At BASE₂BIO we are, first and foremost, scientists. Collected here is a list of publications co-authored by our team members, either in their current role or in other capacities. For full-text copies of specific articles not available publicly, please contact us.

  1. PubMed DOI
    Newcastle disease (ND), which is caused by infections of poultry species with virulent strains of Avian orthoavulavirus-1, also known as avian paramyxovirus 1 (APMV-1), and formerly known as Newcastle disease virus (NDV), may cause neurological signs and encephalitis. Neurological signs are often the only clinical signs observed in birds infected with neurotropic strains of NDV. Experimental infections have shown that the replication of virulent NDV (vNDV) strains is in the brain parenchyma and is possibly confined to neurons and ependymal cells. However, little information is available on the ability of vNDV strains to infect subset of glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia). The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of NDV strains of different levels of virulence to infect a subset of glial cells both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes from the brains of day-old White Leghorn chickens were harvested, cultured, and infected with both non-virulent (LaSota) and virulent, neurotropic (TxGB) NDV strains. To confirm these findings in vivo, the tropism of three vNDV strains with varying pathotypes (SA60 [viscerotropic], TxGB [neurotropic], and Tx450 [mesogenic]) was assessed in archived formalin-fixed material from day-old chicks inoculated intracerebrally.Double immunofluorescence for NDV nucleoprotein and cellular markers showed that both strains infected at least 20% of each of the cell types (neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes). At 24 h post-inoculation, TxGB replicated significantly more than LaSota. Double immunofluorescence (DIFA) with markers for neurons, astrocytes, microglia, and NDV nucleoprotein detected the three strains in all three cell types at similar levels.These data indicate that similar to other paramyxoviruses, neurons and glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia) are susceptible to vNDV infection, and suggest that factors other than cellular tropism are likely the major determinant of the neurotropic phenotype.
  2. PubMed DOI
    Newcastle disease (ND) is a major constraint to Kenya's poultry production, which is comprised of approximately 80% indigenous chickens (ICs; caged and free-range system) and 20% exotic chickens (intensive system). This study analyzed cases reported as suspected ND in Kenya between 2005 and 2015. Of the suspected 332 ND reported cases from the three production systems in 27 locations within six Kenyan Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs), 140 diagnosed as infected with avian orthoavulavirus 1 (AOaV-1; formerly Newcastle disease virus) were present in every year in all AEZs. The numbers of AOaV-1-positive cases differed significantly (p < 0.05) between the production systems across the years depending on the season, climate, and location. In the free-range system, both ambient temperatures and season associated significantly (p = 0.001 and 0.02, respectively) with the number of cases, while in the intensive and caged systems, the positive cases correlated significantly with season and relative humidity, respectively (p = 0.05). Regardless of the production systems, the numbers of clinically sick birds positively correlated with the ambient temperatures (r = 0.6; p < 0.05). Failure to detect AOaV-1 in 58% of the ND cases reported, and mortalities exceeding the observed numbers of clinically sick birds suggest deficiencies in the current ND reporting and diagnostic system. Intensive farmers were the slowest in reporting the cases and diagnostic deficiencies were most evident by failure to test the exposure of ICs to natural infection with AOaV-1 and for the AOaV-1-negative cases lack of testing for other pathogens and/or AOaV-1 variants. This study indicates a need for improved surveillance and diagnostics in Kenyan domestic poultry.
  3. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    In May of 2018, virulent Newcastle disease virus was detected in sick, backyard, exhibition chickens in southern California. Since, the virus has affected 401 backyard and four commercial flocks, and one live bird market in California, and one backyard flock in Utah. The pathogenesis and transmission potential of this virus, along with two genetically related and widely studied viruses, chicken/California/2002 and chicken/Belize/2008, were evaluated in both 3-week- and 62-week-old chickens given a low, medium, or high challenge dose. All three viruses were highly virulent causing clinical signs, killing all the chickens in the medium and high dose groups, and efficiently transmitting to contacts. The three viruses also replicated in the reproductive tract of the adult hens. Virus shedding for all viruses was detected 24 hours after challenge, peaking with high titers at day 4 post challenge. Although not genetically identical, the studied isolates were shown to be phenotypically very similar, which allows the utilization of the available literature in the control of the current outbreak.
  4. PubMed DOI
    Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus subtype H7N3 has been circulating in poultry in Mexico since 2012 and vaccination has been used to control the disease. In this study, eight Mexican H7N3 HPAI viruses from 2015-2017 were isolated and fully sequenced. No evidence of reassortment was detected with other avian influenza (AI) viruses, but phylogenetic analyses show divergence of all eight gene segments into three genetic clusters by 2015, with 94.94 to 98.78 percent nucleotide homology of the HA genes when compared to the index virus from 2012. The HA protein of viruses from each cluster showed a different number of basic amino acids (n = 5-7) in the cleavage site, and six different patterns at the predicted N-glycosylation sites. Comparison of the sequences of the Mexican lineage H7N3 HPAI viruses and American ancestral wild bird AI viruses to characterize the virus evolutionary dynamics showed that the nucleotide substitution rates in PB2, PB1, PA, HA, NP, and NS genes greatly increased once the virus was introduced into poultry. The global nonsynonymous and synonymous ratios imply strong purifying selection driving the evolution of the virus. Forty-nine positively selected sites out of 171 nonsynonymous mutations were identified in the Mexican H7N3 HPAI viruses, including 7 amino acid changes observed in higher proportion in North American poultry origin AI viruses isolates than in wild bird-origin viruses. Continuous monitoring and molecular characterization of the H7N3 HPAI virus is important for better understanding of the virus evolutionary dynamics and further improving control measures including vaccination.
  5. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    U.S. public health agencies have employed next-generation sequencing (NGS) as a tool to quickly identify foodborne pathogens during outbreaks. Although established short-read NGS technologies are known to provide highly accurate data, long-read sequencing is still needed to resolve highly-repetitive genomic regions and genomic arrangement, and to close the sequences of bacterial chromosomes and plasmids. Here, we report the use of long-read nanopore sequencing to simultaneously sequence the entire chromosome and plasmid of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Bareilly and Escherichia coli O157:H7. We developed a rapid and random sequencing approach coupled with de novo genome assembly within a customized data analysis workflow that uses publicly-available tools. In sequencing runs as short as four hours, using the MinION instrument, we obtained full-length genomes with an average identity of 99.87% for Salmonella Bareilly and 99.89% for E. coli in comparison to the respective MiSeq references. These nanopore-only assemblies provided readily available information on serotype, virulence factors, and antimicrobial resistance genes. We also demonstrate the potential of nanopore sequencing assemblies for rapid preliminary phylogenetic inference. Nanopore sequencing provides additional advantages as very low capital investment and footprint, and shorter (10 hours library preparation and sequencing) turnaround time compared to other NGS technologies.
  6. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) infects wild birds and poultry species worldwide, severely impacting the economics of the poultry industry. ND is especially problematic in Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru) where it is either endemic or re-emerging. The disease is caused by infections with one of the different strains of virulent avian Newcastle disease virus (NDV), recently renamed Avian avulavirus 1. Here, we describe the molecular epidemiology of Latin American NDVs, current control and prevention methods, including vaccines and vaccination protocols, as well as future strategies for control of ND. Because the productive, cultural, economic, social, and ecological conditions that facilitate poultry endemicity in South America are similar to those in the developing world, most of the problems and control strategies described here are applicable to other continents.
  7. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    Highly virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) causes Newcastle disease (ND), which is a threat to poultry production worldwide. Effective disease management requires approaches to accurately determine sources of infection, which involves tracking of closely related viruses. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has emerged as a research tool for thorough genetic characterization of infectious organisms. Previously formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues have been used to conduct retrospective epidemiological studies of related but genetically distinct viruses. However, this study extends the applicability of NGS for complete genome analysis of viruses from FFPE tissues to track the evolution of closely related viruses. Total RNA was obtained from FFPE spleens, lungs, brains, and small intestines of chickens in 11 poultry flocks during disease outbreaks in Pakistan. The RNA was randomly sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq instrument and the raw data were analyzed using a custom data analysis pipeline that includes de novo assembly. Genomes of virulent NDV were detected in 10/11 birds: eight nearly complete (> 95% coverage of concatenated coding sequence) and two partial genomes. Phylogeny of the NDV complete genome coding sequences was compared to current methods of analysis based on the full and partial fusion genes and determined that the approach provided a better phylogenetic resolution. Two distinct lineages of sub-genotype VIIi NDV were identified to be simultaneously circulating in Pakistani poultry. Non-targeted NGS of total RNA from FFPE tissues coupled with de novo assembly provided a reliable, safe, and affordable method to conduct epidemiological and evolutionary studies to facilitate management of ND in Pakistan.
  8. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    Newcastle disease virus (NDV) has a wide avian host range and a high degree of genetic variability, and virulent strains cause Newcastle disease (ND), a worldwide concern for poultry health. Although NDV has been studied in Nigeria, genetic information about the viruses involved in the endemicity of the disease and the transmission that likely occurs at the poultry-wildlife interface is still largely incomplete. Next-generation and Sanger sequencing was performed to provide complete (n = 73) and partial genomic sequence data (n = 38) for NDV isolates collected from domestic and wild birds in Nigeria during 2002-2015, including the first complete genome sequences of genotype IV and subgenotype VIh from the African continent. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that viruses of seven different genotypes circulated in that period, demonstrating high genetic diversity of NDV for a single country. In addition, a high degree of similarity between NDV isolates from domestic and wild birds was observed, suggesting that spillovers had occurred, including to three species that had not previously been shown to be susceptible to NDV infection. Furthermore, the first spillover of a mesogenic Komarov vaccine virus is documented, suggesting a previous spillover and evolution of this virus. The similarities between viruses from poultry and multiple bird species and the lack of evidence for host adaptation in codon usage suggest that transmission of NDV between poultry and non-poultry birds occurred recently. This is especially significant when considering that some viruses were isolated from species of conservation concern. The high diversity of NDV observed in both domestic and wild birds in Nigeria emphasizes the need for active surveillance and epidemiology of NDV in all bird species.
  9. PubMed DOI
    Previously, we have demonstrated that the recombinant Newcastle disease virus (NDV) expressing the infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) glycoprotein D (gD) conferred protection against both virulent NDV and ILTV challenges in chickens. In this study, we evaluated the genetic stability of the recombinant vaccine after eight serial passages in embryonated chicken eggs (ECE). The vaccine master seed virus at the original egg-passage level 3 (EP3) was diluted and passaged in three separate repetitions (A, B and C) in ECE eight times (EP4 to EP11). RT-PCR analysis of the vaccine seed and egg-passaged virus stocks showed that there was no detectable insertion/deletion in the ILTV gD insert region. Next-generation sequencing analysis of the EP3 and EP11 virus stocks confirmed their genome integrity and revealed a total of thirteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, none of these SNPs were located in the ILTV gD insert or any of the known critical biological determinant positions. Virological and immunofluorescent assays provided additional evidence that the EP11 virus stocks retained their growth kinetics, low pathogenicity, and robust level of gD expression comparable to that of the vaccine master seed virus. This indicated that the SNPs were non-detrimental sporadic mutations. These results demonstrated that the insertion of ILTV gD gene into the NDV LaSota backbone did not significantly affect the genetic stability of the recombinant virus and that the rLS/ILTV-gD virus is a safe and genetically stable vaccine candidate after at least eight serial passages in ECE.
  10. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Five, class II, virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) isolates of different genotypes from different host species were evaluated for their ability to infect, cause disease, and transmit to naïve chickens. Groups of five birds received a low, medium, or high dose, by the oculonasal route, of one of the following vNDV: three chicken-origin, one cormorant-origin, and one pigeon-origin. Three naïve birds were added to each group at two days post-inoculation (DPI) to evaluate transmission. Virus shedding was quantified from swabs (2/4/7 DPI), and seroconversion was evaluated at 14 DPI. All inoculated and contact birds in the chicken-origin vNDV groups succumbed to infection, displaying clinical signs typical of Newcastle disease and shed virus titers above 6 log10 EID50/ml. Birds receiving a high and medium dose of the cormorant virus showed primarily neurological clinical signs with 80% and 60% mortality, respectively. The chickens showing clinical disease shed virus at titers below 4 log10 EID50/ml, and the remaining bird in the high dose group seroconverted with a high HI titer. For the pigeon-origin virus, no clinical signs were observed in any of the birds, but all 5 chickens in the high challenge dose and one bird in the medium challenge group shed virus at mean titers of 3.1 and 2.2 log10 EID50/ml, respectively. Overall, the chicken-origin viruses infected chickens and efficiently transmitted to naïve birds, while the cormorant- and pigeon-origin viruses infected chickens only at the higher doses and did not transmit to other birds.
  11. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    Virulent Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) have been present in Mexico since 1946, and recently, multiple outbreaks have been reported in the country. Here, we characterized eleven NDV isolated from apparently healthy wild birds and backyard chickens in three different locations of Jalisco, Mexico in 2017. Total RNA from NDV was reverse-transcribed, and 1285 nucleotides, which includes 3/4 of the fusion gene, was amplified and sequenced using a long-read MinION sequencing method. The sequences were 99.99-100% identical to the corresponding region obtained using the Illumina MiSeq. Phylogenetic analysis using MinION sequences demonstrated that nine virulent NDV from wild birds belonged to sub-genotypes Vc and VIn, and two backyard chicken isolates were of sub-genotype Vc. The sub-genotype Vc viruses had nucleotide sequence identity that ranged from 97.7 to 98% to a virus of the same sub-genotype isolated from a chicken in Mexico in 2010. Three viruses from pigeons had 96.3-98.7% nucleotide identity to sub-genotype VIn pigeon viruses, commonly referred to as pigeon paramyxovirus, isolated in the USA during 2000-2016. This study demonstrates that viruses of sub-genotype Vc are still present in Mexico, and the detection of this sub-genotype in both chickens and wild birds suggests that transmission among these species may represent a biosecurity risk. This is the first detection and complete genome sequencing of genotype VI NDV from Mexico. In addition, the utilization of an optimized long-read sequencing method for rapid virulence and genotype identification using the Oxford nanopore MinION system is demonstrated.
  12. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    A Newcastle disease virus was isolated from a chicken from a live bird market in the Mbeya region of Tanzania. Complete genome characterization of the isolate identified it as a member of subgenotype Vd. This is the first complete genome sequence of this subgenotype.
