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Carnegie R.B.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Engelsma M.Y.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2014

First discovered decades ago, microcell protistan parasites of the genera Bonamia and Mikrocytos remain relevant today for their economic impacts on growing molluscan aquaculture industries and fisheries. Bonamia parasites have received more attention over the years in part because they are more widespread and thus of wider concern, but there has been renewed interest in Mikrocytos recently with the generation of important new findings. Among these has been the surprising observation that Mikrocytos has phylogenetic affinities to the Rhizaria, which includes the haplosporidian protists and the genus Bonamia. This Diseases of Aquatic Organisms Special, emerging from the 5th Meeting of the Microcell Working Group held at the Central Veterinary Institute, Lelystad, the Netherlands, in February 2012, presents new insights into Mikrocytos and Bonamia diversity, distributions, diagnostics, ultrastructure, and infection dynamics, and captures major developments in the field since the last review of these genera in 2004. © Inter-Research 2014.

Swaan C.M.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | van Ouwerkerk I.M.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Roest H.J.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2010

In June 2008, three Dutch tourists participating in a mini-cruise in Turkey needed urgent repatriation for antitoxin treatment because of symptoms of botulism. Because there was a shortage of antitoxin in the Netherlands, an emergency delivery was requested from the manufacturer in Germany. An outbreak investigation was initiated into all nine cruise members, eight of whom developed symptoms. C. botulinum type B was isolated in stool culture from four of them. No other patients were notified locally. Food histories revealed locally purchased unprocessed black olives, consumed on board of the ship, as most likely source, but no leftovers were available for investigation. C. botulinum type D was detected in locally purchased canned peas, and whilst type D is not known to be a cause of human intoxication, its presence in a canned food product indicates an inadequate preserving process. With increasing tourism to areas where food-borne botulism is reported regularly special requests for botulism antitoxin may become necessary. Preparing an inventory of available reserve stock in Europe would appear to be a necessary and valuable undertaking.

Feenstra F.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | Feenstra F.,University Utrecht | Van Gennip R.G.P.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | Schreuder M.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | And 2 more authors.
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2016

Orbiviruses are insect-transmitted, non-enveloped viruses with a ten-segmented dsRNA genome of which the bluetongue virus (BTV) is the prototype. Viral non-structural protein NS3/NS3a is encoded by genome segment 10 (Seg-10), and is involved in different virus release mechanisms. This protein induces specific release via membrane disruptions and budding in both insect and mammalian cells, but also the cytopathogenic release that is only seen in mammalian cells. NS3/NS3a is not essential for virus replication in vitro with BTV Seg-10 containing RNA elements essential for virus replication, even if protein is not expressed. Recently, new BTV serotypes with distinct NS3/NS3a sequence and cell tropism have been identified. Multiple studies have hinted at the importance of Seg-10 in orbivirus replication, but the exact prerequisites are still unknown. Here, more insight is obtained with regard to the needs for orbivirus Seg-10 and the balance between protein expression and RNA elements. Multiple silent mutations in the BTV NS3a ORF destabilized Seg-10, resulting in deletions and sequences originating from other viral segments being inserted, indicating strong selection at the level of RNA during replication in mammalian cells in vitro. The NS3a ORFs of other orbiviruses were successfully exchanged in BTV1 Seg-10, resulting in viable chimeric viruses. NS3/NS3a proteins in these chimeric viruses were generally functional in mammalian cells, but not in insect cells. NS3/NS3a of the novel BTV serotypes 25 and 26 affected virus release from Culicoides cells, which might be one of the reasons for their distinct cell tropism. © 2016 The Authors.

Feenstra F.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | Feenstra F.,University Utrecht | Van Gennip R.G.P.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | Van De Water S.G.P.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Members of the Reoviridae family are non-enveloped multi-layered viruses with a double stranded RNA genome consisting of 9 to 12 genome segments. Bluetongue virus is the prototype orbivirus (family Reoviridae, genus Orbivirus), causing disease in ruminants, and is spread by Culicoides biting midges. Obviously, several steps in the Reoviridae family replication cycle require virus specific as well as segment specific recognition by viral proteins, but detailed processes in these interactions are still barely understood. Recently, we have shown that expression of NS3 and NS3a proteins encoded by genome segment 10 of bluetongue virus is not essential for virus replication. This gave us the unique opportunity to investigate the role of RNA sequences in the segment 10 open reading frame in virus replication, independent of its protein products. Reverse genetics was used to generate virus mutants with deletions in the open reading frame of segment 10. Although virus with a deletion between both start codons was not viable, deletions throughout the rest of the open reading frame led to the rescue of replicating virus. However, all bluetongue virus deletion mutants without functional protein expression of segment 10 contained inserts of RNA sequences originating from several viral genome segments. Subsequent studies showed that these RNA inserts act as RNA elements, needed for rescue and replication of virus. Functionality of the inserts is orientation-dependent but is independent from the position in segment 10. This study clearly shows that RNA in the open reading frame of Reoviridae members does not only encode proteins, but is also essential for virus replication. © 2014 Feenstra et al.

Feenstra F.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | Feenstra F.,University Utrecht | Pap J.S.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | van Rijn P.A.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR CVI | van Rijn P.A.,North West University South Africa
Vaccine | Year: 2015

Bluetongue is a disease of ruminants caused by the bluetongue virus (BTV). Bluetongue outbreaks can be controlled by vaccination, however, currently available vaccines have several drawbacks. Further, there are at least 26 BTV serotypes, with low cross protection. A next-generation vaccine based on live-attenuated BTV without expression of non-structural proteins NS3/NS3a, named Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) vaccine, was recently developed for serotype 8 by exchange of the serotype determining outer capsid protein VP2. DISA vaccines are replicating vaccines but do not cause detectable viremia, and induce serotype specific protection. Here, we exchanged VP2 of laboratory strain BTV1 for VP2 of European serotypes 2, 4, 8 and 9 using reverse genetics, without observing large effects on virus growth. Exchange of VP2 from serotype 16 and 25 was however not possible. Therefore, chimeric VP2 proteins of BTV1 containing possible immunogenic regions of these serotypes were studied. BTV1, expressing 1/16 chimeric VP2 proteins was functional in virus replication in vitro and contained neutralizing epitopes of both serotype 1 and 16. For serotype 25 this approach failed. We combined VP2 exchange with the NS3/NS3a negative phenotype in BTV1 as previously described for serotype 8 DISA vaccine. DISA vaccine with 1/16 chimeric VP2 containing amino acid region 249-398 of serotype 16 raised antibodies in sheep neutralizing both BTV1 and BTV16. This suggests that DISA vaccine could be protective for both parental serotypes present in chimeric VP2. We here demonstrate the application of the BT DISA vaccine platform for several serotypes and further extend the application for serotypes that are unsuccessful in single VP2 exchange. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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