F Fernandez

Buenos Aires Institute of Technology, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina

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Publications (15)26.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Group A Rotavirus (RVA) is one of the main causes of neonatal calf diarrhea worldwide. RVA strains affecting Argentinean cattle mainly possess combinations of the G6, G10, P[5] and P[11] genotypes. To determine RVA diversity among Argentinean cattle, representative bovine RVA strains detected in diarrheic calves were selected from a survey conducted during 1997-2009. The survey covered the main livestock regions of the country from dairy and beef herds. Different phylogenetic approaches were used to investigate the genetic evolution of RVA strains belonging to the prevalent genotypes. The nucleotide phylogenetic tree showed that all genotypes studied could be divided into several lineages. Argentinean bovine RVA strains were distributed across multiple lineages and most of them were distinct from the lineage containing the vaccine strains. Only the aminoacid phylogenetic tree of G6 RVA strains maintained the same lineages as observed at the nucleotide level, whereas a different clustering pattern was observed for the aminoacid phylogenetic trees of G10, P[5] and P[11] suggesting that the strains are more closely related at the aminoacid level than G6 strains. Association between P[5] and G6(IV), prevalent in beef herd, and between P[11] and G6(III) or G10 (VI and V), prevalent in dairy herds, were found. In addition, Argentinean G6(III), G10, P[5] and P[11] bovine RVA strains grouped together with human strains, highlighting their potential for zoonotic transmission. Phylogenetic studies of RVA circulating in animals raised for consumption and in close contact with humans, such as cattle, contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiology of the RVA infection and evolution.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 04/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Group A rotavirus (RVA) is one of the main causes of neonatal calf diarrhea worldwide. RVA strains affect-ing Argentinean cattle mainly possess combinations of the G6, G10, P[5] and P[11] genotypes. To deter-mine RVA diversity among Argentinean cattle, representative bovine RVA strains detected in diarrheic calves were selected from a survey conducted during 1997–2009. The survey covered the main livestock regions of the country from dairy and beef herds. Different phylogenetic approaches were used to inves-tigate the genetic evolution of RVA strains belonging to the prevalent genotypes. The nucleotide phylo-genetic tree showed that all genotypes studied could be divided into several lineages. Argentinean bovine RVA strains were distributed across multiple lineages and most of them were distinct from the lineage containing the vaccine strains. Only the aminoacid phylogenetic tree of G6 RVA strains maintained the same lineages as observed at the nucleotide level, whereas a different clustering pattern was observed for the aminoacid phylogenetic trees of G10, P[5] and P[11] suggesting that the strains are more closely related at the aminoacid level than G6 strains. Association between P[5] and G6(IV), prevalent in beef herd, and between P[11] and G6(III) or G10 (VI and V), prevalent in dairy herds, were found. In addition, Argentinean G6(III), G10, P[5] and P[11] bovine RVA strains grouped together with human strains, high-lighting their potential for zoonotic transmission. Phylogenetic studies of RVA circulating in animals raised for consumption and in close contact with humans, such as cattle, contribute to a better under-standing of the epidemiology of the RVA infection and evolution. Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Infection Genetics and Evolution 04/2013; 18:18-30. · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    Veterinary Microbiology 08/2012; 158(3-4):394-399. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine Group A Rotavirus (RVA) is one of the main causes of neonatal calf diarrhea worldwide. The present study reports the genotyping of bovine RVA strains circulating in Argentinean cattle from 2004 to 2010. Additionally, a new set of typing primers was designed and tested to differentiate between G8 and G6 (lineage III and IV) RVA strains. Bovine RVA was detected in 30% (435/1462) of the tested samples, corresponding to 49% (207/423) of the studied outbreaks with a similar detection rates in beef (53%; 67/127) and dairy herds (52%; 65/126). The RVA strains circulating in Argentinean cattle belonged to the common bovine genotypes G6 (lineages III and IV), G8, G10, P[5] and P[11]. A different RVA G/P-genotype distribution was found between the exploitation types, with the combination G6(IV)P[5] being by fare the most prevalent RVA strain in beef herds (58%), whereas a more even distribution of G6(III)P[11] (15%), G10P[11] (17%), G6(IV)P[5] (14%), and G6(IV)P[11] (6%) RVA strains was detected in dairy herds. G8 RVA strains were found in two dairy farms in calves co-infected with G8+G6(III)P[11]. A high percentage of co-infections and co-circulation of RVA strains with different genotypes during the same outbreak were registered in both exploitation types (20% of the outbreaks from beef herds and 23% from dairy herds), indicating a potential environment for reassortment. This finding is significant because G10P[11] and G6(III)P[11] strains may possess zoonotic potential. Continuous surveillance of the RVA strains circulating in livestock provides valuable information for a better understanding of rotavirus ecology and epidemiology.
