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    ABSTRACT: Ljungan virus is a recently-identified member of the Picornaviridae that was isolated from bank voles in Sweden. It has been shown to cause type 1 diabetes-like symptoms and myocarditis in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and it has been suggested that it has zoonotic potential. Here we showed for the first time that Ljungan virus was prevalent (20 - 27% positive by PCR) in four species of UK rodent (Myodes glareolus [bank vole], Apodemus sylvaticus [wood mice], Microtus agrestis [field vole] and Mus musculus [house mice]). Sequence analysis showed that Ljungan virus of genotypes 1 and 2 were found, although genotype 1 was more prevalent and more frequently associated with brain tissue. This study highlights the prevalence of Ljungan virus in the UK and the need for confirmation of its zoonotic potential.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Archives of Virology
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    ABSTRACT: Sheep infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of tick-borne fever (TBF), develop humoral immune responses 7-14 days after infection. Those individuals that survive acute TBF develop persistent infection, which may last for several months or even for life. The persistence of infection and recurrent bacteraemia is thought to be due to p44-mediated antigenic variation. The present study mapped linear B-cell epitopes within the hypervariable region (HVR) of the surface membrane protein P44 and investigated whether the development of antibodies against B cell epitopes within the HVR was preceded by the expression of p44 variants. Serum samples obtained from five sheep infected with the Old Sourhope strain of A. phagocytophilum (AP-OS) were used to detect antibody reactivity against 20-mer overlapping synthetic peptides spanning the HVR of two p44 variants which were expressed during primary bacteraemia and 3 variants expressed during secondary bacteraemia. The results showed that all five p44 variants of AP-OS have dominant B-cell epitopes residing mainly in the 3rd and 7th of the 10-11 peptides mapping each HVR. Antibody reactivity against peptides of the HVR of all the variants was characterised by a gradual rise, reaching peak levels in samples obtained 24 days post-inoculation (dpi) followed by a gradual decline. Anamnestic responses to whole cell antigens and to some of the dominant antigenic epitopes were detected in some of the animals, which were monitored for 52 weeks.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Veterinary Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Clade V nematodes comprise several parasitic species that include the cyathostomins, primary helminth pathogens of horses. Next generation transcriptome datasets are available for eight parasitic clade V nematodes, although no equine parasites are included in this group. Here, we report next generation transcriptome sequencing analysis for the common cyathostomin species, Cylicostephanus goldi. A cDNA library was generated from RNA extracted from 17 C. goldi male and female adult parasites. Following sequencing using a 454 GS FLX pyrosequencer, a total of 475,215 sequencing reads were generated, which were assembled into 26,910 contigs. Using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases, 27% of the transcriptome was annotated. Further in-depth analysis was carried out by comparing the C. goldi dataset with the next generation transcriptomes and genomes of other clade V nematodes, with the Oesophagostomum dentatum transcriptome and the Haemonchus contortus genome showing the highest levels of sequence identity with the cyathostomin dataset (45%). The C. goldi transcriptome was mined for genes associated with anthelmintic mode of action and/or resistance. Sequences encoding proteins previously associated with the three major anthelmintic classes used in horses were identified, with the exception of the P-glycoprotein group. Targeted re-sequencing of the glutamate gated chloride channel α4 subunit (glc-3), one of the primary targets of the macrocyclic lactone anthelmintics, was performed for several cyathostomin species. We believe this study reports the first transcriptome dataset for an equine helminth parasite, providing the opportunity for in-depth analysis of these important parasites at the molecular level. Sequences encoding enzymes involved in key processes and genes associated with levamisole/pyrantel and macrocyclic lactone resistance, in particular the glutamate gated chloride channels, were identified. This novel data will inform cyathostomin biology and anthelmintic resistance studies in future.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · International journal for parasitology
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