ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0281.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: migrants; sense of belonging; small town; stranger; South Sudanese
Online: 30 January 2018 (10:35:53 CET)
Australian regional areas are now receiving significant numbers of migrants from the African continent. Predominantly Anglo-Saxon communities perceive these ‘newcomers’ as physically and culturally different. Asking, however, how African migrants themselves construct relationships with local communities and build a sense of belonging in regional and rural areas is a very different question. This paper explores South Sudanese migrants’experiences conceptualising their sense of belonging in a small county town: Castlemaine, Victoria. Focus group discussions show that even with the welcoming atmosphere and support from the local community, South Sudanese migrants are still attracted to metropolitan environments that have greater diversity, feeling more at home in such settings. Using the theoretical background of a stranger, this paper argues the cities allow strangers be un-noticed letting them feel at ‘home’. Findings from the study show settings with greater diversity encourage negotiating difference openly and easing power imbalances among different groups.Finally, the locality of Castlemaine, within easy commuting distance to metropolitan Melbourne and suburbs, is considered in relation to hypermobility reducing the capacity to construct ‘bridging capital’ within such local communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0110.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: ADHD; Antisocial Behavior; Sense of Coherence; Protective Factors
Online: 7 September 2022 (11:03:25 CEST)
Numerous studies have established the link between ADHD and antisocial behavior, one of the most serious functional impairments caused by the disorder. However, research on protective factors that mitigate this link is still lacking. The Salutogenic Model of Health offers the “Sense of Coherence” (SOC), establishing that individuals who see their lives as logical, meaningful, and manageable are more resistant to various risk factors and diseases. The present study examines for the first time whether SOC is also a protective factor against ADHD-related different types of antisocial behaviors (severe/mild violent behavior, verbal violence, property crimes, public disorder, and drug abuse). 2260 participants aged 15-50 completed online questionnaires assessing the level of ADHD symptoms, antisocial behaviors, and SOC. An interaction between ADHD and SOC was found in predicting each type of antisocial behavior. The link between ADHD and antisocial behavior was significantly weaker for high than low SOC participants, regardless of age group. The current study found that people with high SOC are protected against the effect of ADHD on one of the most serious functional impairments, antisocial behavior. These findings suggest that SOC is a protective factor from the adverse effects of ADHD, justifying further prospective and intervention studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0167.v1
Online: 26 February 2018 (12:07:42 CET)
Planning, development and design policies influence sense of safety of people touse the City centre or Central Business District (CBD) and therefore city centres can becomeactive and vibrant during the day and night. This paper reviews past and present planningpolicies relevant for feeling of personal safety in the context of housing, retail, amenities,street infrastructure, building design and transportation aspects. The past development trendsshow that insignificant attention has been paid to people's sense of safety when using publicspaces, particularly at night, a factor identified important in creating attractive city centressince 1960s. Local plans primarily refer to safety in relation to roads, accessibility andworkability. Local policies also show the dominance of CCTV since the 1990s has becomeubiquitous, but changes to sense of safety in urban spaces now may actually be a betterreflection of planning and design decisions made over the past 20 years.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0021.v2
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: virus; population bottleneck; positive sense RNA virus; evolution
Online: 1 October 2020 (08:28:45 CEST)
Many positive sense RNA viruses, especially those infecting plants, are known to experience stringent, stochastic population bottlenecks inside the cells they invade, but exactly how and why these populations become bottlenecked are unclear. A model proposed ten years ago advocates that such bottlenecks are evolutionarily favored because they cause the isolation of individual viral variants in separate cells. Such isolation in turn allows the viral variants to manifest the phenotypic differences they encode. Recently published observations lend mechanistic support to this model, and prompt us to refine the model with novel molecular details. The refined model, designated Bottleneck, Isolate, Amplify, Select (BIAS), postulates that these viruses impose population bottlenecks on themselves by encoding bottleneck-enforcing proteins (BNEPs) that function in a concentration-dependent manner. In cells simultaneously invaded by numerous virions of the same virus, BNEPs reach the bottleneck-ready concentration sufficiently early to arrest nearly all internalized viral genomes. As a result, very few (as few as one) viral genomes stochastically escape to initiate reproduction. Repetition of this process in successively infected cells isolate viral genomes with different mutations in separate cells. This isolation prevents mutant viruses encoding defective viral proteins from hitchhiking on sister genome-encoded products, leading to the swift purging of such mutants. Importantly, genome isolation also ensures viral genomes harboring beneficial mutations accrue the cognate benefit exclusively to themselves, leading to the fixation of such beneficial mutations. Further interrogation of the BIAS hypothesis promises to deepen our understanding of virus evolution, and inspire new solutions to virus disease mitigation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0293.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: sense making analysis; critical phenomenology; sustainability transformations;