    Veterinary Microbiology 12/2011; 158(3-4):394-9. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine rotavirus (BRV) is an important cause of diarrhea in newborn calves. Local passive immunity is the most efficient protective strategy to control the disease. IgY technology (the use of chicken egg yolk immunoglobulins) is an economic and practical alternative to prevent BRV diarrhea in dairy calves. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protection and immunomodulation induced by the oral administration of egg yolk enriched in BRV specific IgY to experimentally BRV infected calves. All calves in groups Gp 1, 2 and 3 received control colostrum (CC; BRV virus neutralization Ab titer - VN=65,536; ELISA BRV IgG(1)=16,384) prior to gut closure. After gut closure, calves received milk supplemented with 6% BRV-immune egg yolk [(Gp 1) VN=2048; ELISA IgY Ab titer=4096] or non-immune control egg yolk [(Gp 2) VN<4; ELISA IgY Ab titer<4] twice a day, for 14 days. Calves receiving CC only or colostrum deprived calves (CD) fed antibody (Ab) free milk served as controls (Gp 3 and 4, respectively). Calves were inoculated with 10(5.85)focus forming units (FFU) of virulent BRV IND at 2 days of age. Control calves (Gp 3 and 4) and calves fed control IgY (Gp 2) were infected and developed severe diarrhea. Around 80% calves in Gp 1 (IgY 4096) were infected, but they showed 80% (4/5) protection against BRV diarrhea. Bovine RV-specific IgY Ab were detected in the feces of calves in Gp 1, indicating that avian antibodies (Abs) remained intact after passage through the gastrointestinal tract. At post infection day 21, the duodenum was the major site of BRV specific antibody secreting cells (ASC) in all experimental groups. Mucosal ASC responses of all isotypes were significantly higher in the IgY treated groups, independently of the specificity of the treatment, indicating that egg yolk components modulated the immune response against BRV infection at the mucosal level. These results indicate that supplementing newborn calves' diets for the first 14 days of life with egg yolk enriched in BRV-specific IgY represents a promising strategy to prevent BRV diarrhea. Moreover a strong active ASC immune response is induced in the intestinal mucosa following BRV infection after the administration of egg yolk, regardless the specificity of the treatment.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 05/2011; 142(3-4):156-69. · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • M Barrandeguy, N Ulloa, K Bok, F Fernández
    The Veterinary record. 02/2010; 166(6):178-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Group A bovine rotavirus (BRV) is the major cause of neonatal calf diarrhea worldwide. As a preventive strategy, we evaluated the protection and immunomodulation in two groups of BRV-inoculated calves. All calves received control colostrum (CC; VN=65,536; IgG(1)=16,384) prior to gut closure followed by the milk supplemented with immune colostrum (VN=1,048,576; IgG(1)=262,144), twice a day, for 14 days. Calves received milk supplemented with 0.8% immune colostrum [(Gp 1) VN=16,384; IgG(1)=4096] or milk supplemented with 0.4% immune colostrum [(Gp 2) VN=1024; IgG(1)=1024]. Calves receiving CC or colostrum deprived calves (CD) fed antibody (Ab) free milk served as controls (Gp 3 and 4). Calves were inoculated with virulent BRV IND at 2 days of age. Group 1 calves (milk IgG(1) 4096) showed 80% protection against BRV diarrhea and significantly reduced virus shedding. At 21 post-inoculation days (PID), the antibody secreting cell (ASC) responses of Gp 1 calves were limited mainly to duodenal and jejunal lamina propria (LP) with limited or no responses in systemic sites (spleen and PBL) and mesenteric lymph nodes. The profile of serum and fecal Ab responses as well as the ASC responses was