[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Yellow Fever virus (YFV) is an important human pathogen in tropical areas of Africa and South America. Although an efficient vaccine is available and has been used since the early 1940s, sylvatic YFV transmission still occurs in forested areas where anthropogenic actions are present, such as mineral extraction, rearing livestock and agriculture, and ecological tourism. In this context, two distinct techniques based on the RT-PCR derived method have been previously developed, however both methods are expensive due to the use of thermo cyclers and labeled probes. We developed isothermal genome amplification, which is a rapid, sensitive, specific and low cost molecular approach for YFV genome detection. This assay used a set of degenerate primers designed for the NS1 gene and was able to amplify, within 30min in isothermal conditions, the YFV 17D vaccine strain derived from an African wild prototype strain (Asibi), as well as field strains from Brazil, other endemic countries from South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The generic RT-LAMP assay could be helpful for YFV surveillance in field and rapid response during outbreaks in endemic areas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The four genetically divergent dengue virus (DENV) types are traditionally classified as serotypes. Antigenic and genetic
differences among the DENV types influence disease outcome, vaccine-induced protection, epidemic magnitude, and viral evolution.
We characterized antigenic diversity in the DENV types by antigenic maps constructed from neutralizing antibody titers obtained
from African green monkeys and after human vaccination and natural infections. Genetically, geographically, and temporally,
diverse DENV isolates clustered loosely by type, but we found that many are as similar antigenically to a virus of a different
type as to some viruses of the same type. Primary infection antisera did not neutralize all viruses of the same DENV type
any better than other types did up to 2 years after infection and did not show improved neutralization to homologous type
isolates. That the canonical DENV types are not antigenically homogeneous has implications for vaccination and research on
the dynamics of immunity, disease, and the evolution of DENV.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), especially those transmitted by mosquitoes, are a
significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and animals worldwide. Recent discoveries
indicate that mosquitoes are naturally infected with a wide range of other viruses, many within taxa
occupied by arboviruses that are considered insect-specific. Over the past ten years there has been
a dramatic increase in the literature describing novel insect-specific virus detection in mosquitoes,
which has provided new insights about viral diversity and evolution, including that of arboviruses.
It has also raised questions about what effects the mosquito virome has on arbovirus transmission.
Additionally, the discovery of these new viruses has generated interest in their potential use as
biological control agents as well as novel vaccine platforms. The arbovirus community will benefit
from the growing database of knowledge concerning these newly described viral endosymbionts,
as their impacts will likely be far reaching.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genus Nairovirus of arthropod-borne bunyaviruses includes the important emerging human pathogen, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), as well as Nairobi sheep disease virus and many other poorly described viruses isolated from mammals, birds, and ticks. Here, we report genome sequence analysis of six Nairoviruses: Thiafora virus (TFAV) that was isolated from a shrew in Senegal; Yogue (YOGV), Kasokero (KKOV), and Gossas (GOSV) viruses isolated from bats in Senegal and Uganda; Issyk-Kul virus (IKV) isolated from bats in Kyrgyzstan; and Keterah virus (KTRV) isolated from ticks infesting a bat in Malaysia. The S, M, and L genome segments of each virus were found to encode proteins corresponding to the nucleoprotein, polyglycoprotein, and polymerase protein of CCHFV. However, as observed in Leopards Hill virus (LPHV) and Erve virus (ERVV), polyglycoproteins encoded in the M segment lack sequences encoding the double-membrane-spanning CCHFV NSm protein. Amino acid sequence identities, complement-fixation tests, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses cluster into three groups comprising KKOV, YOGV, and LPHV from bats of the suborder Yingochiroptera; KTRV, IKV, and GOSV from bats of the suborder Yangochiroptera; and TFAV and ERVV from shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae). This reflects clade-specific host and vector associations that extend across the genus.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 09/2015; 93(5). DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.15-0344 · 2.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2010, an outbreak of febrile illness with arthralgic manifestations was detected at La Estación village, Portuguesa State, Venezuela. The etiologic agent was determined to be Mayaro virus (MAYV), a reemerging South American alphavirus. A total of 77 cases was reported and 19 were confirmed as seropositive. MAYV was isolated from acute-phase serum samples from 6 symptomatic patients. We sequenced 27 complete genomes representing the full spectrum of MAYV genetic diversity, which facilitated detection of a new genotype, designated N. Phylogenetic analysis of genomic sequences indicated that etiologic strains from Venezuela belong to genotype D. Results indicate that MAYV is highly conserved genetically, showing ≈17% nucleotide divergence across all 3 genotypes and 4% among genotype D strains in the most variable genes. Coalescent analyses suggested genotypes D and L diverged ≈150 years ago and genotype diverged N ≈250 years ago. This virus commonly infects persons residing near enzootic transmission foci because of anthropogenic incursions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) recognizes four species of tick-borne orbiviruses (TBOs): Chenuda virus, Chobar Gorge virus, Wad Medani virus and Great Island virus (genus Orbivirus, family Reoviridae). Nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) sequence comparisons provide a basis for orbivirus detection and classification, however full genome sequence data were only available for the Great Island virus species. We report representative genome-sequences for the three other TBO species (virus isolates: Chenuda virus (CNUV); Chobar Gorge virus (CGV) and Wad Medani virus (WMV)). Phylogenetic comparisons show that TBOs cluster separately from insect-borne orbiviruses (IBOs). CNUV, CGV, WMV and GIV share low level aa/nt identities with other orbiviruses, in 'conserved' Pol, T2 and T13 proteins/genes, identifying them as four distinct virus-species. The TBO genome segment encoding cell attachment, outer capsid protein 1 (OC1), is approximately half the size of the equivalent segment from insect-borne orbiviruses, helping to explain why tick-borne orbiviruses have a ~1 kb smaller genome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In December 2013, an outbreak of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) caused by the Asian genotype was notified in the Caribbean. The outbreak has since spread to 38 regions in the Americas. By September 2014, the first autochthonous CHIKV infections were confirmed in Oiapoque, North Brazil, and in Feira de Santana, Northeast Brazil.