Online: 20 January 2022 (10:08:50 CET)
Transformation studies lean towards the more practical aspects of change processes and are not yet dealing adequately with their personal and political dimensions. They are arguably constrained in doing so in their current stances, either fixated on systems and how to control them or on individualistic values and behaviours. In this study we show the range of actually-occurring societal transformations that people face can be usefully approached through a combination of dialogical sense-making and critical phenomenology. While distinct, these approaches share a concern with experience and meaning-making, concerns which are often neglected when societal transformation becomes abstracted and alienated from people’s lives. The two approaches reveal how societal transformational change is situated, shared, embodied and laden with diverse meanings. Dialogical sense-making expands the theorisation of the experiential, personal and political dimensions of transformation and shows how the practical dimension of change is always personal and political. Critical phenomenology addresses how the experience of transformation help shape subjectivity, as a lived relation to the world, and sheds light on taken-for-granted, lived norms about bodies and transformative change. Drawing together the three spheres of transformation – the practical, personal, and political - allows a fuller grasp of the complexity in which new worlds may emerge. Through a discussion of insights from these approaches, we develop a language and framework to understand how people interact with change processes. This development allows new questions about transformative change, based on a reframing of transformations that brings them closer to people’s lives. Together these approaches broaden and deepen social-science and humanities contributions to transformation studies and sustainability science.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0749.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: psychological distress; loneliness; sense of mastery; adolescents; young adults
Online: 31 May 2021 (11:35:42 CEST)
Background and aims Loneliness and a low sense of mastery have been associated with excessive gambling, but the underlying processes of these relationships remain unstudied. Because psychological distress can increase vulnerability to excessive gambling, we investigated its mediating role in these relationships among young people. To meet the need for cross-country research, we also observed how these relationships occur in four countries with different cultures. Design, setting and participants Demographically balanced cross-sectional survey data were collected for 15–25-year-olds in Finland (n=1200; 50% male), the United States (n=1212; 49.8% male), South Korea (n=1192; 49.6% male) and Spain (n=1212; 51.2% male). Measurements Excessive gambling was measured with the South Oaks Gambling Screen, psychological distress was assessed with the 12-Item General Health Questionnaire, loneliness was measured with the Three-Item Loneliness Scale and low sense of mastery was assessed with the Pearlin Mastery Scale. Associations were examined first using zero-inflated negative binomial regression analyses with excessive gambling as the outcome. In addition, path analyses were performed to study how loneliness and low sense of mastery relate to excessive gambling, with psychological distress as the mediating variable. Findings Loneliness and low sense of mastery were associated indirectly with excessive gambling via psychological distress in all country samples. Low sense of mastery was also directly associated with excessive gambling. There was a direct association between loneliness and excessive gambling only in samples from South Korea and Spain. Conclusions Psychological distress is an important factor in understanding how loneliness and sense of mastery relate to gambling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0282.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: environmental cues; fear of crime spots; sense of safety; social cues
Online: 1 February 2018 (07:59:02 CET)
