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Bi Y.,CAS Institute of Microbiology | Bi Y.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Mei K.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Virology | Mei K.,Hubei University | And 15 more authors.
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2015

Eight avian influenza A (H5N6) viruses were isolated from live poultry markets (LPMs) in Sichuan and Jiangxi Provinces in China in 2014, including those close to the county where the human H5N6 infection occurred. Genetic and phylogenetic analyses revealed that these H5N6 viruses were novel reassortants between H5N1 clade 2.3.4 and H6N6 viruses, and had evolved into two distinct lineages (Sichuan and Jiangxi). Moreover, the human H5N6 virus was closely related to the avian-source viruses of Sichuan lineage. Notably, H5N6 viruses contained a T160A substitution in the haemagglutinin protein and an 11 aa deletion in the neuraminidase stalk, which may aid in enhancing viral affinity for human-like receptors and virulence in mammals. As the H5N1 virus infects humans through direct contact, infection with the novel H5N6 virus raised significant concerns that the H5 subtype was a likely candidate for a pandemic. Therefore, extensive and long-term surveillance of avian influenza viruses in LPMs is essential. © 2015 The Authors. Source

Zhou Y.J.,CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics | Zhou Y.J.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Gao W.,Chinese Institute of Materia Medica | Gao W.,Capital Medical University | And 12 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

Microbial production can be advantageous over the extraction of phytoterpenoids from natural plant sources, but it remains challenging to rationally and rapidly access efficient pathway variants. Previous engineering attempts mainly focused on the mevalonic acid (MVA) or methyl-d-erythritol phosphate (MEP) pathways responsible for the generation of precursors for terpenoids biosynthesis, and potential interactions between diterpenoids synthases were unexplored. Miltiradiene, the product of the stepwise conversion of (E,E,E)-geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) catalyzed by diterpene synthases SmCPS and SmKSL, has recently been identified as the precursor to tanshionones, a group of abietane-type norditerpenoids rich in the Chinese medicinal herb Salvia miltiorrhiza. Here, we present the modular pathway engineering (MOPE) strategy and its application for rapid assembling synthetic miltiradiene pathways in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We predicted and analyzed the molecular interactions between SmCPS and SmKSL, and engineered their active sites into close proximity for enhanced metabolic flux channeling to miltiradiene biosynthesis by constructing protein fusions. We show that the fusion of SmCPS and SmKSL, as well as the fusion of BTS1 (GGPP synthase) and ERG20 (farnesyl diphosphate synthase), led to significantly improved miltiradiene production and reduced byproduct accumulation. The MOPE strategy facilitated a comprehensive evaluation of pathway variants involving multiple genes, and, as a result, our best pathway with the diploid strain YJ2X reached miltiradiene titer of 365 mg/L in a 15-L bioreactor culture. These results suggest that terpenoids synthases and the precursor supplying enzymes should be engineered systematically to enable an efficient microbial production of phytoterpenoids. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

Su S.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Wong G.,Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Immunity | Wong G.,CAS Institute of Microbiology | Wong G.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 16 more authors.
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2016

Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) were first described in the 1960s for patients with the common cold. Since then, more HCoVs have been discovered, including those that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), two pathogens that, upon infection, can cause fatal respiratory disease in humans. It was recently discovered that dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia harbor three different HCoV species, including a dominant MERS HCoV lineage that was responsible for the outbreaks in the Middle East and South Korea during 2015. In this review we aim to compare and contrast the different HCoVs with regard to epidemiology and pathogenesis, in addition to the virus evolution and recombination events which have, on occasion, resulted in outbreaks amongst humans. Six coronaviruses (CoVs) are known to infect humans: 229E, OC43, SARS-CoV, NL63, HKU1, and MERS-CoV.Many CoVs are simultaneously maintained in nature, allowing for genetic recombination, resulting in novel viruses.Recombination of CoV in camels has resulted in a dominant MERS lineage that caused human outbreaks in 2015. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Yang J.,Peking Union Medical College | Yang F.,Peking Union Medical College | Ren L.,Peking Union Medical College | Ren L.,Christophe Merieux Laboratory | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2011

Viral infectious diseases represent a major threat to public health and are among the greatest disease burdens worldwide. Rapid and accurate identification of viral agents is crucial for both outbreak control and estimating regional disease burdens. Recently developed metagenomic methods have proven to be powerful tools for simultaneous pathogen detection. Here, we performed a systematic study of the capability of the short-read-based metagenomic approach in the molecular detection of viral pathogens in nasopharyngeal aspirate samples from patients with acute lower respiratory tract infections (n = 16). Using the high-throughput capacity of ultradeep sequencing and a dedicated data interpretation method, we successfully identified seven species of known respiratory viral agents from 15 samples, a result that was consistent with results of conventional PCR assays. We also detected a coinfected case that was missed by regular PCR testing. Using the metagenomic data, 11 draft genomes of the abundantly detected viruses in the samples were reconstructed with 21.84% to 98.53% coverage. Our results show the power of the short-read-based metagenomic approach for accurate and parallel screening of viral pathogens. Although there are some inherent difficulties in applying this approach to clinical samples, including a lack of controls, limited specimen quantity, and high contamination rate, our work will facilitate further application of this unprecedented high-throughput method to clinical samples. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Xiang Z.,MOH Key Laboratory of Systems Biology of Pathogens | Xiang Z.,Institute of Pathogen Biology | Gonzalez R.,Institute of Pathogen Biology | Wang Z.,Institute of Pathogen Biology | And 12 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

During August 2006-April 2010, in Beijing, China, 2 rare human enterovirus serotypes, coxsackievirus A21 and enterovirus 68, were detected most frequently in human enterovirus-positive adults with acute respiratory tract infections. Thus, during some years, these 2 viruses cause a substantial proportion of enterovirus-associated adult acute respiratory tract infections. Source

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