Institute of Experimental Virology

Hannover, Germany

Institute of Experimental Virology

Hannover, Germany
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Steinmann J.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Buer J.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Pietschmann T.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Steinmann E.,Institute of Experimental Virology
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2013

The consumption of green tea (Camellia sinensis) has been shown to have many physiological and pharmacological health benefits. In the past two decades several studies have reported that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main constituent of green tea, has anti-infective properties. Antiviral activities of EGCG with different modes of action have been demonstrated on diverse families of viruses, such as Retroviridae, Orthomyxoviridae and Flaviviridae and include important human pathogens like human immunodeficiency virus, influenza A virus and the hepatitis C virus. Furthermore, the molecule interferes with the replication cycle of DNA viruses like hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus and adenovirus. Most of these studies demonstrated antiviral properties within physiological concentrations of EGCG in vitro. In contrast, the minimum inhibitory concentrations against bacteria were 10-100-fold higher. Nevertheless, the antibacterial effects of EGCG alone and in combination with different antibiotics have been intensively analysed against a number of bacteria including multidrug-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Furthermore, the catechin EGCG has antifungal activity against human-pathogenic yeasts like Candida albicans. Although the mechanistic effects of EGCG are not fully understood, there are results indicating that EGCG binds to lipid membranes and affects the folic acid metabolism of bacteria and fungi by inhibiting the cytoplasmic enzyme dihydrofolate reductase. This review summarizes the current knowledge and future perspectives on the antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects of the green tea constituent EGCG. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.


PubMed | Laboratory for Equine Diseases, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, University of Bonn, University of Teramo and 11 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of virology | Year: 2016

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major human pathogen. Genetically related viruses in animals suggest a zoonotic origin of HCV. The closest relative of HCV is found in horses (termed equine hepacivirus [EqHV]). However, low EqHV genetic diversity implies relatively recent acquisition of EqHV by horses, making a derivation of HCV from EqHV unlikely. To unravel the EqHV evolutionary history within equid sister species, we analyzed 829 donkeys and 53 mules sampled in nine European, Asian, African, and American countries by molecular and serologic tools for EqHV infection. Antibodies were found in 278 animals (31.5%), and viral RNA was found in 3 animals (0.3%), all of which were simultaneously seropositive. A low RNA prevalence in spite of high seroprevalence suggests a predominance of acute infection, a possible difference from the mostly chronic hepacivirus infection pattern seen in horses and humans. Limitation of transmission due to short courses of infection may explain the existence of entirely seronegative groups of animals. Donkey and horse EqHV strains were paraphyletic and 97.5 to 98.2% identical in their translated polyprotein sequences, making virus/host cospeciation unlikely. Evolutionary reconstructions supported host switches of EqHV between horses and donkeys without the involvement of adaptive evolution. Global admixture of donkey and horse hepaciviruses was compatible with anthropogenic alterations of EqHV ecology. In summary, our findings do not support EqHV as the origin of the significantly more diversified HCV. Identification of a host system with predominantly acute hepacivirus infection may enable new insights into the chronic infection pattern associated with HCV.The evolutionary origins of the human hepatitis C virus (HCV) are unclear. The closest animal-associated relative of HCV occurs in horses (equine hepacivirus [EqHV]). The low EqHV genetic diversity implies a relatively recent acquisition of EqHV by horses, limiting the time span for potential horse-to-human infections in the past. Horses are genetically related to donkeys, and EqHV may have cospeciated with these host species. Here, we investigated a large panel of donkeys from various countries using serologic and molecular tools. We found EqHV to be globally widespread in donkeys and identify potential differences in EqHV infection patterns, with donkeys potentially showing enhanced EqHV clearance compared to horses. We provide strong evidence against EqHV cospeciation and for its capability to switch hosts among equines. Differential hepacivirus infection patterns in horses and donkeys may enable new insights into the chronic infection pattern associated with HCV.


Sheldon J.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Gallego I.,CIBER ISCIII | Gregori J.,Internal Medicine Hospital Universitari Vall dHebron | Gregori J.,Hoffmann-La Roche | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2014

Passage of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in human hepatoma cells resulted in populations that displayed partial resistance to alpha interferon (IFN-α), telaprevir, daclatasvir, cyclosporine, and ribavirin, despite no prior exposure to these drugs. Mutant spectrum analyses and kinetics of virus production in the absence and presence of drugs indicate that resistance is not due to the presence of drug resistance mutations in the mutant spectrum of the initial or passaged populations but to increased replicative fitness acquired during passage. Fitness increases did not alter host factors that lead to shutoff of general host cell protein synthesis and preferential translation of HCV RNA. The results imply that viral replicative fitness is a mechanism of multidrug resistance in HCV. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.


