ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0148.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: chronic hepatitis C; chronic hepatitis B; innate immune response; adaptive immune response; cytokine; chemokine
Online: 12 April 2019 (10:59:21 CEST)
Background: Cytokines and chemokines are critical regulators of innate and adaptive immunities during viral infection. We examined innate and adaptive immune responses to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) at baseline and against controls. Methods: Twenty-seven cytokines were evaluated before treatment in 27 patients with chronic hepatitis C(CHC) [genotype1 (n=20), genotype2 (n=7), HCVRNA 5.72IU/ml] and 12 chronic hepatitis B(CHB) [e-antigen (Ag) (+) (n=5), e-Ag (-) (n=7), HBVDNA 6.191.31Logcopies/ml] and against controls(n=5). Results: Th1 and Th2 cytokines were significantly higher (p<0.05) in CHB than in CHC. The levels of IL-IL10 in CHC and CHB, and IL15 in CHC(genotype2) and CHB were significantly lower (p<0.05) than in controls. The levels of CXCL8 in CHC and CHB, IL12 in CHC and CHB [e-Ag (-)] and CXCL10 in CHC and CHB were significantly higher (p<0.05) than in controls. IFN-γwas higher in CHB than in controls. Conclusion: Cytokines levels differed between CHB and CHC before treatment. Innate immune responses were impaired in CHB with HBeAg(-) and CHC, but not in CHB with HBeAg(+) with high viral loads. Adaptive immune responses were impaired in CHB and CHC and appear to reflect the distinct state of virus-host immune interactions between CHB and CHC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0079.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; core protein; TNFα
Online: 6 September 2022 (03:38:14 CEST)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein is a multifunctional protein that is involved in proliferation, inflammation and apoptosis mechanism of hepatocytes. HCV core protein genetic variability has been implicated in various outcomes of HCV pathology and treatment. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the role of HCV core protein in tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-induced death under the viewpoint of HCV genetic variability. Immortalized hepatocytes (IHH), and not the Huh7.5 hepatoma cell line, stably expressing HCV subtype 4a and HCV subtype 4f core proteins showed that only HCV 4a core protein could increase sensitivity to TNFα-induced death. Development of two transgenic mice expressing the two different core proteins under the liver-specific promoter of transthyretin (TTR) allowed for the in vivo assessment of the role of core in TNFα-induced death. Using the TNFα-dependent model of lipopolysaccharide/D-galactosamine (LPS/Dgal) we were able to recapitulate the in vitro results in IHH cells in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing HCV 4a core protein were more susceptible to the LPS/Dgal model while mice expressing HCV 4f core protein had the same susceptibility as their littermate controls. Transcriptome analysis in liver biopsies from these transgenic mice gave insights into HCV core molecular pathogenesis, while linking HCV core protein genetic variability to differential pathology in vivo.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0033.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: apoptosis; viral persistence, hepatitis C virus; immunity; chronic infection
Online: 2 October 2018 (16:34:19 CEST)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) represents a challenging global health threat in ~200 million infected individuals. Clinical data suggests that only ~10-15% of acutely HCV-infected individuals will achieve spontaneous viral clearance despite exuberant virus-specific immune responses, which is largely attributed to difficulties in recognizing the pathognomonic symptoms during the initial stages of exposure to the virus. Given the paucity of a suitable small animal model, it is also equally challenging to study the early phases of viral establishment. Further, the host factors contributing to HCV chronicity in a vast majority of acutely HCV-infected individuals largely remain unexplored. The last few years have witnessed a surge in studies showing that HCV adopts a myriad mechanisms to disconcert virus-specific immune responses in the host to establish persistence that includes, but not limited to viral escape mutations, viral growth at privileged sites, and antagonism. Here, we discussed a few hitherto poorly explained mechanisms employed by HCV that are believed to lead to chronicity in infected individuals. A better understanding of these mechanisms would aid the design of improved therapeutic targets against viral establishment in susceptible individuals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0239.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Frequency of hepatitis; Lifestyle determinants of hepatitis; Risk factors of hepatitis; Socio-demographic determinants of hepatitis
Online: 15 July 2022 (16:00:00 CEST)
Hepatitis is the eighth highest cause of mortality globally and second-highest in Pakistan. The purpose of this study was to determine frequency of Hepatitis B and C and related lifestyle and socio-demographic risk factors among adults. The data were collected though questionnaire from Hepatitis B and C patients from Mayo and Jinnah hospital Lahore. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 18. There were 5095 patients with Hepatitis B and C out of which 146 patients (67 males and 79 females) filled questionnaire. The frequency of hepatitis C was higher than hepatitis B. The significant risk factors associated with hepatitis B and C were education, marital status, family history, household income, and type of food consumed. Therefore, socio-demographic and lifestyle risk factors related interventions are needed to reduce frequency of Hepatitis B and C.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0341.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis B Virus; Chronic Hepatitis infection; Oncogenesis
Online: 22 July 2022 (13:18:26 CEST)
Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) Virus infection is major etiological factor for liver cirrhosis and/ or liver cancer. The viral protein, major contributor in predisposition of chronicity and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is Hepatitis B x (HBx) protein. Its dynamic subcellular distribution to an extent determines its multifactorial role. It is a regulatory protein which modulates viral as well as host machinery in favours to HBV persistence. An insight on HBx stabilising factors is critical for therapeutic purpose. The precise role of HBx in the pathogenesis of Chronicity of HBV is not known. Summary: This review comprehensively summarizing different mechanisms and their regulation by HBx protein with respect to chronicity and HCC emphasising viral persistence. Key Messages 1. HBx is a key protein for viral persistence. 2. Dynamic subcellular distribution of HBx determines its function. 3. HBx modulates cellular machinery to favours HBV survival. 4. HBx affects various intermediary mechanisms contributing to disease progression. 5. HBx may be a potent target to prevent the disease progression towards HCC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0295.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis B virus; hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha; long-term infection; ERK signaling pathway
Online: 25 January 2020 (15:25:57 CET)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major factor in development of various liver diseases such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Among HBV encoded proteins, HBV X protein (HBx) is known to play key role in development of HCC. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) is a nuclear transcription factor which is critical for hepatocyte differentiation. However, the expression level as well as its regulatory mechanism in HBV infection have yet to be clarified. Here, we observed the suppression of HNF4α in cells which stably express HBV whole genome or HBx protein alone, while transient transfection of HBV replicon or HBx plasmid had no effect on the HNF4α level. Importantly, in the stable HBV- or HBx-expressing hepatocytes, the downregulated level of HNF4α was restored by inhibiting ERK signaling pathway. Our data showed that HNF4α was suppressed during long-term HBV infection in cultured HepG2-NTCP cells as well as in mouse model following hydrodynamic injection of pAAV-HBV or in mice intravenously infected with rAAV-HBV. Importantly, HNF4α downregulation increased cell proliferation which contributed to the formation and development of tumor in xenograft nude mice. The data presented here provided several proofs for the effect of HBV infection in manipulating HNF4α regulatory pathway in HCC development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0092.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Hepatitis B; Bangladesh; prevalence; vertical transmission; occult infection; genotypes.