Streets are primary elements through which the character of urban neighborhoods are experienced and expressed. The “sense of safety” in neighborhood streets is paramount to social and psychological wellbeing of its residents and visitors. The intention of this study was to explore environmental and social cues of a neighborhood, which evoke fear of crime, which will help designers to prevent the generation of such negative feelings and promote more safe and comfortable spaces in our cities. This study used interviews, group discussions and observations to identify fear-generating factors with a sample of participants in the multi ethnic neighborhood of Kotahena in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Field data was analyzed through visual documentation and photographic surveys. Moreover, group discussions, interviews and personal observations were used to synergize the study objectives. The findings inform that fear of crime on streets is influenced by both environmental and social cues to varying degrees. Feelings of fear were associated with gender, ethnicity and less familiarity with the place as participants were from an ethnic minority within the community. Literature has emphasized that fear of crime has a connection to actual crime locations. The research findings, however, indicate that fear of crime spots identified by the residents do not have a direct relationship to the actual crime locations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0322.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Virus; plant virus; long noncoding RNA; replication; positive sense RNA virus
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:01:56 CEST)
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) of virus origin accumulate in cells infected by many positive strand (+) RNA viruses to bolster viral infectivity. Their biogenesis mostly utilizes exoribonucleases of host cells that degrade viral genomic or subgenomic RNAs in the 5’-to-3’ direction until being stalled by well-defined RNA structures. Here we report a viral lncRNA that is produced by a novel replication-dependent mechanism. This lncRNA corresponds to the last 283 nucleotides of the turnip crinkle virus (TCV) genome, hence is designated tiny TCV subgenomic RNA (ttsgR). ttsgR accumulated to high levels in TCV-infected Nicotiana benthamiana cells when the TCV-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), also known as p88, was overexpressed. Both (+) and (-) strand forms of ttsgR were produced in these cells in a manner dependent on the RdRp functionality. Strikingly, templates as short as ttsgR itself were sufficient to program ttsgR amplification, as long as the TCV-encoded replication proteins, p28 and p88, were provided in trans. Consistent with its replicational origin, ttsgR accumulation required a 5’ terminal G3(A/U)4 motif shown by others to be crucial for the replication of a TCV satellite RNA. More importantly, introducing a new G3(A/U)4 motif elsewhere in the TCV genome was alone sufficient to cause the emergence of another lncRNA. Collectively our results unveil a replication-dependent mechanism for the biogenesis of viral lncRNAs, thus suggesting that multiple mechanisms, individually or in combination, may be responsible for viral lncRNA production.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0626.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: tilapia; negative-sense RNA virus; Tilapia lake virus; DNA vaccine
Online: 28 July 2021 (11:11:37 CEST)
Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is the main tilapia-infecting virus worldwide, causing serious economic losses. However, there is no vaccine for this viral disease. Here, TiLV ORF10 (TiLV-ORF10) encoding a protein with abundant epitopes was constructed into the eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1, and used to evaluate the immune protective effects in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). RT-PCR and western blot analyses conﬁrmed vaccine plasmid expression in tilapia muscle tissues. Moreover, the transcription levels of immunoglobulin M, toll-like receptor 2, myeloid differentiation factor 88, interleukin 8, tumor necrosis factor alpha, gamma-IFN, and nuclear factor κB immune-related genes were statistically signiﬁcantly upregulated in the spleen, liver, and kidney of vaccinated tilapias (P < 0.05). TiLV challenge experiments showed that relative percent survival (RPS) was signiﬁcantly enhanced in ﬁsh by this DNA vaccine. Moreover, RPS was enhanced further when using a higher amount of the DNA vaccine (85.72% RPS at a DNA dose of 45 μg pcDNA3.1–ORF10). Vaccination with pcDNA3.1–ORF10 signiﬁcantly reduced virus replication, as evidenced by the low amount of virus in the spleen, liver, and kidney of vaccinated tilapias after TiLV challenge. Thus, pcDNA3.1–ORF10 could induce protective immunity in tilapia and may be a potential vaccine candidate for controlling diseases caused by TiLV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0790.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Cognitive style; Spatial Cognition; Sense of Direction; Spatial Orientation; Mental Rotation; Individual Differences
Online: 30 April 2021 (15:23:16 CEST)
Background: Military pilots show high visuo-spatial skills. Previous studies demonstrate that they are better in mental rotating a target, in taking different perspectives, in estimating distances, in travel planning and in topographic memory. Here, we compared navigational cognitive styles between military pilots and people without flight experience. Pilots were expected to be more survey users than non-pilots, showing higher navigational strategies. Method: 106 jet military pilots of Italian Air Force and 92 non-pilots were enrolled in order to investigate group differences in navigational styles. Participants were asked to perform a reduced version of the Spatial Cognitive Style Test – SCST, consisting of six tasks that allow to distinguish individuals in landmark (people orient themselves by using a figurative memory for environmental objects), route (people use an egocentric representation of the space) and survey (people have a map-like representation of the space) users. Results: In line with our hypothesis, military pilots mainly adopt a survey style, whereas non-pilots mainly adopt the route style. In addition, pilots outperformed non pilots in both the 3D-Rotation task and Map Description Task. Conclusion: Military flight expertise influences some aspects of the spatial ability, leading to enhance human navigation. Although, it must be considered that they are a population whose navigational skills were already high at the time of selection at the academy before formal training began.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0386.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: multi-stakeholder processes; sustainability transformations; sense-making; strategy; theory of change
