We reviewed the associations of immunity-related genes with susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses, and with severity of hantaviral diseases in humans. Several class I and class II HLA haplotypes were linked with severe or benign hantavirus infections, and these haplotypes varied among localities and hantaviruses. The polymorphism of other immunity-related genes including the C4A gene and a high-producing genotype of TNF gene associated with severe PUUV infection. Additional genes that may contribute to disease or to PUUV infection severity include non-carriage of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) allele 2 and IL-1? (-511) allele 2, polymorphisms of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and platelet GP1a. In addition, immunogenetic studies have been conducted to identify mechanisms that could be linked with the persistence/clearance of hantaviruses in reservoirs. Persistence was associated during experimental infections with an upregulation of anti-inflammatory responses. Using natural rodent population samples, polymorphisms and/or expression levels of several genes have been analyzed. These genes were selected based on the literature of rodent or human/hantavirus interactions (some Mhc class II genes, Tnf promoter, and genes encoding the proteins TLR4, TLR7, Mx2 and ?3 integrin). The comparison of genetic differentiation estimated between bank vole populations sampled over Europe, at neutral and candidate genes, has allowed to evidence signatures of selection for Tnf, Mx2 and the Drb Mhc class II genes. Altogether, these results corroborated the hypothesis of an evolution of tolerance strategies in rodents. We finally discuss the importance of these results from the medical and epidemiological perspectives.
A growing number of studies are reporting simultaneous infections by parasites in many different hosts. The detection of whether these parasites are significantly associated is important in medicine and epidemiology. Numerous approaches to detect associations are available, but only a few provide statistical tests. Furthermore, they generally test for an overall detection of association and do not identify which parasite is associated with which other one. Here, we developed a new approach, the association screening approach, to detect the overall and the detail of multi-parasite associations. We studied the power of this new approach and of three other known ones (i.e., the generalized chi-square, the network and the multinomial GLM approaches) to identify parasite associations either due to parasite interactions or to confounding factors. We applied these four approaches to detect associations within two populations of multi-infected hosts: (1) rodents infected with Bartonella sp., Babesia microti and Anaplasma phagocytophilum and (2) bovine population infected with Theileria sp. and Babesia sp. We found that the best power is obtained with the screening model and the generalized chi-square test. The differentiation between associations, which are due to confounding factors and parasite interactions was not possible. The screening approach significantly identified associations between Bartonella doshiae and B. microti, and between T. parva, T. mutans, and T. velifera. Thus, the screening approach was relevant to test the overall presence of parasite associations and identify the parasite combinations that are significantly over- or under-represented. Unraveling whether the associations are due to real biological interactions or confounding factors should be further investigated. Nevertheless, in the age of genomics and the advent of new technologies, it is a considerable asset to speed up researches focusing on the mechanisms driving interactions between parasites.
SUMMARY Toxoplasmosis is largely present in rural areas but its spatial distribution in this environment remains poorly known. In particular, it is unclear if areas of high density of cats, the only hosts excreting Toxoplasma gondii, constitute foci of high prevalence. To improve our understanding of the spatial distribution of T. gondii in rural areas, we performed a serological survey in rodents from two villages in France. We trapped 710 rodents including commensal rats and meadow or forest voles and mice. The presence of T. gondii was examined using PCR, mice inoculation and modified agglutination test for antibodies (MAT). We conducted multivariate and discriminant analyses to identify biological, ecological or spatial variables that could explain T. gondii serology in rodents. We then used a logistic regression to assess the relative influence of each explanatory variable. Overall seroprevalence was 4·1%. Commensal-rats were more infected (12·5%) than non-commensal species (3·7%). However, the major determinant of the risk of infection was the distance to the nearest farm (OR = 0·75 for 100 m), which explained the risk in all species or non-commensal species only. We contrast the role of species characteristics and that of the local environment, and discuss the risk of environmental contamination for humans.
