[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VACV) was used as a surrogate of variola virus (VARV) (genus Orthopoxvirus), the causative agent of smallpox, to study Orthopoxvirus infection. VARV is principally transmitted between humans by aerosol droplets. Once inhaled, VARV first infects the respiratory tract where it could encounter surfactant components, such as soluble pattern recognition receptors. Surfactant protein D (SP-D), constitutively present in the lining fluids of the respiratory tract, plays important roles in innate host defense against virus infection. We investigated the role of SP-D in VACV infection and studied the A27 viral protein involvement in the interaction with SP-D. Interaction between SP-D and VACV caused viral inhibition in a lung cell model. Interaction of SP-D with VACV was mediated by the A27 viral protein. Binding required Ca2+ and interactions were blocked in the presence of excess of SP-D saccharide ligands. A27, which lacks glycosylation, directly interacted with SP-D. The interaction between SP-D and the viral particle was also observed using electron microscopy. Infection of mice lacking SP-D (SP-D-/-) resulted in increased mortality compared to SP-D+/+ mice. Altogether, our data show that SP-D participates in host defense against the vaccinia virus infection and that the interaction occurs with the viral surface protein A27.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic and biochemical data have identified at least four viral proteins essential for vaccinia virus (VACV) DNA synthesis: the DNA polymerase E9, its processivity factor (the heterodimer A20/D4) and the primase/helicase D5. These proteins are part of the VACV replication complex in which A20 is a central subunit interacting with E9, D4 and D5. We hypothesised that molecules able to modulate protein-protein interactions within the replication complex may represent a new class of compounds with anti-orthopoxvirus activities. In this study, we adapted a forward duplex yeast two-hybrid assay to screen more than 27,000 molecules in order to identify inhibitors of A20/D4 and/or A20/D5 interactions. We identified two molecules that specifically inhibited both interactions in yeast. Interestingly, we observed that these compounds displayed a similar antiviral activity to cidofovir (CDV) against VACV in cell culture. We further showed that these molecules were able to inhibit the replication of another orthopoxvirus (i.e. cowpox virus), but not the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), an unrelated DNA virus. We also demonstrated that the antiviral activity of both compounds correlated with an inhibition of VACV DNA synthesis. Hence, these molecules may represent a starting point for the development of new anti-orthopoxvirus drugs.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Antiviral research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cidofovir or (S)-HPMPC is one of the three antiviral drugs that might be used for the treatment of orthopoxvirus infections. (S)-HPMPC and its 2,6-diaminopurine counterpart, (S)-HPMPDAP, have been described to select, in vitro, for drug resistance mutations in the viral DNA polymerase (E9L) gene of vaccinia virus (VACV). Here, to extend our knowledge of drug resistance development among orthopoxviruses, we selected,
in vitro, camelpox viruses (CMLV) resistant to (S)-HPMPDAP and identified a single amino acid change, T831I, and a double mutation, A314V+A684V, within E9L. The production
of recombinant CMLV and VACV carrying these amino acid substitutions (T831I, A314V, or A314V+A684V) demonstrated clearly their
involvement in conferring reduced sensitivity to viral DNA polymerase inhibitors, including (S)-HPMPDAP. Both CMLV and VACV harboring the A314V change showed comparable drug-susceptibility profiles to various antivirals
and similar impairments in viral growth. In contrast, the single change T831I and the double change A314V+A684V in VACV were
responsible for increased levels of drug resistance and for cross-resistance to viral DNA polymerase antivirals that were
not observed with their CMLV counterparts. Each amino acid change accounted for an attenuated phenotype of VACV in vivo. Modeling of E9L suggested that the T→I change at position 831 might abolish hydrogen bonds between E9L and the DNA backbone
and have a direct impact on the incorporation of the acyclic nucleoside phosphonates. Our findings demonstrate that drug-resistance