Online: 5 September 2018 (09:24:31 CEST)
Despite a considerable body of published research on Hepatitis B in Bangladesh, researchers continue to lament the lack of reliable information about Hepatitis B epidemiology. The present review aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the literature with particular focus on a number of epidemiological questions, as well as a commentary on the trends of Hepatitis B research as it has taken place in Bangladesh. The key themes to emerge from this review are: first, beyond noting a declining trend, it is difficult to provide conclusive estimates about Hepatitis B prevalence in the general population of Bangladesh. The majority of the studies, even the ones conducted on apparently healthy populations, fail to be adequately representative for the reasons explored in the article. Secondly, Hepatitis B in Bangladesh is sharply stratified across sociodemographic lines, which speaks to the role of awareness and risk exposure in Hepatitis B prevalence. Third, more research on occult infection rates is required to estimate the extent of risk posed by the current blood donation screening program, which relies exclusively on Hepatitis B surface antigen as a biomarker. The same considerations apply for the comparative importance of vertical vs. horizontal transmission, and prevalence among particular risk groups like healthcare workers with high occupational exposure. Finally, while recent studies do allow us, albeit with some ambiguity, to draw conclusions about distribution of Hepatitis B genotypes in Bangladesh, there needs to be an added emphasis on molecular epidemiology. It is hoped that the present review, the first of its kind in Bangladesh, will serve as an up-to-date summary of the course Hepatitis B epidemiology research in Bangladesh has taken thus far, as well as crucial gaps to address going forward.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0324.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: hepatitis B; hepatitis C; occupational health; dental education; needlestick injury
Online: 19 April 2020 (04:37:08 CEST)
Introduction: Dental health care workers, particularly dental medicine students (DMS), are at an increased risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The aim of our study was to assess the level of knowledge on HBV and HCV, estimate needlestick injury (NSI) prevalence and reporting practice in DMS at the University of Zagreb and analyze how enrolment in obligatory and supplemental courses affects knowledge and needlestick injury reporting practice. Materials and methods: The knowledge was assessed by our questionnaires based on Centers for Disease Control general handouts. Additional information was collected to examine the prevalence and reporting practice of NSI. Data was analyzed by descriptive statistical analysis, independent-samples t-tests, proportion analyses and combined factor analyses of categorical and quantitative variables in SPSS and R. Results: In total, 206 students participated. The overall level of HBV and HCV-related knowledge was poor with average scores being 61.90% and 51.35% respectively. Moreover, students enrolled in the first year demonstrated significantly lower levels of knowledge in comparison with their older peers. Of all participants 18.2% sustained a needlestick injury, and majority of them (78.95%) never reported the injury. Conclusion: In conclusion, DMS have low levels of knowledge on important occupational pathogens and poor NSI reporting practice. Moreover, formal education in the current form failed to significantly improve competence of students and theoretical knowledge translates poorly into more conscientious injury reporting practice. We should look for a better way to increase student awareness and level of knowledge on this topic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0045.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Chronic hepatitis C; Direct-acting antiviral agents; Hepatitis C virus; Consultation-liaison psychiatry; Depression; Anxiety
Online: 5 July 2020 (05:15:08 CEST)
In chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients, interferon-based treatments showed toxicity, limited efficacy, and psychiatric manifestations. Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents appeared safer, though it remains unclear if they may exacerbate or foster mood symptoms in drug-naïve CHC patients. We evaluated 62 CHC patients’ mental status, before and 12 weeks after DAA therapy, by assessment scales and psychometric instruments. We subdivided patients into two groups, CHC patients with (Group A) or without (Group B) a current and/or past psychiatric history. After DAA treatment, Group A patients showed low anxiety and improved depression, no variation in self-report distress, but worse general health perceptions. No significant difference emerged from coping strategies. Depression and anxiety improved in Group B, and no change emerged from total self-reported distress, except for somatization. Moreover, Group B increased problem-focused strategies for suppression of competing activities, and decreased strategies of instrumental social support. Contrarily, Group B reduced significantly emotion-focused strategies, such as acceptance and mental disengagement, and improved vitality, physical and social role functioning. DAA therapy is safe and free of hepatological and psychiatric side effects in CHC patients, regardless of current and/or past psychiatric history. In particular, patients without a psychiatric history also remarkably improved their quality of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0488.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; Chronic viral hepatitis C; Liver fibrosis; Liver cirrhosis; Diagnosis of liver fibrosis; Machine learning
Online: 22 February 2021 (15:31:11 CET)
Aim. The purpose of the work was the development of a machine learning model for diagnosing the stage of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C according to the data of routine clinical examination. Materials and methods. A total of 1240 patients with chronic viral hepatitis C was examined. A set of data obtained from 689 patients balancing by the stage of liver fibrosis was used for developing and testing machine learning models. 9 routine clinical parameters were selected as the most important predictors for determining the likelihood of liver fibrosis the 3–4 stages presence: age, height, weight and body mass index of the patient, the number of platelets in the clinical blood test, levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, and total bilirubin in a biochemical blood test. Results. The accuracy of the developed method for determining the 3–4 stages of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C in comparison with the «gold standard» of diagnosis (liver biopsy) was 80.56% (95% CI: 69.53–88.94%), sensitivity — 66.67%, specificity — 94.44%. Conclusion. The developed method is an alternative to more expensive and geographically inaccessible studies. The method does not require the purchase of additional equipment or software, as well as additional laboratory tests, when used in real clinical practice. The introduction of the method into clinical practice can help to solve the problem of low material and territorial availability of diagnostic tests and allow determining the stage of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0025.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: hepatitis E virus; proteomic comparative analysis; pregnancy serum
Online: 6 March 2017 (04:59:30 CET)
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a common cause of acute hepatitis worldwide, accounting for approximately 25% of deaths among pregnant women. We previously reported that pregnancy serum facilitates HEV replication in vitro. However, the differences in host cells with HEV infection induced by pregnancy serum and fetal bovine serum (FBS) are unclear. In this study, differentially expressed proteins were identified in HEV-infected hepatoma cells (HepG2) supplemented with different sera by using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation. Proteomic analysis indicated that HEV infection significantly induced 1014 differentially expressed proteins in HEV-infected HepG2 cells when supplemented with FBS compared with pregnancy serum. Further validation by Western blot confirmed that filamin A, heat-shock proteins 70 and 90, Cytochrome c, and Thioredoxin were associated with HEV infection. This comparative analysis provides an important basis to further investigate HEV pathogenesis in pregnant women and HEV replication.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0158.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Genotyping, Mixed infection, Fluorescence melting curve analysis, Viral Load, Quantification
Online: 8 October 2018 (16:08:48 CEST)
Hepatitis-C is one of the most common viral diseases caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is responsible for millions of deaths each year in the developing world. The common dissemination paths of HCV include the use of contaminated water and transfusion of infected blood. Control of this virus has become a challenge for scientists and health professionals due to its versatility and adaptability in different host environments. Along with other problems, lack of efficient diagnosis, quantification and genotyping of viral strains are the major hindrances in a management of this notorious epidemic. The knowledge of HCV genotype and an amount of virus in patient’s blood are pre-requisites to determine the duration and method of treatment. In this review, we discuss the implications of HCV molecular diagnostic methods and their clinical applications. We conclude that while, several commercial and home-brewed methods are available for this purpose, and there is a visible vacuum for cost effective, robust, sensitive assays that can detect multiple viral genotypes in a single reaction. We are of the view that the level of sensitivity offered by Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technique is unequivocal as compared to other techniques. Therefore, researchers may explore further possibilities using this technique in the management of HCV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0001.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis B virus; prevalence of HBsAg; rural and urban zone; Togo
Online: 1 January 2020 (14:31:28 CET)
Infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a public health problem in many parts of the world, due to its frequency, complications and socio-economic consequences. This study aimed to assess the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus infection in rural areas and in urban areas. This cross-sectional study assessed the prevalence of HBV infection from 2015-2018 at CHR-Sokodé and USP of Ogaro. Biological data of 3000 participants (500 per year in each zone) enrolled and results of HBsAg were assessed during the study period. Female are represented 60% with average age comprised between [20, 29] years old. The high rate of participants enrolled (45.10%) are come for the monitoring of pregnancy. The prevalence of VHB during the study are 20.33% (610/3000), high prevalence (6.27%) and the means of VHB prevalence are shown in the age range between [30; 39] with 12.17% (365/3000) of female and 8.17% (235/3000) of male are positive after diagnostic detection of HBsAg (antigen of Hepatitis B virus). The prevalence of HBV in rural zone (Ogaro) are 5.23% and 15.07% in urban zone (Sokodé) and the high prevalence (17.50%) are shown in urban zone. The high prevalence of young suggests that some effort will be due to sensibilized young for HBV sexual transmission and the way of prevention. In addition, some research would be done in research of alternative therapy against this infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0226.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus (HCV); liver; samples; structure; electrochemiluminescence (ECL); ELISA method (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay); antigen-antibodies