  13. PubMed DOI 14 citations
    Several Avian paramyxoviruses 1 (synonymous with Newcastle disease virus or NDV, used hereafter) classification systems have been proposed for strain identification and differentiation. These systems pioneered classification efforts; however, they were based on different approaches and lacked objective criteria for the differentiation of isolates. These differences have created discrepancies among systems, rendering discussions and comparisons across studies difficult. Although a system that used objective classification criteria was proposed by Diel and co-workers in 2012, the ample worldwide circulation and constant evolution of NDV, and utilization of only some of the criteria, led to identical naming and/or incorrect assigning of new sub/genotypes. To address these issues, an international consortium of experts was convened to undertake in-depth analyses of NDV genetic diversity. This consortium generated curated, up-to-date, complete fusion gene class I and class II datasets of all known NDV for public use, performed comprehensive phylogenetic neighbor-Joining, maximum-likelihood, Bayesian and nucleotide distance analyses, and compared these inference methods. An updated NDV classification and nomenclature system that incorporates phylogenetic topology, genetic distances, branch support, and epidemiological independence was developed. This new consensus system maintains two NDV classes and existing genotypes, identifies three new class II genotypes, and reduces the number of sub-genotypes. In order to track the ancestry of viruses, a dichotomous naming system for designating sub-genotypes was introduced. In addition, a pilot dataset and sub-trees rooting guidelines for rapid preliminary genotype identification of new isolates are provided. Guidelines for sequence dataset curation and phylogenetic inference, and a detailed comparison between the updated and previous systems are included. To increase the speed of phylogenetic inference and ensure consistency between laboratories, detailed guidelines for the use of a supercomputer are also provided. The proposed unified classification system will facilitate future studies of NDV evolution and epidemiology, and comparison of results obtained across the world.
  14. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    Avian infectious bronchitis virus is the causative agent of a highly contagious disease that results in severe economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Here, we report the first coding-complete genome sequence of strain DMV/1639 of the GI-17 lineage, isolated from broiler chickens in Georgia in 2019.
  15. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    Poultry production plays an important role in the economy and livelihoods of rural households in Kenya. As part of a surveillance program, avian influenza virus (AIV)-specific real-time RT-PCR (RRT-PCR) was used to screen 282 oropharyngeal swabs collected from chickens at six live bird markets (LBMs) and 33 backyard poultry farms in Kenya and 8 positive samples were detected. Virus was isolated in eggs from five samples, sequenced, and identified as H9N2 low pathogenic AIV (LPAIV) G1 lineage, with highest nucleotide sequence identity (98.6-99.9%) to a 2017 Ugandan H9N2 isolate. The H9N2 contained molecular markers for mammalian receptor specificity, implying their zoonotic potential. Virus pathogenesis and transmissibility was assessed by inoculating low and medium virus doses of a representative Kenyan H9N2 LPAIV isolate into experimental chickens and exposing them to naïve uninfected chickens at 2 -days post inoculation (dpi). Virus shedding was determined at 2/4/7 dpi and 2/5 days post placement (dpp), and seroconversion determined at 14 dpi/12 dpp. None of the directly-inoculated or contact birds exhibited any mortality or clinical disease signs. All directly-inoculated birds in the low dose group shed virus during the experiment, while only one contact bird shed virus at 2 dpp. Only two directly-inoculated birds that shed high virus titers seroconverted in that group. All birds in the medium dose group shed virus at 4/7 dpi and at 5 dpp, and they all seroconverted at 12/14 dpp. This is the first reported detection of H9N2 LPAIV from Kenya and it was shown to be infectious and transmissible in chickens by direct contact and represents a new disease threat to poultry and potentially to people.
  16. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    Avian avulavirus (commonly known as avian paramyxovirus-1 or APMV-1) can cause disease of varying severity in both domestic and wild birds. Understanding how viruses move among hosts and geography would be useful for informing prevention and control efforts. A Bayesian statistical framework was employed to estimate the evolutionary history of 1602 complete fusion gene APMV-1 sequences collected from 1970 to 2016 in order to infer viral transmission between avian host orders and diffusion among geographic regions. Ancestral states were estimated with a non-reversible continuous-time Markov chain model, allowing transition rates between discrete states to be calculated. The evolutionary analyses were stratified by APMV-1 classes I (n = 198) and II (n = 1404), and only those sequences collected between 2006 and 2016 were allowed to contribute host and location information to the viral migration networks.While the current data was unable to assess impact of host domestication status on APMV-1 diffusion, these analyses supported the sharing of APMV-1 among divergent host taxa. The highest supported transition rate for both classes existed from domestic chickens to Anseriformes (class I:6.18 transitions/year, 95% highest posterior density (HPD) 0.31-20.02, Bayes factor (BF) = 367.2; class II:2.88 transitions/year, 95%HPD 1.9-4.06, BF = 34,582.9). Further, among class II viruses, domestic chickens also acted as a source for Columbiformes (BF = 34,582.9), other Galliformes (BF = 34,582.9), and Psittaciformes (BF = 34,582.9). Columbiformes was also a highly supported source to Anseriformes (BF = 322.0) and domestic chickens (BF = 402.6). Additionally, our results provide support for the diffusion of viruses among continents and regions, but no interhemispheric viral exchange between 2006 and 2016. Among class II viruses, the highest transition rates were estimated from South Asia to the Middle East (1.21 transitions/year; 95%HPD 0.36-2.45; BF = 67,107.8), from Europe to East Asia (1.17 transitions/year; 95%HPD 0.12-2.61; BF = 436.2) and from Europe to Africa (1.06 transitions/year, 95%HPD 0.07-2.51; BF = 169.3).While migration appears to occur infrequently, geographic movement may be important in determining viral diversification and population structure. In contrast, inter-order transmission of APMV-1 may occur readily, but most events are transient with few lineages persisting in novel hosts.
  17. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Over the last decade the US broiler industry has fought long-lasting outbreaks of infectious laryngotracheitis (ILTV). Previously, nine genotypes (I-IX) of ILTVs have been recognized using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLP) method with three viral alleles (gB, gM and UL47/gG). In this study, the genotyping system was simplified to six genotypes by amplicon sequencing and examining discriminating single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within these open reading frames. Using phylogenomic analysis of 27 full genomes of ILTV, a single allele (ORF A/ORF B) was identified containing SNPs that could differentiate ILTVs into genotypes congruent with the phylogenetic partitioning. The allelic variations allowed for the cataloging of the 27 strains into 5 genotypes: vaccinal TCO, vaccinal CEO, virulent CEO-like, virulent US and virulent US backyard flocks from 1980 to 1990, correlating with the PCR-RFLP genotypes I/ II/ III (TCO), IV (CEO), V (virulent CEO-like), VI (virulent US) and VII/VIII/IX (virulent US backyard flock isolates). With the unique capabilities of third generation sequencing, we investigated the application of Oxford Nanopore MinION technology for rapid sequencing of the amplicons generated in the single-allele assay. This technology was an improvement over Sanger-based sequencing of the single allele amplicons due to a booster amplification step in the MinION sequencing protocol. Overall, there was a 90% correlation between the genotyping results of the single-allele assay and the multi-allele assay. Surveillance of emerging ILTV strains could greatly benefit from real-time amplicon sequencing using the single-allele assay and MinION sequencing. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS A multi-allelic assay identified nine ILTV genotypes circulating in the US Single-allele genotyping is congruent with whole genome phylogenetic partitioning US ILTV strains can be grouped into five genotypes using the single-allele assay The single-allele assay can be done using MinION sequencing of barcoded amplicons.
  18. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was detected by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) from total RNA isolated from a chicken spleen of a backyard flock in Jordan. The complete coding genome sequence of NDV/chicken/Jordan/J11-spleen/2018 was obtained with MiSeq (Illumina) sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated coding sequences classified the virus as class II subgenotype VIIi.
  19. PubMed DOI 4 citations
    This study investigated the pathological changes in the reproductive system of laying hens that lead to the poor egg production and quality in Newcastle disease (ND) and the distribution of the virus in the system. Two hundred and forty Isa-Brown pullets were divided randomly into vaccinated and unvaccinated groups (n = 120 each). The vaccinated group was given Hitchner B1 vaccine at 1 day of age, La Sota vaccine at 4 weeks of age and Komarov vaccine at 9 and 16 weeks of age. At the peak of egg production, the laying hens (32 weeks old) were assigned randomly into four groups (n = 60): VC, vaccinated with ND vaccines and inoculated intramuscularly with velogenic viscerotropic ND virus (vvNDV); VU, vaccinated unchallenged; UC, unvaccinated challenged; and UU, unvaccinated unchallenged. UC hens showed depression, diarrhoea and later torticollis. Mortality in UC hens was 90%. VC hens showed mild anorexia. The body weights of the UC hens were significantly (P <0.05) lower than those of UU hens. VC and UC hens showed a significant (P <0.05) drop in egg production. Only UC hens produced abnormal eggs and initially had swollen, oedematous, hyperaemic oviducts followed by atrophy and shortening of the reproductive tract with atresia of the ovarian follicles. The histopathological changes were of necrosis of the epithelium and secretory glands. VC hens showed mild inflammatory changes in the oviduct. Immunohistochemical labelling showed extensive presence of the virus in the ovary, infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, uterus and vagina of UC hens and in the ovary of VC hens. These changes will be the cause of serious egg production problems, especially in vaccinated layers in countries where vvNDV is enzootic.
  20. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    Modern tandem MS-based sequencing technologies allow for the parallel measurement of concentration and covalent modifications for proteins within a complex sample. Recently, this capability has been extended to probe a proteome's three-dimensional structure and conformational state by determining the thermal denaturation profile of thousands of proteins simultaneously. Although many animals and their resident microbes exist under a relatively narrow, regulated physiological temperature range, plants take on the often widely ranging temperature of their surroundings, possibly influencing the evolution of protein thermal stability. In this report we present the first in-depth look at the thermal proteome of a plant species, the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana By profiling the melting curves of over 1700 Arabidopsis proteins using six biological replicates, we have observed significant correlation between protein thermostability and several known protein characteristics, including molecular weight and the composition ratio of charged to polar amino acids. We also report on a divergence of the thermostability of the core and regulatory domains of the plant 26S proteasome that may reflect a unique property of the way protein turnover is regulated during temperature stress. Lastly, the highly replicated database of Arabidopsis melting temperatures reported herein provides baseline data on the variability of protein behavior in the assay. Unfolding behavior and experiment-to-experiment variability were observed to be protein-specific traits, and thus this data can serve to inform the design and interpretation of future targeted assays to probe the conformational status of proteins from plants exposed to different chemical, environmental and genetic challenges.
  21. PubMed DOI 9 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) outbreaks are global challenges to the poultry industry. Effective management requires rapid identification and virulence prediction of the circulating Newcastle disease viruses (NDV), the causative agent of ND. However, these diagnostics are hindered by the genetic diversity and rapid evolution of NDVs.An amplicon sequencing (AmpSeq) workflow for virulence and genotype prediction of NDV samples using a third-generation, real-time DNA sequencing platform is described here. 1D MinION sequencing of barcoded NDV amplicons was performed using 33 egg-grown isolates, (15 NDV genotypes), and 15 clinical swab samples collected from field outbreaks. Assembly-based data analysis was performed in a customized, Galaxy-based AmpSeq workflow. MinION-based results were compared to previously published sequences and to sequences obtained using a previously published Illumina MiSeq workflow.For all egg-grown isolates, NDV was detected and virulence and genotype were accurately predicted. For clinical samples, NDV was detected in ten of eleven NDV samples. Six of the clinical samples contained two mixed genotypes as determined by MiSeq, of which the MinION method detected both genotypes in four samples. Additionally, testing a dilution series of one NDV isolate resulted in NDV detection in a dilution as low as 101 50% egg infectious dose per milliliter. This was accomplished in as little as 7 min of sequencing time, with a 98.37% sequence identity compared to the expected consensus obtained by MiSeq.The depth of sequencing, fast sequencing capabilities, accuracy of the consensus sequences, and the low cost of multiplexing allowed for effective virulence prediction and genotype identification of NDVs currently circulating worldwide. The sensitivity of this protocol was preliminary tested using only one genotype. After more extensive evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity, this protocol will likely be applicable to the detection and characterization of NDV.
  22. PubMed DOI 1 citation
    Here, we present the draft genome sequences of five multidrug-resistant novel Ochrobactrum species strains isolated from a pigeon, a duck, and chickens from Nigeria in 2009.
  23. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    Fowlpox virus (FWPV), the type species of the genus Avipoxvirus family Poxviridae, is a large double-stranded DNA virus that causes fowlpox in chickens and turkeys. Notably, sequences of the avian retrovirus reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) are frequently found integrated into the genome of FWPV. While some FWPV strains carry remnants of the REV long terminal repeats (LTRs), other strains have been shown to contain insertions of nearly the full-length REV provirus in their genome. In the present study we detected heterogeneous FWPV populations carrying the REV LTR or the near full-length REV provirus genome in a Merriam's wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo merriami). The bird presented papules distributed throughout the non-feathered areas of the head. Avipoxvirus-like virions were observed in the lesions by transmission electron microscopy and the presence of FWPV was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Metagenomic sequencing performed on nucleic acid extracted from the skin lesions revealed two FWPV genome populations carrying either a 197-nt remnant of the REV LTR or a 7939-nt long fragment corresponding to the full-length REV provirus. Notably, PCR amplification using primers targeting FWPV sequences flanking the REV insertion site, confirmed the natural occurrence of the heterogeneous FWPV genome populations in one additional clinical sample from another turkey affected by fowlpox. Additionally, sequencing of a historical FWPV isolate obtained from chickens in the US in 2000 also revealed the presence of the two FWPV-REV genome populations. Results here demonstrate distinct FWPV populations containing variable segments of REV genome integrated into their genome. These distinct genome populations are likely a result of homologous recombination events that take place during FWPV replication.
  24. PubMed DOI
    Here, we present the draft genome sequences of three Ochrobactrum sp. strains with multidrug-resistant properties, isolated in 2015 from a pigeon and two chickens in Pakistan.
  25. PubMed DOI 21 citations
    The remarkable diversity and mobility of Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) includes virulent viruses of genotype VI. These viruses are often referred to as pigeon paramyxoviruses 1 because they are normally isolated and cause clinical disease in birds from the Columbidae family. Genotype VI viruses occasionally infect, and may also cause clinical disease in poultry. Thus, the evolution, current spread and detection of these viruses are relevant to avian health.Here, we describe the isolation and genomic characterization of six Egyptian (2015), four Pakistani (2015), and two Ukrainian (2007, 2013) recent pigeon-derived NDV isolates of sub-genotype VIg. These viruses are closely related to isolates from Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Russia. In addition, eight genetically related NDV isolates from Pakistan (2014-2016) that define a new sub-genotype (VIm) are described. All of these viruses, and the ancestral Bulgarian (n = 2) and South Korean (n = 2) viruses described here, have predicted virulent cleavage sites of the fusion protein, and those selected for further characterization have intracerebral pathogenicity index assay values characteristic of NDV of genotype VI (1.31 to 1.48). A validated matrix gene real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) NDV test detect all tested isolates. However, the validated rRT-PCR test that is normally used to identify the virulent fusion gene fails to detect the Egyptian and Ukrainian viruses due to mismatches in primers and probe. A new rapid rRT-PCR test to determine the presence of virulent cleavage sites for viruses from sub-genotypes VIg was developed and evaluated on these and other viruses.We describe the almost simultaneous circulation and continuous evolution of genotype VI Newcastle disease viruses in distant locations, suggesting epidemiological connections among three continents. As pigeons are not migratory, this study suggests the need to understand the possible role of human activity in the dispersal of these viruses. Complete genomic characterization identified previously unrecognized genetic diversity that contributes to diagnostic failure and will facilitate future evolutionary studies. These results highlight the importance of conducting active surveillance on pigeons worldwide and the need to update existent rapid diagnostic protocols to detect emerging viral variants and help manage the disease in affected regions.