also modulated by the presence of passive IgG(1) Abs and probably other colostrum components, toward higher titers of IgA Ab in serum and feces and a greater number of IgA ASC in the proximal intestine, reflecting positive modulation by colostrum toward this isotype associated with optimal protection of the intestinal mucosa. After challenge, at PID 21, all calves in Gp 1 and 2 were fully protected against diarrhea and only 1 of 5 calves in Gp 1 shed virus asymptomatically, indicating that the passive Ab treatment for 14 days was effective in protecting most of the animals after a first and a second virus exposure. The final outcome was a positive modulation of the mucosal immune responses and a high protection rate against diarrhea and virus shedding during the period of peak susceptibility to BRV infection.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 01/2010; 136(1-2):12-27. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection control should be based on elimination of persistently infected animals and on immunization through vaccination, to prevent fetal infection. However, the efficacy of inactivated BVDV vaccines is variable due to its low immunogenicity. This study evaluated the humoral immune response against homologous and heterologous strains of 7 inactivated BVDV vaccines, in bovines and two experimental models (ovine and guinea pig) which might be used to test candidate vaccines. Vaccines formulated with BVDV Singer, Oregon, NADL, and multivalent, induced seroconversion in the three animal models studied, reaching antibody titres higher than 2. Vaccine containing 125C -genotype 2- only induced a low antibody response in ovine, while VS-115 NCP vaccine was not immunogenic. Furthermore, bovine sera at 60 dpv presented homologous as well as heterologous antibody response, indicating a high degree of cross-reactivity among the strains studied. However, when bovine sera were tested against the Argentine field strain 00-693, they showed the lowest levels of cross-reactivity, suggesting the need of continued surveillance to identify and characterize emerging field BVDV strains. Finally, optimal correlations between bovine-ovine and bovine-guinea pig models were observed, indicating that two alternative species could replace bovines when testing the immunogenicity of BVDV candidate vaccines.
    Revista Argentina de microbiología 06/2009; 41(2):86-91. · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection control should be based on elimination of persistently infected animals and on immunization through vaccination, to prevent fetal infection. However, the efficacy of inactivated BVDV vaccines is variable due to its low immunogenicity. This study evaluated the humoral immune response against homologous and heterologous strains of 7 inactivated BVDV vaccines, in bovines and two experimental models (ovine and guinea pig) which might be used to test candidate vaccines. Vaccines formulated with BVDV Singer, Oregon, NADL, and multivalent, induced seroconversion in the three animal models studied, reaching antibody titres higher than 2. Vaccine containing 125C -genotype 2- only induced a low antibody response in ovine, while VS-115 NCP vaccine was not immunogenic. Furthermore, bovine sera at 60 dpv presented homologous as well as heterologous antibody response, indicating a high degree of cross-reactivity among the strains studied. However, when bovine sera were tested against the Argentine field strain 00-693, they showed the lowest levels of cross-reactivity, suggesting the need of continued surveillance to identify and characterize emerging field BVDV strains. Finally, optimal correlations between bovine-ovine and bovine-guinea pig models were observed, indicating that two alternative species could replace bovines when testing the immunogenicity of BVDV candidate vaccines.