Online: 17 January 2022 (12:37:22 CET)
Objective: The study aimed to manage and to analyse the results of the laboratory tests, available nowadays, used from routine clinical practice, for screening of hepatitis C. Methods: comparison of ELISA method results (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) and chemiluminescence methods results. Beside previously mentioned, the study show the structural comparison of normal liver and pathologic liver with hepatic cirrhosis, using permanent samples colored after the technique protocol. Statistical analysis of this study results, was performed using the laboratory informatic system. Results: The results of the study are substantial and intricate. For this purpose, the results of preliminary EСL screening method of patients at risk for HCV who took part in the study, are presented in tables and figures. Results of this study are various and are correlate from different perspectives. Also good to mention that the correlations of results were used in order to identify a possible relationships between indicators of ELISA method and ECL index. More than, correlations antibodies detected in ECL and ELISA are point out. Conclusion: EСL and ELISA method results, are relevant for screening and for diagnostic confirmation in HCV risk patients. Unfotunately in the present study, were impossible to conclude about false-negative results. Good to know our opinion that RT-PCR technique, it is considered proper for the diagnosis of HCV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0096.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis E; Associated risk factors; Pregnant women; Environment; Prevention; Senegal
Online: 7 June 2022 (08:06:52 CEST)
In West Africa, research on the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is barely covered despite the recorded outbreaks. The still low level of access to safe water and adequate sanitation is one of the main factors of HEV spread in developing countries. HEV infection induces acute or sub-clinical liver diseases with a mortality rate ranging from 0.5 to 4%. The mortality rate is more alarming (15 to 25%) among pregnant women, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. Here, we conducted a multicentric socio-demographic and seroepidemiological survey of HEV in Senegal among pregnant women. A total of 1,227 consenting participants attending antenatal clinics responded to our questionnaire. Plasma samples were collected and tested for anti-HEV IgM and IgG by using the WANTAI HEV-IgM and IgG ELISA assay. HEV global seroprevalence was 7.9% with 0.5% and 7.4% for HEV IgM and HEV IgG, respectively. One participant's sample was IgM/IgG positive, while four were declared indeterminate to anti-HEV IgM as per the manufacturer's instructions. From one locality to another, the seroprevalence of HEV antibodies varied from 0 to 1% for HEV IgM and from 1.5 to 10.5% for HEV IgG. The data also showed that seroprevalence varied significantly by marital status (p<0.0001), by the regularity of income (p=0.0043) and by access to sanitation services (p=0.0006). These data could serve as a basis to setup national prevention strategies focused on socio-cultural, environmental and behavioral aspects for a better management of HEV infection in Senegal.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0176.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: chronic hepatitis B; covalently closed circular DNA; viral integration; transcription factor; nuclear receptor; transcriptional inhibitor; RNA interference
Online: 7 June 2021 (12:43:06 CEST)
Approximately 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), despite four decades of an effective HBV vaccine. During chronic infection, HBV forms two distinct templates responsible for viral gene transcription: (1) episomal covalently closed circular (ccc)DNA and (2) host-genome integrated viral templates. Multiple ubiquitous and liver-specific transcription factors are recruited onto these templates and modulate viral gene transcription. This review details the latest developments in antivirals that inhibit HBV gene transcription, and their impact on the stability of viral transcripts. Notably, nuclear receptor agonists exhibit potent inhibition of viral gene transcription from cccDNA, small molecule inhibitors repress HBV X protein-mediated transcription from cccDNA and small interfering RNAs and single-stranded oligonucleotides result in transcript degradation from both cccDNA and integrant templates. These antivirals mediate their effects by reducing viral transcripts abundance, eventually leading to loss of surface antigen expression, and can potentially be added to the arsenal of drugs with demonstrable anti-HBV activity. Thus, these candidates deserve special attention for future repurposing or further development as anti-HBV therapeutics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0314.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: hepatitis B virus (HBV); cccDNA; basal core promoter; X promoter; single nucleotide polymorphisms; logo analyses; genotype alignments
Online: 15 October 2018 (13:03:06 CEST)
Over 250 million people are infected chronically with hepatitis B virus (HBV), the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide. HBV persists due in part to its compact, stable minichromosome, the covalently-closed, circular DNA (cccDNA), which resides in the hepatocytes’ nuclei. Current therapies target downstream replication products, however, a true virological cure will require targeting the cccDNA. Finding targets on such a small, compact genome is challenging. For HBV, to remain replication-competent, it needs to maintain nucleotide fidelity in key regions, such as the promoter regions, to ensure that it can continue to utilize the necessary host proteins. HBVdb (HBV database) is a repository of HBV sequences spanning all genotypes (A-H) amplified from clinical samples, and hence implying an extensive collection of replication-competent viruses. Here, we analyzed the HBV sequences from HBVdb using bioinformatics tools to comprehensively assess the HBV core and X promoter regions amongst the nearly 70,000 HBV sequences for highly-conserved nucleotides and variant frequencies. Notably, there is a high degree of nucleotide conservation within specific segments of these promoter regions highlighting their importance in potential host protein-viral interactions and thus the virus’ viability. Such findings may have key implications for designing antivirals to target these areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0254.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Solanum fruit juice; biochemical markers; chronic hepatitis C; oxidative stress; antioxidants
Online: 12 October 2018 (04:55:44 CEST)
Variations in liver metabolism as a result of hepatitis C virus have been established by numerous clinical trials. The use of antioxidants supplements has been reported to minimize the implication of this disease. In this regard, we examined the suitability of Solanum fruit juice, a natural source of vitamin C and citrus flavoniod as a precursor for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C. Forty adult patients who were diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C and were under antiviral therapy were divided into two equal groups. Group 1 patients received their antiviral therapy with normal food and water and served as the control group while patients in group 2 were supplemented with Solanum fruit juice for eight consecutive weeks. Measurements for Anthropometric data, C reactive protein (CRP), atherogenic indices, biochemical parameters and activities of liver marker enzymes were recorded before and after eight weeks. No alterations were found in waist circumference, body mass and body fat following regular use of Solanum fruit juice. The serum levels of oxidative stress markers, LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, CRP and atherogenic indices decreased in the Solanum fruit juice group when compared to the control group. Moreover, the activities of the liver marker enzyme AST decreased in those who had high levels before the intervention. These results underscore the benefits of Solanum fruit juice in the diet of patients with HCV as a result of decreased cholesterol in blood serum, decreased inflammation, and increase in antioxidant capacity as well as maintaining body mass index. This clinical trial is registered at Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (www.pactr.org) with unique identification number PACTR201802003092138.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0074.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma; hepatitis B virus X protein; Notch1 pathway; ERK; AKT
Online: 21 September 2016 (09:49:13 CEST)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the dominant risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HBV X protein (HBx) plays crucial roles in HCC carcinogenesis. HBx interferes with several signaling pathways including Notch1 pathway in HCC. In our study, we found that Notch1 was highly expressed in HCC especially in large HCC. Notch1 and HBx co-localized in HCC and their levels were positively correlated with each other. Notch1 expression was more elevated in HepG2.2.15 than that in HepG2. HBx activated Notch1 pathway in HepG2.2.15. Repression of HBx and Notch1 pathway attenuated the growth of HepG2.2.15. Notch1, ERK and AKT pathways were inhibited after a γ-secretase inhibitor treatment. Dual-specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) were up-regulated after the γ-secretase inhibitor treatment and Hes1 inhibition. Luciferase reporter assays showed that Hes1 repressed the promoters of DUSP1 and PTEN and this was reverted by γ-secretase inhibitor treatment. Western blotting demonstrated that DUSP1 dephosphorylated pERK and PTEN dephosphorylated pAKT. Collectively, we reported a link among HBx, Notch1 pathway, DUSP1/PTEN, and ERK/AKT pathways, which influenced HCC cell survival and could be a therapeutic target for HCC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0031.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hepatitis B virus; genotypes; subgenotypes; HBsAg subtypes; molecular epidemiology; Siberia; Siberian natives; aboriginal population
Online: 5 October 2022 (10:44:12 CEST)
