Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola virus; rhesus macaque; animal model; FDA Animal Rule; natural history
Online: 5 February 2021 (11:34:20 CET)
Ebola virus (EBOV) is a negative-sense RNA virus that can infect humans and nonhuman primates with severe health consequences. Development of countermeasures requires a thorough understanding of the interaction between host and pathogen, and the course of disease. The goal of this study was to further characterize EBOV disease in a uniformly lethal rhesus macaque model, in order to support development of a well-characterized model following rigorous quality standards. Rhesus macaques were intramuscularly exposed to EBOV and one group was euthanized at predetermined time points to characterize progression of disease. A second group was not scheduled for euthanasia in order to analyze survival, changes in physiology, clinical pathology, terminal pathology, and telemetry kinetics. On day 3, sporadic viremia was observed and pathological evidence was noted in lymph nodes. By day 5, viremia was detected in all EBOV exposed animals and pathological evidence was noted in the liver, spleen, and gastrointestinal tissues. These data support the notion that EBOV infection in rhesus macaques is a rapid systemic disease similar to infection in humans, under a compressed time scale. Biomarkers that correlated with disease progression at the earliest stages of infection were observed thereby identifying potential “trigger--to-treat” for use in therapeutic studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0796.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Ebola Virus, Marburg Virus, HERC5, Antiviral, Interferon
Online: 30 April 2021 (15:44:44 CEST)
Survival following Ebola virus (EBOV) infection correlates with the ability to mount an early and robust interferon (IFN) response. The host IFN-induced proteins that contribute to controlling EBOV replication are not fully known. Among the top genes with the strongest early increases in expression after infection in vivo is IFN-induced HERC5. Using a transcription- and replication-competent VLP system, we showed that HERC5 inhibits EBOV virus-like particle (VLP) replication by depleting EBOV mRNAs. The HERC5 RCC1-like domain was necessary and sufficient for this inhibition and did not require zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP). Moreover, we showed that EBOV (Zaire) glycoprotein (GP) but not Marburg virus GP antagonized HERC5 early during infection. Our data identifies a novel ‘protagonist-antagonistic’ relationship between HERC5 and GP in the early stages of EBOV infection that could be exploited for the development of novel antiviral therapeutics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0363.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola virus; filovirus; lipid binding; matrix protein; VP24
Online: 17 July 2020 (06:00:08 CEST)
Viral protein 24 (VP24) from Ebola virus (EBOV) was first recognized as a minor matrix protein that associates with cellular membranes. However, more recent studies shed light on its roles in inhibiting viral genome transcription and replication, facilitating nucleocapsid assembly and transport, and interfering with immune responses in host cells through downregulation of interferon (IFN)-activated genes. Thus, whether VP24 is a peripheral protein with lipid binding ability for matrix layer recruitment has not been explored. Here we examined the lipid binding ability of VP24 with a number of lipid binding assays. The results indicated that VP24 lacked the ability to associate with lipids tested regardless of VP24 posttranslational modifications. We further demonstrate that the presence of the EBOV major matrix protein VP40 did not promote VP24 membrane association in vitro or in cells. Further, no protein-protein interactions between VP24 and VP40 were detected by co-immunoprecipitation. Confocal imaging and cellular membrane fractionation analyses in human cells suggested VP24 did not specifically localize at the plasma membrane inner leaflet. Overall, we provide evidence that EBOV VP24 is not a lipid binding protein and its presence in the viral matrix layer is likely not dependent on direct lipid interactions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0312.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Ebola Virus Disease, knowledge, attitude, practices, wellness, men, sexual behaviour, environment.
