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Kirsanovs S.,Institute of Medical Virology Helmut Ruska Haus | Klempa B.,Institute of Medical Virology Helmut Ruska Haus | Klempa B.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Franke R.,Institute of Medical Virology Helmut Ruska Haus | And 4 more authors.
Virus Genes | Year: 2010

The tri-segmented RNA genome of hantaviruses facilitates genetic reassortment by segment swapping when cells are co-infected with different virus strains. We found efficient in vitro reassortment between members of two different genetic lineages of the Dobrava-Belgrade virus species, the weakly virulent DOBV-Aa and highly virulent DOBV-Af. In all reassortants, S and L segments originated from the same parental strain, and only the M segment was exchanged. To identify functional differences between the parental strains DOBV-Aa and DOBV-Af in cell culture and to compare them with the reassortants, we studied elements of the innate immunity in virus-infected cells. The contrasting phenotypes of the parental viruses were maintained by the reassortants carrying the respective S and L segments of the parental virus and were not influenced by the origin of the M segment. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Drexler J.F.,University of Bonn | Corman V.M.,University of Bonn | Muller M.A.,University of Bonn | Lukashev A.N.,Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and Viral Encephalitides | And 34 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2013

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is among the most relevant causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Research is complicated by a lack of accessible small animal models. The systematic investigation of viruses of small mammals could guide efforts to establish such models, while providing insight into viral evolutionary biology. We have assembled the so-far largest collection of small-mammal samples from around the world, qualified to be screened for bloodborne viruses, including sera and organs from 4,770 rodents (41 species); and sera from 2,939 bats (51 species). Three highly divergent rodent hepacivirus clades were detected in 27 (1.8%) of 1,465 European bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and 10 (1.9%) of 518 South African four-striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio). Bats showed anti-HCV immunoblot reactivities but no virus detection, although the genetic relatedness suggested by the serologic results should have enabled RNA detection using the broadly reactive PCR assays developed for this study. 210 horses and 858 cats and dogs were tested, yielding further horse-associated hepaciviruses but none in dogs or cats. The rodent viruses were equidistant to HCV, exceeding by far the diversity of HCV and the canine/equine hepaciviruses taken together. Five full genomes were sequenced, representing all viral lineages. Salient genome features and distance criteria supported classification of all viruses as hepaciviruses. Quantitative RT-PCR, RNA in-situ hybridisation, and histopathology suggested hepatic tropism with liver inflammation resembling hepatitis C. Recombinant serology for two distinct hepacivirus lineages in 97 bank voles identified seroprevalence rates of 8.3 and 12.4%, respectively. Antibodies in bank vole sera neither cross-reacted with HCV, nor the heterologous bank vole hepacivirus. Co-occurrence of RNA and antibodies was found in 3 of 57 PCR-positive bank vole sera (5.3%). Our data enable new hypotheses regarding HCV evolution and encourage efforts to develop rodent surrogate models for HCV. © 2013 Drexler et al. Source

Drexler J.F.,University of Bonn | Corman V.M.,University of Bonn | Muller M.A.,University of Bonn | Maganga G.D.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales Of Franceville | And 34 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2012

The large virus family Paramyxoviridae includes some of the most significant human and livestock viruses, such as measles-, distemper-, mumps-, parainfluenza-, Newcastle disease-, respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumoviruses. Here we identify an estimated 66 new paramyxoviruses in a worldwide sample of 119 bat and rodent species (9,278 individuals). Major discoveries include evidence of an origin of Hendra- and Nipah virus in Africa, identification of a bat virus conspecific with the human mumps virus, detection of close relatives of respiratory syncytial virus, mouse pneumonia- and canine distemper virus in bats, as well as direct evidence of Sendai virus in rodents. Phylogenetic reconstruction of host associations suggests a predominance of host switches from bats to other mammals and birds. Hypothesis tests in a maximum likelihood framework permit the phylogenetic placement of bats as tentative hosts at ancestral nodes to both the major Paramyxoviridae subfamilies (Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae). Future attempts to predict the emergence of novel paramyxoviruses in humans and livestock will have to rely fundamentally on these data. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Klein F.,Institute of Medical Virology Helmut Ruska Haus | Neuhaus R.,Institute of Medical Virology Helmut Ruska Haus | Hofmann J.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Rudolph B.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | And 2 more authors.
Experimental and Clinical Transplantation | Year: 2015

Objectives: Hepatitis E virus infection is increasingly reported as a cause of chronic hepatitis in organ transplant recipients. Besides reduction of immunosuppressive therapy or pegylated-interferon therapy, promising results have been reported for ribavirin monotherapy of hepatitis E virus after kidney transplant. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a successful ribavirin monotherapy for chronic hepatitis E virus infection after and orthotopic liver transplant. Materials and Methods: This is a case report of a 55-year-old man with a diagnosis of chronic hepatitis E (genotype 3f) 26 months after an orthotopic liver transplant. A reduction of immunosuppressive therapy was not tolerated, and the patient did not qualify for pegylated-interferon therapy. Because of progressively elevated liver transaminases accompanied by histologic changes in the liver allograft, ribavirin monotherapy was undertaken for 16 weeks. Results: We saw a decrease in liver enzymes after 1 week of ribavirin monotherapy. Hepatitis E virus RNA anti-HEV-IgM were tested after 8 weeks of ribavirin therapy, and were both negative. Antiviral therapy was continued for 16 weeks, and hepatitis E virus RNA remained undetectable; there also was a significant decrease in liver transaminases levels to normal values. In the 8-week and 8-month followups at the end of antiviral therapy, the patient presented with normal liver enzymes and no detectable hepatitis E virus RNA. Conclusions: In conclusion, successful therapy of chronic hepatitis E after an orthotopic liver transplant may be achieved by ribavirin monotherapy and should be considered in patients who are sensitive to a reduction of immunosuppressive therapy or pegylated-interferon therapy. © Başkent University 2015 Printed in Turkey. All Rights Reserved. Source

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