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PubMed | Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology, National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani IRCCS, University College London and Laval University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS pathogens | Year: 2017

An unprecedented Ebola virus (EBOV) epidemic occurred in 2013-2016 in West Africa. Over this time the epidemic exponentially grew and moved to Europe and North America, with several imported cases and many Health Care Workers (HCW) infected. Better understanding of EBOV infection patterns in different body compartments is mandatory to develop new countermeasures, as well as to fully comprehend the pathways of human-to-human transmission. We have longitudinally explored the persistence of EBOV-specific negative sense genomic RNA (neg-RNA) and the presence of positive sense RNA (pos-RNA), including both replication intermediate (antigenomic-RNA) and messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules, in the upper and lower respiratory tract, as compared to plasma, in a HCW infected with EBOV in Sierra Leone, who was hospitalized in the high isolation facility of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (INMI), Rome, Italy. We observed persistence of pos-RNA and neg-RNAs in longitudinally collected specimens of the lower respiratory tract, even after viral clearance from plasma, suggesting possible local replication. The purpose of the present study is to enhance the knowledge on the biological features of EBOV that can contribute to the human-to-human transmissibility and to develop effective intervention strategies. However, further investigation is needed in order to better understand the clinical meaning of viral replication and shedding in the respiratory tract.


Schulz K.S.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Klupp B.G.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Granzow H.,Institute of Infectology | Passvogel L.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Mettenleiter T.C.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology
Virus Research | Year: 2015

Herpesvirus replication takes place in the nucleus and in the cytosol. After entering the cell, nucleocapsids are transported to nuclear pores where viral DNA is released into the nucleus. After gene expression and DNA replication new nucleocapsids are assembled which have to exit the nucleus for virion formation in the cytosol. Since nuclear pores are not wide enough to allow passage of the nucleocapsid, nuclear egress occurs by vesicle-mediated transport through the nuclear envelope. To this end, nucleocapsids bud at the inner nuclear membrane (INM) recruiting a primary envelope which then fuses with the outer nuclear membrane (ONM). In the absence of this regulated nuclear egress, mutants of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus have been described that escape from the nucleus after virus-induced nuclear envelope breakdown. Here we review these exit pathways and demonstrate that both can occur simultaneously under appropriate conditions. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Heiden S.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Grund C.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Hoper D.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Mettenleiter T.C.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Romer-Oberdorfer A.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology
Virus Genes | Year: 2014

Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) isolated from pigeons (pigeon paramyxovirus type 1; PPMV-1) are mostly of mesogenic pathotype and characterized by a polybasic amino acid sequence motif at the fusion protein (F) cleavage site. This feature also applies to isolate R75/98 from Germany. Its genome consists of 15,192 nucleotides and it specifies an intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) of 1.1, as is typical for mesogenic NDV. Recombinant R75/98 (rR75/98) derived by reverse genetics also possesses a polybasic F protein cleavage site but exhibits ICPI of 0.28, indicating a lentogenic virus. While ten virus passages of rR75/98 on embryonated chicken eggs did not result in any alteration of virus characteristics, virus which had been re-isolated from the brain of an intracerebrally inoculated chicken showed an increase in virulence, characterized by an ICPI of 0.93. Comparison of whole genome sequences of rR75/98 and re-isolated rR75/98 (RrR75/98) demonstrated only two amino acid differences, one in the F protein (N472 K) and one in the polymerase protein (K2168R). This result indicates that only very few amino acid alterations are sufficient to modulate virus virulence in the presence of a polybasic amino acid sequence at the proteolytic F protein cleavage site. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Eckardt M.,German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment | Eckardt M.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Freuling C.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Muller T.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Selhorst T.,German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment
Geospatial Health | Year: 2015

Aiming to achieve new insights into rabies dynamics, this paper is the first to investigate fox rabies in Germany from a space-time pattern perspective. Based on a locally restricted dataset covering a fourteen month period, our findings indicate a strongly aggregated spatiotemporal point pattern resulting from an inhomogeneous stochastic process. In contrast to spatial or temporal approaches or cellular automata, our analysis focuses on the disease dynamics in time and space in a continuous time domain. Our findings confirm existing theories regarding fox rabies control highlighting the potential risk of urban areas and the need for effective rabies vaccination. © Copyright M. Eckardt et al.