Online: 13 July 2021 (15:54:36 CEST)
Background: The study assessed men’s role in the preparedness against emerging pandemic of Ebola Virus Disease in Ogun State, Nigeria. It examined the changes in men’s hygiene practices as response to the news of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease. Methods: The data were extracted from a 2015 Cross-Sectional Survey on wellness, knowledge, attitude and practices towards the control and prevention of Ebola Virus Disease. The respondents (466 male) in the main survey were selected using simple random sampling technique within two enumeration areas (EAs). Results: The results revealed high level of knowledge of EVD but over 70% were not aware of centre for EVD treatment, 60.2% believed they are not susceptible to EVD. The practice of handshaking reduced, eating of hunted animals decreased only marginally by 6.9% and washing with soap increased by 4%. Conclusion: The study provides helpful information for public health policy especially in terms of behavioral risk factors that are prone to Ebola virus infections or other communicable diseases. It emphasises regular hand washing with soap and sanitizing agents and recommended that availability of treatment centres and vaccines that can enhance effective response in curtailing further health emergencies.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola virus; filovirus; inclusion bodies; CAD; pyrimidine synthesis
Online: 21 April 2020 (09:48:15 CEST)
Ebola virus (EBOV) is a zoonotic pathogen causing severe hemorrhagic fevers in humans and non-human primates with high case fatality rates. In recent years, the number and extent of outbreaks has increased, highlighting the importance of better understanding the molecular aspects of EBOV infection and host cell interactions to control this virus more efficiently. Many viruses, including EBOV, have been shown to recruit host proteins for different viral processes. Based on a genome-wide siRNA screen, we recently identified the cellular host factor carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase 2, aspartate transcarbamylase, and dihydroorotase (CAD) to be involved in EBOV RNA synthesis. However, mechanistic details of how this host factor plays a role in the EBOV life cycle remain elusive. In this study, we analyzed the functional and molecular interactions between EBOV and CAD. To this end, we used siRNA knockdowns in combination with various reverse-genetics based lifecycle-modelling systems and additionally performed co-immunoprecipitation and co immunofluorescence assays to investigate the influence of CAD on individual aspects of the EBOV life cycle and to characterize the interactions of CAD with viral proteins. Following this approach, we could demonstrate that CAD directly interacts with the EBOV nucleoprotein NP, and that NP is sufficient to recruit CAD into inclusion bodies dependent on the GLN-domain of CAD. Further, siRNA knockdown experiments indicated that CAD is important for both viral genome replication and transcription, while substrate rescue experiments showed that the function of CAD in pyrimidine synthesis is indeed required for those processes. Together this suggests that NP recruits CAD into inclusion bodies via its GLN domain in order to provide pyrimidines for EBOV genome replication and transcription. These results define a novel mechanism by which EBOV hijacks host cell pathways in order to facilitate genome replication and transcription, and provide further basis for the development of host directed broad spectrum antivirals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0475.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Mononegavirales; Chaperones; Antivirals; Hsp70; Hsp90; CCT; Respiratory syncytial virus; Measles virus; Mumps Virus; Rabies virus; Ebola virus.
Online: 19 November 2018 (17:22:51 CET)
The order Mononegavirales harbors numerous viruses of significant relevance for human health, including both established and emerging infections. Currently, vaccines are only available for a small subset of these viruses and antiviral therapies remain limited. Being obligate cellular parasites, viruses must utilize the cellular machinery for their replication and spread. Therefore, targeting cellular pathways used by viruses can provide novel therapeutic approaches. One of the key challenges confronted by both hosts and viruses alike is the successful folding and maturation of proteins. In cells, this task is faced by cellular molecular chaperones, a group of conserved and abundant proteins that oversee protein folding and help maintain protein homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of how the mononegavirales interact with cellular chaperones, highlight key gaps in our knowledge, and discuss the potential of chaperone inhibitors as antivirals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0177.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola; influenza virus; HIV; envelope protein; membrane fusion inhibitor; HR2; pentacyclic triterpenoids
Online: 19 January 2018 (04:02:15 CET)
Recent years have witnessed a breakthrough in identification of a trimer-of-hairpins motif within viral envelopes that triggers a broad range of virus-host fusion. Identifying a domain capable of controlling virus-host fusion remains a challenge due to sequence diversity, heavy glycan shielding and multiple conformations. Here, we report that HR2, a prevalent heptad repeat sequence comprising an alpha-helical coil anchored in viral membranes, is an accessible site to triterpenes, a class of widely distributed natural products. Triterpenes and their derivatives inhibit the entry of Ebola, HIV, and influenza A viruses with distinct structure-activity relationships. Specifically, triterpenoid probes, upon activation by ultraviolet light, capture the viral envelope via crosslinking the HR2 coil. Profiling the Ebola HR2 sequence using amino acid substitution, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy disclosed six constitutive residues that are accessible to triterpenoids, leading to wrapping of the hydrophobic helix by triterpenoids and blocking of the HR1-HR2 interaction, which is critical in the trimer-of-hairpins formation. This finding was also observed in the envelopes of HIV and influenza A viruses and might potentially extend to a broader variety of viruses. Our findings might translate into a shared mechanism that host utilize natural product triterpenoids to antagonize membrane fusion of respective viruses, complementing the current repertoire of antiviral agents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0467.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Ebola virus; filovirus; lipid binding; Marburg virus; membrane trafficking; virus assembly; VP40
Online: 29 February 2020 (13:12:20 CET)
Marburg virus (MARV) is a lipid-enveloped negative sense single stranded RNA virus, which can cause a deadly hemorrhagic fever. MARV encodes seven proteins, including VP40 (mVP40), a matrix protein that interacts with the cytoplasmic leaflet of the host cell plasma membrane. VP40 traffics to the plasma membrane inner leaflet, where it assembles to facilitate the budding of viral particles. VP40 is a multifunctional protein that interacts with several host proteins and lipids to complete the viral replication cycle, but many of these host-interactions remain unknown or are poorly characterized. In this study, we investigated the role of a hydrophobic loop region in the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of mVP40 that shares sequence similarity with the CTD of Ebola virus VP40 (eVP40). These conserved hydrophobic residues in eVP40 have been previously shown to be critical to plasma membrane localization and membrane insertion. An array of cellular experiments and confirmatory in vitro work strongly suggests proper orientation and hydrophobic residues (Phe281, Leu283, and Phe286) in the mVP40 CTD are critical to plasma membrane localization. In line with the different functions proposed for eVP40 and mVP40 CTD hydrophobic residues, molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate large flexibility of residues in the EBOV CTD whereas conserved mVP40 hydrophobic residues are more restricted in their flexibility. This study sheds further light on important amino acids and structural features in mVP40 required for its plasma membrane localization as well as differences in the functional role of CTD amino acids in eVP40 and mVP40.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0641.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: entry; kinetics; luciferase; real-time; live assay, vesicular stomatitis virus; Ebola; Lassa; chikungunya; coronavirus.
