ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0381.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Astrovirus; Porcine; Encephalitis; Myelitis
Online: 6 June 2023 (07:06:03 CEST)
Recently, astroviruses (AstVs) have been associated with neurological symptoms in pigs, cattle, sheep, minks, muskoxes, alpacas, and humans. To investigate genotypes of porcine astrovirus (PAstV) and neuroinvasive (Ni) PAstV in South Korea, five domestic pigs with neurological symptoms from three farms were tested using reverse transcriptase PCR, histopathology, and in situ hybridization (ISH). All five genotypes of PAstV were detected in brain tissues and coinfection of PAstV with multiple genotypes was observed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report pig infection by Ni-PAstV with multiple genotypes in South Korea.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0279.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: NDV; paramyxovirus; outbreak; pathogenicity
Online: 5 June 2023 (08:43:36 CEST)
In August 2022, in the Moscow region, Russia, on a backyard farm, the mortality was observed at chickens and all 45 birds of this farm died or were slaughtered after onset of symptoms within a few days. Paramyxovirus was isolated from diseased birds. Based on the nucleotide sequences of the F and NP gene fragments, the belonging of virus to subgenotype VII.1 AAvV-1 class II was established. The cleavage site of the F gene 109SGGRRQKRFIG119 and T in 546 and 555 position of NP gene, were typical for the velogenic type. The genetically closest NDV isolates were found in Iran. The mean time of death of 10-day-old chicken embryos upon infection with the minimal infectious dose was 52 hours, which is typical for the velogenic pathotype. The virus caused 100% death of six-week-old chickens during oral infection, as well as 100% mortality of all contact chickens, including those located in remote cages, which proves the ability of virus to spread not only by fecal-oral but also by aerosol route. That demonstrates a high level of pathogenicity and contagiousness of the isolated strain for chicken. However, the mice intranasally infected with high doses of the virus had not die.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0265.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: astrovirus; wild raccoon dog; neurotropic-astrovirus
Online: 5 June 2023 (08:16:12 CEST)
Astroviruses (AstVs) have been detected in a wide range of animal species, including mammals and birds. Recently, a novel AstVs associated with neurological symptoms has been detected in the brain of some mammals. Raccoon dog AstV has been reported recently in China. However, there have been no reports in South Korea. Therefore, the present study aimed to detect and genetically characterize AstVs in intestine and brain tissues of 133 wild raccoon dogs collected in Korea between 2017 and 2019. Seven wild raccoon dogs were positive for AstV, four of which were also detected in brain tissue. Analysis of the capsid protein amino acid sequences of raccoon dog AstVs detected in Korea revealed a high similarity to canine AstVs, suggesting possible interspecies transmission between raccoon dogs and dogs. Phylogenetic and capsid protein amino acid sequence analysis of raccoon dog AstVs detected in brain 17-148B strain belonged to the HMO clade and exhibited conserved sequences found in neurotropic AstVs (NT-AstVs), indicating their potential as NT-AstVs. However, the pathogenicity and transmission routes of the raccoon dog AstV detected in Korea have not yet been elucidated, so further research and continued surveillance for AstV in wild raccoon dogs are needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0194.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: insect viruses; arthropod virus; distant homology detection; remote homology detection; virulence factor; tospovirus; structure prediction; cypovirus; small protrusion domain
Online: 2 June 2023 (11:45:35 CEST)
Today, the most powerful approach to detect distant homologs of a protein is based on structure prediction and comparison. Yet this approach is still inapplicable to many viral proteins. Therefore, we developed a powerful sequence-based procedure to identify distant homologs of viral proteins. It relies on 3 main principles: 1) Traces of sequence similarity with a protein can persist beyond the significance cutoff of homology detection programs; 2) Candidate homologs can be identified among proteins with weak sequence similarity to the query, by using "contextual" information, e.g. taxonomy or type of host infected; 3) These candidate homologs can be validated using highly sensitive profile-profile comparison.As a test case, we applied our approach to a protein without known homologs, ORF4 of Lake Sinai virus (which infects bees). We discovered that ORF4 is composed of a domain that has homologs in proteins from >20 taxa of viruses infecting arthropods. We called it “Widespread, Intriguing, Versatile” (WIV) domain because it is found in proteins with a wide variety of domain organizations and functions. For example, WIV is encoded by the NSs protein of tospoviruses, a global threat to food security, which infect plants through arthropod vectors; by the protein encoded by RNA2 ORF1 of chronic bee paralysis virus, a widespread virus of bees; and by various proteins of cypoviruses, which infect the silkworm bombyx mori. WIV has a previously unknown structural fold, according to Alphafold predictions. In some viral species, WIV facilitates infection of arthropods, according to bibliographical evidence
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0093.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Prostate cancer; human papillomavirus; HPV
Online: 1 June 2023 (13:31:56 CEST)
Prostate cancer contributes to cancer-related deaths globally, and the etiology of this disease is not yet fully understood. While Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has been associated with several types of cancer, including cervical, anal, and oropharyngeal cancer, studies investigating the relationship between HPV and prostate cancer have shown mixed results. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the causative association between HPV and prostate cancer using Bradford Hill's criteria. A comprehensive search of PubMed was conducted, and 60 out of 482 studies were included in the review. The included studies were evaluated based on nine Bradford Hill criteria, and information on the identification and transmission of the virus and potential oncogenic mechanisms was also extracted. The strength of association criterion was not met, and other criteria, such as consistency and coherence, were not fulfilled. However, biological plausibility was supported, and potential oncogenic mechanisms were identified. While some studies have reported the presence of HPV in prostate cancer tissues, the overall quality of evidence remains low, and the association between HPV and prostate cancer is weak. Nevertheless, the prostate is a potential reservoir for the transmission of HPV, and the HPV E6 and E7 oncoproteins and inflammation are likely to be involved in any oncogenic mechanisms. Further studies with a higher level of evidence are needed to establish a definitive link between HPV and prostate cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0088.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Canine; feline; chaphamaparvovirus; codon usage; phylogenetic; cross-species transmission
Online: 1 June 2023 (12:26:50 CEST)
Chaphamaparvovirus (ChPV) is an ancient virus that has been detected in a variety of hosts. In this study, based on the phylogenetic analysis and the adaptability of ChPV to multiple hosts, we evaluated the potential of feline (FeChPV) and canine ChPV (CaChPV) for cross-species transmis-sion. Phylogenetic analysis showed that FeChPV and CaChPV were closely related. Notably, two strains of ChPVs isolated from domestic cats and 2 from dogs clustered together with CaChPVs and FeChPVs, respectively, suggesting the stringent boundaries between canine and feline ChPV may be broken. Further analysis revealed that CaChPV and FeChPV were more adapted to dogs than to cats, strongly suggesting the possibility of unidirectional or bidirectional transmission be-tween dogs and cats. Mutation analysis identified several shared mutations in cross-species-transmissible strains that were not located within immune epitopes. Furthermore, the VP struc-tures of FeChPV and CaChPV exhibited a high degree of similarity across both cross-species-transmissible and non-cross-species-transmissible strains. However, definitive experimental evi-dence is lacking, and its capacity for cross-species transmission should be approached with cau-tion and elucidated in further studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1517.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Antiviral; Thiourea derivatives; Hepatitis B Virus; Chronic hepatitis B infection; Mitochondria dysfunction; Exhausted hepatocytes
Online: 29 May 2023 (14:29:16 CEST)
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection and the Hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) are major risk factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In CHB infection, HBx induces mitochondrial dysfunction, exhaustion and impaired function in hepatocytes. Restoring hepatocyte health along with reduction in virus replication could be an ideal treatment for CHB. Thiourea derivatives are well known for their antiviral property though their effect on mitochondrial and/ or hepatocyte health remains obscure. This study focus on the repurposing of thiourea derivatives (DSA-00, DSA-02, and DSA-09) on hepatocyte replenishment. HepG2.2.15 cells were treated with thiourea derivatives, alongside Entecavir (ETV). The proteomics analysis showed both DSA-00 and ETV were enriched with proteins associated with antiviral responses. In addition, DSA-00 additionally showed increase in proteins linked to mitochondrial response. Whereas DSA-02 exhibited association with innate immune system and citric acid cycle and DSA-09 displayed pathways similar to DSA-00 and ETV. Treated groups exhibited enhanced bio-energetic and antiviral response as compared to the untreated group. FACS analysis revealed the restoration of exhausted hepatocytes by thiourea derivatives through targeting mitochondria. Our findings suggest that thiourea derivatives hold potential as a novel therapeutic agent that seems to restore mitochondrial health along with anti-viral response in CHB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1942.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: sheep; goat; lentiviruses; SRLV; seroprevalence; risk factors
Online: 26 May 2023 (14:49:11 CEST)
Small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) are infected and transmitted among ovine and caprine species. This disease is a severe problem for small ruminant production, not only for animals’ wellbeing but also for the herd’s efficiency. The main aim of this research was to quantify the seroprevalence and associated risk factors for SRLV infection in the north region of Portugal. Collected samples from a total of 150 herds, of which 129 (86.0%; 95% CI: 80.67% - 91.33%) had at least one seropositive animal. Out of 2607 individual blood samples, 1074 (41.2%) were positive for SRLV. The risk factors associated with SRLV infection were: specie (caprine), age (> 2 years old), herd size (> 100 animals), production system (intensive), production aptitude (milk), type of activity (professional), participation in livestock competitions (yes), buy replacement young ewe (yes) and rearing (natural). This knowledge empowers the implementation of effective preventive measures. Overall, biosecurity measures should be promoted and implemented to aim reducing viral transmission, with the main goal of reducing the prevalence of this disease. Completely, we understand that government authorities should promote and audit voluntary control and eradication programs in small ruminant herds in the region studied.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1782.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; microscale thermophoresis; SLC6A20 amino acid transporter; antiviral agents
Online: 25 May 2023 (09:33:29 CEST)
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, new variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to emerge. This underscores the need to develop optimized tools to study such variants, as well as new coronaviruses that may arise in the future, and to use them for antiviral drug development. Here we introduce microscale thermophoresis (MST) as a reliable and versatile tool for coronavirus research, which we demonstrate through three different applications described in this report: 1) binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain (RBD) to peptides as a strategy to prevent virus entry, 2) binding of the RBD to the viral receptor ACE2, and 3) binding of the RBD to ACE2 in complex with the amino acid transporter SLC6A20/SIT1 or its allelic variant rs61731475 (p.Ile529Val). Our results demonstrate that MST is a highly precise approach to study protein-protein and/or protein-ligand interactions in coronavirus research, making it an ideal tool for studying viral variants and developing antiviral agents. The ability to measure interactions with proteins in their near-native plasma membrane environment is a unique advantage of the MST assay over other available binding assays.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1749.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Marine sulfated glycans; SARS-CoV-2; Omicron XBB.1.5; Spike protein; Heparin
Online: 25 May 2023 (07:12:52 CEST)
Keywords: Marine sulfated glycans; SARS-CoV-2; Omicron XBB.1.5, Spike protein; Heparin
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1703.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: herpesvirus; bat; surveillance; complete genome; Zambia
Online: 24 May 2023 (05:30:03 CEST)
Bats are of significant interest as reservoirs for various zoonotic viruses with high diversity. During the past two decades, many herpesviruses have been identified in various bats worldwide by genetic approaches, whereas there have been few reports on the isolation of infectious herpesviruses. Herein, we report the prevalence of herpesvirus infection of bats captured in Zambia and genetic characterization of novel gammaherpesviruses isolated from Macronycteris vittatus bats. By our PCR screening, herpesvirus genomes were detected in 29.2% (7/24) of Rousettus aegyptiacus, 78.1% (82/105) of Macronycteris vittatus, and 100% (1/1) of Hipposideros caffer bats in Zambia. Phylogenetic analyses of the detected herpesvirus genomes revealed that the Zambian bat herpesviruses were divided into seven betaherpesvirus groups and five gammaherpesvirus groups. Two infectious strains of a novel gammaherpesvirus, tentatively named Macronycteris gammaherpesvirus 1 (MaGHV1), were successfully isolated from Macronycteris vittatus bats, and their complete genomes were sequenced. The genome of MaGHV1 encoded 79 open reading frames, and phylogenic analyses of the DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B demonstrated that MaGHV1 formed an independent lineage sharing a common origin with other bat-derived gammaherpesviruses. Our findings provide new information regarding the genetic diversity of herpesviruses maintained in African bats.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1690.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hepatitis B; anti HBcore; risk factors; blood donors
Online: 24 May 2023 (04:37:56 CEST)
Background and Aim. Recently made analysis for anti-HBcor prevalence within Kazakhstan blood donors population concluded 17.2% rate. Considering these data are among the highest of infectivity results worldwide, an objective of this study was to define an association of positive Hepatitis B serology markers with risk and behavior factors. Methods. The blood donors’ samples were tested for anti-HBcore total (IgG/IgM) and anti-HBs, by CLIA on the Architect i2000SR platform (Abbott). Surrogate alanine transferase (ALT) markers for all blood donors were tested by kinetic method on the Biosystems A25 analyzer. A questionnaire was developed for socio-demographic characteristics, donors’ nutrition habits, cholesterol levels and history of smoking, alcohol consumption. Informed consent was obtained from all study participants. Statistics was calculated using the R software program (version 4.1.1, USA, 2021). Results. A group of 5709 blood donors participated in the study. Participants with positive anti-HBcore scores were on average older (41.8 vs 34.4 years, p<0.001), Kazakh (88.7% vs 83.0%, p<0.001), married (74.0% vs 55.6%, p<0.001), had a secondary education (70.1% vs. 59.4%, p=0.03), smoked (27.9% vs. 24.3%, p=0.05), had a longer smoking history (13.6±9.5 years vs. 9.8±8.5 years, p<0.001), and various hypercholestesterolaemia (6.2% vs 3.9%, p=0.02). Predominantly their main meal was dinner (17.0% vs 14.2%, p=0.03). Analysis for associations of socio-demographics characteristics, risk factors, nutrition with anti-HBs, showed that those who have secondary education level (70.1%) were more likely to be anti-HBs-positive (p=0.03). No other significant correlations for anti-HBs were observed. Conclusions. The risk factors and behavior analysis highlighted the blood donors’ overall health status. Positive Hepatitis B markers associated with statistically significant characteristics from socio-demography, nutrition habits or risk factors could support further pathogenesis studies looking for HBV treatment guides fulfilling the existing gaps.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0475.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; Genetic; Chronic Hepatitis C; Liver; Elastography
