Trichodysplasia spinulosa-associated polyomavirus (TSV) is responsible for a rare skin cancer. Using metagenomic approaches, we determined the complete genome sequence of a TSV first detected in Brazil in spicules of an immunocompromised patient suspected to have trichodysplasia spinulosa.
Endothelial cell dysfunction is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of plasma leakage in patients with acute dengue virus (DENV) infection. Several factors, produced by activated endothelial cells, have been associated with plasma leakage or severe disease in patients with infectious diseases.
Multiple sclerosis is the most common autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, and its etiology is believed to have both genetic and environmental components. Several viruses have already been implicated as triggers and there are several studies that implicate members of the Herpesviridae family in the pathogenesis of MS. The most important characteristic of these viruses is that they have periods of latency and exacerbations within their biological sanctuary, the central nervous system. The Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, human herpesvirus 6 and human herpesvirus 7 viruses are the members that are most studied as being possible triggers of multiple sclerosis. According to evidence in the literature, the herpesvirus family is strongly involved in the pathogenesis of this disease, but it is unlikely that they are the only component responsible for its development. There are probably multiple triggers and more studies are necessary to investigate and define these interactions.
Severe dengue virus (DENV) disease is associated with extensive immune activation, characterized by a cytokine storm. Previously, elevated lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in dengue were found to correlate with clinical disease severity. In the present cross-sectional study we identified markers of microbial translocation and immune activation, which are associated with severe manifestations of DENV infection.
Aedes aegypti, the main vector of dengue virus, requires a blood meal to produce eggs. Although live animals are still the main blood source for laboratory colonies, many artificial feeders are available. These feeders are also the best method for experimental oral infection of Ae. aegypti with Dengue viruses. However, most of them are expensive or laborious to construct. Based on principle of Rutledge-type feeder, a conventional conical tube, glycerol and Parafilm-M were used to develop a simple in-house feeder device. The blood feeding efficiency of this apparatus was compared to a live blood source, mice, and no significant differences (p?=?0.1189) were observed between artificial-fed (51.3% of engorgement) and mice-fed groups (40.6%). Thus, an easy to assemble and cost-effective artificial feeder, designated "Glytube" was developed in this report. This simple and efficient feeding device can be built with common laboratory materials for research on Ae. aegypti.
High genetic diversity at both inter- and intra-host level are hallmarks of RNA viruses due to the error-prone nature of their genome replication. Several groups have evaluated the extent of viral variability using different RNA virus deep sequencing methods. Although much of this effort has been dedicated to pathogens that cause chronic infections in humans, few studies investigated arthropod-borne, acute viral infections.
Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) arise from ancient infections of the host germline cells by exogenous retroviruses, constituting 8% of the human genome. Elevated level of envelope transcripts from HERVs-W has been detected in CSF, plasma and brain tissues from patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), most of them from Xq22.3, 15q21.3, and 6q21 chromosomes. However, since the locus Xq22.3 (ERVWE2) lack the 5 LTR promoter and the putative protein should be truncated due to a stop codon, we investigated the ERVWE2 genomic loci from 84 individuals, including MS patients with active HERV-W expression detected in PBMC. In addition, an automated search for promoter sequences in 20 kb nearby region of ERVWE2 reference sequence was performed. Several putative binding sites for cellular cofactors and enhancers were found, suggesting that transcription may occur via