development in two related orthopoxvirus species may impact drug-susceptibility profiles and viral fitness differently.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smallpox vaccination is the only currently effective mean to combat the threat of variola virus used as a bioterrorism agent, although it is responsible for a rare but serious complication, the postvaccinal encephalitis (PVE). Development of safer vaccines therefore is a high priority as the PVE physiopathology is not well understood to date. If vaccinia virus (VACV) is responsible for PVE by central nervous system (CNS) dissemination, trans-migration of the VACV across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) would be supposed to be essential. Given the complexity of the pathogenesis of vaccinia neurovirulence, an in vitro BBB model was used to explore the mechanism of VACV to induce BBB permeability. Two VACV strains were studied, the neurovirulent Western Reserve strain (VACV-WR) and the vaccine reference Lister strain (VACV-List). A mouse model was also developed to study the ability of these two viral strains to propagate in the brain from the blood compartment, their neurovirulence and their neuropathogenesis. In vitro, the loss of permeability resulted from the tight-junctions disruption was induced by virus replication. The ability of VACV to release infectious particles at the abluminal side suggests the capacity of both VACV strains to migrate across the BBB from the blood to the CNS. In vivo, the virus replication in mice CNS was strain-dependent. The VACV-WR laboratory strain proved to be neuroinvasive and neurovirulent, whereas the VACV-List strain is safe in physiological conditions. Mice PVE was observed only with VACV-WR in the co-infection model, when BBB opening was obtained by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment. This study suggests that VACV is able to cross the BBB but encephalitis occurs only in the presence of a co-infection by bacteria. So, a model of co-infection, mimicked by LPS treatment, could have important implication towards the assessment of neurovirulence of new vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The case presented here points towards the fact that skin lesion observed with a cowpox virus is a rare event but should be considered more as the number of cases has increased in the last years. Cowpox virus (CPXV) belongs to the Poxviridae family. The transmission of CPXV to humans is caused by wild rodents or mostly by domestic animals and pet rats. In humans, CPXV is responsible for localized skin lesions regularly accompanied by lymphadenopathy. The lesions remain localized but self-inoculation from the primary lesions could occur. Then physicians have to be vigilant concerning bandages. In this case report, a necrotic and ulcerated lesion of a CPXV infection in a young boy is reported. The CPXV was possibly transmitted by wild rodents. The importance of performing the diagnosis is also pointed out. Virus information was obtained from phylogenetic analyses showing that the CPXV isolate was distinct from outbreaks of human cowpox which occurred in 2009 in France and Germany but was close to the CPXV Brighton Red strain. For several years, cases of viral zoonosis caused by CPXV have increased and physicians should be made aware that people could be infected without history of direct contact with animals.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Case Reports in Dermatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VACV) was used as a surrogate of variola virus (genus Orthopoxvirus), the causative agent of smallpox, to study orthopoxvirus infection. VACV infects cells via attachment and fusion of the viral membrane with the host cell membrane. Glycosphingolipids, expressed in multiple organs, are major components of lipid rafts and have been associated with the infectious route of several pathogens.
We demonstrate that the VACV-WR (VACV Western-Reserve strain) displays no binding to Cer (ceramide) or to Gal-Cer (galactosylceramide), but binds to a natural sulfated derivative of these molecules: the Sulf (sulfatide) 3' sulfogalactosylceramide. The interaction between Sulf and VACV-WR resulted in a time-dependent inhibition of virus infection. Virus cell attachment was the crucial step inhibited by Sulf. Electron microscopy showed that SUVs (small unilamellar vesicles) enriched in Sulf bound to VACV particles. Both the A27 and L5 viral membrane proteins were shown to interact with Sulf, indicating that they could be the major viral ligands for Sulf. Soluble Sulf was successful in preventing mortality, but not morbidity, in a lethal mouse model infection with VACV-WR.
Together the results suggest that Sulf could play a role as an alternate receptor for VACV-WR and probably other Orthopoxviruses.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Biology of the Cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a case of cowpox virus infection leading to severe acute inflammation and chondritis of the outer ear, complicated by local necrosis and facial cellulitis. Secondary lesions occurred on a finger and the abdomen. Apart from scarring, outcome was favorable after repeated surgical excision of necrotic tissue.