A total of 381 hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA sequences collected from 9 groups of Siberian native populations were phylogenetically analyzed along with 179 HBV strains sampled in different urban populations of former western USSR republics and 50 strain from Central Asian republics and Mongolia. Different HBV subgenotypes predominated in various native Siberian populations. Subgenotype D1 was dominant in Altaian Kazakhs (100%), Tuvans (100%), and Teleuts (100%) of southern Siberia as well as in Dolgans and Nganasans (69%), who inhabit the polar Taimyr Peninsula. D2 was the most prevalent subgenotype in the combined group of Nenets, Komi, and Khants of the northern Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region (71%), and in Yakuts (36%) from northeastern Siberia. D3 was the main subgenotype in South Altaians (76%) and Buryats (40%) of southeastern Siberia, and in Chukchi (51%) of the Russian Far East. Subgenotype C2 was found in Taimyr (19%) and Chukchi (27%), while subgenotype A2 was common in Yakuts (33%). In contrast, D2 was dominant (56%) in urban populations of the former western USSR, and D1 (62%) in Central Asian republics and Mongolia. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the studied groups are epidemiologically isolated from each other and might have contracted HBV from different sources during the settlement of Siberia.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0220.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis B virus; HepG2-NTCP cells; Immunofluorescence; Sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) Receptor; Subcloning; Limiting dilution; Myrcludex B
Online: 14 July 2022 (12:06:08 CEST)
HepG2 cells reconstituted with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) entry receptor sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP) are widely used as a convenient in vitro cell culture infection model for HBV replication studies. As such, it is pertinent that HBV infectivity is maintained at steady-state levels for accurate interpretation of in vitro data. However, variations in HBV infection efficiency due to imbalanced NTCP expression levels in the HepG2 cell line may affect experimental results. In this study, we performed single cell cloning of HepG2-NTCP-A3 parental cells via limiting dilution and obtained multiple subclones with increased permissiveness to HBV. Specifically, one subclone (HepG2-NTCP-A3/C2) yielded more than 4-fold higher HBV infection compared to the HepG2-NTCP-A3 parental clone. In addition, though HBV infectivity was universally reduced in the absence of polyethylene glycol (PEG), subclone C2 maintained relatively greater permissiveness under PEG-free conditions, suggesting the functional heterogeneity within parental HepG2-NTCP-A3 may be exploitable in developing a PEG-free HBV infection model. The increased viral production correlated with increased intracellular viral antigen expression as evidenced through HBcAg immunofluorescence staining. Further, these subclones were found to express different levels of NTCP, albeit with no remarkable morphology or cell growth differences. In conclusion, we isolated subclones of HepG2-NTCP-A3 which support efficient HBV production and thus provide an improved in vitro HBV infection model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0557.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Hepatitis E virus (HEV); interferon (IFN); the capsid protein; DDX3; RNA helicase
Online: 22 December 2020 (12:19:32 CET)
DDX3 is an ATP-dependent RNA helicase involved in multiple cellular activities, including RNA metabolism and innate immunity. DDX3 is known to assist the replication of some viruses while restricting some others through direct interaction with the viral proteins. However, the role of DDX3 in the replication of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is unknown. In this study, DDX3 is shown to interact with the HEV capsid protein and provide an indispensable role in HEV replication. The DDX3 C-terminal domain was demonstrated to interact with the capsid protein, which was previously demonstrated to inhibit the production of type I interferons. Knockdown of DDX3 compromised the capsid protein-mediated blockage of interferon induction. Notably, DDX3 silencing led to a significant reduction in HEV replication. Also, the ATPase activity of DDX3 is required for the HEV replication as an ATPase-null mutant DDX3 failed to rescue the viral replication in the DDX3-silenced cells. These results demonstrate a pro-viral role of DDX3 in HEV replication, providing further insights into the virus-cell interactions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0301.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Hepatitis E virus; Genotype; Epidemic hepatitis; Sporadic hepatitis; Pregnancy; Foetus; Neonate; Vaccine
Online: 13 May 2021 (13:52:29 CEST)
The adverse relationship between viral hepatitis and pregnancy in developing countries was seen as a reflection of retrospective biased hospital-based data collection by the West. However, the discovery of HEV from an epidemic of non-A, non-B hepatitis in Kashmir and documenting increased incidence and severity of hepatitis E in pregnancy from a house-to-house survey unmasked the unholy alliance. Among the family of HEV’s, genotype (gt)-1, with a unique ORF4-encoded protein enhancing viral polymerase activity and viral replication, is the sole HEV that shows this adverse relationship. The epidemics caused by HEV-gt1 and not by HEV-gt2 show adverse relationship with pregnancy. The pathogenesis of the unholy alliance is complex and at present not well understood. Possibly multiple factors play a role in causing severe liver disease in the mother including: infection, replication and damage to the maternal-foetal interface by HEV-gt1; vertical transmission of HEV to foetus causing severe foetal/neonatal hepatitis; and combined viral and hormone related immune dysfunction of diverse nature in the mother promoting viral replication. Management is multidisciplinary and needs a close watch for the development and management of ALF. Preliminary data suggest beneficial maternal outcomes by early termination of pregnancy in patients with lower grades of encephalopathy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0018.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); hepatitis B virus (HBV); mutations; HBV/HIV co-infection; Botswana; Africa
Online: 1 July 2022 (16:31:00 CEST)
Mutations within the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome have been associated with rapid progres-sion to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, there is limited information regarding the prevalence and impact of these mutations in most of sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana. We aimed to determine the prevalence of HBV mutations known to be associated with progression to HCC using a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of 48 previously generated HBV sequences from adults with concomitant HBV/HIV initiating HIV antiretroviral therapy in Botswana. The sequences were aligned with reference sequences, and HCC-associated mutations were manually identified using BioEdit. Sixteen (33.3 %) of 48 participant samples had 20 HCC-associated mu-tations. Seven HCC mutations were present in the core region, 4 in the preCore region, 7 in the X region, and one mutation in the surface region, as well as deletions within the preSurface 1 region. Seven of the 16 participants (43.8%) had multiple HCC-associated mutations. There were also previously uncharacterized mutations at positions with known HCC-associated mutations. HCC-associated mutations were common in this cohort; hence, some participants may require close clinical monitoring as they might be more prone to rapid disease progression. Other functionally uncharacterized polymorphisms were also detected and require characterization in future studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0201.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: hepatitis c viruses; hepatitis e virus; dentists
Online: 10 October 2018 (05:21:20 CEST)
Health care workers (HCWs), specifically dentists, are at the front line for acquiring blood-borne virus infections. The highest proportion of occupational transmission is through percutaneous injuries via hollow-bore needles. Several studies around the world have reported that hepatitis viruses and human immunodeficiency virus are the main pathogens for most cases of occupationally acquired blood-borne infection. We aim to investigate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis E virus (HEV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among Mexican dentists. Methods. We included 159 dentists who attended the annual meeting at the Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation held in Mexico City in May 2016. A survey was applied in order to obtain data of occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses (BBV). Serum samples were screened serologically using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Results. Two dentists (1.2%) were positive for antibodies against HCV antigen, one (0.6%) was positive for antibodies against HBV antigen and three (1.8%) were positive for the detection of IgG antibodies against HEV. Two cases (1.2%) were positive for antibodies against HIV. Conclusions. The infection by HEV was the most prevalent among dentists. However, the prevalence of BBV in dentists was similar to that in the general population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0122.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: hepatitis B virus; besifovir dipivoxil maleate (BSV); nucleos(t)ide analog; drug resistance; reverse transcription
Online: 8 December 2021 (12:06:52 CET)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is known to cause severe liver diseases such as acute or chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection is a major health problem with nearly 300 million individuals infected worldwide. Currently, nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) and interferon alpha are clinically approved treatments for HBV infection. NAs are potent antiviral agents that bind to HBV polymerase and block viral reverse transcription and replication. Besifovir dipivoxil maleate (BSV) is a newly developed NA against HBV in the form of acyclic nucleotide phosphonate that is available for oral administration similar to adefovir and tenofovir. Until now, resistance to BSV treatment has not been reported. In this study, we found a CHB patient who showed viral breakthrough after long-term treatment with BSV. The isolated HBV DNA from patient’s serum were cloned into the replication-competent HBV 1.2mer and the sequence of reverse transcriptase (RT) domain of HBV polymerase were analyzed. We also examined the drug susceptibility of generated clones in vitro. Several mutations were identified in HBV RT domain. A particular mutant harboring ten RT mutations showed resistance to BSV treatment in vitro. The ten mutations include rtV23I (I), rtH55R (R), rtY124H (H), rtD134E (E), rtN139K (K), rtL180M (M), rtM204V (V), rtQ267L (L), rtL269I (I) and rtL336M (M). To further identify the responsible mutations for BSV resistance, we performed in vitro drug susceptibility assay on several artificial clones. As a result, our study revealed that rtL180M (M) and rtM204V (V) mutations, already known as lamivudine-resistant mutations, confer resistance to BSV in the CHB patient.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0428.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: inter- and intra-host nucleotide variations; Hepatitis A virus; next-generation sequencing; pyrosequencing
Online: 21 September 2018 (04:59:34 CEST)