Online: 30 November 2019 (09:52:47 CET)
The commonly used words ‘transformation’ and ‘transition’ tend to lose their edge when used for any significant change process as is rather often the case. Partners and wider stakeholders in initiatives related to ‘sustainability transitions’ therefore often entertain different perspectives on what the strategic orientation of an initiative is or is meant to be. Common planning and design processes such as situation analysis and theories of change, however, often do not sufficiently cater to this dynamic. As a result, different actors may be pulling the initiative in different directions, undermining the overall partnership efforts. In this short contribution a strategic scoping canvas and an associated facilitation process are presented as a way of addressing such situations. Illustrations are provided of initial application in three cases related to food system transitions in Peru, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, exploring the connectivity with approaches commonly used in the context of system transformations, including the Multi-Level Perspective on sustainability transitions, the Leverage Points approach, Capability Approach, and the theory of Large System Change. We conclude that the canvas and associated facilitation approach has proved useful in different contexts, offering opportunities for complementing existing methodologies, and potentially enhancing their efficacy in facilitated multi-stakeholder processes.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0466.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: anarchic hand syndrome; DTI; white matter disconnection; lesion mapping; sense of agency; posterior lesions.
Online: 18 March 2021 (10:09:37 CET)
The anarchic hand syndrome refers to an inability to control the movements of one’s own hand which acts as if it had a will of its own. The symptoms may differ depending on whether the brain lesion is anterior, posterior, callosal or subcortical, but the relative classifications are not conclusive. This study investigates the role of white matter disconnections in a patient whose symptoms are inconsistent with the mapping of the lesion site. A repeated neuropsychological investigation was associated with a review of the literature on the topic to identify the frequency of various different symptoms relating to this syndrome. Furthermore, an analysis of the neuroimaging regarding structural connectivity allowed us to investigate the grey matter lesions and white matter disconnections. The results indicated that some of the patient’s symptoms were associated with structures that, although not directly damaged, were dysfunctional due to a disconnection in their networks. This suggests that the anarchic hand may be considered as a disconnection syndrome involving the integration of multiple antero-posterior, insular and interhemispheric networks. In order to comprehend this rare syndrome better, the clinical and neuroimaging data need to be integrated with the clinical reports available in the literature on the topic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0054.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: dropout intention; perceived social isolation; perceived social support; engagement; sense of belonging; higher education
Online: 3 December 2021 (13:08:34 CET)
Social and academic integration variables have shown to be relevant for the understanding of university dropout. However, there is less evidence regarding the influence of these variables on dropout intention, as well as predictive models that explain their relationships. Improvements in this topic become relevant considering that dropout intention stands as a useful measure to anticipate and intervene on this phenomenon. The objective of the present study was to evaluate a predictive model for the university dropout intention that considers the relationships between social and academic variables, during the first university semester of 2020. The research was carried out using a cross-sectional associative-predictive design, with a convenience sampling (n=711) due the restrictions of pandemic period. The results showed a good fit of the proposed hypothetical model that explains 38.7% of dropout intention. Both social support and perceived social isolation predicted the sense of belonging, and through it, engagement. Previous academic performance predicted early academic performance, and through it, engagement. The set of variables predicted the intention to quit, through engagement. These results are a contribution both to the understanding of the phenomenon and to guide potential interventions in the early stages of the university experience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0288.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: eHealth Literacy; digital health literacy; sense of coherence; COVID-19; COVID-HL-Q; Pakistan.