Online: 25 November 2020 (13:05:59 CET)
Viral entry is the first stage in the virus replication cycle and, for enveloped viruses, is mediated by virally encoded glycoproteins. Viral glycoproteins have different receptor affinities and triggering mechanisms. We employed vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a BSL-2 enveloped virus that can incorporate non-native glycoproteins, to examine the entry efficiencies of diverse viral glycoproteins. To compare glycoprotein-mediated entry efficiencies of: VSV G, SARS-CoV-2 S, EBOV GP, LASV GP, and CHIKV E we produced recombinant VSV (rVSV) viruses that produce the five glycoproteins. The rVSV virions encoded a nano luciferase-PEST (NLucP) reporter gene, which we used in combination with the live-cell substrate Endurazine™ to monitor viral entry kinetics in real time. Our data indicate that rVSV particles with glycoproteins that require more post-internalization priming typically demonstrate delayed entry in comparison to VSV G. In addition to determining the time required for each virus to complete entry, we also used our system to evaluate viral cell surface receptor preferences, monitor fusion, and elucidate endocytosis mechanisms. This system can be rapidly employed to examine diverse viral glycoproteins and their entry requirements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0448.v1
Online: 22 February 2021 (08:30:59 CET)
The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the effect of intensive, interactive training on hospital workers’ preparedness for special pathogen cases by utilizing the Frontline Facility Special Pathogens Training Course created by New York
Subject: Keywords: health innovation; technological innovation; social innovation; public health; global health; Ebola; Covid-19
Online: 30 March 2021 (10:29:41 CEST)
Health innovations are generally oriented on a techno-economic vision. In this perspective, technologies are seen as an end in themselves, and there is no arrangement between the technical and the social values of innovation. This vision prevails in sanitary crises, in which management is carried out based on the search for punctual, reactive, and technical solutions to remedy a specific problem without a systemic/holistic, sustainable, or proactive approach. This paper attempts to contribute to the literature on the epistemological orientation of innovations in the field of public health. Taking the Covid-19 and Ebola crises as examples, the primary objective is to show how innovation in health is oriented towards a techno-economic paradigm. Second, we propose a repositioning of public health innovation towards a social paradigm that will put more emphasis on the interaction between social and health dimensions in the perspective of social change.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0112.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Thermodynamics; Calorimetry; Entropy; Enthalpy; Gibbs energy; Virus-host interaction; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Ebola virus
Online: 7 November 2022 (08:41:22 CET)
Biothermodynamics of viruses is among the youngest, but rapidly developing scientific disciplines. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has closely followed the results published by molecular biologists. Empirical formulas were published for 50 viruses and thermodynamic properties for multiple viruses and virus variants, including all variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-COV, Ebola virus, Vaccinia and Monkeypox virus. A review of development of biothermodynamics of viruses during the last several decades and intense development during the last 3 years has been described in this paper.