  26. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Globally, poultry producers report that birds well-vaccinated for Newcastle disease (ND) often present clinical disease and mortality after infection with virulent strains of Newcastle disease (vNDV), which is contrary to what is observed in experimental settings. One hypothesis for this discrepancy is that the birds in the field may be exposed to multiple successive challenges with vNDV, rather than one challenge dose, and that the repeated infection may overwhelm the immune system and neutralizing antibodies available to prevent clinical disease. In this study, we evaluated this hypothesis under highly controlled conditions. We challenged well-vaccinated chickens with high doses of vNDV daily for 10 days, and looked for signs of clinical disease, changes in antibody titers, and mortality. All sham-vaccinated birds died by the fourth day postchallenge. No morbidity or mortality was observed in any of the NDV-vaccinated birds up to 14 days postchallenge; repeated high-dose challenges of vNDV was not sufficient to overcome vaccine immunity.
  27. PubMed DOI
    Inactivation of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) has been routinely achieved with heat, β-propiolactone, binary ethylenimine, ultraviolet light and formalin. However, these strategies have not been tested for cell surface ligand or receptor phenotype in viral-infected chicken immune cells. To study the capacity of fixation buffers to preserve surface markers while inactivating NDV, a primary splenocyte culture was infected with NDV and incubated with a commercial intracellular fixation buffer (ICB), formulated with 4% formaldehyde. Splenocytes were fixed with a 1:2 dilution of ICB in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) for 45min at 23°C or 4°C and inactivation of NDV was tested in addition to recognition of antigens by antibodies in fixed and non-fixed splenocytes via flow cytometric analysis. The binding and percentage of splenic CD4+ and CD8+ cells were not affected. In addition, NDV titers as high as 109.5 and 107.6 EID50 in allantoic fluid (AF) and macrophages, respectively, were successfully inactivated after 45min at 23°C and 4°C, confirming the ICB's effectiveness in inactivating high concentrations of NDV. In conclusion, high concentrations of NDV in AF, chicken splenocytes, and macrophages can be inactivated using ICB. Additionally, this method did not compromise cell phenotyping of enriched chicken splenocytes.
  28. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Pigeon paramyxovirus serotype 1 (PPMV-1) is a globally distributed, virulent member of the avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 serogroup that causes mortality in columbiformes and poultry. Following introduction into the United States in the mid-1980s, PPMV-1 rapidly spread causing numerous mortality events in Eurasian collared-doves ( Streptopelia decaocto) (ECDOs) and rock pigeons ( Columba livia) (ROPIs). The investigators reviewed pathological findings of 70 naturally infected, free-ranging columbiforms from 25 different mortality events in the United States. Immunohistochemistry targeting PPMV-1 nucleoprotein was used to determine the tissue distribution of the virus in a subset of 17 birds from 10 of the studied outbreaks. ECDOs (61 birds) and ROPIs (9 birds) were the only species in which PPMV-1-associated disease was confirmed by viral isolation and presence of histologic lesions. Acute to subacute tubulointerstitial nephritis and necrotizing pancreatitis were the most frequent histologic lesions, with immunolabeling of viral antigen in renal tubular epithelial cells and pancreatic acinar epithelium. Lymphoid depletion of bursa of Fabricius and spleen was common, but the presence of viral antigen in these organs was inconsistent among infected birds. Hepatocellular necrosis was occasionally present with immunolabeling of hypertrophic Kupffer cells, and immunopositive eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were present in hepatocytes of 1 ECDO. Immunopositive lymphocytic choroiditis was present in 1 ECDO, while lymphocytic meningoencephalitis was frequent in ROPIs in absence of immunolabeling. This study demonstrates widespread presence of PPMV-1 antigen in association with histologic lesions, confirming the lethal potential of this virus in these particular bird species.
  29. PubMed DOI 19 citations
    Virulent viruses of the panzootic Avian avulavirus 1 (AAvV-1) of sub-genotype VIIi were repeatedly isolated (2011-2016) from commercial chickens and from multiple non-poultry avian species in Pakistan. These findings provide evidence for the existence of epidemiological links between Newcastle disease outbreaks in commercial poultry and infections with virulent AAvV-1 strains in other avian species kept in proximity to poultry. Our results suggest that the endemicity of Newcastle disease in Pakistan involves multiple hosts and environments.
  30. PubMed DOI 6 citations
    Avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1) viruses are globally distributed, infect wild, peridomestic, and domestic birds, and sometimes lead to outbreaks of disease. Thus, the maintenance, evolution, and spread of APMV-1 viruses are relevant to avian health.In this study we sequenced the fusion gene from 58 APMV-1 isolates recovered from thirteen species of wild birds sampled throughout the USA during 2007-2014. We analyzed sequence information with previously reported data in order to assess contemporary genetic diversity and inter-taxa/inter-region exchange of APMV-1 in wild birds sampled in North America.Our results suggest that wild birds maintain previously undescribed genetic diversity of APMV-1; however, such diversity is unlikely to be pathogenic to domestic poultry. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that APMV-1 diversity detected in wild birds of North America has been found in birds belonging to numerous taxonomic host orders and within hosts inhabiting multiple geographic regions suggesting some level of viral exchange. However, our results also provide statistical support for associations between phylogenetic tree topology and host taxonomic order/region of sample origin which supports restricted exchange among taxa and geographical regions of North America for some APMV-1 sub-genotypes.We identify previously unrecognized genetic diversity of APMV-1 in wild birds in North America which is likely a function of continued viral evolution in reservoir hosts. We did not, however, find support for the emergence or maintenance of APMV-1 strains predicted to be pathogenic to poultry in wild birds of North America outside of the order Suliformes (i.e., cormorants). Furthermore, genetic evidence suggests that ecological drivers or other mechanisms may restrict viral exchange among taxa and regions of North America. Additional and more systematic sampling for APMV-1 in North America would likely provide further inference on viral dynamics for this infectious agent in wild bird populations.
  31. PubMed DOI 8 citations
    Reverse genetics allows for the generation of recombinant viruses or vectors used in functional studies, vaccine development, and gene therapy. This technique enables genetic manipulation and cloning of viral genomes, gene mutation through site-directed mutagenesis, along with gene insertion or deletion, among other studies. An in vitro infection-based system including the highly attenuated vaccinia virus Ankara strain expressing the T7 RNA polymerase from bacteriophage T7, with co-transfection of three helper plasmids and a full-length cDNA plasmid, was successfully developed to rescue genetically modified Newcastle disease viruses in 1999. In this chapter, the materials and the methods involved in rescuing Newcastle disease virus (NDV) from cDNA, utilizing site-directed mutagenesis and gene replacement techniques, are described in detail.
  32. PubMed DOI 35 citations
    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) allows ultra-deep sequencing of nucleic acids. The use of sequence-independent amplification of viral nucleic acids without utilization of target-specific primers provides advantages over traditional sequencing methods and allows detection of unsuspected variants and co-infecting agents. However, NGS is not widely used for small RNA viruses because of incorrectly perceived cost estimates and inefficient utilization of freely available bioinformatics tools.In this study, we have utilized NGS-based random sequencing of total RNA combined with barcode multiplexing of libraries to quickly, effectively and simultaneously characterize the genomic sequences of multiple avian paramyxoviruses. Thirty libraries were prepared from diagnostic samples amplified in allantoic fluids and their total RNAs were sequenced in a single flow cell on an Illumina MiSeq instrument. After digital normalization, data were assembled using the MIRA assembler within a customized workflow on the Galaxy platform.Twenty-eight avian paramyxovirus 1 (APMV-1), one APMV-13, four avian influenza and two infectious bronchitis virus complete or nearly complete genome sequences were obtained from the single run. The 29 avian paramyxovirus genomes displayed 99.6% mean coverage based on bases with Phred quality scores of 30 or more. The lower and upper quartiles of sample median depth per position for those 29 samples were 2984 and 6894, respectively, indicating coverage across samples sufficient for deep variant analysis. Sample processing and library preparation took approximately 25-30 h, the sequencing run took 39 h, and processing through the Galaxy workflow took approximately 2-3 h. The cost of all steps, excluding labor, was estimated to be 106 USD per sample.This work describes an efficient multiplexing NGS approach, a detailed analysis workflow, and customized tools for the characterization of the genomes of RNA viruses. The combination of multiplexing NGS technology with the Galaxy workflow platform resulted in a fast, user-friendly, and cost-efficient protocol for the simultaneous characterization of multiple full-length viral genomes. Twenty-nine full-length or near-full-length APMV genomes with a high median depth were successfully sequenced out of 30 samples. The applied de novo assembly approach also allowed identification of mixed viral populations in some of the samples.
  33. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    In order to characterize the evolutionary adaptations of avian paramyxovirus 1 (APMV-1) genomes, we have compared codon usage and codon adaptation indexes among groups of Newcastle disease viruses that differ in biological, ecological, and genetic characteristics. We have used available GenBank complete genome sequences, and compared codon usage of class I (CI-29 sequences containing 132,675 codons) and class II (CII-259 sequences containing 1,184,925 codons) APMV-1 genomes. We also compared available complete fusion protein gene sequences (CI-175 sequences containing 96,775 codons; CII-1166 sequences containing 644,798 codons). Adaptation to Gallus gallus was compared among the different classes of viruses, among different genomic regions based on transcriptional levels, or among the fusion gene. Interestingly, distinctive codon usage determined by differences in relative synonymous codon usage and by codon adaptation indexes was observed for the two APMV-1 classes and for different transcriptional regions within classes. Furthermore, differential use of the third codon position and preferential use of codon pairs were seen for the two different classes and for selected genotypes of class II despite the fact that there were no large differences in nucleotide composition. The data suggest that codon usage has changed significantly since the two APMV-1 classes diverged, however, these changes are not significantly pronounced among viruses of the same genotype, suggesting that codon adaptation in APMV-1 occurs through a slow evolutionary process.
  34. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    Two complete genome sequences of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) are described here. Virulent isolates pigeon/Pakistan/Lahore/21A/2015 and pigeon/Pakistan/Lahore/25A/2015 were obtained from racing pigeons sampled in the Pakistani province of Punjab during 2015. Phylogenetic analysis of the fusion protein genes and complete genomes classified the isolates as members of NDV class II, genotype VI.
  35. PubMed DOI 241 citations
    In 2016, the order Mononegavirales was emended through the addition of two new families (Mymonaviridae and Sunviridae), the elevation of the paramyxoviral subfamily Pneumovirinae to family status (Pneumoviridae), the addition of five free-floating genera (Anphevirus, Arlivirus, Chengtivirus, Crustavirus, and Wastrivirus), and several other changes at the genus and species levels. This article presents the updated taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales as now accepted by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
  36. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) strain, duck/Pakistan/Lahore/AW-123/2015, isolated from apparently healthy laying ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) from the province of Punjab, Pakistan. The virus has a genome length of 15,192 nucleotides and is classified as member of subgenotype VIIi, class II.
  37. PubMed DOI 30 citations
    Our study demonstrates the repeated isolation of vaccine-derived Newcastle disease viruses from different species of wild birds across four continents from 1997 through 2014. The data indicate that at least 17 species from ten avian orders occupying different habitats excrete vaccine-derived Newcastle disease viruses. The most frequently reported isolates were detected among individuals in the order Columbiformes (n = 23), followed in frequency by the order Anseriformes (n = 13). Samples were isolated from both free-ranging (n = 47) and wild birds kept in captivity (n = 7). The number of recovered vaccine-derived viruses corresponded with the most widely utilized vaccines, LaSota (n = 28) and Hitchner B1 (n = 19). Other detected vaccine-derived viruses resembled the PHY-LMV2 and V4 vaccines, with five and two cases, respectively. These results and the ubiquitous and synanthropic nature of wild pigeons highlight their potential role as indicator species for the presence of Newcastle disease virus of low virulence in the environment. The reverse spillover of live agents from domestic animals to wildlife as a result of the expansion of livestock industries employing massive amounts of live virus vaccines represent an underappreciated and poorly studied effect of human activity on wildlife.
  38. PubMed DOI 15 citations
    The first complete genome sequence of a strain of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) of genotype XVII is described here. A velogenic strain (duck/Nigeria/903/KUDU-113/1992) was isolated from an apparently healthy free-roaming domestic duck sampled in Kuru, Nigeria, in 1992. Phylogenetic analysis of the fusion protein gene and complete genome classified the isolate as a member of NDV class II, genotype XVII.
  39. PubMed DOI 8 citations
    Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) is a highly contagious respiratory disease of chickens caused by infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV). The disease is controlled by the use of live-attenuated vaccines. Previously we reported the complete nucleotide sequence of the ILTV vaccine strain (TCO) and identified a nonsense mutation in the gene encoding the ORF C protein. This suggested that the ORF C protein might be associated with viral virulence. To investigate this, an ILTV recombinant with a deletion in the gene encoding ORF C was constructed using the genome of the virulent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenge strain (USDAch). Compared to the parental virus, the ΔORF C recombinant replicated in chicken kidney (CK) cells with similar kinetics and generated similar titres. This demonstrated that the ORF C deletion had no deleterious effects on replication efficacy in vitro. In chickens, the recombinant induced only minor microscopic tracheal lesions when inoculated via the intra-tracheal/ocular route, while the parental strain induced moderate to severe microscopic tracheal lesions, even though virus load in the tracheas were comparable. Groups of chickens vaccinated via eye-drop with the ∆ORFC-ILTV were protected to levels comparable to those elicited by TCO vaccination. To our knowledge, this is the first report that demonstrates the suitability of ∆ORFC as a live-attenuated vaccine to prevent the losses caused by ILTV.
  40. PubMed DOI 75 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) has been defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health as infection of poultry with virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Lesions affecting the neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and reproductive systems are most often observed. The control of ND must include strict biosecurity that prevents virulent NDV from contacting poultry, and also proper administration of efficacious vaccines. When administered correctly to healthy birds, ND vaccines formulated with NDV of low virulence or viral-vectored vaccines that express the NDV fusion protein are able to prevent clinical disease and mortality in chickens upon infection with virulent NDV. Live and inactivated vaccines have been widely used since the 1950's. Recombinant and antigenically matched vaccines have been adopted recently in some countries, and many other vaccine approaches have been only evaluated experimentally. Despite decades of research and development towards formulation of an optimal ND vaccine, improvements are still needed. Impediments to prevent outbreaks include uneven vaccine application when using mass administration techniques in larger commercial settings, the difficulties associated with vaccinating free-roaming, multi-age birds of village flocks, and difficulties maintaining the cold chain to preserve the thermo-labile antigens in the vaccines. Incomplete or improper immunization often results in the disease and death of poultry after infection with virulent NDV. Another cause of decreased vaccine efficacy is the existence of antibodies (including maternal) in birds, which can neutralize the vaccine and thereby reduce the effectiveness of ND vaccines. In this review, a historical perspective, summary of the current situation for ND and NDV strains, and a review of traditional and experimental ND vaccines are presented.