Online: 22 May 2023 (13:56:53 CEST)
IHepatitis C virus (HCV) has a high genetic diversity, with seven genotypes with 86 subtypes. This genetic variability confers persistence in the infection and escape of the immune system with evolution to cirrhosis and cancer. Environmental factors can contribute to different disease progression, being essential to assess the viral genotype in the infection and discuss the environmental particularities of Eastern Amazon, and the frequencies of Liver fibrosis between different HCV genotypes in patients living in a region of the Brazilian Eastern Brazilian Amazon. Consists in an observational cross-sectional study. Sociodemographic and clinical data of 76 individuals diagnosed with Hepatitis C between 2019 and 2020 in public health services were selected. Data collected was tabulated in Microsoft Excel 2010TM spreadsheets and analysed in GraphPad Prism 5.0TM. Liver fibrosis was associated with genetic subtypes. Subtype 1b was predominant (42.1%), followed by 1a (13%) and 3a (1.3%). 69.7% of participants had chronic hepatitis, with mild fibrosis (F1/F2) being the most prevalent (38.1%). Severe fibrosis was detected in 75% of individuals infected with the subtype 1b, that is associated with more severe disease. We suggest further studies, to assess other communities in the region, as well as the monitoring of these patients with Liver Elastography to determine the disease evolution and its better management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1361.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Omicron Variant of Concern; Mutations; Lineages
Online: 19 May 2023 (03:00:56 CEST)
The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Omicron has been characterized by an explosive number of cases in almost every part of the world. The dissemination of different sub-lineages and recombinant genomes also led to several posterior waves in many countries. The circulation of this VOC and its major sub-lineages (BA.1 to BA.5) was monitored in community cases and in international travelers returning to Venezuela, by a rapid partial sequencing method. The specific sub-lineage assignment was performed by complete genome sequencing. Epidemic waves of SARS-CoV-2 cases were observed among international travelers during 2022, a situation not seen before December 2021. The succession of the Omicron VOC sub-lineages BA.1 to BA.5 occurred sequentially, except for BA.3, which was almost not detected. However, the sub-lineages generally circulated two months earlier in international travelers than in community cases. The diversity of Omicron sub-lineages found in international travelers was related to the one found in the USA, consistent with the most frequent destination of international travel from Venezuela this year. These differences are compatible with the delay observed in Latin American countries in the circulation of the different lineages of the Omicron VOC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1257.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Zika virus; Trophoblast cell; Viral kinetics
Online: 17 May 2023 (14:26:56 CEST)
The Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic brought new discoveries regarding arboviruses, especially flaviviruses, as ZIKV was described as sexually and vertically transmitted. The latter shows severe consequences for the embryo/fetus, such as congenital microcephaly and deficiency of the neural system, currently known as Congenital ZIKV Syndrome (CZS). To better understand ZIKV dynamics in trophoblastic cells present in the first trimester of pregnancy (BeWo, HTR-8, and control cell HuH-7), an experiment of viral kinetics was performed for African MR766 low passage and Asian-Brazilian IEC ZIKV lineages. The results were described independently, and demonstrated that the three placental cells lines are permissive and susceptible to ZIKV. We noticed cytopathic effects that are typical in vitro viral infection in BeWo and HTR-8. Regarding kinetics, MR766lp showed peaks of viral loads in 24 and 48 hpi for all cell types tested, as well as marked cells death after peak production. On the other hand, HTR-8 lineage inoculated with ZIKV-IEC exhibited increased viral production in 144 hpi, with a peak between 24 and 96 hpi. Furthermore, IEC had peak variations of viral production for BeWo in 144 hpi. Both cells types continued alive during the process of viral replication. Considering such in vitro results, the hypothesis that maternal-fetal transmission is probably a way of virus transmission between the mother and the embryo/fetus is maintained.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1219.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; risk assessment; mitigation; resilience; pandemic modeling; lessons learned
Online: 17 May 2023 (09:59:40 CEST)
The emergence of novel pathogens is a well-known epidemiological risk, however, the unexpected emergence of a truly novel coronavirus-mediated pandemic, SARS-nCOV2 (COVID-19), underscored the significance of understanding this contagion. The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented social, economic, and educational disruptions on a scale never seen before. In addition to social protocols, the development of safe, effective, affordable COVID-19 vaccines was developed within months, the cornerstone to mitigating this pandemic. We present an overview of the evolution of the SARS-nCOV2 pandemic from a historical perspective and describe its biology and behavior, especially the immunological aspects of the disease. We further provide an overview of COVID-19 therapeutics, treatment, and vaccine development. It is critical to understand the transmission mechanism of the disease to control and mitigate its progression. We describe cohort studies to identify secondary and tertiary syndromes. The transmission characteristics help its diagnosis and detection. During the pandemic, a lot of emphasis was placed on personal protection equipment. It is now concluded that the virus particles spread by aerosol dispersion. While the recommended distance may not be sufficient, the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing may be helpful in close-quarters environments. Such protocols in conjunction with safe and effective vaccines and personal hygiene are among the safe practices. While we learn from our experience, this review provides a holistic view of COVID-19, so we are better prepared for a future pandemic. In addition to a wide-spectrum automated analytics system, we also suggest that the use of artificial intelligence in conjunction with data analytics can further reduces the risk of speculatively diagnosing agents incorrectly, to eliminate future pandemic, where the novelty can be the cloud-based presumptive diagnosis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1217.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HSP70; Viruses; Shrimp Immunity
Online: 17 May 2023 (09:55:06 CEST)
Shrimps are under the influence of several environmental factors such as fluctuation of physical and chemical parameters of the water affected by variations in rainfall, temperature, salinity, and pH. These factors have also been identified as risk factors for shrimp disease outbreaks. Despite the high levels of production, shrimp producers suffered significant economic losses in years, mainly due to the presence of diseases that now plague the industry. In particular, viral diseases have had and will continue to have profound impact on industry growth. In response to stress such environmental or pathophysiological, cells are able to up regulating selectively the expression of a protein group known as Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs). In a recent search at the literature we observed a close relation between HSP70 with apoptotic proteins and others stress proteins such HSP60 and HSP90. Moreover, the response of shrimp to viral stress was examined, some of which are correlated to the reactions of HSP70. Thus, the aim of this review is to describe the current knowledge on the status of stress responses in shrimps, particularly HSP70 responses, triggered by viruses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1188.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: evolution; pos-Darwin; virology
Online: 17 May 2023 (04:58:34 CEST)
Synthesizing evolution in the post-Darwinian era has been a very challenging endeavor, both because of the large number of perspectives relating to a single natural phenomenon and because of the growing use of technology to map the origin of novelties and selection of biological variation that surpasses Darwin’s original proposal of evolution by means of natural selection. Much has changed since 1859 and many new perspectives on evolution have emerged to dismiss, correct, or incorporate facets of Darwin’s ideas. This review approaches these different theories by focusing on virus-host interactions and descriptions of host-switching events in 4 different viral lineages, as well as their implications for understanding host-switching phenomena themselves.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1035.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Biosensor; Biotin-tag; transducer
Online: 15 May 2023 (11:05:26 CEST)
We introduced a novel biotin-binding peptide for sensing biotin, biotinylated proteins, and nu-cleotides. From a 15-mer library displayed on the RNA coliphage Qβ, a 15-amino acid long peptide (HGHGWQIPVWPWGQG) hereby referred to as nanotag was identified to selectively bind biotin. The targets selection was achieved through panning with elution by infection. The selected peptide was tested as a transducer for an immunogenic epitope of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) on Qβ phage platform separated by a linker. The biotin-tag showed no significant in-fluence on the affinity of the epitope to its cognate antibody (SD6). The nanotag bound biotin selectively when fused either to the C- or N-terminus of the epitope. The epitope would not bind or recognize SD6 while positioned at the N-terminus of the nanotag. Additionally, the biotin com-peted linearly with the SD6 antibody in a competitive ELISA. Competition assays using the se-lected recombinant phage itself as a probe, or transducer, enable the operationalization of this technology as a biosensor toolkit to sense and quantify SD6 analyte. Herein, the published Strep II nanotag (DVEWLDERVPLVET) was used as a control and has similar functionalities to our pro-posed novel biotin-tag thereby providing a new platform for developing devices for diagnostic purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1027.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Highly pathogenic avian influenza; H5N1/H9N2 reassortant virus; Nigeria
Online: 15 May 2023 (10:38:06 CEST)
In 2021, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and global food insecurity, the Nigerian poultry sector was yet exposed to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus and its economic challenges. Between 2021 and 2022, HPAI caused 467 outbreaks reported in 31 of the 37 administrative regions in Nigeria. In this study, we characterized the genome of 97 influenza A viruses of the subtypes H5N1, H5N2 and H5N8 identified in different agro-ecological zones and farms during the 2021-2022 epidemic. The phylogenetic analysis of the HA genes showed widespread distribution of the H5Nx clade 126.96.36.199b and similarity with the HPAI H5Nx viruses detected in Europe since late 2020. Topology of the phylogenetic trees indicates the occurrence of several independent introductions of the virus into the country followed by a regional evolution of the virus most probably linked to its persistent circulation in West African territories. An additional evidence of the evolutionary potential of HPAI viruses circulating in this region is the identification in this study of a putative H5N1/H9N2 reassortant virus in a mixed-species commercial poultry farm. Our data confirm Nigeria as a crucial hotspot for HPAI virus introduction from the Eurasian territories and reveal a dynamic pattern of avian influenza virus evolution within the Nigerian poultry population.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1014.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: arboviruses; dengue virus serotype 2; Cosmopolitan genotype
Online: 15 May 2023 (10:00:46 CEST)
We hypothesize the possible route of introduction of the cosmopolitan DENV-2 genotype into Brazil through the border with Peru. The five sequences presented in this study create a geographical link with the three others sequences of this genotype already recorded on the continent.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0969.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: yellow fever virus; vectors; Aedes albopictus; outbreak; entomo-virological surveillance
Online: 15 May 2023 (03:25:34 CEST)
After eight decades, the largest outbreak of sylvatic yellow fever virus (YFV) was recorded in Brazil between 2016-2018. Besides human and NHP surveillance, the entomo-virological approach is considered as a complementary tool. For this study, a total of 2904 mosquitoes of Aedes, Haemagogus and Sabethes genera from six Brazilian states (Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Pará, and Tocantins), were collected and grouped in 246 pools, which were tested for YFV using RT-qPCR. We detected 20 positive pools from Minas Gerais, 5 from Goiás, and 1 from Bahia, including 12 of Hg. janthinomys and 5 of Ae. albopictus. This is the first description of natural YFV infection in this species and warns of the likelihood of urban YFV re-emergence with the Ae. albopictus as a potential bridge vector. Three YFV sequences from Hg. janthinomys from Goiás and one from Minas Gerais, as well as one from Ae. albopictus from Minas Gerais clustered within the 2016-2018 outbreak clade, indicating YFV spread from Midwest and its infection in a main and in a likely-novel bridging vector species. Entomo-virological surveillance is critical in the YFV monitoring in Brazil, which could highlight the need to strengthen YFV surveillance, vaccination coverage, and vector control measures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0906.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Respiratory viruses; Anosmia; Olfaction Disorders; loss of smell; COVID-19
Online: 12 May 2023 (08:49:10 CEST)
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) known as severe acute respiratory syndrome - coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged in China in 2019, and caused an outbreak of unusual viral pneumonia. The olfactory dysfunction following the infection of different variants of SARS-CoV-2 is now accepted as a hallmark symptom in patients. Recent studies have pointed out the relationship between COVID-19 and altered or loss of smell in infected patients. This mini review provides an overview of the role of SARS-CoV-2 and the other acute respiratory viruses in the development the human olfactory pathophysiology. We highlight the importance of deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying the olfactory dysfunction caused by SARS-CoV-2 to help design new drugs to restore the altered or loss of smell in affected patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0869.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Jingmenvirus group; Alongshan virus; qPCR; Flavivirus; Yanggou tick virus; tick-borne viruses
Online: 11 May 2023 (14:25:01 CEST)
The recently discovered Jingmenvirus group includes viruses with a segmented genome, RNA of a positive polarity, and several proteins with distant homology to the proteins of the members of the genus Flavivirus. Some Jingmenvirus group members, namely Alongshan virus (ALSV) and Jingmen tick virus, are reported to be tick-borne human pathogens, causing a wide variety of symptoms. ALSV is widely distributed in Eurasia, yet there is no reliable assay for its detection. Here, we describe a qPCR system for the detection of ALSV. Our data show that this system can detect as low as 104 copies of ALSV in the probe. It shows no amplification with common tick-borne viruses circulating in Eurasia, Yanggou tick virus—another member of the Jingmenvirus group—or some known members of the genus Flavivirus. The qPCR system was tested have no non-specific signal for Ixodes ricinus, I. persulcatus, Dermacentor reticulatus, D. marginatus, Haemaphysalis concinna, and H. japonica ticks. Overall, the qPCR system described here can be used for reliable and quantitative ALSV detection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0748.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: cytomegalovirus; hearing loss; pathogenesis
Online: 10 May 2023 (11:20:49 CEST)
Virus infection is one of the most common etiologies of hearing loss. Hearing loss associated with viral infection can be unilateral or bilateral, mild or severe, sudden or progressive, and permanent or recoverable. Many viruses cause hearing loss in adults and children; however, the pathogenesis of hearing loss caused by viral infection is not fully understood. This review describes cytomegalovirus, the most common virus causing hearing loss, and other reported hearing loss-related viruses, along with their pathogenic characteristics and research progress on their pathology, hearing phenotypes, possible associated mechanisms, treatment and prevention measures, aiming to provide diagnostic and treatment assistance to clinical workers.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0609.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Human parvovirus B19; Encephalopathy; Metagenomic next-generation sequencing.