The accurate virus detection, strain discrimination, and source attribution of contaminated food items remains a persistent challenge because of the high mutation rates anticipated to occur in foodborne RNA viruses, such as Hepatitis A virus (HAV). This has led to predictions of the existence of more than one sequence variant between the hosts (inter-host) or within an individual host (intra-host). However, there have been no reports of intra-host variants from an infected single individual, and little is known about the accuracy of the single nucleotide variations (SNVs) calling with various methods. In this study, the presence and identity of viral SNVs, either between HAV clinical specimens or among a series of samples derived from HAV clone1-infected FRhK4 cells, were determined following analyses of nucleotide sequences generated using next-generation sequencing (NGS) and pyrosequencing methods. The results demonstrate the co-existence of inter- and intra-host variants both in the clinical specimens and the cultured samples. The discovery and confirmation of multi-viral RNAs in an infected individual is dependent on the strain discrimination at the SNV level, and critical for successful outbreak traceback and source attribution investigations. The detection of SNVs in a time series of HAV infected FRhK4 cells improved our understanding on the mutation dynamics determined probably by different selective pressures. Additionally, it demonstrated that NGS could potentially provide a valuable investigative approach toward SNV detection and identification for other RNA viruses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0525.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hepatitis E virus; innate immunity; interferon response; JAK/STAT pathway; zoonosis; emerging pathogen
Online: 27 September 2018 (03:34:49 CEST)
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for large waterborne epidemics of hepatitis in endemic countries and is an emerging zoonotic pathogen worldwide. In endemic regions, HEV-1 or HEV-2 genotypes are frequently associated with fulminant hepatitis in pregnant women, while with zoonotic HEV (HEV-3 and HEV-4), chronic cases of hepatitis and severe neurological disorders are reported. Hence, it is important to characterize the interactions between HEV and its host. Here, we investigated the ability of the non-structural polyprotein encoded by the first open reading frame (ORF1) of HEV to modulate the host early antiviral response and in particular the type I interferon (IFN-I) system. We found that the amino-terminal region of HEV-3 ORF1 (MetPCP), containing a putative methyltransferase (Met) and a papain-like cysteine protease (PCP) functional domain, inhibited IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) promoter activation and the expression of several IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) in response to IFN-I. We showed that the MetPCP domain interfered with the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription protein (STAT) signalling pathway by inhibiting STAT1 nuclear translocation and phosphorylation after IFN-I treatment. By contrast, MetPCP had no effect on STAT2 phosphorylation and a limited impact on the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway after IFN-II stimulation. This inhibitory function seemed to be genotype-dependent as MetPCP from HEV-1 had no significant effect on the JAK/STAT pathway. Overall, this study provides evidence that the predicted MetPCP domain of HEV ORF1 antagonises STAT1 activation to modulate the IFN response.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0292.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection; Liver; Pregnant Women; Cord blood; PBMCs (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells); subclinical index
Online: 16 August 2022 (14:17:53 CEST)
BACKGROUND&AIMS: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major public health problem. The interaction between HBV and the host inflammatory response is an important factor contributing to liver damage and disease development. We compared the correlation between the subclinical index and PBMCs concentration in two groups of pregnant women (HBsAg positive), which are different in HBV DNA concentration in Vietnam. METHODS: The Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) was run with 20 different clustering methods on data collected from 80 Vietnamese pregnant women and their babies (60/80 cord blood). RESULTS: In the high viral load group (HBV DNA ≥ 5x10^7 copies/ml), a strong correlation between CBMCs with serum maternal Haemoglobin concentration and maternal platelet and maternal ALT. Their R values are: -0.88, 0.82, and 0.84 with p=8.97E-03, 2.41E-02 and 1.75E-01, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We found a significant correlation shift of subclinical index between the two groups, which may be important in diagnosing pregnant women with chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0065.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: hepatitis B virus; chronic hepatitis B; cccDNA; CRISPR/Cas9; gene therapy
Online: 10 October 2017 (17:59:11 CEST)
BACKGROUND: Chronic hepatitis B infected with Hepatitis B virus remains a major health concern worldwide. Despite standard interferon-α and nucleotide analogues have been shown to reduce the deterioration of liver disease among chronic hepatitis B patients, covalently closed circular DNA was still difficult to eradicate. METHODS: A literature search of Pubmed and Web of science was performed with the following key words: ‘CRISPR’, ‘CRISPR/Cas9’, ‘hepatitis B’, ‘HBV’, ‘chronic hepatitis B’ and ‘HBV cccDNA’. The information about CRISPR/Cas9 for the treatment of HBV cccDNA or hepatitis B was reviewed. RESULTS: CRISPR/Cas9 could treat hepatitis B through suppressing or clearing HBV cccDNA with different gRNAs. CONCLUSION: With the emergence of CRISPR/Cas9 (the RNA-guided clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats, CRISPR) editing technology, clearance of hepatitis B virus and better prevention of liver carcinoma seemed to be possible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0448.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: liver stiffness; MERTK; chronic hepatitis C; cirrhosis; SNPs
Online: 19 October 2018 (10:56:19 CEST)
Background: The myeloid-epithelial-reproductive tyrosine kinase (MERTK) is involved in hepatic steatosis, inflammation and liver fibrosis. Here we evaluated the association between the MERTK rs4374383 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and liver fibrosis progression in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective study (repeated measures design) in 208 patients who had liver stiffness measurement (LSM), which was assessed by transient elastography No patient had cirrhosis at baseline (LSM≥12.5 kPa). Results: At baseline, 53.8% were male, the median age was 47.1 years, 13.5% reported a high intake of alcohol, 10.1% were prior injection drug users, 85.3% were infected by HCV genotype 1, and 22.6% had previously failed antiviral therapy (pegylated-interferon-alpha/ribavirin). During a median follow-up of 46.6 months, 26 patients developed cirrhosis. The rs4374383 G carriers had a higher risk of increasing LSM (adjusted arithmetic mean ratio (aAMR)=1.14; p=0.006) and a higher likelihood of having an increase in LSM greater than 5 kPa (ΔLSM≥5 kPa) [adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=2.37; p=0.029], and greater than 7 kPa (ΔLSM≥7 kPa) [aOR=3.24; p=0.032], after controlling for confounding. The SNP’s association with cirrhosis progression was close to statistical significance (aOR=2.18; p=0.070). Conclusions: MERTK rs4374383 A carriers had a lower risk of liver fibrosis progression than G carriers, supporting the hypothesis that this SNP seems to have a critical role in the pathogenesis of liver disease in HCV-infected patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0024.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Outbreak; novel; unknown hepatitis; unknown aetiology; public health promotion
Online: 5 May 2022 (08:02:13 CEST)
Several clusters and individual cases of acute —often severe— hepatitis have been reported in Europe —mainly in the United Kingdom (U.K.)—, the United States (U.S.) and recently in Asia since October 2021. Laboratory investigation of the common viral hepatitis agents (HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV and HEV) yielded negative results prompting the use of the term “acute non hepA–E hepatitis” to describe this condition. The cases were characterized by the manifestations of acute hepatitis (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice and very high levels of liver enzymes) affecting children with a median age of 3–4 years. The exact underlying etiology has not been revealed yet; however, a leading hypothesis is that an infectious agent is the culprit underlying cause or at least a risk factor for acute non hepA–E hepatitis occurrence. So far, laboratory testing has shown the presence of adenovirus serotype 41 (Ad–41) which is classified in group F of adenoviruses in about three-fourths of the reported cases. However, the definitive link between adenoviruses and acute non hepA–E hepatitis has not been fully elucidated, which necessitates further investigation of this possible correlation. As of the end of April 2022, more than 200 cases were reported worldwide, the majority of which were in Europe: the U.K. (n=114), Italy (n=17), Spain (n=13), Israel (n=12), the U.S. (n=9), Denmark (n=6), Netherlands and Ireland (n=4), Japan (n=3), Austria, Belgium, France, and Norway (n=2), Germany, Poland, and Romania (n=1). Possible cases are being evaluated in Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Wisconsin states of the U.S., Canada, Singapore and Slovenia. Vigilant surveillance and epidemiologic investigation to identify further cases are warranted at the global level to delineate the features of this emergent public health issue. The possible role of environmental and toxic agents including foodborne toxins should not be overlooked as well. Specific guidelines for identification of further cases is necessary particularly in low-income settings where testing for adenoviruses is not considered routinely. Genetic analysis of Ad–41 isolates is recommended to assess the potential changes in virus genome with subsequent possible altered virus behavior. Immunopathogenesis is another possibility that should be examined as well considering the absence of virus detection in liver biopsies of the affected children in the U.S.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0352.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma; hepatitis B; growth factors; biomarkers; antibody array
Online: 17 February 2021 (09:36:17 CET)
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of most common cancers with a high mortality rate. HBV/HCV infection is an important risk factor to trigger HCC. Therefore, developing serum biomarkers for early diagnosis is crucial to prolong survival in HCC patients. Methods: An antibody array technology was utilized to detect serum from 20 HBV-related HCC patients, 20 chronic hepatitis B patients and 20 normal population, whose results were further validated by ELISA. Results: Both antibody array and ELISA showed that ten growth factors (SCF R, GDF-15, HGF, FGF-4, IGFBP-1, PIGF, GH, GDNF, BDNF and IGF-1) were significantly differential in HCC patients when compared to the non-HCC population. Among these growth factors, the levels of SCF R, GDF-15, HGF, GH and IGF-1 showed significant correlation with hepatitis B and its severity, indicating that these growth factors may promote HCC progression by an HBV-specific mechanism. A therapy targeting these growth factors in hepatitis B patients may help to prevent the development of HCC. FGF4 and GH were found, for the first time, to be upregulated in HCC, suggesting that these two growth factors may serve as novel serum biomarkers for the early diagnosis of HCC. Conclusion: The combined detection of all the differential growth factors may improve the diagnostic accuracy of HCC.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0370.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Acute non hepA–E hepatitis; clinical manifestations; epidemiological characteristics; prevention