    Revista Argentina de microbiología 01/2009; 41(2):86-91. · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Group A bovine rotavirus (BRV) is one of the main causes of neonatal calf diarrhea. The present study reports the incidence of rotavirus diarrhea and the genotypes of BRV strains circulating in beef and dairy herds from Argentina, during a 10-year period (1994-2003). Group A BRV was detected in 62.5% (250/400) of the total studied cases of diarrhea. Positive cases were analyzed by heminested multiplex RT-PCR for P and G genotypes identification. Sixty percent of them were typed as P[5]G6, 4.4% P[11]G10, 4.4% P[11]G6 and 2.4% P[5]G10. Additionally, 9.2% of the cases were initially typed as G8 combined with P[5] or P[11], but sequence analysis revealed they belonged to genotype G6, lineage Hun4-like. Partial typing was assessed in 12.0% of the cases. One of the partially typed samples was closely related to genotype G15. BRV was detected in 71% and 58% of the outbreaks registered in beef and dairy farms, respectively. A clear differential distribution of G/P types was found according to the herd type. P[5]G6 was the prevalent strain in beef herds, while P[11] was the prevalent P-type in dairy herds (71%), associated in similar proportions with G6 and G10, These findings indicate that BRV genotypes included in the current commercially available rotavirus vaccines (G6, G10, P[5] and P[11]) should protect calves from most Argentinean field strains. Nevertheless, continuous surveillance is necessary to detect the emergence of new variants.
    Veterinary Microbiology 12/2006; 118(1-2):1-11. · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • V Parreño, K Bok, F Fernandez, J Gomez
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    ABSTRACT: Rotaviruses (RVs) are a major cause of neonatal diarrhoea in humans and numerous animal species. We report G-type, P-type and phylogenetic analysis of two RV strains isolated from newborn guanacos (Lama guanicoe) with acute diarrhoea in Argentina. Isolates were group A G8 RV. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship to other G8 bovine RV from Japan, U.S.A. and Switzerland. P-types were P[1] and an unusual P[14], related to human and goat P[14] strains. This is the first report of a P[14]G8 strain in our country and the first study on molecular epidemiology of rotavirus found in a new species.
    Archives of Virology 01/2005; 149(12):2465-71. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of colostral maternal antibodies (Abs), acquired via colostrum, on passive protection and development of systemic and mucosal immune responses against rotavirus was evaluated in neonatal calves. Colostrum-deprived (CD) calves, or calves receiving one dose of pooled control colostrum (CC) or immune colostrum (IC), containing an IgG1 titer to bovine rotavirus (BRV) of 1:16,384 or 1:262,144, respectively, were orally inoculated with 105.5 FFU of IND (P[5]G6) BRV at 2 days of age. Calves were monitored daily for diarrhea, virus shedding and anti-BRV Abs in feces by ELISA. Anti-rotavirus Ab titers in serum were evaluated weekly by isotype-specific ELISA and virus neutralization (VN). At 21 days post-inoculation (dpi), all animals were euthanized and the number of anti-BRV antibody secreting cells (ASC) in intestinal and systemic lymphoid tissues were evaluated by ELISPOT. After colostrum intake, IC calves had significantly higher IgG1 serum titers (GMT=28,526) than CC (GMT=1195) or CD calves (GMT<4). After BRV inoculation, all animals became infected with a mean duration of virus shedding between 6 and 10 days. However, IC calves had significantly fewer days of diarrhea (0.8 days) compared to CD and CC calves (11 and 7 days, respectively). In both groups receiving colostrum there was a delay in the onset of diarrhea and virus shedding associated with IgG1 in feces. In serum and feces, CD and CC calves had peak anti-BRV IgM titers at 7 dpi, but IgA and IgG1 responses were significantly lower in CC calves. Antibody titers detected in serum and feces were associated with circulation of ASC of the same isotype in blood. The IC calves had only an IgM response in feces. At 21 dpi, anti-BRV ASC responses were observed in all analyzed tissues of the three groups, except bone marrow. The intestine was the main site of ASC response against BRV and highest IgA ASC numbers. There was an inverse relationship between passive IgG1 titers and magnitude of ASC responses, with fewer IgG1 ASC in CC calves and significantly lower ASC numbers of all isotypes in IC calves. Thus, passive anti-BRV IgG1 negatively affects active immune responses in a dose-dependent manner. In ileal Peyer's patches, IgM ASC predominated in calves receiving colostrum; IgG1 ASC predominated in CD calves. The presence in IC calves of IgG1 in feces in the absence of an IgG1 ASC response is consistent with the transfer of serum IgG1 back into the gut contributing to the protection of the intestinal mucosa.