Online: 9 May 2023 (08:41:09 CEST)
Parvovirus B19 infection is associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations, from asymp-tomatic to severe neurological disorders. Its major clinical symptoms, fever and rash, are com-mon to multiple viruses, and laboratory tests to detect B19 are frequently not available. Thus, the impact of B19 on public health remains unclear. We report the case of a 38-day old girl ad-mitted to São Paulo Clinical Hospital, Brazil, with an initial diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, seizures, and acute hydrocephalus. Antibiotic therapy was maintained for one week after admis-sion and discontinued after negative laboratory results were obtained. Nine days after symp-toms onset, a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) sample revealed persistent pleocytosis. The complete B19 complete genome was subsequently identified in her CSF by a metagenomic next-generation sequencing approach. This report highlights the possible involvement of B19 in the occurrence of acute neurological manifestations, and emphasizes that its possible involve-ment might be better revealed by the use of metagenomic technology to detect viral agents in clinical situations of unknown or uncertain etiology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0504.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HIV/AIDS patients; Nutritional; biochemical; Markers; immunological disease
Online: 8 May 2023 (10:10:36 CEST)
Background and Objectives: HIV infection is a global public health problem that can lead to the progression of AIDS. Nutritional status and biochemical markers can significantly contribute to the progression of AIDS in HIV/AIDS patients. The main objective of this study is to examine the association between the nutritional and biochemical markers as well as BMI in HIV/AIDS patients in the kingdom of Bahrain. Methods: A retrospective cohort study, including 300 patients (248 males and 52 females) with HIV/AIDS in Bahrain. Various biochemical markers were collected from patients’ medical records including CD4^+ T cells counts, albumin, Hb, HCT, MCV, WBC, and creatinine. A semi-structured questionnaire using of a standardized food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used from which total energy and total macronutrients were calculate. Results: the mean BMI of participants was 27.20 kg/m2 with none of the participants had a BMI lower than 18.5 kg/m2 (underweight). The majority of patients’ dietary intake of macronutrients and total calories intake were either within or above the recommended RDA levels. The results also showed that all mean values of the nutritional and biochemical markers (CD4^+ T cells counts, albumin, Hb, HCT, MCV, WBC, and creatinine) are within the referenced normal ranges. A significant positive correlation of CD4^+ T cells counts, Hb, HCT and albumin at <0.05 level was found. There was no significant correlation between CD4^+ T cells counts and MCV, WBC and creatinine. A positive significant correlation was found between BMI, CD4^+ T cells counts, and WBC at <0.01 level. Conclusion: BMI values significantly correlated to biochemical markers of AIDS progression. Dietary pattern of participants was undiversified among participants, with high prevalence of obesity and overweight. Malnutrition among this study population was not present.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0285.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Epidemiology; Wastewater-based Epidemiology; Phylogenetic Analysis; Machine Learning Approach; Molecular virology
Online: 5 May 2023 (03:31:35 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant global threat, leading to several initiatives for its control and management. One such initiative involves wastewater-based epidemiology, which has gained attention for its potential to provide early warning of virus outbreaks and real-time information on its spread. In this study, water samples from two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located at the south east of Spain (Region of Murcia) namely Murcia, and Cartagena, were analyzed by RT-qPCR, Phylogenetic Analysis, and Machine Learning Approach. The aim was to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 detection in the WWTPs of these two cities could serve as a proxy for the virus's spread in the population. The results confirmed that the levels of SARS-CoV-2 in these wastewater samples changed concerning the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases detected in the population and variant occurrences were in line with clinical reported data. Additionally, the phylogenetic analysis showed that samples obtained in close sampling times exhibited a higher similarity than those obtained more distantly in time. A second analysis using a machine learning approach based on the mutations found in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was also conducted. Hierarchical Clustering (HC) was used as an efficient unsupervised approach for data analysis. Results indicated that samples obtained in October 2022 in Murcia and Cartagena were significantly different, which corresponded well with the different virus variants circulating in the two locations. The proposed methods in this study are adequate for comparing the Accumulated Natural Vector (ANV) of the SARS-CoV-2 sequences as a preliminary evaluation of potential changes in the variants that are circulating in a given population at a specific time point.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0218.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Poxvirus; Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara; vaccine; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; recombinant viral vectors; immunization
Online: 4 May 2023 (07:48:34 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of swift responses and the necessity of dependable technologies for vaccine development. Our team previously developed a fast cloning system for the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine platform. In this study, we report the construction and preclinical testing of a recombinant MVA vaccine obtained using this system. We obtained recombinant MVA expressing the unmodified full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein containing the D614G amino acid substitution (MVA-Sdg) and a version expressing a modified S protein containing amino acid substitutions designed to stabilize the protein a in a pre-fusion conformation (MVA-Spf). S protein expressed by MVA-Sdg was found to be expressed and correctly processed and transported to the cell surface, where it efficiently produced cell-cell fusion. Version Spf, however, was not proteolytically processed and despite being transported to the plasma membrane, it failed to induce cell-cell fusion. We assessed both vaccine candidates in prime-boost regimens in the susceptible transgenic K18-human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (K18-hACE2) mice and in golden Syrian hamsters. Robust immunity and protection from disease was induced with either vaccine in both animal models. Remarkably, the MVA-Spf vaccine candidate produced higher levels of antibodies, a stronger T cell response, and a higher degree of protection from challenge. In addition, the levels of SARS-CoV-2 in the brain of MVA-Spf inoculated mice was decreased to undetectable levels. Those results add to our current experience and range of vaccine vectors and technologies for developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0103.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; antiviral agents; Omicron variant; mutant; vaccines; clinical studies
Online: 3 May 2023 (06:04:36 CEST)
Since the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the virus kept developing and mutating into different variants over time that also gained increased transmissibility and spread in populations at a higher pace, culminating in successive waves of COVID-19 cases. The scientific community has developed vaccines and antiviral agents against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease. Realizing that growing SARS-CoV-2 variations significantly impact the efficacy of antiviral therapies and vaccines, we have summarized the appearance and attributes of SARS-CoV-2 variants for future perspectives in drug design, bringing up-to-date hints for developing therapeutic agents targeting the variants. The Omicron variant is among the most mutated form; its strong transmissibility and immune resistance capacity have prompted international worry. Most mutation sites currently being studied are located in the BCOV_S1_CTD of the S protein. Despite this, several hurdles remain, such as developing vaccination and pharmacological treatment efficacies for emerging mutants of SARS-CoV-2 strains. In this review, we present an updated viewpoint on the current issues faced by the emergence of various SARS-CoV-2 variants. Furthermore, we discuss the clinical studies conducted to assist the development and dissemination of vaccines, small molecule therapeutics, and therapeutic antibodies having broad-spectrum action against SARS-CoV-2 strains.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0087.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Japanese encephalitis virus; Population dynamic; Genetic diversity
Online: 2 May 2023 (11:02:54 CEST)
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes acute viral encephalitis in humans and reproductive disorders in pigs. JEV emerged during the 1870s in Japan and since that time, JEV has been transmitted exclusively throughout Asia, according to known reporting and sequencing records. A recent JEV outbreak occurred in Australia which affected commercial piggeries across different temperate southern Australian states and caused confirmed infections in humans. A total of 47 human cases and seven deaths were reported. The recent evolving situation of JEV needs to be reported due to its continuous circulation in endemic regions and spread to non-endemics areas. Here, we reconstructed the phylogeny and population dynamics of JEV using recent JEV isolates for the future perception of disease spread. Phylogenetic analysis shows the most recent common ancestor occurred about 3120 years ago (YA) (95% Highest posterior density [HPD], 2680 to 3715). Our results of the Bayesian skyline plot (BSP) demonstrates that JEV demography lacks fluctuations for the last two decades, but it shows that JEV genetic diversity has increased during the last ten years. This indicates the potential JEV replication in the reservoir host, which is helping it to maintain its genetic diversity, and to continue its dispersal into non-endemic areas. The continuous spread in Asia and recent detection from Australia further support these findings. Therefore, an enhanced surveillance system is needed along with precautionary measures such as regular vaccination and mosquito control to avoid future JEV outbreaks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0918.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: BCMV; genome; proteome; amino acid substitutions; novel host
Online: 25 April 2023 (10:16:22 CEST)
Bean common mosaic virus from the genus Potyvirus has a wide range of hosts and a very negative impact on cultivated crops from the genus Phaseolus. The risk of viral infection of economically important crops increases even if the carriers of the virus are related plant species growing on agroecological interfaces. Such plant species have emerged as new hosts for BCMV, usually harboring novel genetic variants of the virus. A novel genetic variant of BCMV was isolated from a symptomatic crownvetch plant, where the presence of this virus was confirmed by Western-blotting analysis and by amino acid identities in peptide fragments of CI, HC-pro, and CP proteins using the nanoLC-ESI-Q-TOF. The novel BCMV SVK isolate differed from the most genetically similar one in 0.91% of nucleotides and 1.55% of amino acids. The highest number of amino acid substitutions (8.8% of amino acids) was in the P1 protein, followed by CP (2.44% of amino acids). Minor substitutions were in Hc-pro, CI, and Nib proteins. The symptomatic crownvetch plant was confirmed as a new host and carrier of the novel BCMV isolate.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0697.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: viral vectors; gene therapy; animal models; clinical trials; drug approval
Online: 21 April 2023 (08:55:15 CEST)
Gene therapy has seen major progress in recent years. Viral vectors have made a significant contribution through efficient engineering for improved delivery and safety. A large variety of indications such as cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic, hematological, neurological, muscular, ophthalmological, infectious diseases, and immunodeficiency have been targeted. Viral vectors based on adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, herpes simplex viruses, retroviruses including lentiviruses, alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles viruses, rhabdoviruses, Newcastle disease virus, poxviruses, picornaviruses, reoviruses, and polyomaviruses have been used. Proof-of-concept has been demonstrated for different indications in animal models. Therapeutic efficacy has also been achieved in clinical trials. Several viral vector-based drugs have been approved for the treatment of cancer, and hematological, metabolic, and neurological diseases. Moreover, viral vector-based vaccines have been approved against COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0665.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Syrian hamster; animal model; coronavirus
Online: 21 April 2023 (03:31:17 CEST)
The ongoing emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants remains a source of concern because it is accompanied by the potential for increased virulence as well as evasion of immunity. Here we show that, although having an almost identical spike gene sequence as another Omicron variant (BA.5.2.1), a BA.4 isolate lacked all the typical disease characteristics of other isolates seen in the Golden Syrian hamster model despite replicating almost as effectively. Animals infected with BA.4 had similar viral shedding profiles to that seen with BA.5.2.1 (up to day 6 post infection) but they all failed to lose weight or present with any other significant clinical signs. We hypothesize that this lack of detectable signs of disease during infection with BA.4 was due to a small (nine nucleotide) deletion (∆686-694) in the viral genome (ORF1ab) responsible for production of non-structural protein 1 which resulted in the loss of three amino acids (aa 141-143).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0585.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HTLV-1; proviral load; vaginal proviral load
Online: 19 April 2023 (10:38:36 CEST)
Background: The prevalence of human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infection is higher in women, and sexual intercourse has been described as an important route of male-to-female transmission. The present study aimed to quantify HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) in vaginal fluid, and to investigate correlations with PVL in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Methods: HTLV-1-infected women were consecutively recruited at a multidisciplinary center for HTLV patients in Salvador-Brazil. All women underwent gynecological examinations to obtain cervicovaginal fluid and venipuncture for blood collection. PVL, as measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), was expressed as the number of copies of HTLV-1/106 cells in blood and vaginal fluid samples. Light microscopy was used to assess cervicovaginal cytopathology and vaginal microbiota. Results: In the 56 included women (43 asymptomatic carriers and 13 diagnosed with HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis-HAM/TSP), mean age was 35.9 (SD±7.2) years. PVL was higher in PBMCs [median: 23,264 copies/106 cells (IQR: 7,420 - 64,371)] than in vaginal fluid [451.9 copies/106 cells (IQR: 0 - 2,672)] (p<0.0001). PVL in PBMCs was observed to correlate directly with PVL in vaginal fluid (R=0.32, p=0.01). PVL was undetectable in vaginal fluid samples from 20 women (35.7%), most of whom were asymptomatic (19/20). Cytopathologic analyses revealed no differences between women with detectable or undetectable PVL. Conclusion: HTLV-1 proviral load is detectable in vaginal fluid and correlates directly with proviral load in peripheral blood. This finding suggests that sexual transmission of HTLV-1 from female to male may occur and vertical transmission, particularly in the context of vaginal delivery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0435.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Zika virus; ZIKV; the Numb protein; the Capsid protein
Online: 17 April 2023 (09:49:56 CEST)
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus and causes an infection that is associated with neurological manifestations, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome. The mechanism of ZIKV-mediated neuropathogenesis is not well understood. In this study, we discovered that ZIKV induces the degradation of the Numb protein, which plays a crucial role in neurogenesis by allowing asymmetric cell division during embryonic development. Our data show that ZIKV reduced the Numb protein level in a time- and dose-dependent manner. However, ZIKV infection appears to have minimal effect on the Numb transcript. Treatment of ZIKV-infected cells with a proteasome inhibitor restores the Numb protein level, which suggests the involvement of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In addition, ZIKV infection shortens the half-life of the Numb protein. Among the ZIKV proteins, the capsid protein significantly reduces the Numb protein level. Immunoprecipitation of the Numb protein co-precipitates the capsid protein, indicating the interaction between these two proteins. These results provide insights into the ZIKV-cell interaction that might contribute to its impact on neurogenesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0389.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola virus; VP24; immune evasion; STAT1
Online: 17 April 2023 (03:54:31 CEST)
Members of the Ebolavirus genus demonstrate a marked differences in pathogenicity in humans with Ebola (EBOV) being the most pathogenic, Bundibugyo (BDBV) less pathogenic and Reston (RESTV) causing no severe disease in humans. The VP24 protein encoded by members of the Ebolavirus genus blocks type I interferon (IFN-I) signaling through interaction with host karyopherin alpha nuclear transporters, potentially contributing to virulence. Previously we demonstrated that BDBV VP24 (bVP24) binds with lower affinities to karyopherin alpha proteins relative to EBOV VP24 (eVP24), and this correlated with reduced inhibition of IFN-I signaling. We hypothesized that modification of eVP24-karyopherin alpha interface to make it similar to bVP24 would attenuate the ability to antagonize IFN-I response. We generated a panel of recombinant EBOVs containing single or combinations of point mutations in the eVP24-karyopherin alpha interface. Most of the viruses appeared to be attenuated in both IFN-I-competent 769-P and IFN-I-deficient Vero-E6 cells in the presence of IFNs. However, the R140A mutant grew at reduced levels even in the absence of IFNs in both cell lines, as well as in U3A STAT1 knockout cells. Both the R140A mutation and its combination with the N135A mutation caused almost complete inhibition of genome replication and transcription suggesting the role of these mutations in an IFN-I-independent attenuation. Additionally, we found that unlike eVP24, bVP24 does not inhibit interferon lambda 1 (IFN-λ1), which potentially explains the lower pathogenicity of BDBV relative to EBOV. Thus, the VP24 residues binding karyopherin alpha affect ebolavirus pathogenicity by IFN-I-dependent and independent mechanisms.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0343.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Zika; arboviruses; vector-borne infections; genomic surveillance; phylogenetics
Online: 14 April 2023 (03:51:13 CEST)
The Americas, particularly Brazil, were greatly impacted by the widespread outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) in 2015 and 2016. Efforts were made to implement genomic surveillance of ZIKV as part of the public health responses. The accuracy of spatiotemporal reconstructions of the epidemic spread relies on the unbiased sampling of the transmission process. In the early stages of the outbreak, we recruited patients exhibiting clinical symptoms of arbovirus-like infection from Salvador and Campo Formoso, Bahia, in Northeast Brazil. Between May 2015 and June 2016, we identified 21 cases of acute ZIKV infection and subsequently recovered 14 near full-length sequences using the amplicon tiling multiplex approach with nanopore sequencing. We perform a time-calibrated discrete phylogeographic analysis to trace the spread and migration history of the ZIKV. Our phylogenetic analysis supports a consistent relationship between ZIKV migration from Northeast to Southeast Brazil and its subsequent dissemination beyond Brazil. Additionally, our analysis provides insights into the migration of ZIKV from Brazil to Haiti and the role Brazil played in the spread of ZIKV to other countries, such as Singapore, the USA and Dominican Republic. The data generated by this study enhances our understanding of ZIKV dynamics and supports the existing knowledge, which can aid in future surveillance efforts against the virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0192.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; Long COVID; EC16; EGCG-palmitate; Formulations