Subject: Keywords: pangolin; intrinsic; disorder; protein; nucleocapsid; Nipah; virulence; viral protein; protein structure; protein function; shell; covid; coronavirus; ebola; vaccine; immune; antibody; shell; nucleoprotein; matrix; attenuate
Online: 28 June 2020 (09:16:27 CEST)
A model to predict the relative levels of respiratory and fecal-oral transmission potentials of coronaviruses (CoVs) by measuring the percentage of protein intrinsic disorder (PID) of the M (Membrane) and N (nucleoprotein) proteins in their outer and inner shells, respectively, was built before the MERS-CoV outbreak. Application of this model to the 2003 SARS-CoV indicated that this virus with MPID = 8.6% and NPID = 50.2% falls into group B, which consists of CoVs with intermediate levels of both fecal-oral and respiratory transmission potentials. Further validation of the model came with MERS-CoV (MPID = 9%, NPID = 44%) and SARS-CoV-2 (MPID = 5.5%, NPID = 48%) falling into the groups C and B, respectively. Group C contains CoVs with higher fecal-oral but lower respiratory transmission potentials. Unlike SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 with MPID = 5.5% has one of the hardest outer shells among CoVs. This shell hardness is believed to be responsible for high viral loads in the mucus and saliva making it more contagious than SARS-CoV. The hard shell is able to resist the anti-microbial enzymes in body fluids. Further searches have found that high rigidity of outer shell is characteristic for the CoVs of burrowing animals, such as rabbits (MPID = 5.6%) and pangolins (MPID = 5-6%), which are in contact with the buried feces. A closer inspection of pangolin-CoVs from 2017-19 reveals that these animals provided a unique window of opportunity for the entry of an attenuated SARS-CoV-2 precursor into the human population in 2017 or earlier, with the subsequent slow and silent spread as a mild cold that followed by its mutations into the current more virulent form. Evidence of this lies in the similarity of shell disorder and genetic proximity of the pangolin-CoVs to SARS-CoV-2 (~90%). A 2017 pangolin-CoV strain shows evidence of higher levels of attenuation and higher fecal-oral transmission associated with lower human infectivity via having lower NPID (44.8%). Our shell disorder analysis also revealed that lower inner shell disorder is associated with the lesser virulence in a variety of viruses.
Subject: Keywords: intrinsic; disorder; protein; nucleocapsid; Nipah; virulence; viral protein; protein structure; protein function, shell; covid; coronavirus; ebola; vaccine; immune; antibody; shell; nucleocapsid; nucleoprotein; matrix; attenuate;
Online: 7 May 2020 (10:04:51 CEST)
A model that predicts levels of coronavirus (CoV) respiratory/fecal-oral transmission potentials based on the outer shell hardness has been built using neural network (artificial intelligence, AI) analysis of the percentage of disorder (PID) in the nucleocapsid, N, and membrane, M, proteins of the inner and outer viral shells, respectively. Based mainly on the PID of N, SARS-CoV-2 is categorized as having intermediate levels of both respiratory and fecal oral transmission potential. Related to this, other studies have found strong positive correlations between virulence and inner shell disorder among numerous viruses, including Nipah, Ebola, and Dengue viruses. There is some evidence that this is also true for SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, which have N PIDs of 48% and 50%, and are characterized by case-fatality rates of 7.1% and 10.9%, respectively. The link between levels of respiratory transmission and virulence lies in viral load of body fluids and organ respectively. A virus can be infectious via respiratory modes only if the viral loads in saliva and mucus exceed certain minima. Likewise, a person may die, if the viral load is too high especially in viral organs. Inner shell proteins of viruses play important roles in the replication of viruses, and structural disorder enhances these roles by providing greater efficiency in protein-protein/DNA/RNA/lipid binding. This paper outlines a novel strategy in attenuating viruses involving comparison of disorder patterns of inner shells of related viruses to identify residues and regions that could be ideal for mutation. The M protein of SARS-CoV-2 has one of the lowest M PID values (6%) in its family, and therefore this virus has one of the hardest outer shells, which makes it resistant to antimicrobial enzymes in body fluid. While this is likely responsible for its contagiousness, the risks of creating an attenuated virus with a more disordered M are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0005.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Epidemics; Twitter; Natural Language Processing; Topic Modelling; Sentiment Analysis; ARI; Cholera; Ebola; HIV/AIDS; Influenza; Malaria; Spanish influenza; Swine flu; Tuberculosis; Typhus; Yellow fever; and Zika
Online: 1 November 2022 (01:17:14 CET)
At the end of 2019, while the world was being hit by the COVID-19 virus and, consequently, was living a global health crisis, many other pandemics were putting humankind in danger. The role of social media is of paramount importance in these kinds of contexts since they help health systems to cope with emergencies by contributing to conducting some activities such as the identification of public concerns, the detection of infections’ symptoms, and the traceability of the virus diffusion. In this paper, we have analyzed comments on events related to cholera, ebola, HIV/AIDS, influenza, malaria, Spanish influenza, swine flu, tuberculosis, typhus, yellow fever, and zika, collecting 369,472 tweets from the 3rd of March to the 15th of September, 2022. Our analysis has started with the collection of comments composed of unstructured texts on which we have applied natural language processing solutions. Afterward, we have employed topic modelling and sentiment analysis techniques to obtain a collection of people’s concerns and attitudes toward these pandemics. According to our findings, people's discussions were mostly about malaria, influenza, and tuberculosis and the focus was on the diseases themselves. As regards emotions, the most popular were fear, trust, and disgust where trust is mainly regarding HIV/AIDS tweets.