  41. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    In the US, sampling for avian paramyxovirus serotype-1 (APMV-1) is generally conducted when morbidity or mortality events occur involving certain families of wild birds known to be affected by the virus, such as cormorants (Family Phalacrocoracidae), pigeons, doves (Family Columbidae), or pelicans (Family Pelecanidae). To quantify the prevalence of APMV-1 in apparently healthy wild birds and to determine its geographic distribution, we collected swab and serum samples from >3,500 wild birds, representing eight orders from 1 January 2013 to 30 September 2013. Antibody prevalence was highest in wild birds of Order Suliformes (44.9%), followed by Pelecaniformes (24.4%), Anseriformes (22.7%), and Columbiformes (11.7%), with a relatively high occurrence of virulent viruses in Columbiformes (100% of virulent viruses isolated). As expected, viral shedding was comparatively much lower, and positives were only identified in Orders Accipitriformes (1.4%), Columbiformes (1.0%), Anseriformes (0.8%), and Charadriiformes (0.4%). We also demonstrate circulating virulent APMV-1 viruses of genotype VI in apparently healthy Rock Pigeons ( Columba livia ) from March through September in three states.
  42. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    The first complete genome sequence of a strain of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) from genotype XIV is reported here. Strain duck/Nigeria/NG-695/KG.LOM.11-16/2009 was isolated from an apparently healthy domestic duck from a live bird market in Kogi State, Nigeria, in 2009. This strain is classified as a member of subgenotype XIVb of class II.
  43. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    Infectious laryngotracheitis is a highly contagious disease of chickens responsible for significant economic losses for the poultry industry worldwide. The disease is caused by Gallid herpesvirus-1 (GaHV-1) commonly known as the infectious laryngotracheitis virus. Although characterized by their potential to regain virulence, chicken embryo origin (CEO) vaccines are the most effective vaccines against laryngotracheitis as they significantly reduce the replication of challenge virus in the trachea and conjunctiva. Knowledge on the nature of protective immunity elicited by CEO vaccines is very limited. Therefore, elucidating the origin of the immune responses elicited by CEO vaccination is relevant for development of safer control strategies. In this study the transcription levels of key host immune genes (IFN-γ, IFN-β, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18) and viral genes (ICP4, ICP27, UL46, UL49), as well as viral genome loads in trachea were quantified at 6 and 12 hours post-challenge of CEO vaccinated and non-vaccinated chickens. Immediately after challenge a significant increase in IFN-γ gene expression was followed by a significant reduction in viral replication. In contrast to the rapid induction of IFN-γ, expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8) and type I IFN β was either slightly reduced or remained at basal levels. These suggest that the former cytokines may not play important roles during immediate early responses induced by ILTV challenge in either vaccinated or non-vaccinated chickens. Overall, these results suggest that the rapid expression of IFN-γ may induce pathways of antiviral responses necessary for blocking early virus replication.
  44. PubMed DOI 10 citations
    Here, we report the circulation of highly related virulent Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) in Bulgaria and Ukraine from 2002 until 2013. All of these NDV isolates have the same virulence-associated cleavage site ("113RQKR↓F117"), and selected ones have intracerebral pathogenicity index values ranging from 1.61 to 1.96. These isolates are most closely related to viruses circulating in Eastern Europe, followed by viruses isolated in Asia during the same period of time. Interestingly, the majority of the viruses were isolated from backyard poultry, suggesting the possibility of a "domestic" or "urban" cycle of maintenance. The molecular characterization of the nucleotide sequence of the complete fusion protein gene of the studied viruses suggests continued circulation of virulent NDV of sub-genotype VIId in Eastern Europe, with occasional introductions from Asia. Furthermore, the high level of genetic similarity among those isolates suggests that the NDV isolates of sub-genotype VIId from Bulgaria and Ukraine may have been part of a broader epizootic process in Eastern Europe rather than separate introductions from Asia or Africa. The continuous monitoring of backyard poultry flocks for the presence of circulating virulent NDV strains will allow early identification of Newcastle disease outbreaks.
  45. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    Little is known on the interactions between avian influenza virus (AIV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) when coinfecting the same poultry host. In a previous study we found that infection of chickens with a mesogenic strain of NDV (mNDV) can reduce highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) replication, clinical disease, and mortality. This interaction depended on the titer of the viruses used and the timing of the infections. To further explore the effect of mNDV infectious dose in protecting chickens against HPAIV infection, 2-wk-old birds were inoculated with different doses of mNDV (10(4), 10(6), or 10(7) 50% embryo infective dose [EID50]) 3 days before inoculation with a HPAIV (10(5) or 10(6) EID50). Although birds coinfected with the higher mNDV doses (10(6) or 10(7)) survived for longer than birds inoculated only with HPAIV (10(5)), we did not observe the same protection with the lower dose of mNDV (10(4)) or when given the higher dose of HPAIV (10(6)), indicating that the relation between the titer of the two coinfecting viruses is determinant in the outcome. In a similar experiment, a higher number of 4-wk-old birds survived, and for longer, even when given higher HPAIV doses (10(6.3) and 10(7.3) EID50). In addition, we also examined the duration of protection provided by mNDV (10(7) EID50) on a HPAIV infection. Five-week-old chickens were inoculated with mNDV followed by inoculation with 10(6) EID50 of an HPAIV given at 2, 4, 6, or 9 days after the mNDV. HPAIV replication was affected and an increase in survival was found in all coinfected groups when compared to the HPAIV single-inoculated group, but the mortality in coinfected groups was high. In conclusion, previous inoculation with mNDV can affect HPAIV replication in chickens for at least 9 days, but this viral interference is titer dependent.
  46. PubMed DOI 17 citations
    Virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) cause Newcastle disease (ND), a devastating disease of poultry and wild birds. Phylogenetic analyses clearly distinguish historical isolates (obtained prior to 1960) from currently circulating viruses of class II genotypes V, VI, VII, and XII through XVIII. Here, partial and complete genomic sequences of recent virulent isolates of genotypes II and IX from China, Egypt, and India were found to be nearly identical to those of historical viruses isolated in the 1940s. Phylogenetic analysis, nucleotide distances, and rates of change demonstrate that these recent isolates have not evolved significantly from the most closely related ancestors from the 1940s. The low rates of change for these virulent viruses (7.05 × 10(-5) and 2.05 × 10(-5) per year, respectively) and the minimal genetic distances existing between these and historical viruses (0.3 to 1.2%) of the same genotypes indicate an unnatural origin. As with any other RNA virus, Newcastle disease virus is expected to evolve naturally; thus, these findings suggest that some recent field isolates should be excluded from evolutionary studies. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses show that these recent virulent isolates are more closely related to virulent strains isolated during the 1940s, which have been and continue to be used in laboratory and experimental challenge studies. Since the preservation of viable viruses in the environment for over 6 decades is highly unlikely, it is possible that the source of some of the recent virulent viruses isolated from poultry and wild birds might be laboratory viruses.
  47. PubMed DOI 8 citations
    More effective vaccines are needed to control avian diseases. The use of chicken interferon gamma (chIFNγ) during vaccination is a potentially important but controversial approach that may improve the immune response to antigens. In the present study, three different systems to co-deliver chIFNγ with Newcastle disease virus (NDV) antigens were evaluated for their ability to enhance the avian immune response and their protective capacity upon challenge with virulent NDV. These systems consisted of: 1) a DNA vaccine expressing the Newcastle disease virus fusion (F) protein co-administered with a vector expressing the chIFNγ gene for in ovo and booster vaccination, 2) a recombinant Newcastle disease virus expressing the chIFNγ gene (rZJ1*L/IFNγ) used as a live vaccine delivered in ovo and into juvenile chickens, and 3) the same rZJ1*L/IFNγ virus used as an inactivated vaccine for juvenile chickens. Co-administration of chIFNγ with a DNA vaccine expressing the F protein resulted in higher levels of morbidity and mortality, and higher amounts of virulent virus shed after challenge when compared to the group that did not receive chIFNγ. The live vaccine system co-delivering chIFNγ did not enhanced post-vaccination antibody response, nor improved survival after hatch, when administered in ovo, and did not affect survival after challenge when administered to juvenile chickens. The low dose of the inactivated vaccine co-delivering active chIFNγ induced lower antibody titers than the groups that did not receive the cytokine. The high dose of this vaccine did not increase the antibody titers or antigen-specific memory response, and did not reduce the amount of challenge virus shed or mortality after challenge. In summary, regardless of the delivery system, chIFNγ, when administered simultaneously with the vaccine antigen, did not enhance Newcastle disease virus vaccine immunogenicity.
  48. PubMed DOI 1 citation
  49. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND), caused by Newcastle disease virus (NDV), is a devastating disease of poultry and wild birds. ND is prevented by rigorous biocontainment and vaccination. One potential approach to prevent spread of the virus is production of birds that show innate resistance to NDV-caused disease. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology allows adult cells to be reprogrammed into an embryonic stem cell-like state capable of contributing to live offspring and passing on unique traits in a number of species. Recently, iPSC approaches have been successfully applied to avian cells. If chicken induced pluripotent stem cells (ciPSCs) are genetically or epigenetically modified to resist NDV infection, it may be possible to generate ND resistant poultry. There is limited information on the potential of ciPSCs to be infected by NDV, or the capacity of these cells to become resistant to infection. The aim of the present work was to assess the characteristics of the interaction between NDV and ciPSCs, and to develop a selection method that would increase tolerance of these cells to NDV-induced cellular damage.Results showed that ciPSCs were permissive to infection with NDV, and susceptible to virus-mediated cell death. Since ciPSCs that survived infection demonstrated the ability to recover quickly, we devised a system to select surviving cells through multiple infection rounds with NDV. ciPSCs that sustained 9 consecutive infections had a statistically significant increase in survival (up to 36 times) compared to never-infected ciPSCs upon NDV infection (tolerant cells). Increased survival was not caused by a loss of permissiveness to NDV replication. RNA sequencing followed by enrichment pathway analysis showed that numerous metabolic pathways where differentially regulated between tolerant and never-infected ciPSCs.Results demonstrate that ciPSCs are permissive to NDV infection and become increasingly tolerant to NDV under selective pressure, indicating that this system could be applied to study mechanisms of cellular tolerance to NDV.
  50. PubMed DOI 6 citations
    In the past few years, Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains with epizootic characteristics belonging to subgenotypes VIIi and XIIIb emerged in the Middle East and Asia. In this study, 2 NDV strains-1 representative of subgenotype VIIi isolated in Israel (Kvuzat/13) and 1 representative of subgenotype XIIIb isolated in Pakistan (Karachi/07)-were characterized by intracerebral pathogenicity index and detailed clinicopathologic assessment. The intracerebral pathogenicity index values for Kvuzat/13 and Karachi/07 were 1.89 and 1.85, respectively, classifying these strains as virulent by international standards. In 4-week-old White Leghorn chickens, both strains caused 100% mortality within 4 (Kvuzat/13) and 5 (Karachi/07) days postinfection. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry for NDV nucleoprotein showed that both strains had wide systemic distribution, especially targeting lymphoid organs and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues in the respiratory and intestinal tracts. Results of the animal experiment confirm that both Kvuzat/13 and Karachi/07 are highly virulent and behaved as velogenic viscerotropic NDV strains.
  51. PubMed DOI 112 citations
    Newcastle disease is caused by virulent forms of avian paramyxovirus of serotype 1 (APMV-1) and has global economic importance. The disease reached panzootic proportions within two decades after first being identified in 1926 in the United Kingdom and Indonesia and still remains endemic in many countries across the world. Here we review information on the host, temporal, and geographic distribution of APMV-1 genetic diversity based on the evolutionary systematics of the complete coding region of the fusion gene. Strains of APMV-1 are phylogenetically separated into two classes (class I and class II) and further classified into genotypes based on genetic differences. Class I viruses are genetically less diverse, generally present in wild waterfowl, and are of low virulence. Class II viruses are genetically and phenotypically more diverse, frequently isolated from poultry with occasional spillovers into wild birds, and exhibit a wider range of virulence. Waterfowl, cormorants, and pigeons are natural reservoirs of all APMV-1 pathotypes, except viscerotropic velogenic viruses for which natural reservoirs have not been identified. Genotypes I and II within class II include isolates of high and low virulence, the latter often being used as vaccines. Viruses of genotypes III and IX that emerged decades ago are now isolated rarely, but may be found in domestic and wild birds in China. Containing only virulent viruses and responsible for the majority of recent outbreaks in poultry and wild birds, viruses from genotypes V, VI, and VII, are highly mobile and have been isolated on different continents. Conversely, virulent viruses of genotypes XI (Madagascar), XIII (mainly Southwest Asia), XVI (North America) and XIV, XVII and XVIII (Africa) appear to have a more limited geographic distribution and have been isolated predominantly from poultry.
  52. PubMed DOI 14 citations
    Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a virus of a putative new serotype of avian paramyxovirus (APMV). The virus was isolated from a white-fronted goose in Ukraine in 2011 and designated white-fronted goose/Ukraine/Askania-Nova/48-15-02/2011. The genomic characterization of the isolate suggests that it represents the novel avian paramyxovirus group APMV 13.
  53. PubMed DOI 38 citations
    Legumes are essential components of agricultural systems because they enrich the soil in nitrogen and require little environmentally deleterious fertilizers. A complex symbiotic association between legumes and nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria called rhizobia culminates in the development of root nodules, where rhizobia fix atmospheric nitrogen and transfer it to their plant host. Here we describe a quantitative proteomic atlas of the model legume Medicago truncatula and its rhizobial symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti, which includes more than 23,000 proteins, 20,000 phosphorylation sites, and 700 lysine acetylation sites. Our analysis provides insight into mechanisms regulating symbiosis. We identify a calmodulin-binding protein as a key regulator in the host and assign putative roles and targets to host factors (bioactive peptides) that control gene expression in the symbiont. Further mining of this proteomic resource may enable engineering of crops and their microbial partners to increase agricultural productivity and sustainability.
  54. PubMed DOI 2 citations
    Each year millions of chickens die from Newcastle disease virus (NDV) worldwide leading to severe economic and food losses. Current vaccination campaigns have limitations especially in developing countries, due to elevated costs, need of trained personnel for effective vaccine administration, and functional cold chain network to maintain vaccine viability. These problems have led to heightened interest in producing new antiviral strategies, such as RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi methodology is capable of substantially decreasing viral replication at a cellular level, both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we utilize microRNA (miRNA)-expressing constructs (a type of RNA interference) in an attempt to target and knockdown five NDV structural RNAs for nucleoprotein (NP), phosphoprotein (P), matrix (M), fusion (F), and large (L) protein genes. Immortalized chicken embryo fibroblast cells (DF-1) that transiently expressed miRNA targeting NP mRNA, showed increased resistance to NDV-induced cytopathic effects, as determined by cell count, relative to the same cells expressing miRNA against alternative NDV proteins. Upon infection with NDV, DF-1 cells constitutively expressing the NP miRNA construct had improved cell survival up to 48 h post infection (h.p.i) and decreased viral yield up to 24 h.p.i. These results suggest that overexpression of the NP miRNA in cells and perhaps live animal may provide resistance to NDV.