Online: 11 April 2023 (04:55:46 CEST)
Background: Chronic neurologic diseases are common sequelae of COVID. They severely impact the quality of life and increase the burden on healthcare systems. The long COVID neurological symptoms are due to the robust replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the nasal neuroepithelial cells, leading to neuroinvasion and inflammation of the central nerve system (CNS). Currently used medications and vaccines do not inhibit the robust SARS-CoV-2 replication in the nasal epithelial cells. EGCG-palmitate (EC16), a multifunctional compound, has the potential to become a novel intranasal-delivered drug for minimizing post-COVID neurologic symptoms. Method: EC16-containing formulations were developed and tested in vitro against human β coronavirus OC43 (CoV-OC43) using a TCID50 assay following three test protocols differing in exposure sequence. Results: EC16 formulations in normal saline, phosphate buffered saline, and cell culture medium were found to effectively inhibit human β-coronavirus infection (>99.99%) after a 30-min contact. A single 10-min application to cells after infection (i.e., without direct contact with the virus) resulted in >99% inhibition of viral replication. Conclusion: With its antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties, EC16 in nasal formulations could be further developed for clinical applications to COVID-19 patients for minimizing long COVID neurological symptoms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0106.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Feline Infectious Peritonitis; Rottlerin; Drug Delivery System; Liposome; Antivirals
Online: 7 April 2023 (03:40:34 CEST)
Rottlerin(R) is a natural extract from Mallotus philippensis with antiviral properties. Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease characterized by systemic granulomatous inflammation and high mortality, with no established prevention or cure. We investigated antiviral effect of liposome loaded R, Rottlerin-liposome(RL) against Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV), the causative agent. We demonstrated that R and RL inhibited FIPV replication in dose dependently with a PKCδ related manner, not only in the early endocytosis step but also in the late step of replication. RL resolved the low solubility issue of rottlerin and improved its inhibition efficacy at the cellular level. Based on these findings, we suggest that RL has a value for further research as a potential antiviral agent against FIPV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0082.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; drug repurposing; methotrexate; EXSCALATE; virtual screening; molecular docking; antiviral activity; SARS-CoV-2; viral entry; nsp13
Online: 6 April 2023 (09:21:51 CEST)
During COVID-19 pandemic, drug repurposing represented an effective strategy to obtain quick answers to medical emergencies. Basing on previous data on Methotrexate (MTX), we evaluated the anti-viral activity of several DHFR inhibitors in two cell lines. We observed that this class of compounds showed a significant influence on the virus-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) partly associated to the intrinsic antimetabolic activity of these drugs, but also to a specific antiviral function. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms, we took advantage of our EXSCALATE platform for in-silico molecular modelling and further validated the influence of these inhibitors on nsp13 and viral entry. Interestingly, Pralatrexate and Trimetrexate showed superior effects in counteracting the viral infection compared to other DHFR inhibitors. Our results indicate that their higher activity is due to their polypharmacological and pleiotropic profile. These compounds can thus potentially give a clinical advantage in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients already treated with this class of drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0040.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human bocaparvovirus; acute gastroenteritis; children
Online: 4 April 2023 (05:19:34 CEST)
Human bocavirus (HBoV) is an emerging virus that has been detected worldwide that could be associated with cases of acute gastroenteritis (AGE). However, its contribution to AGE has not been elucidated. This study aimed to describe the frequency, clinical features, and HBoV genotypes circulation in children up to 5 years with or without AGE symptoms in Acre, Northern Brazil. A total of 480 stool samples were collected between January and December 2012. Fecal samples were used for extraction, nested PCR amplification, and sequencing for genotyping. Statistical analysis was applied to verify the association between epidemiological and clinical characteristics. Overall HBoV-positivity was 10% (48/480), being HBoV-positivity rates of 8.4% (19/226) and 11.4% (29/254) recorded among diarrheic and non-diarrheic children, respectively. The most affected age group was between 7 and 24 months (50%). HBoV infection was more frequent in children living in urban areas (85.4%), using water from the public network (56.2%), and living with adequate sewage facilities (50%). Co-infection with other enteric viruses was 16.7% (8/48) and the most prevalent coinfection was RVA+ HBoV (50%, 4/8). HBoV‐1 was the most frequent species detected, responsible for 43.8% (21/48) of cases, followed by HBoV-3 (29.2%, 14/48) and HBoV-2 (25%, 12/48). In the present study, HBoV infections are not associated with AGE, as most HBoV cases belonged to the non-diarrheal group without AGE symptoms. Future studies are warranted to determine the role of HBoV in causing acute diarrhea disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0006.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Parvoviruses; DNA damage response; Minute Virus of Mice
Online: 3 April 2023 (04:21:03 CEST)
Minute Virus of Mice (MVM) is an autonomous parvovirus of the Parvovirus family that replicates in mouse cells and transformed human cells. MVM genomes localize to cellular sites of DNA damage with the help of their essential non-structural phosphoprotein NS1 to establish viral replication centers. MVM replication induces a cellular DNA damage response that is mediated by signaling through the ATM kinase pathway, while inhibiting induction of the ATR kinase signaling pathway. However, the cellular signals regulating virus localization to cellular DNA damage response sites has remained unknown. Using chemical inhibitors to DNA damage response proteins, we have discovered that NS1 locallization to cellular DDR sites is independent of ATM or DNA-PK signaling, but is dependent on ATR signaling. Pulsing cells with an ATR inhibitor after S-phase entry leads to attenuated MVM replication. These observations suggest that the initial localization of MVM to cellular DDR sites depends on ATR signaling before it is inactivated by vigorous virus replication.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0461.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; Small Colony Variants; Carnosine; RAW 264.7 murine macrophages; Host-Pathogen Interaction
Online: 27 March 2023 (12:16:26 CEST)
Phagosomal escape and intracellular survival, often accompanied by Small Colony Variants (SCVs) formation, are typical features of infections caused by S. aureus. The survival in macro-phages favours S. aureus dissemination and complicates treatment. RAW 264.7 murine macro-phages infected with S. aureus USA300 and treated with erythromycin and 20mM carnosine, alone and in combination, were used as experimental model. SCVs were isolated from all treat-ment conditions, but only those undergoing the pressure of combined erythromycin and carnosine for 48 hours were stable for at least six passages on blood agar. Nucleic acid extraction was car-ried out for S. aureus USA300 wild-type and stable SCVs. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) was performed using Illumina DNA Prep and Illumina MiSeq, and quantitative reverse transcription PCR was performed. WGS analysis did not yield mutations pointing to differences between S. au-reus USA300 and stable SCVs, therefore the focus was shifted to evaluating gene expression vari-ations. Genes such as zur, mntR, uhpt, fur, sdrE were shown to be significantly up-regulated in SCVs compared to S. aureus USA300 wild-type, suggesting a global change that allows adapta-tion to intracellular persistence, including protection from inflammatory response and evasion of the immune system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0325.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; hydroxychloroquine; azithromycin; QTc interval; cardiac rhythm; safety; torsades de pointe
Online: 17 March 2023 (11:34:00 CET)
Background Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) combined with azithromycin (AZM) has been widely administered to patients with COVID-19 despite scientific controversies. In particular the potential to prolong cardiac repolarisation by using this combination has been discussed. Materials and methods We report a pragmatic and simple safety approach which we implemented in the first patients treated for COVID-19 in our center early 2020. Treatment contraindications were the presence of severe structural or electrical heart disease, baseline corrected QT interval (QTc) >500 ms, hypokalaemia, or other drugs prolonging QTc that could not be interrupted. Electrocardiogram and QTc was evaluated at admission and re-evaluated after 48 hours of the initial prescription. Results Among 424 consecutive adults (mean age 46.3 ± 16.1 years; 216 women). Patients were followed in conventional wards (21.5%) or in a day-care unit (78.5%). A total of 11 patients (2.6%) had contraindications to HCQ-AZ combination. In the remaining 413 treated patients, there were no arrhythmic events in any patient during the 10-day treatment regimen. QTc was slightly but statistically significantly prolonged by 3.75 ± 25.4 ms after two days (p=0.003). Ten patients (2.4%) developed QTc prolongation >60 ms, and none had QTc >500 ms. Conclusions This report do not aim to contribute to knowledge of the efficacy of treating COVID-19 with HCQ-AZ. However, a simple initial assessment of patient medical history, ECG and kalaemia identifies contraindicated patients and enables the safe treatment by HCQ-AZ of COVID-19 patients. QT-prolonging anti-infective drugs can be used safely in acute life-threatening infections, provided that a strict protocol and close collaboration between infectious disease specialists and rhythmologists are followed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0304.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Monkeypox, , Nigeria, MPXV, Epidemiology, Spillover
Online: 16 March 2023 (10:43:53 CET)
The emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases caused by viruses continue to be a major public health concern globally, affecting both humans and animals. One such disease is monkeypox, a zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV) that has recurred in sub-Saharan Africa over several decades. Notably, the 2022 outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria follows a deadly outbreak in 2017, which was preceded by the disease's first recorded outbreak in 1978. Epidemiological investigations in 2017 showed no apparent link between human monkeypox cases and the outbreak that year, indicating the potential existence of multiple sources of the virus and limited human-to-human transmission. This underscores the presence of an alternative ecological niche in humans. Furthermore, in some communities in Nigeria, monkeys are regarded as sacred and not hunted or consumed, leading to their proliferation and increased likelihood of MPXV transmission. This mini-review focuses on the occurrence, epidemiological distribution, geographical distribution, endemicity, and possible solutions to reduce the spread of human monkeypox in Nigeria. The implications of this reemergence and the need for effective public health measures to prevent and control outbreaks of monkeypox are also discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0241.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Nipah virus; air-liquid interface culture; respiratory epithelium; mass spectrometry; immune response
Online: 14 March 2023 (02:50:52 CET)
Respiratory tract epithelium infection plays a primary role in Nipah virus (NiV) pathogenesis and transmission. Knowledge about infection dynamics and host responses to NiV infection in respir-atory tract epithelia is scarce. Studies in non-differentiated primary respiratory tract cells or cell lines indicate insufficient interferon (IFN) responses. However, studies are lacking to determin-ing complex host response patterns in differentiated respiratory tract epithelia to understand NiV replication and spread in swine. Here we characterized infection and spread of NiV in differenti-ated primary porcine bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC) cultivated at the air-liquid-interface (ALI). After the initial infection of only a few apical cells, lateral spread for 12 days with epithelium disruption was observed without releasing substantial amounts of infectious virus from the api-cal or basal sides. Deep time course proteomics revealed pronounced upregulation of genes re-lated to type I/II- IFN, immunoproteasomal subunits, TAP-mediated peptide transport and MHC I antigen presentation. Spliceosomal factors were downregulated. We propose a model in which NiV replication in PBEC is slowed by a potent and broad type I/II-IFN host response with con-version from 26S proteasomes to immunoproteasomal antigen processing and improved MHC I presentation for adaptive immunity priming. NiV induced cytopathic effects could reflect the focal release of cell-associated NiV, which may contribute to efficient airborne viral spread between pigs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0219.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 pandemic; PCR positivity; Aleph Delta Omicron waves; Mumbai; India
Online: 13 March 2023 (06:31:08 CET)
Background: The SARS-CoV-2 laboratory PCR tests were generally reported only as binary positive or negative outcomes. Instead test positivity, these results contain a great deal of epidemiological information related to viral transmission patterns in populations. These transmission patterns during India’s SARS-CoV-2 viral waves remain largely undocumented. Methods: We analysed 2.7 million real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing records collected in Mumbai, a bellwether for other Indian cities. We used the inverse of cycle threshold (Ct) values to determine community-level viral load. We quantified wave-specific differences by age, sex and slum population density. Results: Overall PCR positivity was 3.4% during non-outbreak periods, rising to 23.2% and 42.8% during the Aleph (June-November 2020) and Omicron waves (January 2022), respectively, but only 9.9% during the Delta wave (March-June 2021). The community-level median Ct values fell and rose ~7-14 days prior to PCR positivity rates. Viral loads were 4-fold higher during the Delta and Omicron waves than during non-outbreak months. The Delta wave had high viral loads at older ages, in women and in areas of higher slum density. During the Omicron wave, differences in viral load by sex and for slum density had disappeared, but older adults continued to show higher viral load. Conclusions: Mumbai’s viral waves had markedly high viral loads representing an early signal of pandemic trajectory. Continue the vaccination in elderly Indians could reduce viral load in subsequent waves. Ct values are practicable monitoring tools.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0112.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Viruses; Escherichia coli; Klebsiella aerogenes; Candida utilis; Gibbs energy of biosynthesis; Bi-osynthesis reaction; Enthalpy; Entropy; Pathogen-host interaction
Online: 6 March 2023 (15:47:22 CET)
Pathogen-host interaction (virus-host, bacteria-host and fungi-host) is analyzed from the perspective of biothermodynamics. A mechanistic model of pathogen-host interactions, which was earlier applied to virus-host interactions, was applied for the first time to bacteria-host and fungi-host interactions. Through a mechanistic model suggested in this research, it is possible to explain the phenomenon of tropism of microorganisms to develop infections in certain tissues. Gibbs energy of biosynthesis represents the driving force for growth of bacteria inside host organisms. A growing bacterial colony represents a thermodynamic system, while the host organism is its surroundings. The permissiveness coefficient determines the possibility of growth of bacteria in an appropriate environment (tissue).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0109.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Chikungunya virus; diagnosis; arbovirus infections; clinical decision making; Colombia
Online: 6 March 2023 (15:17:22 CET)
Background: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) diagnosis have become a challenge for primary care physicians in areas where zika virus and/or dengue virus are present. Case definitions for the three arboviral infections are overlapping. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was carried out. A bivariate analysis was made using confirmed CHIKV infection as the outcome. Variables with significant statistical association were included in an agreement consensus. Agreed variables were analyzed in multiple regression model. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated to determine a cut-off value and performance. Results: 295 patients with confirmed CHIKV infection were included. A screening tool was made using symmetric arthritis (4 points), fatigue (3 points), rash (2 points) and ankle joint pain (1 point). The ROC curve identified a cut-off value and a score ≥ 5.5 was considered positive to identify CHIKV patients with a sensibility of 64.4% and a specificity of 87.4%, positive predictive value of 85.5%, negative predictive value of 67.7%, area under the curve of 0.72, and an accuracy of 75%. Conclusion: We developed a screening tool for CHIKV diagnosis using only clinical symptoms as well as proposed an algorithm to aid the primary care physician.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0094.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Antibodies; HCV; Prevalence; Febrile Patients; Nigeria
Online: 6 March 2023 (06:34:18 CET)
This study was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among febrile patients attending a General Hospital in Emohua LGA, Rivers State, Nigeria. Eighty-nine patients, including 31 males and 58 females, aged 2 to 60 years, were recruited for this study. Blood samples were screened for antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV) using a commercially available anti-HCV-Ab enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based kits following the manufacturer's description. The results showed an overall prevalence of 5.6%. Higher prevalence of HCV was observed among females (6.9%), age groups >41 years (11.1%), singles (7.9%) and patients with primary education (33.3%). Among all the variables evaluated, only education (p = 0.007) was significantly associated with the prevalence of HCV. Age (p = 0.21), sex (p = 0.47) and marital status (p = 0.42) were not associated with the prevalence of HCV among the studied population. This study showed a prevalence rate (5.6%) that is slightly alarmingly well above several other studies done in the past in Nigeria. The seropositivity of HCV among febrile patients remains a great danger to public health. Therefore, HCV screening by ELISA methods in all patients is recommended. Planned prevention, screening and treatment are needed to reduce further transmission.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0007.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Human herpesvirus 5; glycoprotein B; UL55; cell-cell fusion; entry; infectivity
Online: 1 March 2023 (03:05:22 CET)
Viruses can induce the fusion of infected and neighboring cells, leading to the formation of syncytia. Cell-cell fusion is mediated by viral fusion proteins on the plasma membrane of infected cells that interact with cellular receptors on neighboring cells. Viruses use this mechanism to spread rapidly to adjacent cells or escape host immunity. For some viruses, syncytium formation is a hallmark of infection and a known pathogenicity factor. For others, the role of syncytium formation in viral dissemination and pathogenicity remains poorly understood. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant patients and the leading cause of congenital infections. Clinical HCMV isolates have broad cell tropism but differ in their ability to induce cell-cell fusions, and little is known about the molecular determinants. We developed a system to analyze HCMV glycoprotein B (gB) variants in a defined genetic background. HCMV strains TB40/E and TR were used as vectors to compare the fusogenicity of six gB variants from congenitally infected fetuses with those from three laboratory strains. Five of them conferred the ability to induce fusion of MRC-5 human embryonic lung fibroblasts to one or both backbone strains, as determined by a split GFP-luciferase reporter system. The same gB variants were not sufficient to induce syncytia in infected ARPE-19 epithelial cells, suggesting that additional factors are involved. The system described here allows a systematic comparison of the fusogenicity of viral envelope glycoproteins and may help to clarify whether fusion-promoting variants are associated with increased pathogenicity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0155.v4