Nandakumar R.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Finsterbusch K.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Lipps C.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Neumann B.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | And 9 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Background & Aims Current treatment strategies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection include pegylated interferon (IFN)-alfa and ribavirin. Approximately 50% of patients control HCV infection after treatment, but the broad range of patients' outcomes and responses to treatment, among all genotypes, indicates a role for host factors. Although the IFN system is important in limiting HCV replication, the virus has evolved mechanisms to circumvent the IFN response. However, direct, IFN-independent antiviral processes also might help control HCV replication. We examined the role of IFN-independent responses against HCV replication. Methods We analyzed replication of the subgenomic JFH1 replicon in embryonic fibroblasts and primary hepatocytes from mice with disruptions in genes encoding factors in the IFN-dependent and alternative antiviral pathways (signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 [STAT1], protein kinase R, interferon regulatory factors (IRF) IRF-1, IRF-3, IRF-5, IRF-7, mitochondrial antiviral signaling molecule [MAVS], and IFN receptor [IFNAR]). We also assessed the effects of expression of these factors by mouse primary hepatocytes on HCV replication. Results In addition to IRF-3- and IFN-mediated antiviral responses, IFN-independent, but IRF-1- and IRF-5-dependent mechanisms, restrict HCV replication in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. In primary hepatocytes these IFN-independent require MAVS and IRF-1. Conclusions HCV replication is limited by interferon-mediated pathways as well pathways that are independent of type I IFNs. IRF1 and IRF5 control IFN-independent signaling events that lead to antiviral responses. We observed antiviral roles of IRF1 and IRF5 that were IFN-independent and cell-type specific. These mechanisms are important in controlling viruses that interfere with the IFN signaling because cells retain the ability to induce functional but local antiviral states through expression of interferon-stimulated genes. © 2013 by the AGA Institute.


Gentzsch J.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Brohm C.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Steinmann E.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Friesland M.,Institute of Experimental Virology | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2013

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 is a membrane-associated ion channel protein crucial for virus production. To analyze how p7 contributes to this process, we dissected HCV morphogenesis into sub-steps including recruitment of HCV core to lipid droplets (LD), virus capsid assembly, unloading of core protein from LDs and subsequent membrane envelopment of capsids. Interestingly, we observed accumulation of slowly sedimenting capsid-like structures lacking the viral envelope in cells transfected with HCV p7 mutant genomes which possess a defect in virion production. Concomitantly, core protein was enriched at the surface of LDs. This indicates a defect in core/capsid unloading from LDs and subsequent membrane envelopment rather than defective trafficking of core to this cellular organelle. Protease and ribonuclease digestion protection assays, rate zonal centrifugation and native, two dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed increased amounts of high-order, non-enveloped core protein complexes unable to protect viral RNA in cells transfected with p7 mutant genomes. These results suggest accumulation of capsid assembly intermediates that had not yet completely incorporated viral RNA in the absence of functional p7. Thus, functional p7 is necessary for the final steps of capsid assembly as well as for capsid envelopment. These results support a model where capsid assembly is linked with membrane envelopment of nascent RNA-containing core protein multimers, a process coordinated by p7. In summary, we provide novel insights into the sequence of HCV assembly events and essential functions of p7. © 2013 Gentzsch et al.


Anggakusuma,Institute of Experimental Virology | Colpitts C.C.,University of Alberta | Schang L.M.,University of Alberta | Rachmawati H.,Bandung Institute of Technology | And 15 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2014

Objective: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes severe liver disease and affects more than 160 million individuals worldwide. People undergoing liver organ transplantation face universal re-infection of the graft. Therefore, affordable antiviral strategies targeting the early stages of infection are urgently needed to prevent the recurrence of HCV infection. The aim of the study was to determine the potency of turmeric curcumin as an HCV entry inhibitor. Design: The antiviral activity of curcumin and its derivatives was evaluated using HCV pseudo-particles (HCVpp) and cell-culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) in hepatoma cell lines and primary human hepatocytes. The mechanism of action was dissected using R18-labelled virions and a membrane fluidity assay. Results: Curcumin treatment had no effect on HCV RNA replication or viral assembly/release. However, co-incubation of HCV with curcumin potently inhibited entry of all major HCV genotypes. Similar antiviral activities were also exerted by other curcumin derivatives but not by tetrahydrocurcumin, suggesting the importance of α,β-unsaturated ketone groups for the antiviral activity. Expression levels of known HCV receptors were unaltered, while pretreating the virus with the compound reduced viral infectivity without viral lysis. Membrane fluidity experiments indicated that curcumin affected the fluidity of the HCV envelope resulting in impairment of viral binding and fusion. Curcumin has also been found to inhibit cell-to-cell transmission and to be effective in combination with other antiviral agents. Conclusions: Turmeric curcumin inhibits HCV entry independently of the genotype and in primary human hepatocytes by affecting membrane fluidity thereby impairing virus binding and fusion.