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 07/2004; 100(1-2):7-24. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Group A Bovine Rotavirus (BRV) has been identified as a major cause of neonatal diarrhea in cattle. The study was aimed to determine the prevalence of BRV and to antigenically characterize the G-types of circulating strains in dairy and beef herds in Argentina. A total of 1129 stool samples from diarrheic calves was analyzed from 1994 to 1999. The samples were initially screened for RV by ELISA and PAGE, and then G-typed using monoclonal antibodies (Mab) directed against G1, G2, G3, G6 and G10-specific epitopes. Forty percent (452/1129) of the samples were positive for RV by ELISA, while 24.7% (279/1129) were also positive for PAGE. VP7 was detected in the 70.5% (319/452) of the positive samples using a broadly reactive Mab (C60); 32.6% (104/319) were G6, 15.4% (49/319) were G10, and 6% (19/319) were G1. However, 46.1% (147/319) of the samples remained untypable. Rotavirus diarrhea prevalences were comparable in beef and dairy herds (87.3% and a 74.4%, respectively). Finally, G6 was the most prevalent G-type circulating in beef herds while G10 prevailed in dairy herds. A better understanding of RV epidemiology will contribute to the optimization of current vaccines and prevention programs of RV diarrhea in calves.
    Revista Argentina de microbiología 01/2002; 34(2):110-6. · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Group A rotavirus (RV) and coronavirus (CV) are common viral pathogens associated with neonatal diarrhoea in numerous animal species. The purpose of this work was to investigate the presence of these viral agents in two farm populations of captured guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in the Argentinean Patagonia region, that developed severe diarrhoea outbreaks. Stool and serum samples were analysed for RV and bovine CV antigen and antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Rotavirus was detected in faeces from two new-born guanacos with acute diarrhoea, one in each farm. After electrophoretic analysis, each isolated strain, showed a distinctive long dsRNA electropherotype characteristic of group A rotaviruses (4:2:3:2). In addition, 95% (38 of 40) of the sampled animals were positive for RV antibodies, suggesting a high prevalence of RV infection in the populations tested. No evidence of CV circulation by antigen or antibody analysis was observed. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the detection and isolation of RV associated with neonatal diarrhoea in Lama guanicoe.
    Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series B 12/2001; 48(9):713-20. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many countries have reported rotavirus diarrhoea in foals. In Argentina it causes important economic losses to the horse industry. In this work we present the results obtained using an experimental vaccine in a farm with enzootic infection of rotavirus. A hundred mares were vaccinated 60 and 30 days before foaling with inactivated rotavirus SA11 (G3P2), H2 (G3P12), Lincoln (G6P1), with aluminum hydroxide as adjuvant; 65 mares were included in the unvaccinated, control group. To evaluate the vaccine, morbidity, duration of the diarrhoea and rotavirus shedding were recorded. Antibody levels were established in serum, colostrum and milk of the vaccinated mares, and also in serum from the foals. In foals from vaccinated mares the morbidity was 30%, clinical signs were observed during 1.8 days, and rotavirus shedding was not detected. In the control group the morbidity reached 80%, the clinical signs lasted 7.3 days and rotavirus shedding was detected in 80% of the diarrhoeic foals. At foaling the serum antibody levels were 15 times higher with a mean neutralizing titre (NT) of 3.5 logs than before vaccination (2.4 logs), in colostrum 5.00 logs, and in milk at 90 days post partum 1.7 logs. In foals from vaccinated mares the level of neutralizing antibodies was 3.8 logs at 48 days of age, going down to 2.2 logs at 90 days of age. Immunization of the pregnant mare would be a good method for preventing diarrhoea in foals.
    Developments in biological standardization 02/1998; 92:253-7.