Online: 27 May 2022 (08:41:42 CEST)
The emergence of acute, severe non hepA–E hepatitis of unknown etiology (ASHUE) has attracted global concern owing to the very young age of the patients and its unknown etiology. Although this condition has been linked to several possible causes, including viral infection, drugs, and/or toxin exposure, the exact cause remains unknown; this makes treatment recommendations very difficult. In this review, we summarize recent updates on the clinical manifestations, complemented with laboratory results, case numbers with the global distribution and other epidemiological characteristics, and the possible etiologies. We also provide the proposed actions that could be undertaken to control and prevent further spread of this hepatitis. Since many etiological and pathological aspects of the acute non hepA–E hepatitis remain unclear, further research is needed to minimize the severe impact of this disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0732.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: trace element; liver transplantation; selenoprotein P; glutathione peroxidase; hepatitis C virus
Online: 29 December 2020 (15:18:30 CET)
The trace element selenium (Se) is taken up from the diet and becomes metabolized mainly by hepatocytes. Selenoprotein P (SELENOP) constitutes the liver-derived Se transporter. Biosynthesis of extracellular glutathione peroxidase (GPx3) in kidney depends on SELENOP-mediated Se supply. We hypothesized that Se status may serve as a useful prognostic marker for outcome in patients undergoing liver transplantation. Serum samples from patients were routinely collected before and after transplantation. Concentration of serum SELENOP and total Se as well as GPx3 activity were determined by standardized tests and related to survival, aetiology and pre-operative Child-Pugh and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease Scores. A total of 314 serum samples from 78 transplanted patients were available for analysis. The Se and SELENOP concentrations were on average below the reference ranges of healthy subjects. Patients with ethanol toxicity-dependent aetiology showed particularly low SELENOP and Se concentrations and GPx3 activity. Longitudinal analysis indicated declining Se concentrations in non-survivors. We conclude that severe liver disease necessitating organ replacement is characterized by a pronounced Se deficit before, during and after transplantation. A recovering Se status after surgery is associated with positive prognosis, and an adjuvant Se supplementation may thus support convalescence.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0706.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Chronic hepatitis B; NAFLD; NASH; biomarkers; magnetic resonance technology; NAFLD therapy
Online: 29 September 2020 (10:40:21 CEST)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a global public problem despite the availability of effective vaccine. In the past decades, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has surpassed HBV as the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. The prevalence of concomitant chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and NAFLD, thus, reaches endemic in geographic regions where both conditions are common. Patients with CHB and NAFLD are at increased risk of liver disease progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Due to complexity of the pathogenesis, accurate diagnosis of NAFLD in CHB patients can be challenging. Liver biopsy is considered the gold standard for diagnosing and determining the disease severity, but it is an invasive procedure with potential complications. There is a growing body of literatures on the application of novel noninvasive serum biomarkers and advanced radiological modalities to diagnose and evaluate NAFLD, but most have not been adequately validated especially for patients with CHB. Currently, there is no approved therapy for NAFLD though many new agents are in different phases of development. This review provides a summary of the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis and management of the NAFLD and highlights the unmet needs in the areas of CHB and NAFLD coexistence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0585.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Functional receptor; Hepatitis B virus; Polymorphism; Sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide; hepatic fibrosis; Egypt
Online: 26 July 2021 (14:42:42 CEST)
Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SLC10A1 gene, coding for a functional receptor of hepatitis B virus (HBV), sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP), may influence the susceptibility, the outcome, and disease course of HBV infection in some populations. Aim: to determine the prevalence of SNPs of NTCP gene, rs2296651 and rs943277, and their relationship with chronic HBV infection in a group of Egyptian patients. Methods: 137 patients with HBV and 65 healthy controls were enrolled, and the patients were divided into two groups; group I chronic HBV infection (68 patients with normal ALT and minimal or no liver necroinflammation or fibrosis) and group II chronic hepatitis B (69 patients with elevated ALT and moderate or severe liver necroinflammation). They were subjected to full history taking, clinical examination, laboratory investigations, abdominal ultrasound, and liver stiffness measurement using both Echosens® Fibroscan and acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI). Real time PCR TaqMan 5’ allelic discrimination assay was applied to detect the SNPs in NTCP gene, rs2296651 and rs943277. Results: On studying the rs2296651 variant, all controls and patients had genotype GG without any significant association with HBV infection or disease progression. However, the rs943277 variant in all controls and 98% of patients had genotype GA, except for two chronic HBV infection patients who had genotype AA, but no significant difference between patients and controls was found. The non-invasive methods for liver fibrosis assessment ARFI, AST/platelet's ratio (APRI), and fibrosis-4 score (FIB-4) could predict the stages of fibrosis in agreement with Fibroscan with AUCOR 0.8, 0.79, and 0.76, respectively. Conclusion: These findings may suggest that there is no relation between these SNPs of the NTCP gene and susceptibility or chronicity of HBV infection in the Egyptian population. We also suggest that the use of the non-invasive methods for liver fibrosis assessment, ARFI, FIB-4, and APRI may decrease the need for liver biopsies in prediction of significant hepatic fibrosis in chronic HBV patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0282.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: HBV reactivation; lymphoma; hematology; immunosuppressive therapy; prophylaxis; hepatitis B virus; occult/active/inactive carrier
Online: 25 July 2019 (07:46:43 CEST)
It is well known that the event of hepatitis B virus reactivation can occur among patients undergoing treatment for hematological malignancies. In this paper we will present the available data regarding the risk of hepatitis B virus reactivation in this special population of immunosuppressed patients and explore the relevance of an accurate prevention and management of this condition. A computerized literature search was performed using appropriate terms arrangement, including English-written literature only or additional relevant articles. The evaluation of hepatitis B reactivation risk is a multidimensional process, which includes conducting an accurate clinical and physical history, considering the virological categories, the knowledge of the medication chosen to treat these hematological malignancies and the induced grade of immunosuppression. Adopting adequate preventive strategies and surveillance according to the current international recommendations is crucial to prevent HBVr and its dire clinical consequences (hepatitis, liver failure, interruption of lifesaving anti-neoplastic treatments). Universal HBV screening of patients scheduled to undergo treatment for hematological malignancies should be the chosen policy, and clinicians should be aware of the inherent risk of viral reactivation among the different virological categories and the classes of immunosuppressive drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0175.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: sexually transmitted infection (STI); HIV; viral hepatitis; transgender persons; in-depth interviews (IDIs); formative research
Online: 13 September 2022 (10:44:54 CEST)
Sexualized substance use (SSU) is the practice of psychotropic substance usage, before or during sexual intercourse in order to increase sexual pleasure and arousal. It has a strong association with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The present study aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the community health mobilizers about SSU through qualitative approach. Methodology: In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with a total of nineteen community health mobilizers engaged in counselling of sexualized substance users. A semi-structured open-ended questionnaire with socio-demographic information and probes related to SSU was administered. Informed consent was taken from each participant prior to data collection. Results: Gender-wise distribution indicated that 47% of the community mobilizers are men, followed by transgender persons (32%), and women (21%). Responses of participants highlighted that alcohol consumption was the most observed form of SSU. The findings indicated that drug administration through injection was most common, followed by sniffing and swallowing. Sources of drug procurement enlisted by participants included peddlers, peer groups, sexual parties, medical and liquor stores. Only 63% of participants had fair knowledge about STIs such as HIV, viral hepatitis, syphilis, and gonorrhoea. All were familiar with the administration of naloxone injections and the locations of nearby hospitals where patients could be transported in the event of an overdose. Conclusions: This formative research demonstrated a knowledge gap in the community mobilizers regarding the latest substances of abuse, such as designer drugs, drug procurement sources, and various health issues associated with SSU. However, they were well aware of the drug overdose-related complications and basic first-aid procedures. The findings of the current study should be validated through multi-centric community-based research across the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0692.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RACK1; HIV-1; IRES; Hepatitis C; HCV; AZT; HTA; Host-targeted antiviral; HEK293T; SD29-14
Online: 26 April 2021 (20:35:00 CEST)