Doerrbecker J.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Meuleman P.,Ghent University | Kang J.,Valdosta State University | Riebesehl N.,Institute of Experimental Virology | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis | Year: 2013

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted primarily through percutaneous exposure to contaminated blood especially in healthcare settings and among people who inject drugs. The environmental stability of HCV has been extrapolated from studies with the bovine viral diarrhoea virus or was so far only addressed with HCV genotype 2a viruses. The aim of this study was to compare the environmental and thermostability of all so far known seven HCV genotypes in vitro and in vivo. Incubation experiments at room temperature revealed that all HCV genotypes showed similar environmental stabilities in suspension with viral infectivity detectable for up to 28 days. The risk of HCV infection may not accurately be reflected by determination of HCV RNA levels. However, viral stability and transmission risks assessed from in vitro experiments correlated with viral infectivity in transgenic mice containing human liver xenografts. A reduced viral stability for up to 2 days was observed at 37 °C with comparable decays for all HCV genotypes confirmed by thermodynamic analysis. These results demonstrate that different HCV genotypes possess comparable stability in the environment and that noninfectious particles after incubation in vitro do not cause infection in an HCV in vivo model. These findings are important for estimation of HCV cross-transmission in the environment and indicate that different HCV genotypes do not display an altered stability or resistance at certain temperatures. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Vieyres G.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Pietschmann T.,Institute of Experimental Virology
Methods | Year: 2013

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a positive-strand enveloped RNA virus and belongs to the Flaviviridae family. The heavy health burden associated with the virus infection in humans and the intriguing peculiarities of the interaction between the HCV replication cycle and the hepatocyte host cell have stimulated a flourishing research field. The present review aims at recapitulating the different viral and cellular systems modelling HCV entry and replication, and in particular at gathering the tools available to dissect the HCV entry pathway. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Hamming O.J.,University of Aarhus | Terczynska-Dyla E.,University of Aarhus | Vieyres G.,Institute of Experimental Virology | Dijkman R.,Kantonal Hospital | And 7 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2013

The IFNL4 gene is a recently discovered type III interferon, which in a significant fraction of the human population harbours a frameshift mutation abolishing the IFNλ4 ORF. The expression of IFNλ4 is correlated with both poor spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and poor response to treatment with type I interferon. Here, we show that the IFNL4 gene encodes an active type III interferon, named IFNλ4, which signals through the IFNλR1 and IL-10R2 receptor chains. Recombinant IFNλ4 is antiviral against both HCV and coronaviruses at levels comparable to IFNλ3. However, the secretion of IFNλ4 is impaired compared to that of IFNλ3, and this impairment is not due to a weak signal peptide, which was previously believed. We found that IFNλ4 gets N-linked glycosylated and that this glycosylation is required for secretion. Nevertheless, this glycosylation is not required for activity. Together, these findings result in the paradox that IFNλ4 is strongly antiviral but a disadvantage during HCV infection. © 2013 European Molecular Biology Organization.


PubMed | Medical University of Vienna, Institute of Experimental Virology and University of Duisburg - Essen
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Mycoses | Year: 2016

Echinocandin resistance in Candida glabrata is emerging and is associated with the presence of FKS mutations. In this study, we analysed the antifungal susceptibility, presence of FKS mutations and clonality of C. glabrata blood culture isolates from two hospitals in Germany and Austria. Susceptibility testing of 64 C. glabrata bloodstream isolates from two university hospitals was performed with broth microdilution method according to EUCAST. In addition, all isolates were screened for FKS mutations. Molecular fingerprinting was performed by microsatellite PCR with three separate primer pairs and semiautomated repetitive sequenced-based PCR (rep-PCR). One C. glabrata isolate from Germany (1.5%) was echinocandin resistant, with a corresponding mutation in FKS2 gene hot spot 1. The discriminatory power of microsatellite PCR was higher than that of rep-PCR (Simpson Index of 0.94 vs. 0.88); microsatellite PCR created 31 separate genotypes, whereas rep-PCR created 17. Predominant genotypes or clusters of isolates from Germany and Austria were present, with no epidemiological evidence of nosocomial transmissions. Although we found a low incidence of echinocandin resistance in C. glabrata in our settings, further surveillance projects in central Europe are warranted for monitoring future epidemiological trends. The genetic population structure of C. glabrata demonstrates overrepresented geographical clusters.

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