No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · The Journal of infection
[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: The vaccinia virus (VACV) Lister strain was one of the vaccine strains that enabled smallpox eradication. Although the strain is most often harmless, there have been numerous incidents of mild to life-threatening accidents with this strain and others. In an attempt to further attenuate the Lister strain, we investigated the role of 5 genomic regions known to be deleted in the modified VACV Ankara (MVA) genome in virulence in immunodeficient mice, immunogenicity in immunocompetent mice, and vaccine efficacy in a cowpox virus challenge model. Lister mutants were constructed so as to delete each of the 5 regions or various combinations of these regions. All of the mutants replicated efficiently in tissue culture except region I mutants, which multiplied more poorly in human cells than the parental strain. Mutants with single deletions were not attenuated or only moderately so in athymic nude mice. Mutants with multiple deletions were more highly attenuated than those with single deletions. Deleting regions II, III, and V together resulted in total attenuation for nude mice and partial attenuation for SCID mice. In immunocompetent mice, the Lister deletion mutants induced VACV specific humoral responses equivalent to those of the parental strain but in some cases lower cell-mediated immune responses. All of the highly attenuated mutants protected mice from a severe cowpox virus challenge at low vaccine doses. The data suggest that several of the Lister mutants combining multiple deletions could be used in smallpox vaccination or as live virus vectors at doses equivalent to those used for the traditional vaccine while displaying increased safety.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VACV) was used as a surrogate of Variola virus (genus Orthopoxvirus), the causative agent of smallpox, to study orthopoxvirus infection via the respiratory airway. Lung surfactant, a physiological barrier to infection encountered by the virus, is predominantly composed of phospholipids whose role during orthopoxvirus infection has not been investigated. An attenuated Lister strain, derived from the traditional smallpox vaccine and the Western Reserve (WR) strain, lethal for mice infected by the respiratory route, were examined for their ability to bind various surfactant phospholipids. Dipalmitoyl phosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) was found to interact with both VACV strains. DPPG incorporated in small unilamellar vesicle (SUV-DPPG) inhibited VACV cell infection, unlike other phospholipids tested. Both pre-incubation of virus with SUV-DPPG and pretreatment of the cell with SUV-DPPG inhibited cell infection. This specific DPPG effect was shown to be concentration and time dependent and to prevent the first step of the viral cycle, i.e. virus cell attachment. Cryo-electron microscopy highlighted the interaction between the virus and SUV-DPPG. In the presence of the phospholipid, virus particles displayed a hedgehog-like appearance due to the attachment of lipid vesicles. Mice infected intranasally with VACV-WR pre-incubated with SUV-DPPG survived a lethal infection. These data suggest that DPPG in lung surfactant could reduce the amount of orthopoxvirus particles able to infect pneumocytes at the beginning of a respiratory poxvirus infection. The knowledge acquired during this study of virus-DPPG interactions may be used to develop novel chemotherapeutic strategies for smallpox.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Antiviral research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VV) vaccination is used to immunize against smallpox and historically was considered to have been successful if a skin lesion formed at the vaccination site. While antibody responses have been widely proposed as a correlate of efficacy and protection in humans, the role of cellular and humoral immunity in VV-associated skin lesion formation was unknown. We therefore investigated whether long-term residual humoral and cellular immune memory to VV, persisting 30 years after vaccination, could control VV-induced skin lesion in revaccinated individuals. Here, we have shown that residual VV-specific IFN-gamma+TNF-alpha+ or IFN-gamma+IL-2+ CD4+ lymphocytes but not CD8+ effector/memory lymphocytes expressing a skin-homing marker are inversely associated with the size of the skin lesion formed in response to revaccination. Indeed, high numbers of residual effector T cells were associated with lower VV skin lesion size after revaccination. In contrast, long-term residual VV-specific neutralizing antibody (NAbs) titers did not affect skin lesion formation. However, the size of the skin lesion strongly correlated with high levels of NAbs boosted after revaccination. These findings demonstrate a potential role for VV-specific CD4+ responses at the site of VV-associated skin lesion, thereby providing new insight into immune responses at these sites and potentially contributing to the development of new approaches to measure the efficacy of VV vaccination.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · The Journal of clinical investigation
[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.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Journal of General Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A20 protein is a major component of the vaccinia virus replication complex. It binds to the DNA polymerase E9, the uracil DNA glycosylase D4 and the primase/helicase D5, three proteins that are essential for viral DNA synthesis. The identification of molecules able to interact with the replication complex and inhibit its activity is a promising strategy for the design of new anti-orthopoxvirus drugs. In this study, we used a yeast genetic approach to select, from combinatorial libraries, 8-mers peptide aptamers that specifically interact with A20. From this screen, we isolated five peptide aptamers whose binding to A20 was confirmed by a glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down assay. Among those, we determined that peptide aptamer 72 binds to a central domain on A20. Interestingly, this region of A20 was previously shown to be important for its function in DNA replication. We next showed that vaccinia virus DNA synthesis was impaired in cells constitutively expressing peptide aptamer 72 and that virus production was inhibited in those cells. Thus, peptide aptamer 72 may be a useful tool for the development of new compounds specifically targeting poxvirus replication.
