Baculoviruses infect insects, producing two distinct phenotypes during the viral life cycle: the budded virus (BV) and the occlusion-derived virus (ODV) for intra- and inter-host spread, respectively. Since the 1980s, several countries have been using Anticarsia gemmatalis multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AgMNPV) as a biological control agent against the velvet bean caterpillar, A. gemmatalis. The genome of AgMNPV isolate 2D (AgMNPV-2D) carries at least 152 potential genes, with 24 that possibly code for structural proteins. Proteomic studies have been carried out on a few baculoviruses, with six ODV and two BV proteomes completed so far. Moreover, there are limited data on virion proteins carried by AgMNPV-2D. Therefore, structural proteins of AgMNPV-2D were analysed by MALDI- quadrupole-TOF and liquid chromatography MS/MS. A total of 44 proteins were associated with the ODV and 33 with the BV of AgMNPV-2D. Although 38 structural proteins were already known, we found six new proteins in the ODV and seven new proteins carried by the AgMNPV-2D BV. Eleven cellular proteins that were found on several other enveloped viruses were also identified, which are possibly carried with the virion. These findings may provide novel insights into baculovirus biology and their host interaction. Moreover, our data may be helpful in subsequent applied studies aiming to improve AgMNPV use as a biopesticide and a biotechnology tool for gene expression or delivery.
Recombination is a significant factor driving genomic evolution, but it is not well understood in Dengue virus. We used phylogenetic methods to search for recombination in 636 Dengue virus type 3 (DENV-3) genomes and unveiled complex recombination patterns in two strains, which appear to be the outcome of recombination between genotype II and genotype I parental DENV-3 lineages. Our findings of genomic mosaic structures suggest that strand switching during RNA synthesis may be involved in the generation of genetic diversity in dengue viruses.
The structure of regulatory networks remains an open question in our understanding of complex biological systems. Interactions during complete viral life cycles present unique opportunities to understand how host-parasite network take shape and behave. The Anticarsia gemmatalis multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AgMNPV) is a large double-stranded DNA virus, whose genome may encode for 152 open reading frames (ORFs). Here we present the analysis of the ordered cascade of the AgMNPV gene expression.
DENV-1 is one of the four viral serotypes that causes Dengue, the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans. The prevalence of these viruses has grown in recent decades and is now present in more than 100 countries. Limited studies document the spread of DENV-1 over the world despite its importance for human health.
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.
Dengue virus type 4 (DENV-4) circulates in tropical and subtropical countries from Asia and the Americas. Despite the importance of dengue virus distribution, little is known about the worldwide viral spread. Following a Bayesian phylogenetic approach we inferred the evolutionary history of 310 isolates sampled from 37 countries during the time period 1956-2008 and the spreading dynamics for genotypes I and II. The region (tropical rainforest biome) comprised by Malaysia-Thailand was the most likely ancestral area from which the serotype has originated and spread. Interestingly, cross-correlation analysis on demographic time series with the Asian sequences showed a statistically significant negative correlation that could be suggestive of competition among genotypes within the same serotype.
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.
The dengue virus has a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome of approximately 10.700 nucleotides with a single open reading frame that encodes three structural (C, prM, and E) and seven nonstructural (NS1, NS2A, NS2B, NS3, NS4A, NS4B, and NS5) proteins. It possesses four antigenically distinct serotypes (DENV 1-4). Many phylogenetic studies address particularities of the different serotypes using convenience samples that are not conducive to a spatio-temporal analysis in a single urban setting. We describe the pattern of spread of distinct lineages of DENV-3 circulating in São José do Rio Preto, Brazil, during 2006. Blood samples from patients presenting dengue-like symptoms were collected for DENV testing. We performed M-N-PCR using primers based on NS5 for virus detection and identification. The fragments were purified from PCR mixtures and sequenced. The positive dengue cases were geo-coded. To type the sequenced samples, 52 reference sequences were aligned. The dataset generated was used for iterative phylogenetic reconstruction with the maximum likelihood criterion. The best demographic model, the rate of growth, rate of evolutionary change, and Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) were estimated. The basic reproductive rate during the epidemics was estimated. We obtained sequences from 82 patients among 174 blood samples. We were able to geo-code 46 sequences. The alignment generated a 399-nucleotide-long dataset with 134 taxa. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that all samples were of DENV-3 and related to strains circulating on the isle of Martinique in 2000-2001. Sixty DENV-3 from São José do Rio Preto formed a monophyletic group (lineage 1), closely related to the remaining 22 isolates (lineage 2). We assumed that these lineages appeared before 2006 in different occasions. By transforming the inferred exponential growth rates into the basic reproductive rate, we obtained values for lineage 1 of R(0) = 1.53 and values for lineage 2 of R(0) = 1.13. Under the exponential model, TMRCA of lineage 1 dated 1 year and lineage 2 dated 3.4 years before the last sampling. The possibility of inferring the spatio-temporal dynamics from genetic data has been generally little explored, and it may shed light on DENV circulation. The use of both geographic and temporally structured phylogenetic data provided a detailed view on the spread of at least two dengue viral strains in a populated urban area.
Culex flavivirus (CxFV) was first isolated in 2007 from Culex pipiens in Japan and then identified in several other countries. Characterization of the CxFV showed that all strains are related to the cell fusing agent virus. In this manuscript we report the first identification of CxFV in South America.
Although some studies have shown diversity in HIV integrase (IN) genes, none has focused particularly on the gene evolving in epidemics in the context of recombination. The IN gene in 157 HIV-1 integrase inhibitor-naïve patients from the São Paulo State, Brazil, were sequenced tallying 128 of subtype B (23 of which were found in non-B genomes), 17 of subtype F (8 of which were found in recombinant genomes), 11 integrases were BF recombinants, and 1 from subtype C. Crucially, we found that 4 BF recombinant viruses shared a recurrent recombination breakpoint region between positions 4900 and 4924 (relative to the HXB2) that includes 2 gRNA loops, where the RT may stutter. Since these recombinants had independent phylogenetic origin, we argue that these results suggest a possible recombination hotspot not observed so far in BF CRF in particular, or in any other HIV-1 CRF in general. Additionally, 40% of the drug-naïve and 45% of the drug-treated patients had at least 1 raltegravir (RAL) or elvitegravir (EVG) resistance-associated amino acid change, but no major resistance mutations were found, in line with other studies. Importantly, V151I was the most common minor resistance mutation among B, F, and BF IN genes. Most codon sites of the IN genes had higher rates of synonymous substitutions (dS) indicative of a strong negative selection. Nevertheless, several codon sites mainly in the subtype B were found under positive selection. Consequently, we observed a higher genetic diversity in the B portions of the mosaics, possibly due to the more recent introduction of subtype F on top of an ongoing subtype B epidemics and a fast spread of subtype F alleles among the B population.
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