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: covid-19; pandemic; immune evasion; first-line immunity; viral evolution; interferon; dendritic cells; cytokines; chemokines; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; vaccinology
Online: 21 February 2023 (02:38:38 CET)
The SARS–CoV-2 infection has caused both acute and chronic COVID–19 disease during the recent pandemic with emerging more transmissible SARS–CoV–2 Omicron variants (BQ1 and XBB1) that have increased demands for more effective immunogens and therapeutic approaches to protect the lives of numerous SARS–CoV-2 affected individuals and reduce overall disease burden that could be affected by concurrent other pathogens causing diseases. Following a worldwide campaign of mass vaccination, there is still a significant demand to quell the harmful effects of novel SARS–CoV–2 infections due to higher mutation rates within specific areas of the SARS–CoV-2 domain, leading to enhanced viral entry, especially within individuals with one or more significant comorbidities, and there is still a dilemma of how prevention of future pandemics will occur as within host animal mutations and cross species transfer naturally occurs. Concerns intersect at a specific point; a gained evolutionary ability of several viruses over the previous centuries to remain undetected during the first stages of infection by means of capping the 5' end of their DNA and RNA genes respectively. This may occur by reducing the rate of host Type I and Type III Interferons (IFN) cellular synthesis, that would usually occur and affect both apoptotic pathways, that facilitate viral replication and clearance, as well as immune cells, that process and present pathogenic antigen epitopes. Furthermore, although methods of vaccination exist, other methods in clinical development remain that could evoke an immune response in different cellular, serum or mucosal compartments being cellular, serum and mucosal that evoke differential antibody responses. Antibodies are classed as natural and synthetic. Natural antibodies are further classified into neutralizing and non-neutralizing, whilst synthetic antibodies are also further classified into monoclonal and polyclonal. As a result of single cell study transcriptome research, viruses do utilize an array of protein receptors for receptor-mediated cellular entry. This, therefore suggests that potential differential production of antibody immunoglobulins (Ig) within serum and mucosal areas remains affected by cytokines, adhesion molecules and chemokines that can be upregulated or downregulated upon host viral infection. Serum plasma antibodies can be multimeric that may not efficiently cross the nasal epithelium cell layer, therefore offering less protection against mucosal inflammation due to mucin proteins. On the other hand, antibodies produced by mucosal plasma cells at epithelial surfaces are known to provide effective immune responses in some viral infections. The existence of developments that stimulate mucosal immune responses has so far only been seen with influenza nasal immunogens. Nevertheless, scientists developed ways of immunization and early treatment worldwide that generally showed good success rates and fewer risks of adverse events, and the still early present stages of COVID-19 research should also be taken into consideration. For example, the administration of human interferons I and III into the nasal mucosa cellular layer, as key mediators of anti–viral activity, can stimulate cellular activity to train the innate and adaptive immune system cells to develop and appropriately stimulate an adequate immune response through B and T cells. Recently, it was discovered that specific plants secrete proteins that also stimulate the production of Type I Interferons. It might be that focusing on directly offering the immune system the information about the genetics and protein structure of the pathogen, rather than training its first-line mechanisms to develop faster, excessively increases its specificity, making it reach a level that brings the virus the opportunity to evolve and escape previously-developed host immune mechanisms. Naturally-selected polymorphic viruses through genetic recombination pose challenges to traditional concepts of cellular and molecular immune system neutralization of these viruses during the first stages of cellular infection. It is until the scientific community realizes this potentially crucial aspect that we will probably continue to face serious epidemics and pandemics of respiratory diseases over the coming several decades, evidenced with dengue fever and more recently monkeypox. Type I IFNs tend to be produced faster than Type III IFNs, and the first induce slightly more abundant pro-inflammatory signals than the latter, meaning that type III IFNs, if produced early, may further decrease the extent of excessive proinflammatory signals. Hence, we believe that nasal sprays containing a low dosage of Type I and Type III IFNs not only represent a relevant COVID-19 therapeutic, but also a potential unknown modulatory therapy of the future. Of note, it has been indicated that IFN I and / or III display significant immunizing and early therapeutic effects for other viral evoked diseases like Influenza (Influenza (A)H1N1), rabies (Rabies lyssavirus), measles (Measles virus), rubella (Rubivirus rubellae), Hepatitis B, HIV-induced AIDS, Ebola, Marburg, as well as bacterial diseases, such as lower respiratory tract infectious diseases induced by Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, and a number of oncological diseases, like hepatic melanoma.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0279.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Biophysics; Biothermodynamics; Growth; Microorganism; Virus; Enthalpy; Entropy; Gibbs energy
Online: 16 February 2023 (08:43:17 CET)
Life sciences are increasingly benefiting from multidisciplinary research, combining biology, chemistry and physics. At their intersection, biothermodynamics applies the quantitative framework of thermodynamics to life processes and is a potentially interesting subject for life science students. Here a method is proposed to teach undergraduate life science students the basics of biothermodynamics, building and expanding on the concept of Gibbs energy learned as a part of the physical or general chemistry course. The discussion begins with the role of Gibbs energy as the driving force of metabolism and growth. Moreover, a biological example is proposed of the enthalpy-entropy combinations resulting in negative Gibbs energy, which should be interesting to life science students. Gibbs energy is then used to explain microorganism growth rates, using a simple thermodynamic growth model. Finally, multiplication of viruses is considered, including SARS-CoV-2, using Gibbs energy to explain the hijacking of host cell metabolism. Implementation of the proposed biothermodynamics material in classroom is discussed. The paper should be useful as material for making lectures for undergraduate students and as a starting point for anyone beginning to do research in biothermodynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0278.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccine; mRNA vaccine; adenoviral vector vaccine; adverse event; local adverse event; systemic adverse event
Online: 16 February 2023 (08:00:51 CET)
The immunization of healthcare workers in the early stages of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines was prioritized in order to ensure uninterrupted medical care provision. At the same time the increasing number of available COVID-19 vaccines may trigger hesitancy towards the decision to get vaccinated. Thus, accumulating reliable information on the adverse events following immunization may educate and urge the general population to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The present study aimed to evaluate the adverse events (AEs) following immunization with any of the available COVID-19 vaccine among Bulgarian healthcare workers (HCWs). A cross-sectional study among HCWs in Plovdiv, Bulgaria was conducted in the period March – September 2021. Through a semi-structured online questionnaire, the participants reported the adverse events following the administration of the first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 253 respondents, vaccinated with one of the available vaccines against COVID-19 took part in the study. Of them 71.9% were females, and 75.9% received mRNA-based vaccines, while 24.1% received a viral-vector based vaccine. Overall 91.6% and 82.6% of all participants reported at least one local AE after the first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The share of respondents reporting at least one systemic AE after the first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was 59.7% and 62.4% respectively. The most common local AE was pain at the injection spot (84.0%), while the most common systemic AEs were fatigue (54.9%), chills (43.2%), and headache (41.7%). The mRNA-based vaccines versions seem to cause higher prevalence of local AEs, while the vector-based vaccines were linked with increased prevalence of systemic AEs. Female HCWs and the younger age group were associated with an increased risk of adverse events generally. Our results added more evidence that mRNA-based and viral-vector based vaccines are generally safe. The reported adverse events were mild, although they occurred in a high share of the respondents. No serious AEs attributable to the vaccines were reported.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0247.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Antivirals; arbovirus; dengue virus; Streptomyces; virus replication
Online: 15 February 2023 (01:51:33 CET)
Dengue has long been a serious health burden to the global community, especially for those living in the tropics. In spite of the availability of vaccines, effective treatment for the infection is still needed and currently remained absent. In the present study, antiviral properties of the KSF 103 ME which consisted of a number of potential antiviral compounds were investigated against DENV-2. The effects of this extract against DENV-2 replication were determined using the qRT-PCR. Findings from the study suggested that the KSF 103 ME showed maximum inhibitory properties toward the virus during the virus entry stage at concentrations of more than 12.5 µg/mL. Minimal antiviral activities were observed at other virus replication stages; adsorption (42% reduction at 50 µg/mL), post-adsorption (67.6% reduction at 50 µg/mL), prophylactic treatment (68.4% and 87.7% reductions at 50 µg/mL and 25 µg/mL, respectively) and direct virucidal assay (48% and 56.8% reductions at 50 µg/mL and 25 µg/mL, respectively. The KSF 103 ME inhibited dengue virus repication with an IC50 value of 20.3 µg/mL and SI value of 38.9. The KSF 103 ME showed potent antiviral properties against DENV during the entry stage. Further studies will be needed to deduce the antiviral mechanisms of the KSF 103 ME against DENV.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0197.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: arbovirus; viral isolation; cell culture; neurotropic; public health
Online: 13 February 2023 (03:30:39 CET)
Viruses with encephalitogenic potential can cause neurological conditions of clinical and epidemiological importance, such as Saint Louis encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, dengue virus, Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, Mayaro virus and West Nile virus. The objective of the present study was to determine the number of arboviruses with neuroinvasive potential isolated in Brazil that corresponds to the collection of viral samples belonging to the Section of Arbovirology and Hemorrhagic Fevers (SAARB/IEC) of the Laboratory Network of National Reference for Arbovirus Diagnosis from 1954 to 2022. A total of 1,090 arbovirus samples with encephalitogenic potential were isolated from mice. From a total of 7,054 samples intended for cell culture. The isolates from mosquitoes totaled 659 viruses. The emergence of new arboviruses may be responsible for diseases still unknown to humans, making the Amazon region a hotspot for infectious diseases due to its fauna and flora species characteristics. The detection of circulating arboviruses with the potential to cause neuroinvasive diseases is constant, which justifies the continuation of active epidemiological surveillance work that offers adequate support to the public health system regarding the virological diagnosis of circulating arboviruses in Brazil.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0171.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Syrian hamster; animal model; coronavirus
Online: 10 February 2023 (01:22:19 CET)
The Golden Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is now commonly used in preclinical research for the study of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the assessment of vaccines, drugs and therapeutics. Here we show that hamsters inoculated via the intranasal route with the same infectious virus dose of prototypical SARS-CoV-2 administered in a different volume present with different clinical signs, weight loss and viral shedding, with a reduced volume resulting in reduced severity of disease similar to that obtained by a 500-fold reduction in challenge dose. The tissue burden of virus and the severity of pulmonary pathology were also significantly affected by different challenge inoculum volumes. These findings suggest that direct comparison between the severity of SARS-CoV-2 variants or studies assessing the efficacy of treatments determined by hamster studies cannot be made unless both the challenge dose and inoculation volume are matched when using the intranasal route. Additionally, analysis of sub-genomic and total genomic RNA PCR data demonstrated no link between sub-genomic and live viral titres and that sub-genomic analyses do not provide any information beyond that provided by more sensitive total genomic PCR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0157.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Aedes; Mosquitoes; Yellow Fever; Simpsoni complex; Behavior; Soutwestern Ethiopia
Online: 9 February 2023 (07:02:03 CET)
Yellow fever is an emerging and re-emerging viral disease transmitted through the bites of infective Aedes mosquitoes. Several outbreaks of yellow fever have been documented in southern Ethiopia.Understanding the transmission cycle is pivotal to manage arboviral disease outbreaks. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate which species of Aedes mosquitoes contribute to the YF virus transmission and the outbreaks that have occurred, and their behaviors (biting and resting) in the region. Two districts were selected based on previous Yellow Fever (YF) outbreak history. A longitudinal entomological sampling was carried out to collect adult Aedes mosquitoes using human landing catches, mechanical mouth aspirators and pyrethrum spreadsheet collection. Adult mosquito collections were conducted twice a month for six months from February 2019 to July 2020. Identification of mosquito species at the genus level was done using morphological keys and speciation using molecular techniques on 406 Aedes due to limited laboratory resources (primers and probe, reagents shortage) and budget limits. Aedes mosquitoes were pooled and tested for YFV, dengue virus (DENV, serotype 1-4) and chikungunya virus (CHKV) by qPCR. A total of 1689 mosquitoes 93.7% (1582/1689) of Aedes and 6.3% (107/1689) of Culex were collected. Of the total collected mosquitoes, 58.7% (991/1689) were from Ofa study sites whereas the left 41.3% (698/1689) were from Boko Dawula. 93.5% (1579/1689) of Aedes complex were collected during wet season. Most of the mosquitoes were collected during the wet season 97.9% (1653/1689). Of the 1582 Aedes simpsoni complex, 57.7% (913/1582) were from Ofa district and the remaining 42.3% (669/1582) were from Boko Dawula district. Of the 406 Aedes mosquitoes molecularly characterized to the species level, the Aedes simpsoni complex accounted for 99.5% (404/406), while Aedes aegypti found in the Ofa district accounted for only 0.5% (2/ 406). From the 934 Aedes simpsoni tested for viruses and none were positive. The human biting activities of Aedes (Ae.) simpsoni peaked at 8:00 – 9:00 hour and 16:00 – 17:00 hour, mostly outdoors, both within the villages and forests. The leaves of Ensete (E.) ventricosum appear to be ideal resting places for Aedes (Ae.) simpsoni complex. Although the tested Ae. simpsoni complex was negative for arboviruses; morning and afternoon activities of the species coincide with human outdoor activities and may therefore pose the risk of viral infection. The lower dominance of Aedes aegypti indicated that the major responsible vector for the occurrences of previous and current arboviral diseases was due to other mentioned Aedes species. It is of great importance to improve surveillance activities of arboviruses in reservoir hosts and vectors to establish control measures. Furthermore, the origin of bloodmeal and the mosquito’s role in the transmission of arboviral diseases need further study to improve the understanding of this species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0145.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; post COVID; liver; aspartate aminotransferase; risk factors
Online: 8 February 2023 (10:47:25 CET)
The long-term laboratory aspects of the effects of COVID-19 on liver function are still not well understood. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the hepatic clinical-laboratory profile of patients with up to 20 months of long-term COVID-19. A total of 243 patients of both sexes aged 18 years or older hospitalised in the acute phase of COVID-19 were included in this study. Liver function analysis was performed. Changes were identified in the mean levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), and ferritin. Inflammatory markers such as ferritin > 300 U/L were observed in the group that presented more changes in liver function markers (ALT, AST, and GGT). Age ≥ 60 years, male sex, AST > 25 U/L, and GGT ≥ 50 or 32 U/L were associated with ALT > 29 U/L. There was a correlation between ALT and AST, LDH, GGT, and ferritin. Our findings suggest that ALT and AST levels may be elevated in patients with long-term COVID, especially in those hospitalised in the acute phase. In addition, ALT > 29 U/L was associated with other markers of liver injury, such as LDH, GGT, and ferritin.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0128.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HTLV; Amazon; Phylogeny
Online: 7 February 2023 (10:47:35 CET)
Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with neurological, degenerative, and inflammatory diseases. Brazil has regions with high prevalence rates. The prevalence among relatives of positive people is high, and intrafamily transmission causes the conservation of the infection for different generations. The investigation of epidemiological and molecular factors may clarify the factors associated with the efficacy of intrafamilial transmission of HTLV-1. Objective: To analyze the epidemiological and molecular factors associated with intrafamilial transmission of HTLV-1 in an endemic area of Brazil. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study investigated 72 relatives from 14 families with more than one infected. Epidemiological data were collected from all family members, and genetic sequencing was performed, phylogenetic analysis of 22 positive relatives. Results: The prevalence of HTLV-1 in families with infected people was 56.94% (41/72). Twelve vertical transmission routes and ten horizontal transmission routes were identified. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated the absence of polymorphisms between infected mother and child sequences, while sequences of couples presented nucleotide divergence of up to 3%.among themselves. It was also identified in a family with an intrafamilial transmission with the occurrence of two viral strains. Conclusion: Molecular data confirmed intrafamilial transmission. They also indicated little genetic variability between the sequenced samples of family members and those deposited in GenBank used in this study. The absence of polymorphisms was observed in cases of vertical transmission, indicating a tendency to perpetuate identical sequences regardless of the time of acquisition of the infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0081.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: influenza A virus; avian influenza virus; virus tropism in human; antiviral; vaccine
Online: 6 February 2023 (06:03:08 CET)