Host ribosome-associated scaffold protein Receptor for Activated C Kinase 1 (RACK1) is utilized by a diverse group of human viruses for Internal Ribosomal Entry Sites (IRES) – mediated translation of viral mRNAs. We recently reported inhibition of herpes virus by small molecules targeting the RACK1 functional site. Here, we tested these molecules against HIV-1 and HCV, as HIV-1 contains two potential IRES sites and HCV translation occurs exclusively through IRES. Compounds significantly downregulated activities of HIV-1- and HCV-related dicistronic reporter constructs in transfected HEK293T cells. The compounds also strongly downregulated production of the HIV-1 capsid protein p24 in HIV-infected cells, as well as production of HIV-1 Gag precursor p55 and p55-derived proteins p24 and p17 in cells infected with the HIV-1 virus. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) IRES activities were also significantly inhibited by RACK1 inhibitor compounds. Since a number of human and plant pathogenic viruses are reported to use IRES, the RACK1 compounds can be established as broad host-targeted antivirals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0240.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: artifacts; confounders; infant mortality rate; linear regression analysis; vaccination rates; vaccines; vaccine doses; hepatitis B vaccine
Online: 16 June 2022 (11:00:46 CEST)
Background—In 2011, Miller and Goldman published a study in Human and Experimental Toxicology that found a counterintuitive, positive correlation, r = 0.70 (r2 = 0.49, p < .0001), demonstrating that as nations require more vaccine doses for their infants, infant mortality rates (IMRs) tend to increase (worsen). The dataset (n = 30) included the United States, a nation that required the most vaccines for their infants, and all nations with better IMRs than the United States. Dr. E. Bailey, a professor at BYU, and her students, recently read the Miller-Goldman study and found it "troublesome that this manuscript is in the top 5% of all research outputs" and falsely claimed that its findings were due to "inappropriate data exclusion," i.e., failure to analyze the "full dataset" of all 185 nations. The "Bailey reanalysis," titled Infant vaccination does not predict increased infant mortality rate: correcting past misinformation, was posted to the medRxiv preprint server on September 10, 2021 (version 1) and October 5, 2021 (version 3) and Europe PMC preprint server on September 10, 2021. Objective—This present study examines the various claims postulated by the Bailey reanalysis and assesses the robustness of their methodology, analyses, and reported results and conclusions. Methods—Data discussed in this paper are based on the previously mentioned study by Miller and Goldman and the Bailey reanalysis. Results—Linear regression analysis of IMR and the number of vaccine doses for each country yield a statistically significant positive correlation of r = 0.70 (p < .0001) for the top nations (n = 30) chosen by Miller-Goldman and r = 0.16 (p < .04) for the "entire dataset" chosen by Bailey et al (n = 185). Bailey also conducted linear regression analyses (for the year 2019) of IMRs as a function of vaccination rates for each of eight different vaccines and reported statistically significant inverse correlations for 7 of 8 vaccines over the entire range of vaccination rates. However, Miller and Goldman reanalyzed the Bailey analyses for nations with vaccination rates below 60% and found no statistically significant correlation for six vaccines (DPT, Hib, hepatitis B, polio, rotavirus, and measles) and statistically significant positive correlations for tuberculosis (r = 0.8, p < .005) and pneumococcal (r = 0.6 p < .023) vaccines. Conclusions—Bailey’s reanalysis corroborates a statistically significant positive correlation originally reported by Miller and Goldman. However, Bailey’s reported correlation (r = +0.16, p < .04) is small, likely due to poor methodology (failing to account for covariates, i.e., disparities among numerous socioeconomic factors that add uncertainty to their conclusion). The r-value reported by the Bailey reanalysis demonstrates an effect size that is about one-fourth (0.16/0.70) that reported by Miller-Goldman—underscoring how critically important it is for Bailey's reanalysis to eliminate confounding variables. Moreover, Bailey’s linear regression analyses of IMR as a function of vaccination rates for each of eight different vaccines demonstrate that some countries with low vaccination rates have low IMRs, while other countries with high vaccination rates have high IMRs. Rather than supporting a strong inverse correlation, the Bailey reanalysis demonstrates high vaccination rates are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause low IMR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0279.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: NS3 inhibitors; allosteric inhibitors; NS4A; peptidomimetics; imidazole; hepatitis C virus; molecular dynamics; Flaviviridae; DSLS; binding assay
Online: 24 January 2020 (11:11:46 CET)
The non-structural protein NS3/4A protease is a critical factor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) maturation that requires activation by NS4A. Synthetic peptide mutants of NS4A were found to inhibit NS3 function. The bridging from peptide inhibitors to heterocyclic peptidomimetics of NS4A has not been in consideration in literature, and therefore, we decided to explore this strategy to develop a new class of NS3 inhibitors. In this report, a structure-based design approach was used to convert the bound form of NS4A into 1H-imidazole-2,5-dicarboxamide derivatives as first generation peptidomimetics. This scaffold mimics the buried amino acid sequence Ile-25` to Arg-28` at the core of NS4A21`-33` needed to activate the NS3 protease. Some of the synthesized MOC compounds were able to compete with and displace NS4A21`-33` for binding to NS3. For instance, N5-(4-guanidinobutyl)-N2-(n-hexyl)-1H-imidazole-2,5-dicarboxamide (MOC-24) inhibited the binding of NS4A21`-33` with a competition IC50 of 1.9 ± 0.12 µM in a fluorescence anisotropy assay, stabilized the denaturation of NS3 by increasing the aggregation temperature by ΔTagg 0.6 ± 0.140 ℃. MOC-24 also inhibited NS3 protease activity in a fluorometric assay. Molecular dynamics simulations rationalized the structure-activity relationship (SAR) differences between the active MOC-24 and the inactive MOC-26. Our data shows that MOC compounds are possibly the first examples of NS4A peptidomimetics that demonstrated promising activities against NS3 proteins.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0482.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Telomerase reverse transcriptase; TERT; TERT promoter; TERTp; human papillomavirus; HPV; Epstein Barr virus (EBV); Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; HHV-8; hepatitis B virus; HBV; hepatitis C virus; HCV; human T-cell leukemia virus-1; HTLV-1
Online: 30 September 2022 (10:11:58 CEST)
Human oncoviruses are able to subvert telomerase function in cancer cells through multiple strategies. The activity of the catalytic subunit of telomerase (TERT) is commonly enhanced in virus-related cancers. Viral oncoproteins, such as high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) E6, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) LMP1, Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV-8) LANA, hepatitis B virus (HBV) HBVx, hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein and human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) tax protein, interact with regulatory elements in the infected cells and contribute to the transcriptional activation of TERT gene. Specifically, viral oncoproteins have been shown to bind TERT promoter, to induce post-transcriptional alterations of TERT mRNA and to cause epigenetic modifications, which have important effects on the regulation of telomeric and extra-telomeric functions of the telomerase. Other viruses, such as herpesviruses, operate by integrating their genomes within the telomeres or by inducing alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) in non-ALT cells. In this review, we recapitulate recent findings on virus-telomerase/telomeres interplay and the importance of TERT-related oncogenic pathways activated by cancer causing viruses.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; Hepatitis C Virus (HCV); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Influenza viruses ribonucleic acid (RNA); SARS-CoV-2
Online: 19 February 2021 (14:34:38 CET)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of the current pandemic worldwide. The pathological condition induced by this pathogen is known as COVID-19 disease. SARS-CoV-2 associated pandemic has been defined as a “public health emergency of international concern” by the International Health Regulation Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization. To date, considerable efforts are in progress to develop more advanced strategies against SARS-CoV-2. Despite the numerous scientific studies published, our knowledge regarding this pathogen is still incomplete, as this virus has been identified only recently. Therefore, scientific investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 has been possible only for a short period of time and effective management of the serious forms of this disease is still lacking. Considerable efforts are in progress worldwide with the purpose to develop more advanced strategies against this pathogen. In this review, we have analyzed the structural and the biological SARS-CoV-2 characteristics and those of other well-known RNA viruses, with the aim to identify possible similarities and analogies between all these pathogens, may be a very useful approach. These infectious agents have been widely studied since several years ago and, a large series of scientific reports are available in the literature regarding this topic. Therefore, focusing on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Influenza viruses (IVs), we have collected their historical data, clinical manifestations, pathogenetic mechanisms and related infections. Taking advantage of the results of our research, we have assembled this narrative review, with the aim to get useful insights and lessons from HIV, HCV and IVs characteristics and, consequently, to transfer the obtained knowledge to the study of SARS-CoV-2 biology. There are well known differences between all these pathogens. In particular, they present a distinct mode of transmission, as SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza viruses are airborne pathogens, whereas HIV and HCV are bloodborne infectious agents. However, these viruses exhibit some potential common clinical manifestations and pathogenetic mechanisms and their understanding may contribute to establishing preventive measures and new therapies against SARS-CoV-2. Accordingly, we have analysed and discussed the following points: 1) the biology, the pathogenesis and the clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2, HIV, HCV and IVs in mankind; 2) the onset and spreading of pandemics caused by respiratory viruses according to a perspective historical point of view; 3) the possible development of a persistent SARS-CoV-2 reservoir worldwide; 4) the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection/reactivation; 5) the possible involvement and impact of climatic factors in increasing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spreading.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0512.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: hepatitis B virus (HBV); Myr47 lipopeptide; cellular uptake; liposomes; sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP); HBV surface antigen (HBsAg); apolipoprotein E (ApoE)