Henning A.-K.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Albrecht D.,University of Greifswald | Riedel K.,University of Greifswald | Mettenleiter T.C.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Karger A.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology
Proteomics | Year: 2015

Serum proteome analysis is severely hampered by the extreme dynamic range of protein concentrations, but tools for the specific depletion of highly abundant serum proteins lack for most farm and companion animals. A well-established alternative strategy to reduce the dynamic range of plasma protein concentrations, treatment with combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLL), is generally applicable but requires large amounts of sample. Therefore, additional depletion/enrichment protocols for plasma and serum samples from animals are desirable. In this respect, we have tested a protein precipitate that formed after withdrawal of salt from human, bovine, or porcine serum at pH 4.2. The bovine sample was composed of over 300 proteins making it a potential source for biomarker discovery. Precipitation was highly reproducible and the concentrations of albumin and other highly abundant serum proteins were strongly reduced. In comparison to the CPLL treatment, precipitation did not introduce any selection bias based on hydrophathy or pI. However, the composition of both preparations was partially complementary. Salt withdrawal at pH 4.2 is suggested as additional depletion/enrichment strategy for serum samples. Also, we point out that the removal of precipitates from serum samples under the described conditions bears the risk of losing a valuable protein fraction. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Mettenleiter T.C.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology
Journal of Molecular Biology | Year: 2016

Many DNA and a few RNA viruses use the host cell nucleus for virion formation and/or genome replication. To this end, the nuclear envelope (NE) barrier has to be overcome for entry into and egress from the intranuclear replication compartment. Different virus families have devised ingenious ways of entering and leaving the nucleus usurping cellular transport pathways through the nuclear pore complex but also translocating directly through both membranes of the NE. This intriguing diversity in nuclear entry and egress of viruses also highlights different ways nucleocytoplasmic transport can occur. Thus, the study of interactions between viruses and the NE also helps to unravel hitherto unknown cellular pathways such as vesicular nucleocytoplasmic transfer. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Within the past few years identification of bacteria by MALDI-TOF MS has become a standard technique in bacteriological laboratories for good reasons. MALDI-TOF MS identification is rapid, robust, automatable, and the per-sample costs are low. Yet, the spectra are very informative and the reliable identification of bacterial species is usually possible. Recently, new MS-based approaches for the identification of bacteria are emerging that are based on the detailed analysis of the bacterial proteome by high-resolution MS. These “proteotyping” approaches are highly discriminative and outperform MALDI-TOF MS-based identification in terms of specificity, but require a laborious proteomic workflow and far more expertise and sophisticated instrumentation than identification on basis of MALDI-TOF MS spectra, which can be obtained with relative simple and uncostly linear MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers. Thus MALDI-TOF MS identification of bacteria remains an attractive option for routine diagnostics. Additionally, MALDI-TOF MS identification protocols have been extended and improved in many respects making linear MALDI-TOF MS a versatile tool that can be useful beyond the identification of a bacterial species, e.g. for the characterization of leucocytes and arthropod vectors of infectious diseases. This review focuses on such improvements and extensions of the typical MALDI-TOF MS workflow in the field of infectious diseases. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Fuchs W.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology | Granzow H.,Institute of Infectology | Dauber M.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Fichtner D.,Institute of Infectology | Mettenleiter T.C.,Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology
Archives of Virology | Year: 2014