A pandemic happens when a novel influenza A virus is able to infect and transmit efficiently to a new, distinct host species. Although the exact timing of pandemics is uncertain, it is known that both viral and host factors play a role in their emergence. Species-specific interactions between the virus and the host cell determine the virus tropism. These include binding and entering cells, replicating the viral RNA genome within the host cell nucleus, assembling, maturing, and releasing the virus to neighbouring cells, tissues, or organs before transmitting it between individuals. Influenza has a vast and antigenically varied reservoir. In wild aquatic birds, the infection is typically asymptomatic. Avian influenza virus (AIV) can cross into new species, and occasionally, it can acquire the ability to transmit from human to human. A pandemic might occur if a new influenza virus acquires enough adaptive mutations to maintain transmission between people. This review highlights the key determinants AIV must achieve to initiate a human pandemic and describes how AIV mutates to establish tropism and stable human adaptation. Understanding the tropism of AIV may be crucial in preventing virus transmission in humans and may help design vaccines, antivirals and therapeutic agents against the virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0060.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: vaccination; acceptance; Covid-19; epidemiology; Cameroon; urban area; rural area
Online: 3 February 2023 (06:23:26 CET)
The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly evolved in December 2019 and to prevent its spread, effective vaccines has been produced and made available to the population. Despite their availability so far in Cameroon, the vaccination coverage remains low. This study aimed at describing the epidemiology of the acceptance of vaccines against Covid-19 in some urban and rural areas of Cameroon. A cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical survey was conducted from March 2021 to August 2021 targeting unvaccinated individuals from urban and rural area. After getting appropriate administrative authorizations and an ethical clearance from the Institutional Review Board (or Ethics Committee) of Douala University (N° 3070CEI-Udo/05/2022/M), a cluster sampling at many degrees was performed and a language adapted questionnaire was filled by each consenting participant. Data were analyzed using Epi info version 188.8.131.52 software and for P-values ˂ 0.05, the difference was considered as statistically significant. Out of 1053 individuals, 58.02% (611/1053) participants were residing in urban and 41.98% (442/1053) in rural areas. Good knowledge relative to Covid-19 was significantly higher in urban areas as compared to rural areas (97.55%vs.85.07, P<0.000). The proportion of respondents who intended to accept the anti Covid-19 vaccine was significantly higher in urban areas than rural areas (42.55%vs.33.26, p=0.0047). Conversely, the proportion of anti Covid-19 reluctant respondents thinking that the vaccine can induce a disease was significantly higher in rural areas than urban areas (54 (35.07 vs 8.84, P<0.0001). The significant determinants of anti-COVID-19 acceptance were the level of education (p=0.0001) and profession in the rural areas (p=<0.0001), and only the profession (p=0.0046) in the urban areas. This study globally shows that anti-COVID-19 vaccination remains a major challenge in urban as well as rural area in Cameroon. We should keep sensitizing and educate population about vaccine importance in preventing the COVID-19 spread.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0058.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HIV-1 PR; host factors; host cell shut-off; protease; antiviral therapy; cell death; apoptosis
Online: 3 February 2023 (04:42:32 CET)
The human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) viral protease (PR) is one of the most studied viral enzymes, and approval of drugs targeting its catalytic activity opened the door to the develop-ment of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Despite the fact that its crucial role in viri-on maturation is well characterized, an increasing body of research is starting to focus on its abil-ity to cleave host cell proteins, based on recent advances in proteomics and genomics technologies. Such findings are apparently in contrast with the dogma of HIV-1 PR activity being restricted to the interior of nascent virions, and suggest catalytic activity within the host cell environment. Given the limited amount of PR present in the virion at the time of infection, it is tempting to specu-late that such events mainly occur during viral late gene expression, mediated by newly synthe-sized Gag-Pol polyprotein precursors, rather than at a very early stage of infection, before pro-viral integration. Among cellular targets of HIV-1 PR, three major clusters can be identified: pro-teins involved in viral and cellular translation, those controlling cell survival, and restriction fac-tors responsible for innate/intrinsic antiviral responses. Indeed, by cleaving host cell translation initiation factors HIV-1 PR can impair cap-dependent translation, thus promoting IRES-mediated translation of late viral transcripts and viral production, while by targeting several apoptotic fac-tors it modulates cell survival, thus promoting immune evasion and viral dissemination. Addi-tionally, HIV-1 PR counteracts restriction factors incorporated in the virion that would otherwise interfere with nascent virus vitality. Thus, HIV-1 PR appears to modulate host cell function at dif-ferent times and locations during its life cycle, to ensure efficient viral persistency and propaga-tion. This kind of PR-mediated host cell modulation is found in a plethora of different viruses and HIV-1 is no exception, and although we are far from having a complete picture, it is clear that the PR has a multifaceted role in interfering with host machineries to better suit viral replication, and is a field that needs to be explored further.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0586.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; lung; inflammation; mice; vitamin D
Online: 31 January 2023 (12:04:19 CET)
COVID-19 is a pandemic triggered by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 whose peak occurred in the years 2020 and 2021. The main target of the virus is the lung and infection is associated to an accentuated inflammatory process involving mainly the innate arm of the immune system. Here, we described the induction of a pulmonary inflammatory process triggered by the intranasal (IN) instillation of UV-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 in C57BL/6 mice and then the evaluation of vitamin D (VitD) ability to control this process. The assays used to estimate the severity of lung involvement included total and differential number of cells in the BALF, histopathological analysis, quantification of T cell subsets and inflammatory mediators by RT-PCR, cytokine quantification in lung homogenates and flow cytometric analysis of cells recovered from lung parenchyma. IN instillation of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 triggered a pulmonary inflammatory process, consisting of various cell types and mediators, resembling the typical inflammation found in COVID-19 patients. This inflammatory process was significantly decreased by IN delivery of vitD, but not by its IP administration, suggesting that this hormone has therapeutic potential in COVID-19 if locally applied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0564.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: African swine fever; ASFV; spray-dried porcine plasma; vaccine; challenge; nutritional interven-tion
Online: 31 January 2023 (02:24:23 CET)
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of feeding spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) on the protection afforded by the BA71∆CD2 African swine fever virus (ASFV) vaccine prototype. Two groups of pigs ac-climated to diets without or with 8% SDPP were intranasally inoculated with 105 plaque forming units (PFU) of live attenuated ASFV strain BA71∆CD2 and three weeks later left in direct contact with pigs infected with the pandemic Georgia2007/01 ASFV strain. During the post-exposure (pe) period, 2/6 from the conventional diet group showed a transient peak rectal temperature >40.5ºC before day 20 pe and some tissue samples collected at 20 d pe from 5/6 were PCR+ for ASFV, albeit showing Ct values much higher than Trojan pigs. Interestingly, the SDPP group did not show fever, neither PCR+ in blood nor rectal swab at any time pe and none of the postmortem collected tissue samples were PCR+ for ASFV. Differential serum cytokine profiles among groups at vaccination, and a higher number of ASFV-specific IFNϒ-secreting T-cells in pigs fed with SDPP soon after the Georgia2007/01 encounter, confirmed the relevance of Th1-like responses in ASF pro-tection. We believe that our result show that nutritional interventions might contribute to improve future ASF vaccination strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0562.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: African swine fever; ASFV; spray-dried porcine plasma; challenge; nutritional intervention
Online: 31 January 2023 (02:21:18 CET)
The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential benefits of feeding spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) to pigs infected with African swine fever virus (ASFV). Two groups of twelve weaned pigs each were fed with CONVENTIONAL or 8% SDPP enriched diets. Two pigs (trojans)/group) were injected intramuscularly with the pandemic ASFV (Georgia 2007/01) and comingled with the rest of the pigs (1:5 trojan:naïve ratio) to simulate a natural route of transmission. Trojans developed ASF and died within the first week after inoculation but contact pigs did not develop ASF, viremia or seroconversion. Therefore, three more trojans per group were introduced to optimize the ASFV transmission (1:2 trojan:naïve ratio). Blood, nasal and rectal swabs were weekly harvested and at end of the study, ASFV-target organs collected. After the second exposure, rectal temperature of conventionally fed contact pigs increased >40.5˚C while fever was delayed in the SDPP contact pigs. Additionally, PCR Ct values in blood, secretions and tissue samples were significantly lower (P<0.05) for CONVENTIONAL compared to SDPP contact pigs. Under these study conditions, contact exposed pigs fed SDPP had delayed ASFV transmission and reduced virus load, likely by enhanced specific T-cell priming after the first ASFV-exposure.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0518.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Langya virus; henipavirus; animal spillover; zoonosis; public health concerns; prevention and control measures
Online: 28 January 2023 (04:53:17 CET)
The risk of 'zoonotic spillovers,' or the transmission of viruses from animals to humans, has been raised by climate change and the devastation of nature, as infectious disease experts have long warned. Even as the world works to stop the spread of the currently unfolding pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the breakout of monkeypox virus (MPXV), a new animal virus, the Langya henipavirus (LayV), has been discovered in humans in Eastern China. The scientists say there is little danger of the virus spreading among humans, but it shares genetic material with Hendra virus and Nipah virus, two other henipaviruses that infect humans and cause life-threatening respiratory diseases. Humans infected with LayV can expect to experience high body temperature, cough, weariness, poor appetite, muscle discomfort, myalgia, nausea and vomiting. It is likely that the virus will spread from animals to humans. Currently, the health authorities of Taiwan and other health organizations are tracking the progress of the ailment to ensure it does not reach humans. Researchers have examined 25 species of small wild animals for presence of the virus, and so far, shrews are the only ones that have tested positive for the virus's RNA. Based on these results, shrews are a possible candidate for the virus's natural reservoir. Too far, no therapies or vaccines have been developed and licensed for henipaviruses like the LayV. When other therapies fail to alleviate viral infections, ribavirin may be the next best thing. The need for novel vaccinations against the LayV infection and the timely delivery of these vaccines to areas at high epidemiological risk is real. To lessen the likelihood of a health calamity being caused by this newly developing virus, it is crucial to conduct active surveillance in a transparent and globally collaborative manner. The questions that have not been answered yet require additional study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0480.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: avian influenza; highly pathogenic avian influenza; next generation sequencing; whole genome sequencing; nanopore technology; methods comparison; clinical validation
Online: 26 January 2023 (15:19:53 CET)
As exemplified by the global response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, whole genome sequencing played an important role in monitoring the evolution of novel viral variants and provided guidance on potential antiviral treatments. The recent rapid and extensive introduction and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in Europe, North America and elsewhere raises the need for similarly rapid sequencing to aid in appropriate response and mitigation activities. To facilitate this objective, we investigated a next generation sequencing platform that uses a portable nanopore sequencing device to generate and present data in real time. This platform offers the potential to extend in-house sequencing capacities to laboratories that may otherwise lack resources to adopt sequencing technologies requiring large benchtop instruments. We evaluated this platform for routine use in a diagnostic laboratory. In this study we evaluated different primer sets for the whole genome amplification of influenza A virus and evaluated five different library preparation approaches for sequencing on the nanopore platform using the MinION flow-cell. A limited amplification procedure and a rapid procedure were found to be best among the approaches taken.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0323.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Apoptosis; Dengue Virus; microRNAs; Viral Nonstructural Proteins
Online: 26 January 2023 (10:47:59 CET)
The World Health Organization has estimated an annual occurrence of approximately 392 million Dengue virus (DENV) infections in more than 100 countries where the virus is endemic, and this represents a serious threat to humanity. DENV is a serologic group with four distinct serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4) belonging to the genus Flavivirus, in the family Flaviviridae. Dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne disease in the world. The ~10.7 kb DENV genome encodes three structural proteins (capsid [C], pre-membrane [prM], and envelope [E]) and seven non-structural (NS) proteins (NS1, NS2A, NS2B, NS3, NS4A, NS4B, and NS5). The NS1 protein is a membrane-associated dimer and a secreted, lipid-associated hexamer. Dimeric NS1 is found on membranes both in cellular compartments and cell surfaces. Secreted NS1 (sNS1) is often present in patient serum at very high levels, which correlates with severe dengue symptoms. This study was conducted to discover how NS1 protein, microRNAs-15/16 (miRNAs-15/16), and apoptosis are related during DENV-4 infection in human liver cell lines. Huh 7.5 and HepG2 cells were infected with DENV-4, and miRNAs-15/16, viral load, NS1 protein, and caspases-3/7 were quantified after different times of infection. This study demonstrated that miRNAs-15/16 are overexpressed during infection of HepG2 and Huh 7.5 cells by DENV-4 and have a relationship with NS1 protein expression, viral load, and activity of caspases-3/7, thus making these miRNAs potential injury markers during DENV infection in human hepatocytes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0457.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; serological markers (IgM/IgG); Prevalence; private universities; Cameroon
Online: 25 January 2023 (11:27:36 CET)
Background: COVID-19 remains a rapidly evolving and deadly pandemic worldwide. This necessitates the continuous assessment of existing diagnostic tools for robust, up-to-date and cost-effective pandemic response strategy. We sought to determine the infection rate (PCR-positivity) and degree of spread (IgM/IgG) of SARS-CoV-2 in three university settings in Cameroon Method: Study volunteers were recruited from November 2020 to July 2021 among COVID-19 non-vaccinated students in three Universities from two regions of Cameroon (West and Centre). Molecular testing was performed by RT-qPCR on nasopharyngeal swabs and IgM/IgG antibodies in plasma were detected using the Abbott Panbio IgM/IgG rapid diagnostic test (RDT) at the Virology Laboratory of CREMER/IMPM/MINRESI. The molecular and serological profiles were compared and, p<0.05 considered statistically significant. Results: Amongst the 291 participants enrolled (mean age 22.59±10.43 years), 19.59% (57/291) were symptomatic and 80.41 %(234/2691) asymptomatic. Overall COVID-19 PCR-positivity rate was 21.31% (62/291), distributed as follows: 25.25% from UdM-Bangangte; 27.27% from ISSBA-Yaounde and 5% from IUEs/INSAM-Yaounde. Women were more affected than men (28.76% [44/153] vs. 13.04% [18/138], p<0.0007) and they significantly expressed more IgM+/IgG+ (15.69% [24/153] vs. 7.25% [10/138], p<0.01). Participants from Bangangté, the nomadic, and the “non-contact cases” mainly presented an active infection compared to those from Yaoundé (p= 0.05; p=0.05 and p=0.01 respectively). Overall IgG seropositivity (IgM-/IgG+ and IgM+/IgG+) was 24.4% (71/291). A proportion of 26.92% (7/26) presenting COVID-19 IgM+/IgG- had negative PCR versus 73.08% (19/26) with positive PCR, p<0.0001. Furthermore, 17.65% (6/34) with COVID-19 IgM+/IgG+ had negative PCR as compared to 82.35% positive PCR (28/34), p<0.0001. Lastly, 7.22% (14/194) with IgM-/IgG- had a positive PCR. Conclusion: This study calls for a rapid preparedness and response strategy in higher institutes in case of any future pathogen with pandemic or epidemic potentials. The observed disparity between IgG/IgM and viral profile supports prioritizing assays targeting the virus (nucleic acid or antigen) for diagnosis and antibody screening for sero-surveys
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0404.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Omicron variant; Infectivity; Pathogenicity; Biothermodynamics; COVID-19; Viral evolution
Online: 23 January 2023 (08:53:40 CET)
The SARS-CoV-2 Hydra with many heads (variants) has been causing the COVID-19 pandemic for 3 years. The appearance of every new head (SARS-CoV-2 variant) causes a new pandemic wave. The last in the series is the XBB.1.5 “Kraken” variant. In the general public (social media) and in the scientific community (scientific journals), during the last several weeks since the variant has appeared, the question was raised of whether the infectivity of the new variant will be greater. This article attempts to provide the answer. Analysis of thermodynamic driving forces of binding and biosynthesis leads to the conclusion that infectivity of the XBB.1.5 variant could be increased to a certain extent. The pathogenicity of the XBB.1.5 variant seems to be unchanged compared to the other Omicron variants.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0388.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Vaccine; Spike protein; Mutation; Conserved epitopes
Online: 23 January 2023 (02:03:42 CET)
Abstract: Over the years, several distinct pathogenic coronaviruses have emerged, including the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 which is difficult to curtail despite the availability of licensed vaccines. The difficulty in managing SARS-CoV-2 is linked to changes in the variants’ proteins, especially in the spike protein (S) used for viral entry. These mutations, especially in the S, enable the virus to evade the immune responses induced by natural infection or vaccination. However, some parts of the SP in the S1 subunit and the S2 subunit are considered conserved among coronaviruses. In this review, we will discuss the epitopes in the SARS-CoV-2 S1 and S2 subunit proteins that have been demonstrated by various studies to be conserved among coronaviruses and may be immunogenic for the development of vaccine. Considering the higher conservancy of the S2, we will further discuss the likely challenges that could limit the S2 subunit from inducing robust immune responses and the promising approaches to increase their immunogenicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0353.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Coverage of hepatitis B vaccination; Hepatitis B virus; Healthcare workers; primary health facilities
Online: 19 January 2023 (09:19:23 CET)