Online: 19 April 2021 (17:08:53 CEST)
Myr47 lipopeptide consisting of hepatitis B virus (HBV) pre-S1 domain (myristoylated 2-48 peptide) is a commercialized effective anti-HBV drug, preventing the interaction of HBV with sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) on human hepatocytes, of which the activity requires both N-myristoylation residue and specific amino acid sequence. Meanwhile, we recently reported that Myr47 reduces the cellular uptake of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg, subviral particle of HBV) in the absence of NTCP expression (Somiya; et al. Virology 2016, 497, 23–32). In this study, we analyzed how Myr47 reduces the cellular uptake of lipid nanoparticles (including liposomes (LPs) and HBsAg) without NTCP expression. By using Myr47 mutants lacking the HBV infection inhibitory activity, they could reduce the cellular uptake of LPs in an N-myristoylation-dependent manner whereas in an amino acid sequence-independent manner. Moreover, Myr47 and its mutants could reduce the interaction of LPs with apolipoprotein E3 (ApoE3) in an N-myristoylation-dependent manner regardless of their amino acid sequences. From these results, N-myristoyl residue of lipopeptides generally could interfere the LPs/HBsAg-ApoE3 complex formation, thereby reducing the cellular uptake of LPs/HBsAg. When lipid nanoparticles are used as a DDS (drug delivery system) nanocarrier, the surface modification with lipopeptides may be a new method to inhibit unwanted cellular uptake of DDS nanocarriers by non-target cells.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0464.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-19; Hepatitis B and C; Cirrhosis; Chronic Kidney Disease; Alcohol-related Liver Disease; Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis; Necrosis
Online: 25 April 2020 (16:46:06 CEST)
Background: The mortality and severity in COVID-19 is increased in patients with comorbidities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the unknown risk of severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients with underlying kidney and liver diseases. Method: We retrieved data on the clinical features and primary composite end point of COVID-19 patients released from inception till 16th of April 2020 from Medline and Embase. The data on two comorbidities, liver diseases and chronic kidney disease, present in COVID-19 were pooled and statistically analysed to explain the associated severity and mortality rate. Results: 142 abstracts were screened, and 41 full articles were then read. In total, 22 studies including 5595 COVID-19 patients were included in this study with case fatality rate of 16%. The prevalence of liver diseases and CKD were 3% (95%CI; 2%-3%) and 1% (95%CI; 1%-2%) respectively. In patients with COVID-19 and underlying liver diseases, 57.33% (43/75) cases were severe with 17.65% mortality. While in CKD patients with COVID-19, 83.93% (47/56) severity and 53.33% (8/15) mortality were reported. Conclusion: This study found an increased risk of severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients with liver diseases and CKD. This will allow for better clinical management and inform more stringent preventative measures for this group of patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0342.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: Tubercolusis (TB); Poisson Autoregressive (PAR); Poisson Exponentially Weighted Moving Average Model (PEWMA); Hepatitis; Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDs)
Online: 29 October 2019 (15:51:16 CET)
The research work examined the trend of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis diseases in Plateau state. Annual data from 2003 to 2018 was collected from the department of biostatistics at Plateau State Specialist Hospital (PSSH), Jos. The methods of analysis used are the Poisson Autoregressive Model (PAR(1)) and the Poisson Exponentially Weighted Moving Average Model (PEWMA). The results revealed a significant annual decrease of 23.9% and 4% in Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS respectively. Furthermore, the results showed a significant annual increase of 46% in Hepatitis. The PEWMA model used revealed that TB increased by 0.02% when there is an increase in HIV but not significant, while Hepatitis significantly aggravates TB by at least 0.24%. Also, there is a significant rise in HIV by 0.85% when TB increases but Hepatitis has no such effect on HIV. Lastly, PEWMA model indicated a rise of 0.5% in Hepatitis cases when there is an increase in TB, but a surge in HIV has no such effect on Hepatitis cases in Jos. The study recommended that fight against TB should be intensified since TB cases significantly affect both HIV and Hepatitis in Jos, Nigeria.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0361.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; foodborne viruses; enteric viruses; fecal-oral transmission; fresh produce, berries, fruits, hepatitis A virus, Norovirus, ready-to-eat foods.
Online: 18 September 2020 (10:35:33 CEST)
Background:Although highly strict social distancing and viral spread protection guidelines are in force, the reported numbers of COVID-19 cases across the world are still increasing. This indicates that we are still unable to completely understand the transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2. One of the possible routes that can play a significant role is the fecal-oral transmission since SARS-CoV-2 can replicate in the intestines as demonstrated by isolation of infectious virus from fecal samples of COVID-19 cases. Scope and approach:In this review, we compare the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 with the distinctive characteristics of enteric foodborne viruses. We also discuss and respond to the arguments given in some reports that downplay the importance of foodborne transmission route of SARS-CoV-2. Key findings and conclusions:Enteric viruses such as human noroviruses (HuNoVs) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) are known to transmit through foods such as fresh produce and berries, leading to frequent multistate foodborne disease outbreaks all over the world. SARS-CoV-2 was found to share four distinctive characteristics of foodborne viruses that allow them to transmit through foods. This similarity in characteristics, recent report of detecting SARS-CoV-2 particles from frozen food packages in China, and recent suspected foodborne COVID-19 case in New Zealand, indicate that foodborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is more evident than previously thought possible. To support or deny this route of transmission, urgent research needs to be undertaken to answer two primary questions and many secondary ones as described in this review.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0324.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: T cytotoxic cells; Leukocyte-associated Immunoglobulin-like Receptor-1; LAIR-1; Hepatitis C virus genotype 4; HCV G4; hepatocellular carcinoma; cirrhosis; immune inhibitory checkpoints; inflammation; prognosis; insulin resistance
Online: 17 August 2022 (11:38:10 CEST)
Background and Aim. Since virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis involves liver inflammation, therefore, post-hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection would be a cause for liver cirrhosis that would progress to HCC. Cytotoxic T cells (Tc) are known to be involved in post-HCV complications and HCC pathogenesis. The inhibitory checkpoint Leukocyte-Associated Immunoglobulin-like Receptor-1 (LAIR-1) is expressed on Tc. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether the Tc expression level of LAIR-1 is associated with HCC progression post-HCV and moreover, to evaluate LAIR-1 expression as a non-invasive biomarker for HCC progression in the context of liver cirrhosis post-HCV genotype 4 (G4) in Egyptian patients’ peripheral venous blood liquid biopsy. We studied LAIR-1 expression on Tc related to the progression of liver cirrhosis in a case-controlled study enrolled 64 patients with post-HCV G4-HCC and 37 patients with post-HCV G4-liver cirrhosis. Methods: LAIR-1 expression was analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: LAIR-1 expression on Tc and the percentage of Tc positive for LAIR-1 (LAIR-1+Tc %) were significantly higher in the post-HCV G4-HCC group compared to the post-HCV G4-liver cirrhosis
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0020.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: hepatitis C virus; hepatocellular carcinoma; immunotherapy; multi-component DNA vaccine; nucleocapsid (core) protein; telomerase reverse transcriptase; eukaryotic expression; CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response; immune suppression; assays of reporter expression; induction of type I interferons
Online: 1 April 2021 (13:18:59 CEST)
Chronic HCV infection and associated liver cancer impose a heavy burden on the healthcare system. Direct acting antivirals eliminate HCV, unless it is drug resistant, and partially reverse liver disease, but they cannot cure HCV-related cancer. Possible remedy could be a multi-component immunotherapeutic vaccine targeting both HCV-infected and malignant cells, also those not infected with HCV. To meet this need we developed a two-component DNA vaccine based on the highly conserved core protein of HCV to target HCV-infected cells, and a renowned tumor associated antigen telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) based on the rat TERT, to target malignant cells. Their synthetic genes were expression-optimized, and HCV core was truncated after aa 152 (Core152opt) to delete the domain interfering with immunogenicity. Core152opt and TERT DNA were highly immunogenic in BALB/c mice, inducing IFN-γ/IL-2/TNF-α response of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Also, DNA-immunization with TERT enhanced cellular immune response against luciferase encoded by a co-delivered plasmid (Luc DNA). However, DNA-immunization with Core152opt and TERT mix resulted in abrogation of immune response against both components. A loss of bioluminescent signal after co-delivery of TERT and Luc DNA into mice indicated that TERT affects the in vivo expression of luciferase directed by the immediate early cytomegalovirus and interferon-β promoters. Panel of mutant TERT variants was created and tested for their expression effects. TERT with deleted N-terminal nucleoli localization signal and mutations abrogating telomerase activity still suppressed the IFN-β driven Luc expression, while the inactivated reverse transcriptase domain of TERT and its analogue, enzymatically active HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, exerted only weak suppressive effects, implying that suppression relied on the presence of the full-length/nearly full-length TERT, but not its enzymatic activity. The effect(s) could be due to interference of the ectopically expressed xenogeneic rat TERT with biogenesis of mRNA, ribosomes and protein translation in murine cells, affecting the expression of immunogens. HCV core can aggravate this effect, leading to early apoptosis of co-expressing cells, preventing the induction of immune response.