We compiled epidemiological and clinical data on suspected CHIKV cases in Brazil and polymerase-chain-reaction-based diagnostic was conducted on 68 serum samples from patients with symptom onset between April and September 2014. Two imported and four autochthonous cases were selected for virus propagation, RNA isolation, full-length genome sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis. We then followed CDC/PAHO guidelines to estimate the risk of establishment of CHIKV in Brazilian municipalities.
We detected 41 CHIKV importations and 27 autochthonous cases in Brazil. Epidemiological and phylogenetic analyses indicated local transmission of the Asian CHIKV genotype in Oiapoque. Unexpectedly, we also discovered that the ECSA genotype is circulating in Feira de Santana. The presumed index case of the ECSA genotype was an individual who had recently returned from Angola and developed symptoms in Feira de Santana. We estimate that, if CHIKV becomes established in Brazil, transmission could occur in 94% of municipalities in the country and provide maps of the risk of importation of each strain of CHIKV in Brazil.
The etiological strains associated with the early-phase CHIKV outbreaks in Brazil belong to the Asian and ECSA genotypes. Continued surveillance and vector mitigation strategies are needed to reduce the future public health impact of CHIKV in the Americas.
BMC Medicine 04/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1186/s12916-015-0348-x · 7.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complete genome was determined for 12 viruses isolated from 8 different pools of mosquitoes (Culex sp. and Psorophora ferox) collected at Brejeira farm, Canaan dos Carajas, Para state in northern Brazil. Eight of the viruses were distantly related
to Piura virus, hereafter designated as Brejeira virus; the other 4 were similar to Wallerfield virus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to transform the discovery of viruses causing unexplained acute febrile illness (UAFI) because it does not depend on culturing the pathogen or a priori knowledge of the pathogen's nucleic acid sequence. More generally, it has the potential to elucidate the complete human virome, including viruses that cause no overt symptoms of disease, but may have unrecognized immunological or developmental consequences. We have used NGS to identify RNA viruses in the blood of 195 patients with UAFI and compared them with those found in 328 apparently healthy (i.e., no overt signs of illness) control individuals, all from communities in southeastern Nigeria. Among UAFI patients, we identified the presence of nucleic acids from several well-characterized pathogenic viruses, such as HIV-1, hepatitis, and Lassa virus. In our cohort of healthy individuals, however, we detected the nucleic acids of two novel rhabdoviruses. These viruses, which we call Ekpoma virus-1 (EKV-1) and Ekpoma virus-2 (EKV-2), are highly divergent, with little identity to each other or other known viruses. The most closely related rhabdoviruses are members of the genus Tibrovirus and Bas-Congo virus (BASV), which was recently identified in an individual with symptoms resembling hemorrhagic fever. Furthermore, by conducting a serosurvey of our study cohort, we find evidence for remarkably high exposure rates to the identified rhabdoviruses. The recent discoveries of novel rhabdoviruses by multiple research groups suggest that human infection with rhabdoviruses might be common. While the prevalence and clinical significance of these viruses are currently unknown, these viruses could have previously unrecognized impacts on human health; further research to understand the immunological and developmental impact of these viruses should be explored. More generally, the identification of similar novel viruses in individuals with and without overt symptoms of disease highlights the need for a broader understanding of the human virome as efforts for viral detection and discovery advance.