Background: Occupational accidents contribute 46-65% of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections among healthcare workers (HCWs). Vaccine against HBV infection offers protection of more than 90%. Despite availability of the vaccines in Tanzania, it’s uptake among HCWs in primary health facilities remains understudied. This study explored HBV vaccine uptake and associated factors among HCWs in rural and urban settings of north western Tanzania. Methodology: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted between June and July in 2022 among HCW in Misungwi and Ilemela districts. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire and analyzed using IBM SPSS® version 25. Results: A total of 402 HCWs were recruited, their mean age was 34.9±7.77 years. Approximately half (54.7% (220/402) of HCWs had received at least one shot of HBV vaccine with only (18% (76/402) being fully vaccinated. Ilemela showed significantly higher uptake (χ2=23.64, df=1, p=0.00) of HBV vaccine as compared to their counterparts in Misungwi. Being male (aOR=2.38, 95% CI 1.28-4.45, p=0.006), working in urban (aOR=5.75, 95% CI 2.91-11.35, p=0.00) and employment duration of more than two years (aOR=3.58, 95%CI 1.19-10.74, p=0.023) were significantly associated with higher odds of HBV vaccination. Moreover, high perceived susceptibility to HBV infection (aOR=2.20, 95% CI1.02-4.75, p=0.044) and history of needle prick injuries (aOR=6.87, 95%CI 3.55-13.26, p=0.00) were also significantly associated with higher odds of HBV vaccination. Conclusion: There was low uptake of HBV vaccine among HCW in primary health facilities with a noteworthy difference between rural and urban settings.. Therefore, advocacy campaigns as well as resource mobilization towards promotion of HBV vaccination in primary health facilities are pivotal.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0327.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; variant of concern; infectivity; pathogenicity; evolution; Gibbs energy
Online: 18 January 2023 (08:40:33 CET)
SARS-CoV-2 resembles the ancient mythical creature Hydra. Just like with the Hydra, when one head is cut, it is followed by appearance of two more heads, suppression of one SARS-CoV-2 variant causes appearance of newer variants. Unlike Hydra that grows identical heads, newer SARS-CoV-2 variants are usually more infective, which can be observed as time evolution of the virus at hand, which occurs through acquisition of mutations during time. The appearance of new variants is followed by appearance of new COVID-19 pandemic waves. With the appearance of new pandemic waves and determining of sequences, in the scientific community and general public the question is always raised of whether the new variant will be more virulent and more pathogenic. The two variants characterized in this paper, BA.5.2 and BF.7, have caused a pandemic wave during the late 2022. This paper gives full chemical and thermodynamic characterization of the BA.5.2 and BF.7 variants of SARS-CoV-2. Having in mind that Gibbs energy of binding and biosynthesis represent the driving forces for the viral life cycle, based on the calculated thermodynamic properties we can conclude that the newer variants are more infective than earlier ones, but that their pathogenicity has not changed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0266.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: LIFE; Origin; Exobiology; Evolution; Ecology; Astrobiology; Space
Online: 16 January 2023 (03:44:50 CET)
Viruses are the most numerically abundant biological entities on Earth. As ubiquitous replicators of information molecules and agents of community change, viruses have potent effects on life on Earth and may play a critical role in human spaceflight missions, life detection missions to other planetary bodies, and in planetary protection. However, major knowledge gaps constrain our understanding of the Earth’s virosphere: 1) the role viruses play in biogeochemical cycles, 2) the origin(s) of viruses, and 3) the involvement of viruses in the evolution, distribution, and persistence of life. As viruses are the only replicators that span all known types of nucleic acids, an expanded experimental and theoretical toolbox built for Earth’s viruses will be pivotal for detecting and understanding life on Earth and beyond. Only by filling in these knowledge and technical gaps will we obtain an inclusive assessment of how to distinguish and detect life on other planetary surfaces. Meanwhile, space exploration requires life-support systems for the needs of humans, plants, and their microbial inhabitants. Viral effects on microbes and plants are essential for Earth’s biosphere and human health, but virus-host interactions in spaceflight are poorly understood. Viral relationships with their hosts respond to environmental changes in complex ways which are difficult to predict by extrapolating from Earth-based proxies. These relationships must therefore be studied in space to fully understand how spaceflight will modulate viral impacts on human health and life-support systems, including microbiomes. This review addresses key questions that must be examined to incorporate viruses into Earth system models, life-support systems, and life detection. Further, the results of tackling these questions will help in our efforts to develop planetary protection protocols and further our understanding of viruses in astrobiology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0261.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Arboviruses; Histopathology; Cell death; Necrosis; Steatosis; Liver
Online: 16 January 2023 (02:55:43 CET)
Arboviruses such as yellow fever virus (YFV), dengue virus (DENV), and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) presenting wide global dissemination and the pathogenic profile developed in infected individuals, which develop from nonspecific clinical conditions to severe forms, characterized by the promotion of significant lesions in different organs of the harborer, culminating in multiple organ dysfunction. To characterize, quantify, and compare the patterns of histopathological alterations in human liver samples from patients with yellow fever (YF), dengue fever (DF), and chikungunya fever (CF). Analytical cross-sectional study by histopathological analysis with 70 samples of liver patients, collected from 2000 to 2017, with confirmed laboratory diagnosis who died due to infection and complications by the YF, DF, and CF. Of the histopathological findings in human liver samples there was a significant difference between the control and infection groups, with a predominance of alterations in the midzonal area of the three cases analyzed, among the arboviruses studied, the hepatic involvement in cases of YF showed greater intensity of histopathological changes. Among the alterations evaluated, cell swelling, microvesicular steatosis and apoptosis were classified as degree of tissue damage from severe to very severe. The pathological abnormalities associated with infection by YFV, DENV, and CHIKV showed predominance of changes in the midzonal area. We also noted that in among of the arboviruses studied, liver involvement in cases of YFV infection was more intense.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0250.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Feline; Canine; seroprevalence; zoonosis
Online: 13 January 2023 (10:21:53 CET)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected millions of people worldwide since its emergence in 2019. The current global pandemic was driven by human-to-human transmission. Knowing the zoonotic origin of the disease and the potential capacity of the virus to adapt to other species, it is important to understand the extent of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection of animals, in particular cats and dogs in households that are in direct contact with their owners. Hong Kong and Seoul are two of the most densely-populated urban cities in Asia, where companion animals often live in close contact with humans. In this study, we screened sera from 1,040 cats and 855 dogs during the early phase of the pandemic in Hong Kong and Seoul for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by using an ELISA that detects antibodies against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein. Sera testing positive on ELISA were also tested for the presence of neutralizing antibodies using a surrogate virus neutralization (sVNT) and plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Among feline sera, 4.51% and 2.54% of samples from Korea and Hong Kong, respectively, tested ELISA positive. However only 1.64% of samples from Korea and 0.18% from Hong Kong tested positive by sVNT, while only 0.41% of samples from Korea tested positive by PRNT. Among canine samples, 4.94% and 6.46% from Korea and Hong Kong, respectively, tested positive by ELISA, while only 0.29% sera from Korea were positive on sVNT and no canine sera tested positive by PRNT. These results confirm a low seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in companion animals in Korea and Hong Kong. The discordance between RBD-ELISA and neutralization tests may indicate possible ELISA cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses, especially in canine sera.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0217.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Paramyxoviridae; virulence factor; overlapping genes; protein structure; viral evolutio
Online: 12 January 2023 (08:50:26 CET)
The protein C is a small viral protein encoded in an overlapping frame of the P gene in the sub-family Orthoparamyxovirinae. This protein, expressed by alternative translation initiation, is a virulence factor that regulates viral transcription, replication and production of defective interfering RNA, interferes with the host-cell innate immunity systems and supports assembly of viral particles and budding. We expressed and purified full-length and an N-terminally truncated C protein from Tupaia paramyxovirus (TupV) C protein (genus Narmovirus). We solved the crystal structure of the C-terminal part of TupV C protein at a resolution of 2.4 Å and found that it is structurally similar to Sendai virus C protein, suggesting that despite undetectable sequence conservation, these proteins are homologous. We characterized both truncated and full-length proteins by SEC-MALLS and SEC-SAXS and described their solution structures by ensemble models. We established a minireplicon assay for the related Nipah virus (NiV) and showed that TupV C inhibited the expression of NiV minigenome in a concentration-dependent manner as efficiently as NiV C protein. A previous study found that the Orthoparamyxovirinae C proteins former two clusters without detectable sequence similarity, raising the question of whether they were homologous or instead had originated independently. Since TupV C and SeV C are representative of these two clusters, our discovery that they have a similar structure indi-cates that all Orthoparamyxovirine C proteins are homologous. Our results also imply that, strik-ingly, a STAT1-binding site is encoded by exactly the same RNA region of the P/C gene across Paramyxovirinae, but in different reading frames (P or C) depending on which cluster they belong to.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0188.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: coronavirus; statistical analysis; extrapolation; parameter estimation; pandemic spreading
Online: 11 January 2023 (02:14:27 CET)
Monitored differential infection rates of past Corona waves are used to infer, a posteriori, the real time variation of the ratio of recovery to infection rate as key parameter of the SIR-epidemic model. From monitored Corona waves in five different countries it is found that this ratio exhibits a linear increase at early times below the first maximum of the differential infection rate before the ratios approach a nearly constant value close to unity at the time of the first maximum with small amplitude oscillations at later times. The observed time dependencies at early times and at times near the first maximum agree favorably well with the behavior of the calculated ratio for the Gaussian temporal evolution of the rate of new infections, although the predicted linear increase of the Gauss ratio at late times is not observed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0085.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Biothermodynamics; Biosynthesis; Driving force; Life; Virus; Pathogen-host interaction
Online: 5 January 2023 (01:26:04 CET)
Viroids represent the simplest, but are also among the most interesting life-like forms. They represent a great problem in agriculture. Moreover, pathogens similar to viroids, such as the hepatitis Delta virus represent a risk for human health. Viroids encode no proteins, but are still able to hijack their host cells’ metabolism to perform multiplication. This paper attempts to reply three questions about viroids. First, how can viroids hijack their host cells’ metabolism, even though they encode no proteins to achieve this? Second, what advantages do viroids have from their simplicity? Third, what can viroids, as the simplest life-like forms, tell us about life as a natural phenomenon? These questions are discussed from the perspective of biothermodynamics. In order to do this, elemental composition, biosynthesis reactions and standard thermodynamic properties of viroids have been determined and analyzed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0052.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: vesicular stomatitis virus; molecular epidemiology; outbreak; phylogeny
Online: 4 January 2023 (03:16:31 CET)
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is an arbovirus causing vesicular stomatitis (VS) in livestock. There are two serotypes recognized: New Jersey (NJ) and Indiana (IND). The virus can be transmitted directly by contact or by vectors. In Ecuador, in the year 2018, an outbreak of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in cattle, caused by VSV-NJ and VSV-IND, was recorded with 399 cases reported distributed over 18 provinces. We determined the phylogenetic relationships among 67 strains. For the construction of phylogenetic trees, the viral phosphoprotein gene was sequenced, and trees were constructed based on the Maximum Likelihood method using 2004 outbreak strains from Ecuador (Genbank) and the 2018 sequences (this article). We built a haplotype network for VSV-NJ to trace the origin of the 2004 and 2018 epizootics through topology and mutations connections. These analyses suggested two different origins, one related with the 2004 outbreak and the other from an enzootic transmission source in 2018. Our analysis also suggests different transmission patterns with several small and independent outbreaks, most probably transmitted by vectors in the Amazon, and in the Andes and Coast region by the movement of livestock. We recommend further research for vectors and vertebrate reservoirs in Ecuador to clarify the mechanisms of the reemergence of the virus.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0581.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Japanese encephalitis (JE); Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV); Therapeutics; Vaccine; Antiviral; Drug
Online: 30 December 2022 (09:57:27 CET)
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a disease caused by the Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV). JEV is an arbovirus that spreads primarily through the bite of a female Culex spp. mosquito. JE shows predominance over the Asia-pacific region and has the potential to spread globally with a higher rate of morbidity and mortality. JE, a neuro-invasive disease, initiates with mild fever which may lead to encephalitis with severe neurological sequelae in some cases. Efforts have been made to identify and select various target molecules essential in JEV progression, but until now, no licensed anti-JE drugs have been available. From a prophylactic point of view, a few licensed JE vaccines are available but various factors viz. high cost and different side effects imposed by them has narrowed their global use. With an average occurrence of >67,000 cases of JE annually, there is an urgent need to find a suitable antiviral drug to treat patients at the acute phase, as only supportive care is available to mitigate infection. This systematic review highlights the current status of efforts put in to develop antivirals against JE and the available vaccines along with their effectiveness. It also summarizes epidemiology, structure, pathogenesis, and potential drug targets that can be explored to develop a new range of anti-JEV drugs to combat JEV infection globally.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0577.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: TLR; IFN; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 30 December 2022 (09:13:21 CET)
Background: Signaling by toll like receptors (TLRs) initiates important immune responses against viral infection. The role of TLRs in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is not well elucidated. Thus, we investigated the interaction of TLRs agonists and SARS-COV-2 antigens with immune cells in vitro. Material & methods: 30 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients (15 severe and 15 moderate) and 10 age and sex matched control (HC) were enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated and activated with TLR3, 7, 8 and 9 agonists, the spike protein (SP) of SARS-CoV-2 and the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) unit of SP. Frequencies of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells, and CD3+IFN-g+ T cells was evaluated by flow cytometry. Interferon (IFN)-b gene expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. Results: The frequency of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells was higher in moderate and severe patients at baseline in comparison with HCs. Stimulation of PBMCs from moderate patients with SP and TLR8 agonist significantly upregulated the frequency of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells (P=0.0005 and 0.0024, respectively) when compared to non-stimulated (NS) samples. The greatest increase in CD3+IFN-b+ T cell frequency in PBMCs from severe patients was seen with TLR8 and TLR7 agonists when compared to NS (P= 0.003 and 0.0167, respectively). TLR stimulation did not significantly enhance the frequency of CD3+IFN-g+ T cells generated from PBMCs from moderate and severe patients compared with unstimulated controls. However, the frequency of CD3+IFN-ɣ+ T cells in PBMCs from moderate patients was upregulated by agonists of TLR3, 8 and 9, SP and RBD when compared with NS samples from HCs. The expression of the IFN-β gene after stimulation of CD3+T cells with the TLR8 agonist was also up-regulated in moderate than severe patients (moderate vs. severe: p=0.0006). In addition, stimulation of CD3+ T cells with SP, up-regulated the expression of IFN-β gene expression in cells from patients with moderate disease (moderate vs. severe: p=0.01). Conclusion: Stimulation of PBMCs from COVID-19 patients with a TLR8 agonist and with SP enhanced IFN-b protein and gene levels. This may potentiate immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and prevent viral replication and spread.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0502.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; minocycline; Kampo; Saiko-keishi-to
Online: 27 December 2022 (02:13:05 CET)
Since the beginning of 2020, tetracycline (TC), such as minocycline (MINO), has been used to inhibit coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Traditional Japanese Kampo medicine, such as Saiko-keishi-to (SKT), has recently received a lot of attention for its anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) effects. We describe a COVID-19 patient treated with MINO and SKT in anticipation of their anti-SARS-CoV-2 properties. A 90-year-old male patient with Alzheimer’s disease was referred to a medical clinic due to fever, appetite loss, and general malaise. Based on positive SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen tests, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He did not have COVID-19 pneumonia, but he had difficulty in eating on his own. As a result, he was referred to a hospital for admission. After admission, he was treated with molnupiravir to avoid aggravation. Seven days after his admission, he was discharged. After his discharge, he was referred to our hospital as an outpatient due to a prolonged mild fever and general malaise. As a precaution, a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test was performed, which yielded a positive result. Therefore, the aforementioned symptoms were thought to be caused by prolonged COVID-19. He was treated with MINO and SKT due to the anti-viral properties of these two drugs. The RT-PCR test became negative 7 days after receiving this treatment, and the fever and general malaise subsided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0466.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Flavivirus; Dengue; Zika; NS1; exosome; viral toxin vectorization
Online: 26 December 2022 (03:37:59 CET)