Online: 10 March 2021 (15:07:22 CET)
Amid to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health literacy (DHL) has become a significant public health concern. This research aims to assess information seeking behavior, as well as the ability to find relevant information and deal with DHL among university students in Pakistan. An online-based cross-sectional survey, using a web-based interviewing technique, was conducted to collect data on DHL. Simple bivariate and multivariate linear regression was performed to assess the association of key characteristics with DHL. The results show a high DHL related to COVID-19 in 54.3% of students. Most of the Pakistani students demonstrated ~50% DHL in all dimensions, except of reliability. Multivariate findings showed that gender, sense of coherence and importance of information were found to be significantly associated with DHL. However, a negative association was observed with students’ satisfaction with information. This led to the conclusion that critical operational and navigations skills are essential to achieve COVID-19 DHL and cope with stress, particularly to promote both personal and community health. Focused interventions and strategies should be designed to enhance DHL amongst university students to combat the pandemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0212.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: positive-sense single-stranded rna viruses; innate immune evasion; type 1 interferon; viral pathogenesis; type 3 interferon
Online: 18 September 2019 (17:12:01 CEST)
Positive-sense single-stranded RNA (+ssRNA) viruses comprise many (re-)emerging human pathogens that pose a public health problem. Our innate immune system and in particular the interferon response form the important first line of defense against these viruses. Given their genetic flexibility, these viruses have therefore developed multiple strategies to evade the innate immune response in order to optimize their replication capacity. Already many molecular mechanisms of innate immune evasion by +ssRNA viruses have been identified. However, research addressing the effect of host innate immune evasion on the pathology caused by the viral infection is less prevalent in literature, though very relevant and interesting. Since interferons have been implicated in inflammatory diseases and immunopathology in addition to their protective role in infection, the influence of antagonizing the immune response may have an ambiguous effect on the clinical outcome of the viral disease. Therefore, this review discusses what is currently known about the role of interferons and host immune evasion in the pathogenesis of emerging viruses belonging to the coronaviruses, alphaviruses and flaviviruses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0176.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; nurses; posttraumatic stress disorder; perceived social support; changes in outlook; sense of security; meaning in life
Online: 7 August 2020 (08:10:28 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic affects not only physical health but also deteriorates mental health resulting in sleep problems, depression, and traumatic stress. Our research investigates the level of posttraumatic stress, perceived social support, opinions on positive and negative consequences of the pandemic, sense of security, and sense of meaning among nurses in the face of new and not fully understood global epidemiological phenomena. For this purpose, computer-assisted web interviewing methods were conducted between May 1 and May 15, 2020. Participating nurses completed the following research tools: The Impact Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), The Changes in Outlook Questionnaire (CIOQ), The Safety Experience Questionnaire (SEQ) and The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ). Three hundred and twenty-five nurses working throughout Poland joined the study of an average age of 39.18 ± 11.16 years. The average overall IES-R score in the study group was 1.78 ± 0.65. Among the dimensions of traumatic stress, the highest score was obtained in the dimension Avoidance 1.86 ± 0.73, then in the dimensions Hyperarousal 1.8 ± 0.78 and Intrusion 1.74 ± 0.83. Amongst studied nurses, the highest support rates were provided by significant others (22.58 ± 5.22), then from friends (21.91 ± 5) and family (21.45 ± 4.4). Among the surveyed nurses, higher average scores were noted in the subscale measuring positive psychological changes (18.56 ± 4.04). In contrast, a higher average level of assessment was noted on the Reflection on the safety dimension (4.21 ± 0.49). The mean MLQ score was 5.33 ± 0.87. A slightly higher result was observed in the subscale Presence (5.35 ± 1.14). The results of the research implemented during the period of severe psychological pressure associated with the COVID-19 pandemic provided information on symptoms of traumatic stress in the examined group of nurses. Their sense of security has been lowered and accompanied by an intensified reflection on issues concerning security. However, the sense of meaning (currently felt) in life remains higher than the tendency to searching for it. The surveyed nurses perceive individual support from the so-called significant others (apart from family and friends). They see positive changes resulting from painful experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be characterized by adaptation in the form of posttraumatic growth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0172.v4