As a prerequisite for development of improved vaccines and diagnostic tools for control of the fish pathogen koi herpesvirus, or cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3), we have started to identify putative viral envelope and capsid proteins. The complete or partial CyHV-3 open reading frames ORF25, ORF65, ORF92, ORF99, ORF136, ORF138, ORF146, ORF148, and ORF149 were expressed as bacterial fusion proteins, which were then used for preparation of monospecific rabbit antisera. All of the sera that were obtained detected their target proteins in cells transfected with the corresponding eukaryotic expression plasmids. However, only the type I membrane proteins pORF25, pORF65, pORF99, pORF136 and pORF149 and the major capsid protein pORF92 were sufficiently abundant and immunogenic to permit unambiguous detection in CyHV-3-infected cells. In indirect immunofluorescence tests (IIFT), sera from naturally or experimentally CyHV-3-infected carp and koi predominantly reacted with cells transfected with expression plasmids encoding pORF25, pORF65, pORF148, and pORF149, which represent a family of related CyHV-3 membrane proteins. Moreover, several neutralizing monoclonal antibodies raised against CyHV-3 virions proved to be specific for pORF149 in IIFT of transfected cells and in immunoelectron microscopic analysis of CyHV-3 particles. Since pORF149 appears to be an immunorelevant envelope protein of CyHV-3, a recombinant baculovirus was generated for its expression in insect cells, and pORF149 was shown to be incorporated into pseudotyped baculovirus particles, which might be suitable as diagnostic tools or subunit vaccines. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Wien.


PubMed | Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology and Institute of Epidemiology
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Acquisition of a polybasic cleavage site (pCS) in the hemagglutinin (HA) is a prerequisite for the shift of low pathogenic (LP) avian influenza virus (AIV) to the highly pathogenic (HP) form in chickens. Whereas presence of a pCS is required for high pathogenicity, less is known about the effect of composition of pCS on virulence of AIV particularly H7N7. Here, we investigated the virulence of four avian H7N7 viruses after insertion of different naturally occurring pCS from two HPAIV H7N7 (designated pCSGE and pCSUK) or from H7N1 (pCSIT). In vitro, the different pCS motifs modulated viral replication and the HA cleavability independent on the HA background. However, in vivo, the level of virulence conferred by the different pCS varied significantly. Within the respective viral backgrounds viruses with pCSIT and pCSGE were more virulent than those coding for pCSUK. The latter showed also the most restricted spread in inoculated birds. Besides the pCS, other gene segments modulated virulence of these H7N7 viruses. Together, the specific composition of the pCS significantly influences virulence of H7N7 viruses. Eurasian LPAIV H7N7 may shift to high pathogenicity after acquisition of specific pCS motifs and/or other gene segments from HPAIV.


PubMed | Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology
Type: Review | Journal: Proteomics. Clinical applications | Year: 2016

Within the past few years identification of bacteria by MALDI-TOF MS has become a standard technique in bacteriological laboratories for good reasons. MALDI-TOF MS identification is rapid, robust, automatable, and the per-sample costs are low. Yet, the spectra are very informative and the reliable identification of bacterial species is usually possible. Recently, new MS-based approaches for the identification of bacteria are emerging that are based on the detailed analysis of the bacterial proteome by high-resolution MS. These proteotyping approaches are highly discriminative and outperform MALDI-TOF MS-based identification in terms of specificity, but require a laborious proteomic workflow and far more expertise and sophisticated instrumentation than identification on basis of MALDI-TOF MS spectra, which can be obtained with relative simple and uncostly linear MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers. Thus MALDI-TOF MS identification of bacteria remains an attractive option for routine diagnostics. Additionally, MALDI-TOF MS identification protocols have been extended and improved in many respects making linear MALDI-TOF MS a versatile tool that can be useful beyond the identification of a bacterial species, e.g. for the characterization of leucocytes and arthropod vectors of infectious diseases. This review focuses on such improvements and extensions of the typical MALDI-TOF MS workflow in the field of infectious diseases.

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