzed. The viruses were not identical, but closely related to each other and to recent Czech and Italian isolates, indicating co-circulation of related WNV strains within a confined geographic area. The detection of WNV in a blood donation originating from an area with low WNV prevalence in humans (only three serologically diagnosed cases between 2008 and 2014) is surprising and emphasizes the importance of WNV nucleic acid testing of blood donations even in such areas, along with active mosquito surveillance programs.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126381 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Middle East is a culturally and politically diverse region at the gateway between Europe, Africa and Asia. Spatial dynamics of the fatal zoonotic disease rabies among countries of the Middle East and surrounding regions is poorly understood. An improved understanding of virus distribution is necessary to direct control methods. Previous studies have suggested regular trans-boundary movement, but have been unable to infer direction. Here we address these issues, by investigating the evolution of 183 rabies virus isolates collected from over 20 countries between 1972 and 2014. We have undertaken a discrete phylogeographic analysis on a subset of 139 samples to infer where and when movements of rabies have occurred. We provide evidence for four genetically distinct clades with separate origins currently circulating in the Middle East and surrounding countries. Introductions of these viruses have been followed by regular and multidirectional trans-boundary movements in some parts of the region, but relative isolation in others. There is evidence for minimal regular incursion of rabies from Central and Eastern Asia. These data support current initiatives for regional collaboration that are essential for rabies elimination.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowledge of bornaviruses has expanded considerably during the last decade. A possible reservoir of mammalian Borna disease virus has been identified, divergent bornaviruses have been detected in birds and reptiles, and endogenous bornavirus-like elements have been discovered in the genomes of vertebrates of several species. Previous sequence comparisons and alignments have indicated that the members of the current family Bornaviridae are phylogenetically diverse and are not adequately classified in the existing bornavirus taxonomy supported by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). We provide an update of these analyses and describe their implications for taxonomy. We propose retaining the family name Bornaviridae and the genus Bornavirus but reorganizing species classification. PAirwise Sequence Comparison (PASC) of bornavirus genomes and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) comparison of genomic and protein sequences, in combination with other already published phylogenetic analyses and known biological characteristics of bornaviruses, indicate that this genus should include at least five species: Mammalian 1 bornavirus (classical Borna disease virus and divergent Borna disease virus isolate No/98), Psittaciform 1 bornavirus (avian/psittacine bornaviruses 1, 2, 3, 4, 7), Passeriform 1 bornavirus (avian/canary bornaviruses C1, C2, C3, LS), Passeriform 2 bornavirus (estrildid finch bornavirus EF), and Waterbird 1 bornavirus (avian bornavirus 062CG). This classification is also in line with biological characteristics of these viruses and their vertebrate hosts. A snake bornavirus, proposed to be named Loveridge’s garter snake virus 1, should be classified as a member of an additional species (Elapid 1 bornavirus), unassigned to a genus, in the family Bornaviridae. Avian bornaviruses 5, 6, MALL, and another “reptile bornavirus” (“Gaboon viper virus”) should stay unclassified until further information becomes available. Finally, we propose new virus names and abbreviations when necessary to achieve clear differentiation and unique identification.
Archives of Virology 12/2014; 160(2). DOI:10.1007/s00705-014-2276-z · 2.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study the first complete sequence of the West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 strain currently circulating in Romania was determined. The virus was detected in a Hyalomma marginatum marginatum tick collected from a juvenile song thrush (Turdus philomelos) in the Romanian Danube Delta close to the city of Tulcea, end of August 2013. Our finding emphasizes the role of ticks in introduction and maintenance of WNV infections. Sequence analyses revealed close genetic relationship of the Romanian WNV strain to strain Reb_Volgograd_07_H, which was isolated from human brain tissue during an outbreak of West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) in Russia in 2007. In 2010 the Eastern European lineage 2 WNV caused an outbreak of human WNND in Romania. Partial sequences from subsequent years demonstrated that this WNV strain became endemic in Eastern Europe and has been causing outbreaks of varying sizes in southern Russia since 2007 and in Romania since 2010.
PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109905. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109905 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A countrywide survey in Oman revealed Middle Eastrespiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) nucleicacid in five of 76 dromedary camels. Camel-derivedMERS-CoV sequences (3,754 nucleotides assembled from partial sequences of the open reading frame (ORF)1a, spike, and ORF4b genes) from Oman and Qatar were slightly different from each other, but closely related to human MERS-CoV sequences from the same geographical areas, suggesting local zoonotic transmission. High viral loads in nasal and conjunctival swabs suggest possible transmission by the respiratory route.
Eurosurveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 04/2014; 19(16). DOI:10.2807/1560-7917.ES2014.19.16.20781 · 5.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Borna disease (BD) is a sporadic neurologic disease of horses and sheep caused by mammalian Borna disease virus (BDV). Its unique epidemiological features include: limited occurrence in certain endemic regions of central Europe, yearly varying disease peaks, and a seasonal pattern with higher disease frequencies in spring and a disease nadir in autumn. It is most probably not directly transmitted between horses and sheep. All these features led to the assumption that an indigenous virus reservoir of BDV other than horses and sheep may exist. The search for such a reservoir had been unsuccessful until a few years ago five BDV-infected shrews were found in a BD-endemic area in Switzerland. So far, these data lacked further confirmation. We therefore initiated a study in shrews in endemic areas of Germany. Within five years 107 shrews of five different species were collected. BDV infections were identified in 14 individuals of the species bicolored white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon, HERMANN 1780), all originating from BD-endemic territories. Immunohistological analysis showed widespread distribution of BDV antigen both in the nervous system and in epithelial and mesenchymal tissues without pathological alterations. Large amounts of virus, demonstrated by presence of viral antigen in epithelial cells of the oral cavity and in keratinocytes of the skin, may be a source of infection for natural and spill-over hosts. Genetic analyses reflected a close relationship of the BDV sequences obtained from the shrews with the regional BDV cluster. At one location a high percentage of BDV-positive shrews was identified in four consecutive years, which points towards a self-sustaining infection cycle in bicolored white-toothed shrews. Analyses of behavioral and population features of this shrew species revealed that the bicolored white-toothed shrew may indeed play an important role as an indigenous host of BDV.
PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e93659. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0093659 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary structures of host-defense peptides present in frog skin secretions constitute useful molecular markers for establishing taxonomic classifications and investigating phylogenetic relationships between species within a particular genus. Peptidomic analysis has led to the characterization of multiple host-defense peptides in norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions of three species of frogs from the family Ranidae: Lithobates forreri (Boulenger, 1883), Hylarana luctuosa (Peters, 1871), and Hylarana signata (Günther, 1872). The L. forreri secretions contain ranatuerin-2 (2 peptides), brevinin-1 (4 peptides), and temporin (1 peptide). The H. luctuosa secretions contain brevinin-2 (4 peptides), esculentin-1 (1 peptide), esculentin-2 (1 peptide), palustrin-2 (2 peptides), and temporin (2 peptides). The H. signata secretions contain brevinin-2 (4 peptides), brevinin-1 (5 peptides), palustrin-2 (1 peptide), and temporin (2 peptides). Cladistic analysis based upon the primary structures of 44 ranatuerin-2 peptides from 20 Lithobates species indicates a close phylogenetic relationship between L. forreri, Lithobates onca, and Lithobates yavapaiensis. A similar cladistic analysis based upon the primary structures of 27 brevinin-2 peptides from 8 Hylarana species provides support for a close phylogenetic relationship between H. signata and Hylarana picturata, while showing that the species are not conspecific, with H. luctuosa more distantly related.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D Genomics and Proteomics 01/2014; 9C(1):49-57. DOI:10.1016/j.cbd.2014.01.002 · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date the influence of herpesviruses on the development of equine ocular diseases has not been clearly determined.
The purpose of this study was to illustrate the course of equine ocular findings over a period of 18 months at 6 month intervals, in correlation with the results of herpesvirus detection.
266 Lipizzaners in 3 federal states of Austria underwent complete ophthalmologic examination 4 times. Blood samples, nasal- and conjunctival swabs were obtained at the same time and used for the detection of the equid gammaherpesviruses EHV-2 and EHV-5 using consensus herpesvirus PCR and type-specific qPCRs. Ophthalmic findings and results of herpesvirus PCRs were recorded and statistically analysed using one-way ANOVA, and multiple logistic regression analysis to determine the influence of herpesvirus infections and other contributing factors on the presence of ophthalmic findings.
In the first, second, third and fourth examination period 266, 261, 249 and 230 horses were included, respectively. Ophthalmic findings consistent with herpesvirus infections included conjunctival- and corneal pathologies. Statistical analysis revealed that the probability of positive herpesvirus PCR results decreased with progressing age; however the presence of corneal findings increased over time. At the time of each examination 45.1%, 41.8%, 43.0%, and 57.0% of horses with conjunctival or corneal findings, respectively, were positive for EHV-2 and/or EHV-5. However, 31.6%, 17.6%, 20.1%, and 13.0% of clinically sound horses were positive for these herpesviruses at each examination period, too.
Based on the results of our study there is a significant influence of young age on EHV-2 and/or EHV-5 infection. Corneal pathologies increased over time and with progressing age. Whether the identified findings were caused by herpesviruses could not be unequivocally determined.
PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e79888. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0079888 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the extent of asinine herpesvirus (AsHV) type 5 infection in 'closed' populations of clinically normal Lipizzaner horses. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells plus nasal and conjunctival swabs were obtained on four occasions over an 18month period from 266 animals as part of a health surveillance programme. Sequence analysis of samples that were positive by nested consensus herpesvirus PCR but negative using quantified equid herpesvirus (EHV) type 2 and 5 PCR, revealed a total of 51 samples from 39 horses positive for AsHV-5. No statistically significant association between animal age, gender or geographical location and infection status was identified. The findings suggest sub-clinical AsHV-5 infection may be encountered more frequently than previously reported.
The Veterinary Journal 11/2013; 200(1). DOI:10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.10.035 · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Barkedji virus, named after the area of its first identification in Senegal, is a newly discovered flavivirus, for which we propose the abbreviation BJV. In the present study, we report the first-time detection of BJV in Culex perexiguus mosquitoes in Israel in 2011 and determination of its almost complete polyprotein gene sequence. We characterized the BJV genome and defined putative mature proteins, conserved structural elements, and potential enzyme motifs along the polyprotein precursor. By comparing polyproteins and individual proteins of BJV with several other flaviviruses, a distant relationship of BJV to Nounane virus, a recently described African flavivirus, is demonstrated. Phylogenetic analysis of 55 selected flaviviral polyprotein gene sequences exhibits two major clusters, one made up of the classical three clades of flaviviruses: mosquito-borne, tick-borne, and such without known vectors. The other cluster exclusively contains so-called 'insect-specific' flaviviruses, which do not replicate in vertebrate cells. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, BJV is related to other members of the mosquito-borne clade with yet unknown vertebrate hosts, such as Nounane virus, Donggang virus, Chaoyang virus, and Lammi virus. However, with a maximum identity of only 54% to Nounane virus BJV represents a distinct new virus species.
Journal of General Virology 08/2013; 94(Pt_11). DOI:10.1099/vir.0.056200-0 · 3.18 Impact Factor