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Viruses, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Viruses in 2016
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 8; doi:10.3390/v9010008
Received: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract The editors of Viruses would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for  assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Mx Is Not Responsible for the Antiviral Activity of Interferon-α against Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 5; doi:10.3390/v9010005
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
Mx proteins are interferon (IFN)-induced dynamin-like GTPases that are present in all vertebrates and inhibit the replication of myriad viruses. However, the role Mx proteins play in IFN-mediated suppression of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection is unknown. In this study, we set out
[...] Read more.
Mx proteins are interferon (IFN)-induced dynamin-like GTPases that are present in all vertebrates and inhibit the replication of myriad viruses. However, the role Mx proteins play in IFN-mediated suppression of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection is unknown. In this study, we set out to investigate the effects of Mx1 and Mx2 expression on the interferon-α (IFNα) restriction of JEV replication. To evaluate whether the inhibitory activity of IFNα on JEV is dependent on Mx1 or Mx2, we knocked down Mx1 or Mx2 with siRNA in IFNα-treated PK-15 cells and BHK-21 cells, then challenged them with JEV; the production of progeny virus was assessed by plaque assay, RT-qPCR, and Western blotting. Our results demonstrated that depletion of Mx1 or Mx2 did not affect JEV restriction imposed by IFNα, although these two proteins were knocked down 66% and 79%, respectively. Accordingly, expression of exogenous Mx1 or Mx2 did not change the inhibitory activity of IFNα to JEV. In addition, even though virus-induced membranes were damaged by Brefeldin A (BFA), overexpressing porcine Mx1 or Mx2 did not inhibit JEV proliferation. We found that BFA inhibited JEV replication, not maturation, suggesting that BFA could be developed into a novel antiviral reagent. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that IFNα inhibits JEV infection by Mx-independent pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flavivirus Research)
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Open AccessArticle Effective Detection of Porcine Cytomegalovirus Using Non-Invasively Taken Samples from Piglets
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 9; doi:10.3390/v9010009
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
Shortage of human organs forced the development of xenotransplantation using cells, tissues, and organs from pigs. Xenotransplantation may be associated with the transmission of porcine zoonotic microorganisms, among them the porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV). To prevent virus transmission, pigs have to be screened using
[...] Read more.
Shortage of human organs forced the development of xenotransplantation using cells, tissues, and organs from pigs. Xenotransplantation may be associated with the transmission of porcine zoonotic microorganisms, among them the porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV). To prevent virus transmission, pigs have to be screened using sensitive methods. In order to perform regular follow-ups and further breeding of the animals, samples for testing should be collected by low-invasive or non-invasive methods. Sera, ear biopsies, as well as oral and anal swabs were collected from ten 10-day-old Aachen minipigs (AaMP) and tested for PCMV using sensitive nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as well as uniplex and duplex real-time PCR. Porcine cytomegalovirus DNA was detected most frequently in oral and anal swabs. Comparison of duplex and uniplex real-time PCR systems for PCMV detection demonstrated a lower sensitivity of duplex real-time PCR when the copy numbers of the target genes were low (less 200). Therefore, to increase the efficacy of PCMV detection in piglets, early testing of oral and anal swabs by uniplex real-time PCR is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle A Semipersistent Plant Virus Differentially Manipulates Feeding Behaviors of Different Sexes and Biotypes of Its Whitefly Vector
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 4; doi:10.3390/v9010004 (registering DOI)
Received: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
It is known that plant viruses can change the performance of their vectors. However, there have been no reports on whether or how a semipersistent plant virus manipulates the feeding behaviors of its whitefly vectors. Cucurbit chlorotic yellows virus (CCYV) (genus Crinivirus,
[...] Read more.