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA-dependent amplification of mammalian mRNA; physiologically occurring intracellular PCR, iPCR; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, RdRp; chimeric RNA; sense-strand RNA; antisense-strand RNA
Online: 12 June 2019 (12:21:59 CEST)
The transfer of protein-encoding genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein, a process formalized as the “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”, has undergone a significant evolution since its inception. It was amended to account for the information flow from RNA to DNA, the reverse transcription, and for the information transfer from RNA to RNA, the RNA-dependent RNA synthesis. These processes, both potentially leading to protein production, were initially described only in viral systems, and although RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity was shown to be present, and RNA-dependent RNA synthesisfound to occur, in mammalian cells, its function was presumed to be restricted to regulatory. However, recent results, obtained with multiple mRNA species in several mammalian systems, strongly indicate the occurrence of protein-encoding RNA to RNA information transfer in mammalian cells. It can result in the rapid production of the extraordinary quantities of specific proteins as was seen in cases of terminal cellular differentiation and during cellular deposition of extracellular matrix molecules. A malfunction of this process may be involved in pathologies associated either with the deficiency of a protein normally produced by this mechanism or with the abnormal abundanceof a protein or of its C-terminal fragment. It seems to be responsible for some types of familial thalassemia and may underlie the overproduction of beta amyloid in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of the present article is to systematize the current knowledge and understanding of this pathway. The outlined framework introduces unexpected features of the mRNA amplification such as its ability to generate polypeptides non-contiguously encoded in the genome, its second Tier, a physiologically occurring intracellular polymerase chain reaction, iPCR, a Two-Tier Paradox and RNA Dark Matter. RNA-dependent mRNA amplification represents a new mode of genomic protein-encoding information transfer in mammalian cells. Its potential physiological impact is substantial, it appears relevant to multiple pathologies and its understanding opens new venues of therapeutic interference, it suggests powerful novel bioengineering approaches and its further rigorous investigations are highly warranted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0358.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Foot-and-mouth disease virus; safe sample transport; single-stranded positive-sense RNA; TRIzol extraction; naked RNA; infectivity; RNA transfection; lipofectamine; self-transfection; BHK cells
Online: 25 July 2022 (08:14:51 CEST)
Safe sample transport is of great importance for infectious diseases diagnostics. Various treatments and buffers are used to inactivate pathogens in diagnostic samples. At the same time, adequate sample preservation, particularly of nucleic acids, is essential to allow an accurate laboratory diagnosis. For viruses with single-stranded RNA genomes of positive polarity, such as foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), however, naked full-length viral RNA can itself be infectious. In order to assess the risk of infection from inactivated FMDV samples, two animal experiments were performed. In the first trial, six cattle were injected with FMDV RNA (isolate A22/IRQ/24/64) into the tongue epithelium. All animals developed clinical disease within two days and FMDV was reisolated from serum and saliva samples. In the second trial, another group of six cattle was exposed to FMDV RNA by instilling it on the tongue and spraying it into the nose. The animals were observed for 10 days after exposure. All animals remained clinically unremarkable and virus isolation as well as FMDV genome detection in serum and saliva were negative. No transfection reagent was used for any of the animal inoculations. In conclusion, cattle can be infected by injection with naked FMDV RNA, but not by non-invasive exposure to the RNA. Inactivated FMDV samples that contain full-length viral RNA carry only a negligible risk of infecting animals.