  55. PubMed DOI 132 citations
    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.
  56. PubMed DOI 7 citations
    Traditionally, substrates for production of viral poultry vaccines have been embryonated eggs or adherent primary cell cultures. The difficulties and cost involved in scaling up these substrates in cases of increased demand have been a limitation for vaccine production. Here, we assess the ability of a newly developed chicken-induced pluripotent cell line, BA3, to support replication and growth of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) LaSota vaccine strain. The characteristics and growth profile of the cells were also investigated. BA3 cells could grow in suspension in different media to a high density of up to 7.0 × 10(6) cells/mL and showed rapid proliferation with doubling time of 21 h. Upon infection, a high virus titer of 1.02 × 10(8) EID50/mL was obtained at 24 h post infection using a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 5. In addition, the cell line was shown to be free of endogenous and exogenous Avian Leukosis viruses, Reticuloendotheliosis virus, Fowl Adenovirus, Marek's disease virus, and several Mycoplasma species. In conclusion, BA3 cell line is potentially an excellent candidate for vaccine production due to its highly desirable industrially friendly characteristics of growing to high cell density and capability of growth in serum free medium.
  57. PubMed DOI 10 citations
    Strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) have different abilities to elicit neurologic signs. To determine the capacity of different NDV strains to replicate and cause lesions in the brain, independently of their peripheral replication, 1-day-old chickens were inoculated in the subdural space with 7 NDV strains of different virulence (4 velogenic, 2 mesogenic, 1 lentogenic). Velogenic strains induced severe necrotizing and heterophilic ventriculitis and meningitis, as well as edema of the neuroparenchyma, and replicated extensively in the nervous tissue by day 2 postinfection, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, when all infected birds died. Clinical signs, microscopic lesions, and viral replication were delayed (days 3 and 4 postinfection) with mesogenic strains. Velogenic and mesogenic NDV strains replicated mainly in neurons, and immunolabeling was first detected in surface-oriented areas (periventricular and submeningeal), possibly as a reflection of the inoculation route. The lentogenic NDV strain did not cause death of infected birds; replication was confined to the epithelium of the ependyma and choroid plexuses; and lesions consisted of lymphoid aggregates limited to the choroid plexuses. Results show that extensive NDV replication in the brain is typical of velogenic and mesogenic, but not lentogenic, NDV strains. In addition, this study suggests that differences in the rate of NDV replication in nervous tissue, not differences in neurotropism, differentiate velogenic from mesogenic NDV strains. This study indicates that intracerebral inoculation might be used as an effective method to study the mechanisms of NDV neuropathogenesis.
  58. PubMed DOI 14 citations
    Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) are two of the most important viruses affecting poultry worldwide and produce co-infections especially in areas of the world where both viruses are endemic; but little is known about the interactions between these two viruses. The objective of this study was to determine if co-infection with NDV affects HPAIV replication in chickens. Only infections with virulent NDV strains (mesogenic Pigeon/1984 or velogenic CA/2002), and not a lentogenic NDV strain (LaSota), interfered with the replication of HPAIV A/chicken/Queretaro/14588-19/95 (H5N2) when the H5N2 was given at a high dose (10(6.9) EID50) two days after the NDV inoculation, but despite this interference, mortality was still observed. However, chickens infected with the less virulent mesogenic NDV Pigeon/1984 strain three days prior to being infected with a lower dose (10(5.3-5.5) EID50) of the same or a different HPAIV, A/chicken/Jalisco/CPA-12283-12/2012 (H7N3), had reduced HPAIV replication and increased survival rates. In conclusion, previous infection of chickens with virulent NDV strains can reduce HPAIV replication, and consequently disease and mortality. This interference depends on the titer of the viruses used, the virulence of the NDV, and the timing of the infections. The information obtained from these studies helps to understand the possible interactions and outcomes of infection (disease and virus shedding) when HPAIV and NDV co-infect chickens in the field.
  59. PubMed DOI 18 citations
    Infections with avian influenza viruses (AIV) of low and high pathogenicity (LP and HP) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) are commonly reported in domestic ducks in many parts of the world. However, it is not clear if co-infections with these viruses affect the severity of the diseases they produce, the amount of virus shed, and transmission of the viruses. In this study we infected domestic ducks with a virulent NDV virus (vNDV) and either a LPAIV or a HPAIV by giving the viruses individually, simultaneously, or sequentially two days apart. No clinical signs were observed in ducks infected or co-infected with vNDV and LPAIV, but co-infection decreased the number of ducks shedding vNDV and the amount of virus shed (P<0.01) at 4 days post inoculation (dpi). Co-infection did not affect the number of birds shedding LPAIV, but more LPAIV was shed at 2 dpi (P<0.0001) from ducks inoculated with only LPAIV compared to ducks co-infected with vNDV. Ducks that received the HPAIV with the vNDV simultaneously survived fewer days (P<0.05) compared to the ducks that received the vNDV two days before the HPAIV. Co-infection also reduced transmission of vNDV to naïve contact ducks housed with the inoculated ducks. In conclusion, domestic ducks can become co-infected with vNDV and LPAIV with no effect on clinical signs but with reduction of virus shedding and transmission. These findings indicate that infection with one virus can interfere with replication of another, modifying the pathogenesis and transmission of the viruses.
  60. PubMed DOI 34 citations
    One year after a virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) outbreak in Pakistan, the causative strain was present in vaccinated chickens of multiple farms despite the existence of high-average NDV-specific antibody titers (>4.75 log2). The data suggest a possible role of vaccinated birds as reservoirs of vNDV.
  61. PubMed DOI 21 citations
    Infections of poultry species with virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) cause Newcastle disease (ND), one of the most economically significant and devastating diseases for poultry producers worldwide. Biological engagement programs between the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) of the United States Department of Agriculture and laboratories from Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia collectively have produced a better understanding of the genetic diversity and evolution of the viruses responsible for ND, which is crucial for the control of the disease. The data from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine identified possible migratory routes for birds that may carry both virulent NDV (vNDV) and NDV of low virulence into Europe. In addition, related NDV strains were isolated from wild birds in Ukraine and Nigeria, and from birds in continental USA, Alaska, Russia, and Japan, identifying wild birds as a possible mechanism of intercontinental spread of NDV of low virulence. More recently, the detection of new sub-genotypes of vNDV suggests that a new, fifth, panzootic of ND has already originated in Southeast Asia, extended to the Middle East, and is now entering into Eastern Europe. Despite expected challenges when multiple independent laboratories interact, many scientists from the collaborating countries have successfully been trained by SEPRL on molecular diagnostics, best laboratory practices, and critical biosecurity protocols, providing our partners the capacity to further train other employes and to identify locally the viruses that cause this OIE listed disease. These and other collaborations with partners in Mexico, Bulgaria, Israel, and Tanzania have allowed SEPRL scientists to engage in field studies, to elucidate more aspects of ND epidemiology in endemic countries, and to understand the challenges that the scientists and field veterinarians in these countries face on a daily basis. Finally, new viral characterization tools have been developed and are now available to the scientific community.
  62. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    The genome sequence of a new strain of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) (chicken/Pak/Quality Operations Lab/SFR-611/13) is reported here. The strain was isolated from a vaccinated chicken flock in Pakistan in 2013 and has panzootic features. The genome is 15,192 nucleotides in length and is classified in subgenotype VIIi of genotype VII, class II.
  63. PubMed DOI 9 citations
    With its unique ability to produce high-voltage electric discharges in excess of 600 volts, the South American strong voltage electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) has played an important role in the history of science. Remarkably little is understood about the molecular nature of its electric organs.We present an in-depth analysis of the genome of E. electricus, including the transcriptomes of eight mature tissues: brain, spinal cord, kidney, heart, skeletal muscle, Sachs' electric organ, main electric organ, and Hunter's electric organ. A gene set enrichment analysis based on gene ontology reveals enriched functions in all three electric organs related to transmembrane transport, androgen binding, and signaling. This study also represents the first analysis of miRNA in electric fish. It identified a number of miRNAs displaying electric organ-specific expression patterns, including one novel miRNA highly over-expressed in all three electric organs of E. electricus. All three electric organ tissues also express three conserved miRNAs that have been reported to inhibit muscle development in mammals, suggesting that miRNA-dependent regulation of gene expression might play an important role in specifying an electric organ identity from its muscle precursor. These miRNA data were supported using another complete miRNA profile from muscle and electric organ tissues of a second gymnotiform species.Our work on the E. electricus genome and eight tissue-specific gene expression profiles will greatly facilitate future research on determining the coding and regulatory sequences that specify the function, development, and evolution of electric organs. Moreover, these data and future studies will be informed by the first comprehensive analysis of miRNA expression in an electric fish presented here.
  64. PubMed DOI 7 citations
    In mammals, interleukin 2 (IL-2) has been shown to decrease replication or attenuate pathogenicity of numerous viral pathogens (herpes simplex virus, vaccinia virus, human respiratory syncytial virus, human immunodeficiency virus) by activating natural killer cells (NK), cytotoxic T lymphocytes and expanding subsets of memory cells. In chickens, IL-2 has been shown to activate T cells, and as such it might have the potential to affect replication and pathogenesis of Newcastle disease virus (NDV).To assess the effect of IL-2 during NDV infection in chickens, we produced a recombinant virulent NDV strain expressing chicken IL-2 (rZJ1-IL2). The effects of IL-2 expression were investigated in vivo using the intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) in day-old chicks and pathogenesis experiments in 4-week-old chickens. In these studies, rZJ1-IL2 was compared to a control virus expressing the green fluorescent protein (rZJ1-GFP). Assessed parameters included survival curves, detailed histological and immunohistochemical grading of lesions in multiple organs, and virus isolation in blood, spleen and mucosal secretions of infected birds.At the site of infection (eyelid), expression of IL-2 was demonstrated in areas of rZJ-IL2 replication, confirming IL-2 production in vivo. Compared to rZJ1-GFP strain, rZJ1-IL2 caused milder lesions and displayed decreased viral load in blood, spleen and mucosal secretions of infected birds. In the rZJ1-IL2-infected group, virus level in the blood peaked at day 4 post-infection (pi) (10(3.46) EID50 /0.1 ml) and drastically decreased at day 5 pi (10(0.9) EID50/0.1 ml), while in the rZJ1-GFP-infected group virus levels in the blood reached 10(5.35) EID50/0.1 ml at day 5. However, rZJ1-IL2-infected groups presented survival curves similar to control birds infected with rZJ1-GFP, with comparable clinical signs and 100 % mortality. Further, expression of IL-2 did not significantly affect the ICPI scores, compared to rZJ1-GFP strain.Increased expression of chicken IL-2 during virulent NDV replication in naïve chickens decreased viral titers in blood, spleens, oral and cloacal secretions on day 4-5 post infection. This is consistent with the previously described role of IL-2 in enhancing the clearance of viruses in mammals, such as human respiratory syncytial virus.
  65. PubMed DOI 6 citations
    In plants and fungi the plasma membrane proton pump generates a large proton-motive force that performs essential functions in many processes, including solute transport and the control of cell elongation. Previous studies in yeast and higher plants have indicated that phosphorylation of an auto-inhibitory domain is involved in regulating pump activity. In this report we examine the Medicago truncatula plasma membrane proton pump gene family, and in particular MtAHA5. Yeast complementation assays with phosphomimetic mutations at six candidate sites support a phosphoregulatory role for two residues, suggesting a molecular model to explain early Nod factor-induced changes in the plasma membrane proton-motive force of legume root cells.
  66. PubMed DOI 84 citations
    Virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates from new sub-genotypes within genotype VII are rapidly spreading through Asia and the Middle East causing outbreaks of Newcastle disease (ND) characterized by significant illness and mortality in poultry, suggesting the existence of a fifth panzootic. These viruses, which belong to the new sub-genotypes VIIh and VIIi, have epizootic characteristics and do not appear to have originated directly from other genotype VII NDV isolates that are currently circulating elsewhere, but are related to the present and past Indonesian NDV viruses isolated from wild birds since the 80s. Viruses from sub-genotype VIIh were isolated in Indonesia (2009-2010), Malaysia (2011), China (2011), and Cambodia (2011-2012) and are closely related to the Indonesian NDV isolated in 2007, APMV1/Chicken/Karangasem, Indonesia (Bali-01)/2007. Since 2011 and during 2012 highly related NDV isolates from sub-genotype VIIi have been isolated from poultry production facilities and occasionally from pet birds, throughout Indonesia, Pakistan and Israel. In Pakistan, the viruses of sub-genotype VIIi have replaced NDV isolates of genotype XIII, which were commonly isolated in 2009-2011, and they have become the predominant sub-genotype causing ND outbreaks since 2012. In a similar fashion, the numbers of viruses of sub-genotype VIIi isolated in Israel increased in 2012, and isolates from this sub-genotype are now found more frequently than viruses from the previously predominant sub-genotypes VIId and VIIb, from 2009 to 2012. All NDV isolates of sub-genotype VIIi are approximately 99% identical to each other and are more closely related to Indonesian viruses isolated from 1983 through 1990 than to those of genotype VII, still circulating in the region. Similarly, in addition to the Pakistani NDV isolates of the original genotype XIII (now called sub-genotype XIIIa), there is an additional sub-genotype (XIIIb) that was initially detected in India and Iran. This sub-genotype also appears to have as an ancestor a NDV strain from an Indian cockatoo isolated in 1982. These data suggest the existence of a new panzootic composed of viruses of subgenotype VIIi and support our previous findings of co-evolution of multiple virulent NDV genotypes in unknown reservoirs, e.g. as recorded with the virulent NDV identified in Dominican Republic in 2008. The co-evolution of at least three different sub-genotypes reported here and the apparent close relationship of some of those genotypes from ND viruses isolated from wild birds, suggests that identifying wild life reservoirs may help predict new panzootics.
  67. PubMed DOI 46 citations
    Low pathogenicity avian influenza virus (LPAIV) and lentogenic Newcastle disease virus (lNDV) are commonly reported causes of respiratory disease in poultry worldwide with similar clinical and pathobiological presentation. Co-infections do occur but are not easily detected, and the impact of co-infections on pathobiology is unknown. In this study chickens and turkeys were infected with a lNDV vaccine strain (LaSota) and a H7N2 LPAIV (A/turkey/VA/SEP-67/2002) simultaneously or sequentially three days apart. No clinical signs were observed in chickens co-infected with the lNDV and LPAIV or in chickens infected with the viruses individually. However, the pattern of virus shed was different with co-infected chickens, which excreted lower titers of lNDV and LPAIV at 2 and 3 days post inoculation (dpi) and higher titers at subsequent time points. All turkeys inoculated with the LPAIV, whether or not they were exposed to lNDV, presented mild clinical signs. Co-infection effects were more pronounced in turkeys than in chickens with reduction in the number of birds shedding virus and in virus titers, especially when LPAIV was followed by lNDV. In conclusion, co-infection of chickens or turkeys with lNDV and LPAIV affected the replication dynamics of these viruses but did not affect clinical signs. The effect on virus replication was different depending on the species and on the time of infection. These results suggest that infection with a heterologous virus may result in temporary competition for cell receptors or competent cells for replication, most likely interferon-mediated, which decreases with time.