It is known that plant viruses can change the performance of their vectors. However, there have been no reports on whether or how a semipersistent plant virus manipulates the feeding behaviors of its whitefly vectors. Cucurbit chlorotic yellows virus (CCYV) (genus Crinivirus, family Closteroviridae) is an emergent plant virus in many Asian countries and is transmitted specifically by B and Q biotypes of tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), in a semipersistent manner. In the present study, we used electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique to investigate the effect of CCYV on the feeding behaviors of B. tabaci. The results showed that CCYV altered feeding behaviors of both biotypes and sexes of B. tabaci with different degrees. CCYV had stronger effects on feeding behaviors of Q biotype than those of B biotype, by increasing duration of phloem salivation and sap ingestion, and could differentially manipulate feeding behaviors of males and females in both biotype whiteflies, with more phloem ingestion in Q biotype males and more non-phloem probing in B biotype males than their respective females. With regard to feeding behaviors related to virus transmission, these results indicated that, when carrying CCYV, B. tabaci Q biotype plays more roles than B biotype, and males make greater contribution than females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
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Open AccessArticle A Point Mutation in a Herpesvirus Co-Determines Neuropathogenicity and Viral Shedding
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 6; doi:10.3390/v9010006
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
A point mutation in the DNA polymerase gene in equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) is one determinant for the development of neurological disease in horses. Three recently conducted infection experiments using domestic horses and ponies failed to detect statistically significant differences in viral
[...] Read more.
A point mutation in the DNA polymerase gene in equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) is one determinant for the development of neurological disease in horses. Three recently conducted infection experiments using domestic horses and ponies failed to detect statistically significant differences in viral shedding between the neuropathogenic and non-neuropathogenic variants. These results were interpreted as suggesting the absence of a consistent selective advantage of the neuropathogenic variant and therefore appeared to be inconsistent with a systematic increase in the prevalence of neuropathogenic strains. To overcome potential problems of low statistical power related to small group sizes in these infection experiments, we integrated raw data from all three experiments into a single statistical analysis. The results of this combined analysis showed that infection with the neuropathogenic EHV-1 variant led to a statistically significant increase in viral shedding. This finding is consistent with the idea that neuropathogenic strains could have a selective advantage and are therefore systematically increasing in prevalence in domestic horse populations. However, further studies are required to determine whether a selective advantage indeed exists for neuropathogenic strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle Regulation of Viral Replication, Apoptosis and Pro-Inflammatory Responses by 17-AAG during Chikungunya Virus Infection in Macrophages
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 3; doi:10.3390/v9010003
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
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Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection has re-emerged as a major public health concern due to its recent worldwide epidemics and lack of control measures. Although CHIKV is known to infect macrophages, regulation of CHIKV replication, apoptosis and immune responses towards macrophages are not well
[...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection has re-emerged as a major public health concern due to its recent worldwide epidemics and lack of control measures. Although CHIKV is known to infect macrophages, regulation of CHIKV replication, apoptosis and immune responses towards macrophages are not well understood. Accordingly, the Raw264.7 cells, a mouse macrophage cell line, were infected with CHIKV and viral replication as well as new viral progeny release was assessed by flow cytometry and plaque assay, respectively. Moreover, host immune modulation and apoptosis were studied through flow cytometry, Western blot and ELISA. Our current findings suggest that expression of CHIKV proteins were maximum at 8 hpi and the release of new viral progenies were remarkably increased around 12 hpi. The induction of Annexin V binding, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9 and cleaved caspase-8 in CHIKV infected macrophages suggests activation of apoptosis through both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. The pro-inflammatory mediators (TNF and IL-6) MHC-I/II and B7.2 (CD86) were also up-regulated during infection over time. Further, 17-AAG, a potential HSP90 inhibitor, was found to regulate CHIKV infection, apoptosis and pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine productions of host macrophages significantly. Hence, the present findings might bring new insight into the therapeutic implication in CHIKV disease biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Immune Response to Astrovirus Infection
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 1; doi:10.3390/v9010001
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
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Abstract
Astroviruses are one of the leading causes of pediatric gastroenteritis worldwide and are clinically importantly pathogens in the elderly and immunocompromised populations. Although the use of cell culture systems and small animal models have enhanced our understanding of astrovirus infection and pathogenesis, little
[...] Read more.