In vertebrates, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that genes encoding proteins involved in pathogen-recognition by adaptive immunity (e.g. MHC) are subject to intensive diversifying selection. On the other hand, the role and the type of selection processes shaping the evolution of innate-immunity genes are currently far less clear. In this study we analysed the natural variation and the evolutionary processes acting on two genes involved in the innate-immunity recognition of Microbe-Associated Molecular Patterns (MAMPs).
Puumala virus, the agent of nephropathia epidemica (NE), is the most prevalent hantavirus in Europe. The risk for human infection seems to be strongly correlated with the prevalence of Puumala virus (PUUV) in populations of its reservoir host species, the bank vole Myodes glareolus. In humans, the infection risks of major viral diseases are affected by the presence of helminth infections. We therefore proposed to analyse the influence of both helminth community and landscape on the prevalence of PUUV among bank vole populations in the Ardennes, a PUUV endemic area in France.
We analysed the influence of MHC class II Dqa and Drb genes on Puumala virus (PUUV) infection in bank voles (Myodes glareolus). We considered voles sampled in five European localities or derived from a previous experiment that showed variable infection success of PUUV. The genetic variation observed in the Dqa and Drb genes was assessed by using single-strand conformation polymorphism and pyrosequencing methods, respectively. Patterns were compared with those obtained from 13 microsatellites. We revealed significant genetic differentiation between PUUV-seronegative and -seropositive bank voles sampled in wild populations, at the Drb gene only. The absence of genetic differentiation observed at neutral microsatellites confirmed the important role of selective pressures in shaping these Drb patterns. Also, we found no significant associations between infection success and MHC alleles among laboratory-colonized bank voles, which is explained by a loss of genetic variability that occurred during the captivity of these voles.
High-throughput sequencing technologies offer new perspectives for biomedical, agronomical and evolutionary research. Promising progresses now concern the application of these technologies to large-scale studies of genetic variation. Such studies require the genotyping of high numbers of samples. This is theoretically possible using 454 pyrosequencing, which generates billions of base pairs of sequence data. However several challenges arise: first in the attribution of each read produced to its original sample, and second, in bioinformatic analyses to distinguish true from artifactual sequence variation. This pilot study proposes a new application for the 454 GS FLX platform, allowing the individual genotyping of thousands of samples in one run. A probabilistic model has been developed to demonstrate the reliability of this method.
The tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) influences the ability to limit parasite infection but its over-production might result in inflammatory disorders. The level of Tnf-? gene expression could thus mediate a balance of tolerance/resistance to infections. This study focused on Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) infection in its rodent host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). In humans, PUUV is responsible of a mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, nephropathia epidemica (NE). The severity of NE is associated with an over-production of TNF-?. By contrast, PUUV infection in bank vole is chronic and asymptomatic. It is likely that different coevolutionary histories between PUUV and its hosts could lead to different balances of resistance/tolerance to PUUV infection, at least partly mediated by variable production levels of TNF-?. We investigated the hypothesis that bank voles from PUUV endemic areas should exhibit higher levels of tolerance, i.e. lower levels of TNF-? production, than bank voles from areas where PUUV prevalence is low. For this purpose, we analysed variations of Tnf-? gene expression and promoter sequences among European populations of bank voles. Our results revealed an absence of up-regulation of Tnf-? gene expression in PUUV infected bank voles and significant differences in Tnf-? gene expression level with regard to PUUV endemicity. These results corroborated the hypothesis of different balances of tolerance/resistance to PUUV. Two single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes within the Tnf-? promoter (-302 GG/GG and -296 A/A) were associated with higher Tnf-? gene expression and were more frequent in non-endemic areas. This study emphasized the potential influence of selection acting on TNF-? production and mediating a tolerance/resistance balance to PUUV in bank voles. Further investigations, including the role of phenotypic plasticity and parasite communities on Tnf-? expression levels, should provide important keys to understand the prevalence of PUUV over Europe.
To further assess the geographic occurrence, possible vectors, and prevalence of Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, we analyzed spleen tissues from 276 voles trapped close to human settlements in France; 5 were infected with the organism. Sequencing showed the isolates carried the same genotype as the bacteria that caused disease in humans and animals elsewhere in Europe.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.