alternative promoters. However, ERVWE2 DNA sequencing of MS and healthy individuals revealed that all of them harbor a stop codon at site 39, undermining the expression of a full-length protein. Finally, since plaque formation in central nervous system (CNS) of MS patients is attributed to immunological mechanisms triggered by autoimmune attack against myelin, we also investigated the level of similarity between envelope protein and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). Comparison of the MOG to the envelope identified five retroviral regions similar to the Ig-like domain of MOG. Interestingly, one of them includes T and B cell epitopes, capable to induce T effector functions and circulating Abs in rats. In sum, although no DNA substitutions that would link ERVWE2 to the MS pathogeny was found, the similarity between the envelope protein to MOG extends the idea that ERVEW2 may be involved on the immunopathogenesis of MS, maybe facilitating the MOG recognizing by the immune system. Although awaiting experimental evidences, the data presented here may expand the scope of the endogenous retroviruses involvement on MS pathogenesis.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is widely distributed and associated with fulminant hepatitis epidemics in areas with high prevalence of HBV. Several studies performed in the 1980s showed data on HDV infection in South America, but there are no studies on the viral dynamics of this virus. The aim of this study was to conduct an evolutionary analysis of hepatitis delta genotype 3 (HDV/3) prevalent in South America: estimate its nucleotide substitution rate, determine the time of most recent ancestor (TMRCA) and characterize the epidemic history and evolutionary dynamics. Furthermore, we characterized the presence of HBV/HDV infection in seven samples collected from patients who died due to fulminant hepatitis from Amazon region in Colombia and included them in the evolutionary analysis. This is the first study reporting HBV and HDV sequences from the Amazon region of Colombia. Of the seven Colombian patients, five were positive for HBV-DNA and HDV-RNA. Of them, two samples were successfully sequenced for HBV (subgenotypes F3 and F1b) and the five samples HDV positive were classified as HDV/3. By using all HDV/3 available reference sequences with sampling dates (n=36), we estimated the HDV/3 substitution rate in 1.07 × 10(-3) substitutions per site per year (s/s/y), which resulted in a time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of 85 years. Also, it was determined that HDV/3 spread exponentially from early 1950s to the 1970s in South America. This work discusses for the first time the viral dynamics for the HDV/3 circulating in South America. We suggest that the measures implemented to control HBV transmission resulted in the control of HDV/3 spreading in South America, especially after the important raise in this infection associated with a huge mortality during the 1950s up to the 1970s. The differences found among HDV/3 and the other HDV genotypes concerning its diversity raises the hypothesis of a different origin and/or a different transmission route.
Full-length genome sequencing of the rabies virus is not a routine laboratory procedure. To understand fully the epidemiology, genetic variation and evolution of the rabies virus, full-length viral genomes need to be obtained. For rabies virus studies, cDNA synthesis is usually performed using nonspecific oligonucleotides followed by cloning. When specific primers are used, the cDNA obtained is only partial and is limited to the coding regions. Therefore, the development of methods for synthesizing long cDNA using rabies virus-specific primers is of fundamental importance. A new protocol for the synthesis of long cDNA and the development of 19 new primers are described in this study. This procedure allowed the efficient amplification of the full-length genome of the rabies virus variant maintained by hematophagous bat (Desmodus rotundus) populations following the synthesis of a complete long cDNA. Partial sequencing of the rabies virus genome was performed to confirm rabies-specific PCR amplification. Because degenerate primers were employed, this technique can be adapted easily to other variants. Importantly, this new method is faster and less expensive than cloning methods.
Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the prototypic lesion in the encephalopathy of prematurity. Although PVL is identified by targeting cerebral white matter (WM), neuropathological and MRI studies document gray matter (GM) loss in cortical and subcortical structures. This study aimed to investigate the distribution of GM changes in children with a history of premature birth and PVL. Voxel-based morphometry was used to examine regional GM abnormalities in 22 children with a history of preterm birth and PVL. Preterms with PVL were compared with 22 terms and 14 preterms without PVL of similar GA and birth weight. GM and WM global volumetric volumes were found to decrease in comparison with both control groups. Regional GM volume abnormalities were also found: compared with their term peers, preterm children with PVL showed several regions of GM reduction. Moreover, PVL differed from preterms without PVL in the medial temporal lobe bilaterally, thalamus bilaterally, and caudate nuclei bilaterally. In addition, in our preterm sample with PVL, birth weight showed a statistical significant correlation with decreased GM regions. In conclusion, the voxel-based morphometry methodology revealed that PVL per se does involve GM reductions.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a frequent cause of acute and chronic hepatitis and a leading cause for cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV is classified in six major genotypes and more than 70 subtypes. In Colombian blood banks, serum samples were tested for anti-HCV antibodies using a third-generation ELISA. The aim of this study was to characterize the viral sequences in plasma of 184 volunteer blood donors who attended the "Banco Nacional de Sangre de la Cruz Roja Colombiana," Bogotá, Colombia. Three different HCV genomic regions were amplified by nested PCR. The first of these was a segment of 180 bp of the 5UTR region to confirm the previous diagnosis by ELISA. From those that were positive to the 5UTR region, two further segments were amplified for genotyping and subtyping by phylogenetic analysis: a segment of 380 bp from the NS5B region; and a segment of 391 bp from the E1 region. The distribution of HCV subtypes was: 1b (82.8%), 1a (5.7%), 2a (5.7%), 2b (2.8%), and 3a (2.8%). By applying Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation, it was estimated that HCV-1b was introduced into Bogotá around 1950. Also, this subtype spread at an exponential rate between about 1970 to about 1990, after which transmission of HCV was reduced by anti-HCV testing of this population. Among Colombian blood donors, HCV genotype 1b is the most frequent genotype, especially in large urban conglomerates such as Bogotá, as is the case in other South American countries.
Hepatitis B is a worldwide health problem affecting about 2 billion people and more than 350 million are chronic carriers of the virus. Nine HBV genotypes (A to I) have been described. The geographical distribution of HBV genotypes is not completely understood due to the limited number of samples from some parts of the world. One such example is Colombia, in which few studies have described the HBV genotypes. In this study, we characterized HBV genotypes in 143 HBsAg-positive volunteer blood donors from Colombia. A fragment of 1306 bp partially comprising HBsAg and the DNA polymerase coding regions (S/POL) was amplified and sequenced. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses were conducted using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach to obtain the maximum clade credibility (MCC) tree using BEAST v.1.5.3. Of all samples, 68 were positive and 52 were successfully sequenced. Genotype F was the most prevalent in this population (77%) - subgenotypes F3 (75%) and F1b (2%). Genotype G (7.7%) and subgenotype A2 (15.3%) were also found. Genotype G sequence analysis suggests distinct introductions of this genotype in the country. Furthermore, we estimated the time of the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) for each HBV/F subgenotype and also for Colombian F3 sequences using two different datasets: (i) 77 sequences comprising 1306 bp of S/POL region and (ii) 283 sequences comprising 681 bp of S/POL region. We also used two other previously estimated evolutionary rates: (i) 2.60 × 10(-4)s/s/y and (ii) 1.5 × 10(-5)s/s/y. Here we report the HBV genotypes circulating in Colombia and estimated the TMRCA for the four different subgenotypes of genotype F.
Dengue viruses (DENV) serotypes 1, 2, and 3 have been causing yearly outbreaks in Brazil. In this study, we report the re-introduction of DENV2 in the coast of São Paulo State. Partial envelope viral genes were sequenced from eighteen patients with dengue fever during the 2010 epidemic. Phylogenetic analysis showed this strain belongs to the American/Asian genotype and was closely related to the virus that circulated in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and 2008. The phylogeny also showed no clustering by clinical presentation, suggesting that the disease severity could not be explained by distinct variants or genotypes. The time of the most recent common ancestor of American/Asian genotype and the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (SP/RJ) monophyletic cluster was estimated to be around 40 and 10 years, respectively. Since this virus was first identified in Brazil in 2007, we suggest that it was already circulating in the country before causing the first documented outbreak. This is the first description of the 2010 outbreak in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, and should contribute to efforts to control and monitor the spread of DENVs in endemic areas.