  68. PubMed DOI 27 citations
    While there is typically 100% survivability in birds challenged with vNDV under experimental conditions, either with vaccines formulated with a strain homologous or heterologous (different genotype) to the challenge virus, vaccine deficiencies are often noted in the field. We have developed an improved and more stringent protocol to experimentally evaluate live NDV vaccines, and showed for the first time under experimental conditions that a statistically significant reduction in mortality can be detected with genotype matched vaccines. Using both vaccine evaluation protocols (traditional and improved), birds were challenged with a vNDV of genotype XIII and the efficacy of live heterologous (genotype II) and homologous (genotype XIII) NDV vaccines was compared. Under traditional vaccination conditions there were no differences in survival upon challenge, but the homologous vaccine induced significantly higher levels of antibodies specific to the challenge virus. With the more stringent challenge system (multiple vaccine doses and early challenge with high titers of vNDV), the birds administered the homologous vaccine had superior humoral responses, reduced clinical signs, and reduced mortality levels than those vaccinated with the heterologous vaccine. These results provide basis for the implementation of more sensitive methods to evaluate vaccine efficacy.
  69. PubMed DOI 13 citations
    Waterfowl are considered the natural reservoir of low-virulence Newcastle disease viruses (loNDVs) and low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs). The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of co-infections with loNDV and LPAIV on the infectivity and excretion of these viruses in mallards. One-month-old mallards were inoculated intranasally with 10(6) median embryo infectious doses of a wild-bird-origin loNDV and A/Mallard/MN/199106/99 (H3N8) LPAIV on the same day or received the LPAIV 2 or 5 days after loNDV inoculation. All mallards became infected with both viruses based on detection of seroconversion and viral shedding. Co-infection resulted in a higher number of cloacal swabs detected positive for LPAIV and a lower number of cloacal swabs detected positive for loNDV in some groups, although differences between groups were not statistically significant. Co-infection did not affect replication of LPAIV in epithelial cells of the lower intestine and bursa of Fabricius. In summary, the results of this study indicate that co-infection with LPAIV and loNDV does not affect the ability of mallards to be infected with either virus although it may have minimal effects on patterns (source and timing) of viral shedding.
  70. PubMed DOI 20 citations
    An outbreak of Newcastle disease (ND) in poultry was reported in Belize in 2008. The characteristics of three virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates from this outbreak (NDV-Belize-3/08, NDV-Belize-4/08, and NDV-Belize-12/08) were assessed by genomic analysis and by clinicopathological characterization in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens. The results showed that all three strains belong to NDV genotype V and are virulent, as assessed by the intracerebral pathogenicity index and the polybasic amino acid sequence at the fusion protein cleavage site. In 4-week-old SPF chickens, NDV-Belize-3/08 behaved as a typical velogenic viscerotropic NDV strain, causing severe necrohemorrhagic lesions in the lymphoid organs, with systemic virus distribution. Phylogenetic analysis of multiple NDV genotype V representatives revealed that genotype V can be divided into three subgenotypes, namely, Va, Vb, and Vc, and that all tested Belizean isolates belong to subgenotype Vb. Furthermore, these isolates are nearly identical to a 2007 isolate from Honduras and appear to have evolved separately from other contemporary viruses circulating in Mexico, clustering into a new clade within NDV subgenotype Vb.
  71. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    Falconid herpesvirus type 1 (FaHV-1) is the causative agent of falcon inclusion body disease, an acute, highly contagious disease of raptors. The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of FaHV-1 has been determined using Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The genome is 204,054 nucleotides in length and has a class E organization. The genome encodes approximately 130 putative protein-coding genes, of which 70 are orthologs of conserved alphaherpesvirus and Mardivirus proteins. Three FaHV-1 genes (UL3.5, UL44.5 and CIRC) were identified that encode protein homologues unique to Mardivirus and Varicellovirus. The genome also encodes homologues to the Mardivirus genes LORF2, LORF3, LORF4, LORF5, SORF3 and SORF4. An opal mutation resulting in premature termination was identified in the FaHV-1 UL43 gene. Phylogenetically, FaHV-1 resides in a monophyletic group with the other Mardiviruses but, along with anatid herpesvirus 1, represents a more distant divergence from the rest of the Mardivirus genus.
  72. PubMed DOI 12 citations
    Despite the existence of 10 avian paramyxovirus (APMV) serotypes, very little is known about the distribution, host species, and ecological factors affecting virus transmission. To better understand the relationship among these factors, we conducted APMV wild bird surveillance in regions of Ukraine suspected of being intercontinental (north to south and east to west) flyways. Surveillance for APMV was conducted in 6,735 wild birds representing 86 species and 8 different orders during 2006 to 2011 through different seasons. Twenty viruses were isolated and subsequently identified as APMV-1 (n = 9), APMV-4 (n = 4), APMV-6 (n = 3), and APMV-7 (n = 4). The highest isolation rate occurred during the autumn migration (0.61%), with viruses isolated from mallards, teals, dunlins, and a wigeon. The rate of isolation was lower during winter (December to March) (0.32%), with viruses isolated from ruddy shelducks, mallards, white-fronted geese, and a starling. During spring migration, nesting, and postnesting (April to August) no APMV strains were isolated out of 1,984 samples tested. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of four APMV-1 and two APMV-4 viruses showed that one APMV-1 virus belonging to class 1 was epidemiologically linked to viruses from China, three class II APMV-1 viruses were epidemiologically connected with viruses from Nigeria and Luxembourg, and one APMV-4 virus was related to goose viruses from Egypt. In summary, we have identified the wild bird species most likely to be infected with APMV, and our data support possible intercontinental transmission of APMVs by wild birds.
  73. PubMed DOI 30 citations
    To characterize the clinicopathologic features of recently described genotypes of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), 1 representative strain of genotype XIV and 2 of genotype XVII, all isolated from West Africa, were used to infect groups of ten 4-week-old specific pathogen-free chickens. The pathobiology of these 3 strains was compared to a South African NDV strain classified within genotype VII. All chickens infected with the 4 viruses died or were euthanized by day 4 postinfection due to the severity of clinical signs. Gross and histologic lesions in all infected chickens included extensive necrosis of lymphoid tissues (thymus, spleen, bursa of Fabricius, cecal tonsils, gut-associated lymphoid tissue), gastrointestinal necrosis and hemorrhages, and severe hemorrhagic conjunctivitis. Immunohistochemical staining revealed systemic viral distribution, and the most intense staining was in the lymphoid organs. Results demonstrate that the 3 West African strains from the previously uncharacterized genotypes XIV and XVII are typical velogenic viscerotropic NDV strains with lesions similar to the South African strain. Under experimental conditions, QV4 and LaSota NDV vaccine strains successfully protected chickens from morbidity and mortality against the genotype VII and one genotype XVII NDV strain, with no significant differences in the amount of virus shed when 2 vaccine schemes were compared.
  74. PubMed DOI 8 citations
    Since their introduction to the United States in the late 19th century, mute swans (Cygnus olor) have become a nuisance species by causing damage to aquatic habitats, acting aggressively toward humans, competing with native waterfowl, and potentially transmitting or serving as a reservoir of infectious diseases to humans and poultry. In an effort to investigate their potential role as a disease reservoir and to establish avian health baselines for pathogens that threaten agricultural species or human health, we collected samples from 858 mute swans and tested them for avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1), avian influenza virus (AIV), and Salmonella spp. when possible. Our results indicate that exposure to APMV-1 and AIV is common (60%, n = 771, and 45%, n = 344, antibody prevalence, respectively) in mute swans, but detection of active viral shedding is less common (8.7%, n = 414, and 0.8%, n = 390, respectively). Salmonella was isolated from three mute swans (0.6%, n = 459), and although the serovars identified have been implicated in previous human outbreaks, it does not appear that Salmonella is commonly carried by mute swans.
  75. PubMed DOI 97 citations
    Little is known about the genetic basis of convergent traits that originate repeatedly over broad taxonomic scales. The myogenic electric organ has evolved six times in fishes to produce electric fields used in communication, navigation, predation, or defense. We have examined the genomic basis of the convergent anatomical and physiological origins of these organs by assembling the genome of the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) and sequencing electric organ and skeletal muscle transcriptomes from three lineages that have independently evolved electric organs. Our results indicate that, despite millions of years of evolution and large differences in the morphology of electric organ cells, independent lineages have leveraged similar transcription factors and developmental and cellular pathways in the evolution of electric organs.
  76. PubMed DOI 40 citations
    Newcastle disease, one of the most important health problems that affects the poultry industry around the world, is caused by virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus. Newcastle disease virus is considered to be endemic in several countries in the Americas, including Mexico. In order to control Newcastle disease outbreaks and spread, intensive vaccination programs, which include vaccines formulated with strains isolated at least 60 years ago, have been established. These vaccines are dissimilar in genotype to the virulent Newcastle disease viruses that had been circulating in Mexico until 2008. Here, 28 isolates obtained between 2008 and 2011 from different regions of Mexico from free-living wild birds, captive wild birds, and poultry were phylogenetically and biologically characterized in order to study the recent epidemiology of Newcastle disease viruses in Mexico. Here we demonstrate that, until recently, virulent viruses from genotype V continued to circulate and evolve in the country. All of the Newcastle disease viruses of low virulence, mostly isolated from nonvaccinated free-living wild birds and captive wild birds, were highly similar to LaSota (genotype II) and PHY-LMV42 (genotype I) vaccine strains. These findings, together with the discovery of two virulent viruses at the Mexican zoo, suggest that Newcastle disease viruses may be escaping from poultry into the environment.
  77. PubMed DOI 19 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) is a contagious disease of birds that can have severe economic consequences for poultry producers, including a serious impact on the international trade of poultry and eggs. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates are also called avian paramyxovirus serotype-1 isolates, but only infection with virulent NDV (vNDV) causes the disease. Virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) isolates are distributed worldwide and have a high capacity to mutate, allowing the development of multiple vNDV genotypes evolving simultaneously at different locations. Large gaps in existing knowledge in the areas of epidemiology and evolution limit the possibilities to control the disease. Recurrent infection of poultry and wild birds allows the maintenance of a reservoir for the viruses; however, the role of wild birds and poultry in vNDV evolution is largely unknown. In the area of diagnostics, the performance of fast and accurate diagnostics methods is often affected by the evolution of viral genomes. Therefore, there is a need for the validation of multiple recently developed experimental tests and a need to develop additional fast and inexpensive diagnostic tests to be used in the field. In the area of vaccination, the development of inexpensive thermostable NDV vaccines and the development of vaccines capable of preventing viral replication are the highest priorities for endemic countries. In countries considered free of vNDV the development of low- cost vaccines that produce minimal vaccine reactions to prevent decreased productivity are higher priorities. Worldwide, better strategies that replace the culling of infected birds are needed to control outbreaks.
  78. PubMed DOI 23 citations
    The genomic sequences of low and high passages of the United States infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) vaccine strains CEO and TCO were determined using hybrid next generation sequencing in order to define genomic changes associated with attenuation and reversion to virulence. Phylogenetic analysis of available full genomes grouped strains into three major clades: TCO, CEO, and Australian. Comparative genomics revealed that TCO attenuation is likely the result of an ORF C truncation. Genes involved in attenuation are generally clade-specific, however four genes ORF C, UL27, UL28 and UL39 commonly contained various mutations across the CEO and TCO lineages. The Thr644 mutation in the UL27 gene encoding glycoprotein B was identified in all virulent US strains. The US10 gene was identified as a potential virulence factor for the TCO revertant 81658. The UL41 gene was responsible for the robust gain in virulence of CEO-Fowl Laryngotracheitis(®) after 20 passages in chickens.
  79. PubMed DOI 16 citations
    The fusion (F) and haemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) proteins of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) are multifunctional proteins that play critical roles during infection. Here, we assessed the ability of NDV to replicate in macrophages and investigated the contribution of the F and HN proteins to NDV infection/replication in these cells. Results of our study revealed that, while presenting similar replication kinetics in a fibroblast cell line (DF1) or in primary non-adherent splenocytes, the NDV strain CA02 replicates better in macrophages (HD11 and primary adherent splenocytes) than the NDV strain Anhinga/93. Notably, exchange of the HN or both F and HN genes of NDV Anhinga/93 by the corresponding genes from NDV CA02 markedly improved the ability of the chimeric viruses to replicate in macrophages. These results indicate that the F and HN proteins are determinants of NDV macrophage host range. This represents the first description of productive NDV infection in macrophages.
  80. PubMed DOI 30 citations
    Avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1), or Newcastle disease virus, is the causative agent of Newcastle disease, one of the most economically important diseases for poultry production worldwide and a cause of periodic epizootics in wild birds in North America. In this study, we examined the genetic diversity of APMV-1 isolated from migratory birds sampled in Alaska, Japan, and Russia and assessed the evidence for intercontinental virus spread using phylogenetic methods. Additionally, we predicted viral virulence using deduced amino acid residues for the fusion protein cleavage site and estimated mutation rates for the fusion gene of class I and class II migratory bird isolates. All 73 isolates sequenced as part of this study were most closely related to virus genotypes previously reported for wild birds; however, five class II genotype I isolates formed a monophyletic clade exhibiting previously unreported genetic diversity, which met criteria for the designation of a new sub-genotype. Phylogenetic analysis of wild-bird isolates provided evidence for intercontinental virus spread, specifically viral lineages of APMV-1 class II genotype I sub-genotypes Ib and Ic. This result supports migratory bird movement as a possible mechanism for the redistribution of APMV-1. None of the predicted deduced amino acid motifs for the fusion protein cleavage site of APMV-1 strains isolated from migratory birds in Alaska, Japan, and Russia were consistent with those of previously identified virulent viruses. These data therefore provide no support for these strains contributing to the emergence of avian pathogens. The estimated mutation rates for fusion genes of class I and class II wild-bird isolates were faster than those reported previously for non-virulent APMV-1 strains. Collectively, these findings provide new insight into the diversity, spread, and evolution of APMV-1 in wild birds.
  81. PubMed DOI 4 citations
    Herpesvirus replication within host cells results in concatemeric genomic DNA, which is cleaved into unit-length genomes and packaged into the capsid by a complex of proteins. The sites of cleavage have been identified for many herpesviruses, and conserved signaling sequences involved in cleavage and packaging have been characterized. The cleavage/packaging motifs pac-1, pac-2, and DR1 and two distinct groups of telomeric repeat sequences (static TRS and variable TRS) have been identified. By sequencing the termini of the gallid herpesvirus type 2 (GaHV-2) strain CU-2, two different cleavage sites (classical and aberrant) have been identified. Unlike classical cleavage of human herpesvirus type 1, which occurs within the DR1 site, classical cleavage of the GaHV-2 concatemers occurs 8.5 bp upstream of the DR1 site and results in an S-terminus containing telomeric repeats. Aberrant cleavage occurs the same distance from the DR1 site and generates a telomeric S-terminus but an L-terminus lacking an a sequence. These results are consistent with previous findings in other herpesviruses and should prove useful in the future study and manipulation of the GaHV-2 genome.