Astroviruses are one of the leading causes of pediatric gastroenteritis worldwide and are clinically importantly pathogens in the elderly and immunocompromised populations. Although the use of cell culture systems and small animal models have enhanced our understanding of astrovirus infection and pathogenesis, little is known about the immune response to astrovirus infection. Studies from humans and animals suggest that adaptive immunity is important in restricting classic and novel astrovirus infections, while studies from animal models and cell culture systems suggest that an innate immune system plays a role in limiting astrovirus replication. The relative contribution of each arm of the immune system in restricting astrovirus infection remains unknown. This review summarizes our current understanding of the immune response to astrovirus infection and highlights some of the key questions that stem from these studies. A full understanding of the immune response to astrovirus infection is required to be able to treat and control astrovirus-induced gastroenteritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astroviruses)
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Open AccessReview Attacked from All Sides: RNA Decay in Antiviral Defense
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 2; doi:10.3390/v9010002
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
The innate immune system has evolved a number of sensors that recognize viral RNA (vRNA) to restrict infection, yet the full spectrum of host-encoded RNA binding proteins that target these foreign RNAs is still unknown. The RNA decay machinery, which uses exonucleases to degrade
[...] Read more.
The innate immune system has evolved a number of sensors that recognize viral RNA (vRNA) to restrict infection, yet the full spectrum of host-encoded RNA binding proteins that target these foreign RNAs is still unknown. The RNA decay machinery, which uses exonucleases to degrade aberrant RNAs largely from the 5′ or 3′ end, is increasingly recognized as playing an important role in antiviral defense. The 5′ degradation pathway can directly target viral messenger RNA (mRNA) for degradation, as well as indirectly attenuate replication by limiting specific pools of endogenous RNAs. The 3′ degradation machinery (RNA exosome) is emerging as a downstream effector of a diverse array of vRNA sensors. This review discusses our current understanding of the roles of the RNA decay machinery in controlling viral infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Interactions with Host RNA Decay Pathways)
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Open AccessReview Astrovirus Diagnostics
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 10; doi:10.3390/v9010010
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
Various methods exist to detect an astrovirus infection. Current methods include electron microscopy (EM), cell culture, immunoassays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and various other molecular approaches that can be applied in the context of diagnostic or in surveillance studies. With the advent of
[...] Read more.
Various methods exist to detect an astrovirus infection. Current methods include electron microscopy (EM), cell culture, immunoassays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and various other molecular approaches that can be applied in the context of diagnostic or in surveillance studies. With the advent of metagenomics, novel human astrovirus (HAstV) strains have been found in immunocompromised individuals in association with central nervous system (CNS) infections. This work reviews the past and current methods for astrovirus detection and their uses in both research laboratories and for medical diagnostic purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astroviruses)

Other

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Open AccessCommentary The New High Resolution Crystal Structure of NS2B-NS3 Protease of Zika Virus
Viruses 2017, 9(1), 7; doi:10.3390/v9010007
Received: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 1 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is the cause of a significant viral disease affecting humans, which has spread throughout many South American countries and has also become a threat to Southeastern Asia. This commentary discusses the article “Crystal structure of unlinked NS2B-NS3 protease from Zika
[...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is the cause of a significant viral disease affecting humans, which has spread throughout many South American countries and has also become a threat to Southeastern Asia. This commentary discusses the article “Crystal structure of unlinked NS2B-NS3 protease from Zika virus” published recently in the journal Science by Zhang et al. of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. They resolved a 1.58 Å resolution structure of the NS2B-NS3 protease of ZIKV and demonstrated how peptide and non-peptide inhibitors interact with this structure, along with the different conformational states that were observed. This protease crystal structure offers new opportunities for the design and development of novel antiviral drugs used for the treatment and control of ZIKV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flavivirus Research)

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