JC virus (JCV), the causative agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), is classified in 8 different genotypes. Previous reports have suggested a positive association between specific genotypes and PML.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 170 million people worldwide, and is a major public health problem in Brazil, where over 1% of the population may be infected and where multiple viral genotypes co-circulate. Chronically infected individuals are both the source of transmission to others and are at risk for HCV-related diseases, such as liver cancer and cirrhosis. Before the adoption of anti-HCV control measures in blood banks, this virus was mainly transmitted via blood transfusion. Today, needle sharing among injecting drug users is the most common form of HCV transmission. Of particular importance is that HCV prevalence is growing in non-risk groups. Since there is no vaccine against HCV, it is important to determine the factors that control viral transmission in order to develop more efficient control measures. However, despite the health costs associated with HCV, the factors that determine the spread of virus at the epidemiological scale are often poorly understood. Here, we sequenced partial NS5b gene sequences sampled from blood samples collected from 591 patients in São Paulo state, Brazil. We show that different viral genotypes entered São Paulo at different times, grew at different rates, and are associated with different age groups and risk behaviors. In particular, subtype 1b is older and grew more slowly than subtypes 1a and 3a, and is associated with multiple age classes. In contrast, subtypes 1a and 3b are associated with younger people infected more recently, possibly with higher rates of sexual transmission. The transmission dynamics of HCV in São Paulo therefore vary by subtype and are determined by a combination of age, risk exposure and underlying social network. We conclude that social factors may play a key role in determining the rate and pattern of HCV spread, and should influence future intervention policies.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a significant public health concern with 350 million chronic carriers worldwide. Eight HBV genotypes (A-H) have been described so far. Genotype E (HBV/E) is widely distributed in West Africa and has rarely been found in other continents, except for a few cases in individuals with an African background. In this study, we characterized HBV genotypes in Quibdó, Colombia, by partial S/P gene sequencing, and found, for the first time, HBV/E circulating in nine Afro-Colombian patients who had no recent contact with Africa. The presence of HBV/E in this community as a monophyletic group suggests that it was a result of a recent introduction by some Afro-descendent contact or, alternatively, that the virus came with slaves brought to Colombia. By using sequences with sampling dates, we estimated the substitution rate to be about 3.2 x 10(-4) substitutions per site per year, which resulted in a time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of 29 years. In parallel, we also estimated the TMRCA for HBV/E by using two previously estimated substitution rates (7.7 x 10(-4) and 1.5 x 10(-5) substitutions per site per year). The TMRCA was around 35 years under the higher rate and 1500 years under the slower rate. In sum, this work reports for the first time the presence of an exclusively African HBV genotype circulating in South America. We also discuss the time of the entry of this virus into America based on different substitution rates estimated for HBV.
In 2010, a large outbreak of dengue occurred in Santos, Brazil. The detection of the NS1 antigen was used for diagnosis in addition to the detection of IgG, IgM, and RNA. A large number of NS1 false-negative results were obtained. A total of 379 RNA-positive samples were selected for thorough evaluation. NS1 was reactive in 37.7% of cases. Most of the cases were characterized as a secondary infection by dengue 2 virus. Sequencing of NS1 positive and negative isolates did not reveal any mutation that could justify the diagnostic failure. Use of existing NS1 tests in the Brazilian population may present a low negative predictive value, and they should be used with caution, preferentially after performing a validation with samples freshly obtained during the ongoing epidemic.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most prevalent viral infections in humans and represents a serious public health problem. In Colombia, our group reported recently the presence of subgenotypes F3, A2 and genotype G in Bogotá. The aim of this study was to characterize the HBV genotypes circulating in Quibdó, the largest Afro-descendant community in Colombia. Sixty HBsAg-positive samples were studied. A fragment of 1306 bp (S/POL) was amplified by nested PCR. Positive samples to S/POL fragment were submitted to PCR amplification of the HBV complete genome.
Thalamic abnormalities have been well documented in preterms with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), although their contribution to long-term cognitive dysfunctions has not been thoroughly investigated.
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