  82. PubMed DOI 9 citations
    Electron microscopy (EM), cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) are essential techniques used for characterizing basic virus morphology and determining the three-dimensional structure of viruses. Enveloped viruses, which contain an outer lipoprotein coat, constitute the largest group of pathogenic viruses to humans. The purification of enveloped viruses from cell culture presents certain challenges. Specifically, the inclusion of host-membrane-derived vesicles, the complete destruction of the viruses, and the disruption of the internal architecture of individual virus particles. Here, we present a strategy for capturing enveloped viruses on affinity grids (AG) for use in both conventional EM and cryo-EM/ET applications. We examined the utility of AG for the selective capture of human immunodeficiency virus virus-like particles, influenza A, and measles virus. We applied nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid lipid layers in combination with molecular adaptors to selectively adhere the viruses to the AG surface. This further development of the AG method may prove essential for the gentle and selective purification of enveloped viruses directly onto EM grids for ultrastructural analyses.
  83. PubMed DOI 111 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) remains a constant threat to poultry producers worldwide, in spite of the availability and global employment of ND vaccinations since the 1950s. Strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) belong to the order Mononegavirales, family Paramyxoviridae, and genus Avulavirus, are contained in one serotype and are also known as avian paramyxovirus serotype-1 (APMV-1). They are pleomorphic in shape and are single-stranded, non-segmented, negative sense RNA viruses. The virus has been reported to infect most orders of birds and thus has a wide host range. Isolates are characterized by virulence in chickens and the presence of basic amino acids at the fusion protein cleavage site. Low virulent NDV typically produce subclinical disease with some morbidity, whereas virulent isolates can result in rapid, high mortality of birds. Virulent NDV are listed pathogens that require immediate notification to the Office of International Epizootics and outbreaks typically result in trade embargos. Protection against NDV is through the use of vaccines generated with low virulent NDV strains. Immunity is derived from neutralizing antibodies formed against the viral hemagglutinin and fusion glycoproteins, which are responsible for attachment and spread of the virus. However, new techniques and technologies have also allowed for more in depth analysis of the innate and cell-mediated immunity of poultry to NDV. Gene profiling experiments have led to the discovery of novel host genes modulated immediately after infection. Differences in virus virulence alter host gene response patterns have been demonstrated. Furthermore, the timing and contributions of cell-mediated immune responses appear to decrease disease and transmission potential. In view of recent reports of vaccine failure from many countries on the ability of classical NDV vaccines to stop spread of disease, renewed interest in a more complete understanding of the global immune response of poultry to NDV will be critical to developing new control strategies and intervention programs for the future.
  84. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    Meleagrid herpesvirus type 1 (MeHV-1) is an ideal vector for the expression of antigens from pathogenic avian organisms in order to generate vaccines. Chicken parvovirus (ChPV) is a widespread infectious virus that causes serious disease in chickens. It is one of the etiological agents largely suspected in causing Runting Stunting Syndrome (RSS) in chickens. Initial attempts to express the wild-type gene encoding the capsid protein VP2 of ChPV by insertion into the thymidine kinase gene of MeHV-1 were unsuccessful. However, transient expression of a codon-optimized synthetic VP2 gene cloned into the bicistronic vector pIRES2-Ds-Red2, could be demonstrated by immunocytochemical staining of transfected chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEFs). Red fluorescence could also be detected in these transfected cells since the red fluorescent protein gene is downstream from the internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Strikingly, fluorescence could not be demonstrated in cells transiently transfected with the bicistronic vector containing the wild-type or non-codon-optimized VP2 gene. Immunocytochemical staining of these cells also failed to demonstrate expression of wild-type VP2, indicating that the lack of expression was at the RNA level and the VP2 protein was not toxic to CEFs. Chickens vaccinated with a DNA vaccine consisting of the bicistronic vector containing the codon-optimized VP2 elicited a humoral immune response as measured by a VP2-specific ELISA. This VP2 codon-optimized bicistronic cassette was rescued into the MeHV-1 genome generating a vectored vaccine against ChPV disease.
  85. PubMed DOI 71 citations
    Different genotypes of avian paramyxovirus serotype-1 virus (APMV-1) circulate in many parts of the world. Traditionally, Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is recognized as having two major divisions represented by classes I and II, with class II being further divided into sixteen genotypes. Although all NDV are members of APMV-1 and are of one serotype, antigenic and genetic diversity is observed between the different genotypes. Reports of vaccine failure from many countries and reports by our lab on the reduced ability of classical vaccines to significantly decrease viral replication and shedding have created renewed interest in developing vaccines formulated with genotypes homologous to the virulent NDV (vNDV) circulating in the field. We assessed how the amount and specificity of humoral antibodies induced by inactivated vaccines affected viral replication, clinical protection and evaluated how non-homologous (heterologous) antibody levels induced by live NDV vaccines relate to transmission of vNDV. In an experimental setting, all inactivated NDV vaccines protected birds from morbidity and mortality, but higher and more specific levels of antibodies were required to significantly decrease viral replication. It was possible to significantly decrease viral replication and shedding with high levels of antibodies and those levels could be more easily reached with vaccines formulated with NDV of the same genotype as the challenge viruses. However, when the levels of heterologous antibodies were sufficiently high, it was possible to prevent transmission. As the level of humoral antibodies increase in vaccinated birds, the number of infected birds and the amount of vNDV shed decreased. Thus, in an experimental setting the effective levels of humoral antibodies could be increased by (1) increasing the homology of the vaccine to the challenge virus, or (2) allowing optimal time for the development of the immune response.
  86. PubMed DOI 5 citations
    Five Newcastle disease virus strains isolated from geese were classified into a new genotype, designated genotype XII. The complete genome sequences of two strains indicated that these viruses were distinct from viruses of genotype VII. More investigations need to be conducted for us to understand the origin of these new strains.
  87. PubMed DOI 214 citations
    The avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1), or Newcastle disease virus (NDV), comprise a diverse group of viruses with a single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome. Historically, two systems have been simultaneously used to classify NDV isolates into lineages or genotypes, generating confusion in the nomenclature and discrepancies in the assignment of genetic groups. In the present study we assessed the genetic diversity of the avian paramyxovirus type-1 (APMV-1) and propose a unified nomenclature and a classification system based on objective criteria to separate NDV into genotypes. Complete F gene sequences of class I (n = 110) and class II (n = 602) viruses were used for the phylogenetic reconstruction and to identify distinct taxonomic groups. The mean interpopulational evolutionary distance was estimated (10%) and set as the cutoff value to assign new genotypes. Results of our study revealed that class I viruses comprise a single genotype, while class II contains 15 genetic groups including 10 previously established (I-IX, and XI) and five new genotypes (X, XII, XIII, XIV and XV). Sub-genotypes were identified among class I and class II genotypes. Adoption of a unified nomenclature and of objective criteria to classify NDV isolates will facilitate studies on NDV epidemiology, evolution, disease control and diagnostics.
  88. PubMed DOI 11 citations
    Attenuation of Gallid herpesvirus-2 (GaHV-2), the causative agent of Marek's disease, can occur through serial passage of a virulent field isolate in avian embryo fibroblasts. In order to gain a better understanding of the genes involved in attenuation and associate observed changes in phenotype with specific genetic variations, the genomic DNA sequence of a single GaHV-2 virulent strain (648A) was determined at defined passage intervals. Biological characterization of these "interval-isolates" in chickens previously indicated that the ability to induce transient paralysis was lost by passages 40 and the ability to induce persistent neurological disease was lost after passage 80, coincident with the loss of neoplastic lesion formation. Deep sequencing of the interval-isolates allowed for a detailed cataloguing of the mutations that exist within a single passage population and the frequency with which a given mutation occurs across passages. Gross genetic alterations were identified in both novel and well-characterized genes and cis-acting regions involved in replication and cleavage/packaging. Deletions in genes encoding the virulence factors vLipase, vIL8, and RLORF4, as well as a deletion in the promoter of ICP4, appeared between passages 61 and 101. Three mutations in the virus-encoded telomerase which predominated in late passages were also identified. Overall, the frequency of mutations fluctuated greatly during serial passage and few genetic changes were absolute. This indicates that serial passage of GaHV-2 results in the generation of a collection of genomes with limited sequence heterogeneity.
  89. PubMed DOI 81 citations
    Symbiotic associations between legumes and rhizobia usually commence with the perception of bacterial lipochitooligosaccharides, known as Nod factors (NF), which triggers rapid cellular and molecular responses in host plants. We report here deep untargeted tandem mass spectrometry-based measurements of rapid NF-induced changes in the phosphorylation status of 13,506 phosphosites in 7739 proteins from the model legume Medicago truncatula. To place these phosphorylation changes within a biological context, quantitative phosphoproteomic and RNA measurements in wild-type plants were compared with those observed in mutants, one defective in NF perception (nfp) and one defective in downstream signal transduction events (dmi3). Our study quantified the early phosphorylation and transcription dynamics that are specifically associated with NF-signaling, confirmed a dmi3-mediated feedback loop in the pathway, and suggested "cryptic" NF-signaling pathways, some of them being also involved in the response to symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
  90. PubMed DOI 21 citations
    Peptide sequencing by computational assignment of tandem mass spectra to a database of putative protein sequences provides an independent approach to confirming or refuting protein predictions based on large-scale DNA and RNA sequencing efforts. This use of mass spectrometrically-derived sequence data for testing and refining predicted gene models has been termed proteogenomics. We report herein the application of proteogenomic methodology to a database of 10.9 million tandem mass spectra collected over a period of two years from proteolytically generated peptides isolated from the model legume Medicago truncatula. These spectra were searched against a database of predicted M. truncatula protein sequences generated from public databases, in silico gene model predictions, and a whole-genome six-frame translation. This search identified 78,647 distinct peptide sequences, and a comparison with the publicly available proteome from the recently published M. truncatula genome supported translation of 9,843 existing gene models and identified 1,568 novel peptides suggesting corrections or additions to the current annotations. Each supporting and novel peptide was independently validated using mRNA-derived deep sequencing coverage and an overall correlation of 93% between the two data types was observed. We have additionally highlighted examples of several aspects of structural annotation for which tandem MS provides unique evidence not easily obtainable through typical DNA or RNA sequencing. Proteogenomic analysis is a valuable and unique source of information for the structural annotation of genomes and should be included in such efforts to ensure that the genome models used by biologists mirror as accurately as possible what is present in the cell.
  91. PubMed DOI 25 citations
    The pathogenicity of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses in domestic ducks varies between different viruses and is affected by the age of the ducks, with younger ducks presenting a more severe disease. In order to better understand the pathobiology of H5N1 HPAI in ducks including the role of host responses, 2 and 5-week-old Pekin ducks were infected with three different H5N1 HPAI viruses. Virus-induced pathology ranged from no clinical signs to severe disease and mortality, with the 2-week-old ducks being more severely affected by the more virulent viruses. However, these more virulent viruses induced higher body temperatures in the 5-week-old ducks than in the 2-week-old ducks indicating possible differences in innate immune responses. To analyze the ducks host responses to H5N1 HPAI virus infection, expression of innate immune-related genes was measured in the spleens and lungs of infected ducks at the peak of virus infection. IFN-α, RIG-I, and IL-6 RNA levels were increased in spleens regardless of the virus given and the age of the ducks, however differences were observed in the levels of up-regulation of IFN-α and RIG-I between the 2 and the 5-week-old ducks with the more virulent virus. Differences in IL-2 gene expression were also observed. In the lungs, the levels of expression of innate immune-related genes were lower than in the spleen, with mostly up-regulation of RIG-I and IL-6 and down-regulation of IFN-α and IL-2; no significant difference in expression was found between the 2 and the 5-week-old ducks. The differences observed in the innate immune responses to infection with H5N1 HPAI viruses could explain in part the differences in pathogenicity found between the 2 and 5-week-old ducks, however earlier time points after infection and additional innate immune-related genes should be examined.
  92. PubMed DOI 21 citations
    The sexually transmitted insect virus Helicoverpa zea nudivirus 2 (HzNV-2) was determined to have a circular double-stranded DNA genome of 231,621 bp coding for an estimated 113 open reading frames (ORFs). HzNV-2 is most closely related to the nudiviruses, a sister group of the insect baculoviruses. Several putative ORFs that share homology with the baculovirus core genes were identified in the viral genome. However, HzNV-2 lacks several key genetic features of baculoviruses including the late transcriptional regulation factor, LEF-1 and the palindromic hrs, which serve as origins of replication. The HzNV-2 genome was found to code for three ORFs that had significant sequence homology to cellular genes which are not generally found in viral genomes. These included a presumed juvenile hormone esterase gene, a gene coding for a putative zinc-dependent matrix metalloprotease, and a major facilitator superfamily protein gene; all of which are believed to play a role in the cellular proliferation and the tissue hypertrophy observed in the malformation of reproductive organs observed in HzNV-2 infected corn earworm moths, Helicoverpa zea.
  93. PubMed DOI 86 citations
    In the Internet era, communicating with friends and colleagues via social networks constitutes a significant proportion of our daily activities. Similarly animals and plants also interact with many organisms, some of which are pathogens and do no good for the plant, while others are beneficial symbionts. Almost all plants indulge in developing social networks with microbes, in particular with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and emerging evidence indicates that most employ an ancient and widespread central 'social media' pathway made of signaling molecules within what is called the SYM pathway. Some plants, like legumes, are particularly active recruiters of friends, as they have established very sophisticated and beneficial interactions with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, also via the SYM pathway. Interestingly, many members of the Brassicaceae, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, seem to have removed themselves from this ancestral social network and lost the ability to engage in mutually favorable interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Despite these generalizations, recent studies exploring the root microbiota of A. thaliana have found that in natural conditions, A. thaliana roots are colonized by many different bacterial species and therefore may be using different and probably more recent 'social media' for these interactions. In general, recent advances in the understanding of such molecular machinery required for plant-symbiont associations are being obtained using high throughput genomic profiling strategies including transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. The crucial mechanistic understanding that such data reveal may provide the infrastructure for future efforts to genetically manipulate crop social networks for our own food and fiber needs.
  94. PubMed DOI 45 citations
    Here we report the biological and molecular characterization of a virulent genotype VII Newcastle disease virus (NDV) circulating in Venezuela and the assessment of the vaccination efficacy under field conditions compared to controlled rearing conditions. Biological pathotyping showed a mean embryo dead time of 50 h and an intracerebral pathogenicity index of 1.86. Sequence-based phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the virus belongs to genotype VII in class II (a genotype often found in Asia and Africa), representing the first report of the presence of this genotype in the continent of South America. A vaccine-challenge trial in commercial broilers reared in fields or in a experimental setting included dual (live/killed) priming of 1-day-old chicks plus two live NDV and infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) field vaccinations at days 7 and 17, followed by a very stringent genotype VII NDV challenge at day 28. Serology for NDV and IBDV, bursal integrity, and protection against NDV lethal challenge were assessed. At 28 days, field vaccinates showed significantly lower NDV (1,356 versus 2,384) and higher IBD (7,295 versus 1,489) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) antibody titers than the experimentally reared birds. A lower bursal size and bursa-body weight ratio (P < 0.05) and higher bursa lesion score were also detected in the field set. Only 57.1% of field vaccinates survived the lethal challenge, differing (P < 0.05) from 90.5% survival in the experimental farm. Overall, results confirmed the presence of the genotype VII viruses in South America and suggest that field-associated factors such as immunosuppression compromise the efficacy of the vaccination protocols implemented.