No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Antiviral research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In view of the threat of the potential use of variola virus in a terrorist attack, considerable efforts have been performed to develop new antiviral strategies against orthopoxviruses. Here we report on the use of RNA interference, either alone or in combination with cidofovir, as an approach to inhibit orthopoxvirus replication. Two selected small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), named siB1R-2 and siG7L-1, and a previously reported siRNA, i.e., siD5R-2 (which targets the viral D5R mRNA), were evaluated for antiviral activity against vaccinia virus (VACV) by plaque reduction and virus yield assays. siB1R-2 and siG7L-1, administered before or after viral infection, reduced VACV replication by more than 90%. Also, these two siRNAs decreased monkeypox virus replication by 95% at a concentration of 1 nM. siB1R-2 and siG7L-1 were demonstrated to specifically silence their corresponding transcripts, i.e., B1R and G7L mRNAs, without induction of a beta interferon response. Strong synergistic effects were observed when siB1R-2, siG7L-1, or siD5R-2 was combined with cidofovir. In addition, the antiviral activities of these three siRNAs were evaluated against VACV resistant to cidofovir and other acyclic nucleoside phosphonates. siG7L-1 and siD5R-2 remained active against four of five VACV mutants, while siB1R-2 showed activity against only one of the mutants. Our results showed that siRNAs are potent inhibitory agents in vitro, not only against wild-type VACV but also against several cidofovir-resistant VACV. Furthermore, we showed that a combined therapy using siRNA and cidofovir may be useful in the treatment of poxvirus infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protease (PR), coded by the BVRF2 gene, is essential for the maturation of the viral capsid and viral DNA packaging during the late stage of the EBV lytic cycle. Like the other herpesvirus serine PRs, EBV PR could be a target for the inhibition of EBV replication. To date, no data have been reported on the inhibition of EBV PR messenger RNA (mRNA) by small interfering RNA (siRNA).
In this study, siRNAs targeting EBV PR were delivered to the epithelial 293 cell line stably transfected with the complete B95-8 EBV episome. EBV DNA and PR mRNA were quantified by real-time PCR in cells and supernatant, protein expression was assessed by immunoblotting, and production of EBV infectious particles in the culture medium was measured by Raji cell superinfection.
The EBV PR mRNA within the cells was reduced by 73%, the PR protein by 35% and the amount of virus in the cell supernatant was drastically decreased by 86% or 95%, depending on the method.
The strong effect of the siRNA targeting EBV PR on EBV replication attests to the crucial role played by EBV PR in the production of infectious particles and suggests that targeting this enzyme can be a new strategy against EBV-associated diseases where virus replication occurs.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Antiviral therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As an initial step in the development of a second-generation smallpox vaccine derived from the Lister strain, to be prepared for a variola virus threat, diversity of the traditional vaccine was examined by characterizing a series of ten viral clones. In vitro and in vivo phenotypic studies showed that the biological behavior of the clones diverged from each other and in most cases diverged from the vaccinia virus (VACV) Lister parental population. Taken together, these results demonstrate the heterogeneity of the viral population within the smallpox vaccine and highlight the difficulty in choosing one clone which would meet the current requirements for a safe and effective vaccine candidate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study assessed three non-replicating smallpox vaccine candidates (modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), NYVAC and HR) for their immunogenicity and ability to protect mice against an intranasal cowpox virus challenge and compared them with the traditional replicating vaccine. A single immunisation with the non-replicating vaccines induced a complete protection from death at short-term, but was not fully protective when mice were challenged 150 days post-vaccination with protection correlated with the specific neutralizing antibodies and CD4(+) T-cells responses. Prime-boost vaccination enabled effective long-term protection from death for mice vaccinated with MVA, but protection from disease and CD4(+) T-cell level were lower than the ones induced by the traditional vaccine over the long-term period. Further investigations are necessary with MVA to determine the optimal conditions of immunisation to induce at long-term immunogenicity and protection observed with the 1st generation smallpox vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In our on-going program targeting anti-pox activity, we report here the synthesis of hitherto unknown acyclic nucleoside phosphonates using olefin cross-metathesis (CM) as a key assembly step. Modification at the C-5 position of the uracil moiety was performed under optimized Pd(0)-catalyzed Stille cross-coupling conditions. None of the obtained compounds were active against poxviruses, nor do they exhibit any toxicity.Graphical abstractIn our on-going program targeting anti-pox activity, the synthesis of various acyclic nucleoside phosphonates is described using olefin cross-metathesis reaction and Pd(0)-mediated alkylation at the C5-position of the uracil moiety.