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), produced during viral infections, are of emerging interest in understanding infectious processes and host-pathogen interactions. EVs and exosomes in particular have the natural ability to transport nucleic acids, proteins, and other components of cellular or viral origin. Thus, they participate in intercellular communication, immune responses, infectious and pathophysiological processes. Some viruses are known to hijack the cell production and content of EVs for their benefit. Here, we investigated whether two pathogenic flaviviruses i.e. Zika Virus (ZIKV) and Dengue virus (DENV2) could have an impact on the features of EVs. Analysis of EVs produced by infected cells allowed us to identify that the non-structural protein 1 (NS1), described as a viral toxin, was associated with exosomes. This observation could be confirmed under conditions of overexpression of recombinant NS1 from each flavivirus. Using different isolation methods (i.e. exosome isolation kit, size exclusion chromatography, Polyethylene Glycol enrichment, and ELISA capture), we showed that NS1 was present as a dimer at the surface of excreted exosomes and that this association could occur in the extracellular compartment. This finding could be of major importance in a physiological context. Indeed, this capacity of NS1 to address EVs and its implication in the pathophysiology during Dengue or Zika diseases should be explored. Furthermore, exosomes that have demonstrated a natural capacity to vectorize NS1 could serve as useful tools for vaccine development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0454.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccine; Attenuation; Biothermodynamics; Gibbs energy; Permissiveness; Biosynthesis; Multiplication
Online: 23 December 2022 (08:15:06 CET)
Live attenuated vaccines have through history proved themselves as safe and efficient. Pasteur has developed a vaccine against rabies, through a long process of passage of the virus wild type through rabbits. The result was one of the most efficient attenuated live-virus vaccines. This paper suggests a method based on calculations of biothermodynamic properties of potential tissues for vaccine application, predilected host tissue and virus wild type. Gibbs energy of biosynthesis represents the thermodynamic driving force for virus multiplication. The attenuated strain of the virus should possess Gibbs energy of biosynthesis, which is less negative than the predilected target tissue, but more negative than the vaccine portal tissue. In that way, the attenuated virus strain should be able to multiply in the vaccine portal of entry tissue and cause an immune response, making it efficient. On the other hand, the attenuated strain cannot multiply in the predilected host tissue, making it safe. The attenuation is achieved by adding a gene to the virus, which encodes a ballast protein. Production of the ballast protein would make virus multiplication less favorable, since it would require energy, but be useless to the virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0417.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RNA sequencing; metagenomics; infectious diseases; diagnostics
Online: 22 December 2022 (04:25:19 CET)
Emerging infectious disease threats require rapid response tools to inform diagnostics, treatment, and outbreak control. RNA-based metagenomics offers this; however, most approaches are time-consuming and laborious. Here, we present a simple and fast protocol – the RAPIDprep assay – with the aim to provide cause agnostic laboratory diagnosis of infection within 24 hours of sample collection by sequencing ribosomal RNA-depleted total RNA. The method is based on the synthesis and amplification of double-stranded cDNA followed by short-read sequencing with minimal handling and clean-up steps to improve processing time. The approach was optimized and applied to a range of clinical respiratory samples to demonstrate diagnostic and quantitative performance. Our results showed robust depletion of both human and microbial rRNA, and library amplification across different sample types, qualities and extraction kits using a single protocol without input nucleic acid quantification or quality assessment. Furthermore, we demonstrate the genomic yield of both known and undiagnosed pathogens with complete genomes recovered in most cases to inform molecular epidemiological investigations and vaccine design. The RAPIDprep assay is a simple and effective tool, and representative of an important shift towards integration of modern genomic techniques to infectious disease investigations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0404.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HPAI; H5N1; Italy; genetic network; epidemiological investigation; contact tracing; ERGM
Online: 22 December 2022 (01:14:38 CET)
Between October 2021 and April 2022, 317 outbreaks caused by highly pathogenic avian influen-za (HPAI) H5N1 viruses were notified in poultry farms in the northeastern Italian Regions. The complete genomes of 214 strains were used to estimate the genetic network based on the virus similarity. An exponential random graph model (ERGM) was used to assess the effect of at-risk contacts, same owners, in-bound/out-bound risk windows overlap, genetic differences, geograph-ic distances, same species and poultry company, on the probability of observing a link within the genetic network, which can be interpreted as the potential propagation of the epidemic via lateral spread or a common source of infection. The variables same poultry company (Est.=0.548, C.I.=[0.179;0.918]) and risk windows overlap (Est.=0.339, C.I.=[0.309;0.368]) were associated with a higher probability of link formation, while the genetic differences (Est.=-0.563, C.I.=[-0.640;-0.486]) and geographic distances (Est.=-0.058, C.I.=[-0.078;-0.038]) indicated a re-duced probability. The integration of epidemiological data with genomic analyses allows moni-toring the epidemic evolution and helps explain the dynamics of lateral spreads suggesting the potential diffusion routes. The 2021-2022 epidemic stresses the need to further strengthen the bi-osecurity measures, and to encourage the reorganisation of the poultry production sector to mini-mize the impact of future epidemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0386.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; seroprevalence; antibodies; vaccine; natural infection; French Polynesia
Online: 21 December 2022 (04:56:44 CET)
In French Polynesia, Wuhan, Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants-of-concern (VOCs) caused epidemics with variable severities. We assessed the prevalence and titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies related to natural infection and/or vaccination, from a representative sample (N=673) of the adult population of Tahiti recruited during November-December 2021 (after the Delta outbreak and just before the Omicron epidemic). Of the 673 participants tested, 644 (95.7%) had detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2-S and/or -N proteins resulting from natural infection and/or vaccination, and 388 (57.7%) were positive only for the detection of anti-N antibodies indicating natural infection. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence extrapolated to the adult population of Tahiti was estimated at 95.9%. Concentrations of anti-SARS-CoV-2-S antibodies significantly increased with age, number of self-reported SARS-CoV-2 infections (0 or ≥1), and number of COVID-19 vaccine doses (0, 1, 2, or 3) received by the participants. Elderly people, who are at higher risk of severe outcomes, had received more vaccine doses than younger individuals both in our sample and in the general population. The high level of antibody responses related to past infections and vaccination, especially booster doses, has likely contributed to reducing the severity of the Omicron outbreak in French Polynesia.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0384.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Zika virus; field mosquito population; vector competence; transmission efficiency; infection rate; disseminated infection rate
Online: 21 December 2022 (04:12:17 CET)
Zika virus (ZIKV) is transmitted to humans by the infectious bite of mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti. After a viremic blood meal, the virus must infect the midgut, disseminate to tissues, and reach the salivary gland to be transmitted to a vertebrate host. Many factors influence the mosquito’s ability to become infected and transmit viruses, such as the mosquito’s genetic diversity, intrinsic antiviral barriers, and midgut microbiota. This study evaluated the patterns of ZIKV infection in Ae. aegypti field populations of a city. The infection rate, disseminated infection rate, viral transmission rate, and transmission efficiency were measured by quantitative PCR at 14 days post-infection. The results showed that all Ae. aegypti populations had individuals susceptible to ZIKV infection and able to transmit the virus. The infection parameters showed the city’s geographical area of origin of the Ae. aegypti influences their vector competence for ZIKV transmission.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0234.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: reassortant virus; recombinant virus; chimeric virus; genetic engineering; reverse genetic; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 13 December 2022 (08:47:51 CET)
Due to the fact that to date, the question of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has not been resolved yet, the author analyzed the main advances in the development of genetic engineering of viruses that took place before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first artificial genetically modified viruses could appear in nature in the mid-1950s. The technique of nucleic acid hybridization was developed by the end-1960s. In the late 1970s, a method called the "reverse genetics" emerged to synthesize RNA and DNA molecules. In the early 1980-s, it became possible to combine the genes of different viruses and insert the genes of one virus into the genome of another virus. Since that time, the production of vector vaccines began. Currently, by modern technologies one can assemble any virus based on the nucleotide sequence available in the virus database or designed by a computer as a virtual model.Scientists around the world are invited to answer the call of Neil Harrison and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, for a thorough and independent investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Only a full understanding of the origin of the new virus can minimize the likelihood of a similar pandemic in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0232.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: coronavirus; genome; recombination; COVID-19; reservoir host; secondary host; phylogenetic support; tree reconstruction
Online: 13 December 2022 (07:44:48 CET)
Phylogenetic trees of coronaviruses are difficult to interpret because they undergo frequent ge-nomic recombination. Here, we propose a new method, named coloured genomic bootstrap (CGB) barcodes, to highlight the polyphyletic origins of human sarbecoviruses and understand their host and geographic ori-gins. The results indicate that SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 contain genomic regions of mixed an-cestry originating from horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus) viruses. First, different regions of SARS-CoV share exclusive ancestry with five Rhinolophus viruses from Southwest China (RfYNLF/31C: 17.9%; RpF46: 3.3%; RspSC2018: 2.0%; Rpe3: 1.3%; RaLYRa11: 1.0%) and 97% of its genome can be related to bat viruses from Yunnan (China), supporting its emergence in Rhinolophus species of this province. Second, different regions of SARS-Cov-2 share exclusive ancestry with eight Rhi-nolophus viruses from Yunnan (RpYN06: 5.8%; RaTG13: 4.8%; RmYN02: 3.8%), Laos (RpBA-NAL103: 3.3%; RmarBANAL236: 1.7%; RmBANAL52: 1.0%; RmBANAL247: 0.7%), and Cam-bodia (RshSTT200: 2.3%), and 98% of its genome can be related to bat viruses from northern Laos and Yunnan, supporting its emergence in Rhinolophus species of this region. Although CGB barcodes are very useful to retrace the origins of human sarbecoviruses, further investigations are needed to better apprehend the diversity of coronaviruses in bats from Cambo-dia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0216.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: xenotransplanation; microchimerism; porcine endogenous retroviruses; detection methods
Online: 13 December 2022 (01:59:16 CET)
Microchimerism is the presence of cells in an individual that have originated from another individual. The most common form of microchimerism is fetomaternal microchimerism, i.e., cells from a fetus pass through the placenta and establish cell lineages within the mother. Microchimerism was also described after transplantation of human organs in human recipients. Consequently, microchimerism may also be expected in xenotransplantation using pig cells or organs. Indeed, microchimerism was described in patients after xenotransplantations as well as in non-human primates after transplantation of pig organs. Here for the first time a comprehensive review of microchimerism in xenotransplantation is given. Since pig cells contain porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) in their genome, detection of proviral DNA in the transplant recipients may be misinterpreted as infection of the recipient with PERV. To prevent this, methods discriminating between infection and microchimerism are described. This knowledge will be important for the interpretation of screening results in forthcoming human xenotransplantations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0202.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Omicron BA.5; Omicron BE.1; animal model
Online: 12 December 2022 (13:12:15 CET)
A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 virus has displaced all previous variants of the virus around the world. Preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of drugs for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 requires the availability of infection models in animals. In this study, we characterize the infection model SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 and its progeny sublineage BE.1 in hACE2-transgenic mice and in Syrian hamsters. Both sublineages turned out to be pathogenic for animals – the challenged animals showed weight loss, a high level of viral load and acute inflammation in the lungs. Part of BA.5-infected mice died after virus challenge, indicating that this virus variant is more pathogenic than the previous BA.1 variant but less pathogenic than Wuhan variant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0122.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; Elemental composition; Gibbs energy of biosynthesis; Gibbs energy of binding; Variant of concern (VOC)
Online: 7 December 2022 (09:19:10 CET)
RNA viruses exhibit a great tendency to mutate. Starting from 2019, the wild type that was labeled Hu-1 has during the last 3 years evolved to produce several dozen new variants, as a consequence of mutations. Mutations cause changes in empirical formulas of new virus strains, which lead to change in thermodynamic properties of biosynthesis and binding. These changes cause changes in the rate of reactions of binding of virus antigen to the host cell receptor and the rate of virus multiplication in the host cell. Changes in thermodynamic and kinetic parameters lead to changes in biological parameters of infectivity and pathogenicity. SARS-CoV-2 has starting from in 2019, until today, evolved towards increase in infectivity and maintaining constant pathogenicity, or for some variants a slight decrease in pathogenicity. In the case of Omicron BQ.1, BQ.1.1, XBB and XBB.1 variants pathogenicity is identical as in the Omicron BA.2.75 variant. On the other hand, infectivity of the Omicron BQ.1, BQ.1.1, XBB and XBB.1 variants is greater than those of previous variants. This will most likely result in the phenomenon of asymmetric coinfection, that is circulation of several variants in the population, some being dominant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0063.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1); antigen-receptor binding; equilibrium constant; Gibbs energy of binding; biothermodynamics
Online: 5 December 2022 (07:07:46 CET)
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is among the most widely spread viruses on the planet. However, the rate of binding to the receptor is not among the greatest ones. Gibbs energy of binding, which represents the driving force for antigen-receptor binding, of HSV-1 is less negative than can be expected. Furthermore, the Gibbs energy of biosynthesis of HSV-1 is among the most negative in nature. This implies high rate of multiplication of HSV-1. Obviously, HSV-1 uses specific strategy in virus-host interaction. While most other viruses increase infectivity through a high rate of antigen-receptor binding and cell entry/ highly negative Gibbs energy of binding, HSV-1 uses another strategy. It is related to a relatively slow reaction of antigen-receptor binding, which is followed by a higher rate of multiplication, which is a consequence of a highly negative Gibbs energy of biosynthesis. We can conclude empirically that both strategies are successful.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0008.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; molecular docking; ADMET; marine natural products; Chrysophaentin A; Hymenidin
Online: 1 December 2022 (03:51:30 CET)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have triggered a recent pandemic of respiratory disease and affected almost every country all over the world. A large amount of natural bioactive compounds is under clinical investigation for various diseas-es. Especially, marine natural compounds are gaining more attention in the new drug develop-ment process. The present study has aimed to identify potential marine-derived inhibitors against the target proteins of COVID-19 using a computational approach. Currently, 16 marine clinical-level compounds were selected for computational screening against the four SARS-CoV-2 main proteases. Computational screening resulted from the best drug candidates for each target based on the binding affinity scores and amino acid interactions. Among these, five marine-derived compounds namely Chrysophaentin A (-6.6 kcal/mol), Geodisterol sulfates (-6.6 kcal/mol), Hymenidin (-6.4 kcal/mol), Plinabulin (-6.4 kcal/mol) and Tetrodotoxin (-6.3 kcal/mol) expressed the minimized binding energy and molecular interactions such as covalent and hydrophobic interactions to the SARS CoV-2 Main Protease. Using Molecular dynamic stud-ies, the Root-Mean-Square Deviation (RMSD), Root-Mean-Square Fluctuation (RMSF), Radius of Gyration (ROG), and Hydrogen bonds (H-Bonds) values were calculated for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease with Hymenidin docked complex. Additionally, in silico Druglikeness and pharmaco-kinetic property assessments of the compounds demonstrated favorable druggability. These re-sults suggested that marine natural compounds are capable of fighting SARS-CoV-2. Further, in vitro and in vivo studies need to be carried out to confirm their inhibitory potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0482.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Biothermodynamics of viruses; HIV-1; Binding constant; Gibbs energy of binding; Antigen-receptor binding
Online: 25 November 2022 (12:44:38 CET)
HIV-1, like other viruses, represents an open thermodynamic system. This is why it is important to know its thermodynamic properties. Virus-host interactions are performed at the membrane as antigen-receptor binding. Antigen-receptor binding represents a chemical reaction, similar to protein-ligand interactions. The driving force for antigen-receptor binding is Gibbs energy of binding. Knowing Gibbs energy of binding, it is possible to estimate the rate of virus binding and entry into host cells. In this paper, binding equilibrium constants and standard Gibbs energies of binding between the HIV-1 gp120 antigen and the CD4 receptor have been reported at 4°C, 22°C and 37°C.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0470.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; MEK; thymidine kinases; lytic replication; infectivity; ORF21; herpesvirus
Online: 25 November 2022 (06:13:52 CET)
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus-8, is the causative agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma, Castleman’s disease, and primary effusion lymphoma. Although the functions of the viral thymidine kinases (vTK) of herpes simplex virus-1/2 and varicella zoster virus are well understood, that of KSHV ORF21 (an ortholog of vTK) is largely unknown. Here, we investigated the role of ORF21 in lytic replication and infection by generating two ORF21-mutated KSHV BAC clones: ORF21-kinase activity deficient-KSHV (21KD) and stop codon-induced ORF21-deleted-KSHV (21del). The results showed that both ORF21-mutations did not affect viral genome replication, lytic genes transcription, or the production of viral genome-encapsidated particles. ORF21 molecule-dependent function, other than the kinase function of ORF21, was involved in the infectivity of progeny virus. ORF21 was expressed at 36 h after induction of lytic replication, and endogenously expressed ORF21 was localized in the whole cytoplasm and decreased on the cell surface area. Moreover, the effects of ORF21 expression on signaling pathways and proliferation were analyzed. The results showed that ORF21 upregulated the MEK phosphorylation and anchorage-independent cell growth. These findings indicate that ORF21 plays key roles in both infection and oncogenesis of KSHV through the manipulation of cellular function.