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Noonamah, Australia

Milic N.L.,Charles Darwin University | Davis S.,Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories | Carr J.M.,Flinders University | Isberg S.,Charles Darwin University | And 3 more authors.
Developmental and Comparative Immunology | Year: 2015

A number of pathogens have been detected in crocodiles, however little is known about their ability to control these pathogens. The interferon stimulated gene (ISG), viperin, has gained attention recently as an important host protein involved in multiple arms of the immune response. Viperin in concert with a number of other ISGs was upregulated in response to viral nucleic acid mimics and sendai virus in the C. porosus cell line, LV-1, indicating an intact early innate response to viral infection in these animals for the first time. Viperin was cloned from the LV-1 cell line and shown to have similar localisation patterns as human viperin, as well as demonstrating extremely high conservation with the human orthologue, excepting at the N-terminus. Interestingly, C. porosus viperin was also able to inhibit Dengue virus replication in vitro, showing a high level of intact functionality for this protein across divergent animal species, and perhaps demonstrating its importance in the early innate response to pathogens in the animal kingdom. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lott M.J.,Macquarie University | Hose G.C.,Macquarie University | Isberg S.R.,Center for Crocodile Research | Power M.L.,Macquarie University
Parasitology Research | Year: 2014

Paratrichosoma-associated helminthiasis has been identified in saltwater crocodiles under intensive farming conditions. The development of sustainable integrated management practices is dependent on a detailed understanding of Paratrichosoma population genetics and infection dynamics. This study investigated the genetic relationships of Paratrichosoma sp in a population of commercially farmed saltwater crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus, in northern Australia. 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequence data were obtained from Paratrichosoma sp eggs present in the epidermis of infected animals. A high level of genetic diversity was distributed within the Paratrichosoma sp population (241 variable positions in the 1094 bp alignment), indicating an accelerated rate of nucleotide base-pair substitutions in this genus of nematodes. Several possible environmental correlates of the incidence and intensity of helminthiasis, including season, rainfall, and mean monthly temperature, were investigated by visual inspection of crocodile skins. Stepwise logistic regression revealed a significant negative linear relationship (P = 0.011, R2 = 32.69 %) between mean monthly rainfall and the incidence of monthly Paratrichosoma-associated helminthiasis. Variation in the severity of Paratrichosoma-associated helminthiasis could not be explained by any of the independent environmental variables included within an ordinal regression analysis. The large genetic diversity in these nematodes indicates a high probability of anthelmintic resistant alleles occurring in the population. We discuss how the spread of these alleles may be mitigated by adopting targeted treatment protocols. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Jaratlerdsiri W.,University of Sydney | Deakin J.,Australian National University | Deakin J.,University of Canberra | Godinez R.M.,Harvard University | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a dynamic genome region with an essential role in the adaptive immunity of vertebrates, especially antigen presentation. The MHC is generally divided into subregions (classes I, II and III) containing genes of similar function across species, but with different gene number and organisation. Crocodylia (crocodilians) are widely distributed and represent an evolutionary distinct group among higher vertebrates, but the genomic organisation of MHC within this lineage has been largely unexplored. Here, we studied the MHC region of the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and compared it with that of other taxa. We characterised genomic clusters encompassing MHC class I and class II genes in the saltwater crocodile based on sequencing of bacterial artificial chromosomes. Six gene clusters spanning ∼452 kb were identified to contain nine MHC class I genes, six MHC class II genes, three TAP genes, and a TRIM gene. These MHC class I and class II genes were in separate scaffold regions and were greater in length (2-6 times longer) than their counterparts in well-studied fowl B loci, suggesting that the compaction of avian MHC occurred after the crocodilianavian split. Comparative analyses between the saltwater crocodile MHC and that from the alligator and gharial showed large syntenic areas (<80% identity) with similar gene order. Comparisons with other vertebrates showed that the saltwater crocodile had MHC class I genes located along with TAP, consistent with birds studied. Linkage between MHC class I and TRIM39 observed in the saltwater crocodile resembled MHC in eutherians compared, but absent in avian MHC, suggesting that the saltwater crocodile MHC appears to have gene organisation intermediate between these two lineages. These observations suggest that the structure of the saltwater crocodile MHC, and other crocodilians, can help determine the MHC that was present in the ancestors of archosaurs. © 2014 Jaratlerdsiri et al. Source

Hyndman T.H.,Murdoch University | Shilton C.M.,Khan Research Laboratories | Wellehan J.F.X.,Florida College | Davis S.,Khan Research Laboratories | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2015

As part of a larger investigation into three emerging disease syndromes highlighted by conjunctivitis and pharyngitis, systemic lymphoid proliferation and encephalitis, and lymphonodular skin infiltrates in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and one emerging syndrome of systemic lymphoid proliferation in captive freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni), cytopathic effects (CPE), including syncytial cell formation, were observed in primary crocodile cell lines exposed to clarified tissue homogenates from affected crocodiles. Ten cell cultures with CPE were then screened for herpesviruses using two broadly-reactive herpesvirus PCRs. Amplicons were obtained from 9 of 10 cell cultures and were sequenced. Three novel herpesviruses were discovered and the phylogenetic analysis of these viruses showed there was a 63% Bayesian posterior probability value supporting these viruses clustering with the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, and 100% posterior probability of clustering with a clade containing the Alphaherpesvirinae and other unassigned reptile herpesviruses. It is proposed that they are named Crocodyline herpesvirus (CrHV) 1, 2 and 3. CrHV1 and 2 were only isolated from saltwater crocodiles and CrHV3 was only isolated from freshwater crocodiles. A duplex PCR was designed that was able to detect these herpesviruses in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues, a sample type that neither of the broadly-reactive PCRs was able to detect these herpesviruses in. This work describes the isolation, molecular detection and phylogeny of these novel herpesviruses but the association that they have with the emerging disease syndromes requires further investigation. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Chong A.Y.,University of Sydney | Kojima K.K.,Genetic Information Research Institute | Jurka J.,Genetic Information Research Institute | Ray D.A.,Mississippi State University | And 5 more authors.
Retrovirology | Year: 2014

Background: Crocodilians are thought to be hosts to a diverse and divergent complement of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) but a comprehensive investigation is yet to be performed. The recent sequencing of three crocodilian genomes provides an opportunity for a more detailed and accurate representation of the ERV diversity that is present in these species. Here we investigate the diversity, distribution and evolution of ERVs from the genomes of three key crocodilian species, and outline the key processes driving crocodilian ERV proliferation and evolution. Results: ERVs and ERV related sequences make up less than 2% of crocodilian genomes. We recovered and described 45 ERV groups within the three crocodilian genomes, many of which are species specific. We have also revealed a new class of ERV, ERV4, which appears to be common to crocodilians and turtles, and currently has no characterised exogenous counterpart. For the first time, we formally describe the characteristics of this ERV class and its classification relative to other recognised ERV and retroviral classes. This class shares some sequence similarity and sequence characteristics with ERV3, although it is phylogenetically distinct from the other ERV classes. We have also identified two instances of gene capture by crocodilian ERVs, one of which, the capture of a host KIT-ligand mRNA has occurred without the loss of an ERV domain. Conclusions: This study indicates that crocodilian ERVs comprise a wide variety of lineages, many of which appear to reflect ancient infections. In particular, ERV4 appears to have a limited host range, with current data suggesting that it is confined to crocodilians and some lineages of turtles. Also of interest are two ERV groups that demonstrate evidence of host gene capture. This study provides a framework to facilitate further studies into non-mammalian vertebrates and highlights the need for further studies into such species. © 2014 Chong et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

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