  95. PubMed DOI 41 citations
    Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a member of the genus Avulavirus of the family Paramyxoviridae, is the causative agent of Newcastle disease (ND), a highly contagious disease that affects many species of birds and which frequently causes significant economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Virulent NDV (vNDV) is exotic in poultry in the United States; however, the virus has been frequently associated with outbreaks of ND in cormorants, which poses a significant threat to poultry species. Here, we present the characterization of 13 NDV isolates obtained from outbreaks of ND affecting cormorants and gulls in the states of Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Maryland in 2010. All 2010 isolates are closely related to the viruses that caused the ND outbreaks in Minnesota in 2008, following the new evolutionary trend observed in cormorant NDV isolates since 2005. Similar to the results obtained with the 2008 isolates, the standard United States Department of Agriculture F-gene real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RRT-PCR) assay failed to detect the 2010 cormorant viruses, whereas all viruses were detected by a cormorant-specific F-gene RRT-PCR assay. Notably, NDV-positive gulls were captured on the eastern shore of Maryland, which represents a significant geographic expansion of the virus since its emergence in North America. This is the first report of vNDV originating from cormorants isolated from wild birds in Maryland and, notably, the first time that genotype V vNDV has been isolated from multiple wild bird species in the United States. These findings highlight the need for constant epidemiologic surveillance for NDV in wild bird populations and for consistent biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of the agent into domestic poultry flocks.
  96. PubMed DOI 67 citations
    A Newcastle disease virus (NDV) outbreak in chickens was reported in the Dominican Republic in 2008. The complete genome of this isolate, chicken/DominicanRepublic(JuanLopez)/499-31/2008 (NDV-DR499-31/08), and the fusion proteins of three other related viruses from the Dominican Republic and Mexico were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. Genetically, these four isolates were highly distinct from all other currently known isolates of NDV, and together, they fulfill the newly established criteria for inclusion as a novel genotype of NDV (genotype XVI). The lack of any reported isolation of viruses related to this group since 1986 suggests that virulent viruses of this genotype may have evolved unnoticed for 22 years. The NDV-DR499-31/08 isolate had an intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) score of 1.88, and sequencing of the fusion cleavage site identified multiple basic amino acids and a phenylalanine at position 117, indicating this isolate to be virulent. These results were further confirmed by a clinicopathological assessment in vivo. In 4-week-old chickens, NDV-DR499-31/08 behaved as a velogenic viscerotropic strain with systemic virus distribution and severe necrohemorrhagic lesions targeting mainly the intestine and the lymphoid organs. The clear phylogenetic relationship between the 2008, 1986, and 1947 ancestral viruses suggests that virulent NDV strains may have evolved in unknown reservoirs in the Caribbean and surrounding regions and underlines the importance of continued and improved epidemiological surveillance strategies to detect NDV in wild-bird species and commercial poultry.
  97. PubMed DOI 35 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) is a major threat to the international poultry industry, causing bird mortality, reduction in growth and egg production, and trade restrictions. The primary strategy available to the poultry industry to control virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV), the causative agent of ND, is vaccination. LaSota and other commonly used live-virus NDV vaccine strains were developed in the 1950s and 1960s and show a great degree of genetic divergence from currently circulating NDV strains. In order to characterize protective immunity induced by LaSota against a heterologous NDV strain, we vaccinated groups of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens with LaSota (virus titers ranging from 10(2) to 10(8) egg infective dose 50 [EID50] in 10-fold increments) and challenged the birds 14 days later with ZJ1 strain, an NDV strain that was isolated in the year 2000 from geese in China. We monitored multiple parameters of immunity, including serum antibody titers, antigen-specific lymphocyte proliferation, and splenic cytokine expression and determined that SPF birds vaccinated with an adequate titer of LaSota strain live vaccine are fully protected from morbidity and mortality due to challenge with ZJ1 strain NDV, and we concluded that in the absence of interfering maternal antibody, protection due to vaccination increases with vaccine titer until a threshold titer is reached, beyond which, little or no further benefit can be elucidated.
  98. PubMed DOI 8 citations
    Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was isolated from an outbreak in layer chickens in the Dominican Republic in 2008. Infections with this isolate led to a 100% apparent case fatality rate in birds. Complete genome sequencing revealed that the isolate does not belong to any of the previously described NDV genotypes. Similarly, large differences were observed in the amino acid sequence of the fusion and hemagglutinin-neuraminidase proteins in comparison with all known NDV genotypes, suggesting the existence of an unknown reservoir for NDV. The work presented here represents the first complete genome sequence of NDV in the Dominican Republic.
  99. PubMed DOI 19 citations
    Distribution, character, and severity of lesions were evaluated in tissues from the central nervous system of chickens inoculated with 10 different Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates: CA 1083, Korea 97-147, Australia (all velogenic viscerotropic), Texas GB and Turkey North Dakota (both velogenic neurotropic), Nevada cormorant, Anhinga and Roakin (all mesogenic), and B1 and QV4 (lentogenic). Tissues for the present study included archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain (all strains) plus spinal cord (two strains). Encephalitis was observed in all velogenic viscerotropic and velogenic neurotropic strains, and in some mesogenic strains. In general, the encephalitic lesions began at 5 days post infection, with more severe lesions occurring around 10 days post infection. At this time point, especially in the grey matter of the brain, cerebellum and spinal cord, there were neuronal necrosis, neuronal phagocytosis, and clusters of cells with microglial morphology. Axonal degeneration and demyelination was also observed. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for viral nucleoprotein confirmed the presence of virus. In the areas of encephalomyelitis, IHC for CD3 revealed that many of the inflammatory cells were T lymphocytes. IHC using an antibody for glial fibrillar acid protein showed reactive astrogliosis, which was most pronounced at the later time points.
  100. PubMed DOI 47 citations
    Newcastle disease (ND) is one of the most important diseases of poultry, negatively affecting poultry production worldwide. The disease is caused by Newcastle disease virus (NDV) or avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1), a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus of the genus Avulavirus, family Paramyxoviridae. Although all NDV isolates characterized to date belong to a single serotype of APMV-1, significant genetic diversity has been described between different NDV isolates. Here we present the complete genome sequence and the clinicopathological characterization of a virulent Newcastle disease virus isolate (NDV-Peru/08) obtained from poultry during an outbreak of ND in Peru in 2008. Phylogenetic reconstruction and analysis of the evolutionary distances between NDV-Peru/08 and other isolates representing established NDV genotypes revealed the existence of large genomic and amino differences that clearly distinguish this isolate from viruses of typical NDV genotypes. Although NDV-Peru/08 is a genetically distinct virus, pathogenesis studies conducted with chickens revealed that NDV-Peru/08 infection results in clinical signs characteristic of velogenic viscerotropic NDV strains. Additionally, vaccination studies have shown that an inactivated NDV-LaSota/46 vaccine conferred full protection from NDV-Peru/08-induced clinical disease and mortality. This represents the first complete characterization of a virulent NDV isolate from South America.
  101. PubMed DOI 30 citations
    Gallid herpesvirus-1 (GaHV-1), commonly named infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) virus, causes the respiratory disease in chickens known as ILT. The molecular determinants associated with differences in pathogenicity of GaHV-1 strains are not completely understood, and a comparison of genomic sequences of isolates that belong to different genotypes could help identify genes involved in virulence. Dideoxy sequencing, 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina sequencing-by-synthesis were used to determine the nucleotide sequences of four genotypes of virulent strains from GaHV-1 groups I-VI. Three hundred and twenty-five open reading frames (ORFs) were compared with those of the recently sequenced genome of the Serva vaccine strain. Only four ORFs, ORF C, U(L)37, ICP4 and U(S)2 differed in amino acid (aa) lengths among the newly sequenced genomes. Genome sequence alignments were used to identify two regions (5' terminus and the unique short/repeat short junction) that contained deletions. Seventy-eight synonymous and 118 non-synonymous amino acid substitutions were identified with the examined ORFs. Exclusive to the genome of the Serva vaccine strain, seven non-synonymous mutations were identified in the predicted translation products of the genes encoding glycoproteins gB, gE, gL and gM and three non-structural proteins U(L)28 (DNA packaging protein), U(L)5 (helicase-primase) and the immediate early protein ICP4. Furthermore, our comparative sequence analysis of published and newly sequenced GaHV-1 isolates has provided evidence placing the cleavage/packaging site (a-like sequence) within the inverted repeats instead of its placement at the 3' end of the U(L) region as annotated in the GenBank's entries NC006623 and HQ630064.
  102. PubMed DOI 13 citations
    The aim of this study was to evaluate the disease-inducing ability of four chimeric Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) by clinicopathological assessment. The infectious clones were previously generated by insertion of hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) and/or fusion (F) genes from virulent strains (Turkey North Dakota and California 02) into a mesogenic strain (Anhinga) backbone. Groups of 4-week-old chickens were inoculated via eye drop instillation, clinical signs were monitored daily, and necropsies with collection of tissues were performed at 2, 5, 10, and 14 days post infection. Tissue sections were evaluated for histopathology and immunohistochemistry for NDV nucleoprotein. All viruses replicated successfully in the natural host, although viral recovery, seroconversion, and extent of immunohistochemical staining were greatest from birds infected with those viruses containing both F and HN genes from the same virulent virus. There was minimal to no increase in clinicopathologic disease due to infection with the chimeras compared to the recombinant backbone. However, all birds developed histological evidence of encephalitis. The results suggest that the inherent virulence of Turkey North Dakota and California 2002 strains is due to more than the simple presence of their F and HN genes.
  103. PubMed DOI 47 citations
    Eight Newcastle disease virus isolates from Pakistan were sequenced and characterized. A PCR matrix gene assay, designed to detect all avian paramyxovirus 1, did not detect four of the isolates. A new matrix gene test that detected all isolates was developed. Phylogenetic analysis and pathotyping confirmed that virulent viruses of different genotypes are circulating in Pakistan.
  104. PubMed DOI 29 citations
    A morbidity-mortality event involving virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in wild double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) occurred in North America in the summer of 2008. All 22 viruses isolated from cormorants were positively identified by the USDA-validated real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay targeting the matrix gene. However, the USDA-validated reverse transcription-PCR assay targeting the fusion gene that is specific for virulent isolates identified only 1 of these 22 isolates. Additionally, several of these isolates have been sequenced, and this information was used to identify genomic changes that caused the failure of the test and to revisit the evolution of NDV in cormorants. The forward primer and fusion probe were redesigned from the 2008 cormorant isolate sequence, and the revised fusion gene test successfully identified all 22 isolates. Phylogenetic analyses using both the full fusion sequence and the partial 374-nucleotide sequence identified these isolates as genotype V, with their nearest ancestor being an earlier isolate collected from Nevada in 2005. Histopathological analysis of this ancestral strain revealed morphological changes in the brain consistent with that of the traditional mesogenic pathotypes in cormorants. Intracerebral pathogenicity assays indicated that each of these isolates is virulent with values of >0.7 but not more virulent than earlier isolates reported from Canada.
  105. PubMed DOI 88 citations
    The biological, serological, and genomic characterization of a paramyxovirus recently isolated from rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) suggested that this virus represented a new avian paramyxovirus (APMV) group, APMV10. This penguin virus resembled other APMVs by electron microscopy; however, its viral hemagglutination (HA) activity was not inhibited by antisera against any of the nine defined APMV serotypes. In addition, antiserum generated against this penguin virus did not inhibit the HA of representative viruses of the other APMV serotypes. Sequence data produced using random priming methods revealed a genomic structure typical of APMV. Phylogenetic evaluation of coding regions revealed that amino acid sequences of all six proteins were most closely related to APMV2 and APMV8. The calculation of evolutionary distances among proteins and distances at the nucleotide level confirmed that APMV2, APMV8, and the penguin virus all were sufficiently divergent from each other to be considered different serotypes. We propose that this isolate, named APMV10/penguin/Falkland Islands/324/2007, be the prototype virus for APMV10. Because of the known problems associated with serology, such as antiserum cross-reactivity and one-way immunogenicity, in addition to the reliance on the immune response to a single protein, the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase, as the sole base for viral classification, we suggest the need for new classification guidelines that incorporate genome sequence comparisons.
  106. PubMed DOI 58 citations
    Newcastle disease is a severe threat to the poultry industry and is caused by Newcastle disease virus, a member of the genus Avulavirus, family Paramyxoviridae. The virus is rapidly evolving, and several new genotypes have been discovered in the past few years. Characterization of these strains is important to evaluate field changes, anticipate new outbreaks, and develop adequate control measures. Three Newcastle disease isolates (APMV-1/duck/Vietnam, Long Bien/78/2002, APMV-1/chicken/Australia/9809-19-1107/1998, and APMV-1/double-crested cormorant/USA, Nevada/19529-04/2005) from recent outbreaks were investigated via clinicopathological assessment, immunohistochemistry (IHC), in situ hybridization, virus isolation, and serology in experimentally infected 4-week-old chickens. Phylogenetic studies showed that Australia isolate belongs to class II genotype I, Long Bien to class II genotype VIId, and Nevada cormorant to class II genotype V. Even though all 3 viruses had a virulent fusion protein cleavage site and ICPI values greater than 1.5, they all differed in their ability to cause clinical signs, in their lesions, and in their viral distribution in body tissues. The Long Bien isolate showed the most severe clinicopathological picture and the most widespread viral distribution. The Australia and Nevada cormorant isolates had a milder pathological phenotype, with viral replication restricted to only a few organs. The variability in clinicopathological characteristics despite the similarity in ICPI suggests that full clinicopathological assessment is necessary to fully characterize new isolates and that there are differences in pathogenesis among viruses of different genotypes.
  107. PubMed DOI 79 citations
    Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is an avian paramyxovirus that causes significant economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. There is limited knowledge about the avian immune response to infection with virulent NDVs, and how this response may contribute to disease. In this study, pathogenesis and the transcriptional host response of chickens to a virulent NDV strain that rapidly causes 100% mortality was characterized. Using microarrays, a strong transcriptional host response was observed in spleens at early times after infection with the induction of groups of genes involved in innate antiviral and pro-inflammatory responses. There were multiple genes induced at 48 h post-infection including: type I and II interferons (IFNs), several cytokines and chemokines, IFN effectors and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). The increased transcription of nitric oxide synthase was confirmed by immunohistochemistry for iNOS in spleens and measured levels of nitric oxide in serum. In vitro experiments showed strong induction of the key host response genes, alpha IFN, beta interferon, and interleukin 1β and interleukin 6, in splenic leukocytes at 6 h post-infection in comparison to a non-virulent NDV. The robust host response to virulent NDV, in conjunction with severe pathological damage observed, is somewhat surprising considering that all NDV encode a gene, V, which functions as a suppressor of class I IFNs. Taken together, these results suggest that the host response itself may contribute to the pathogenesis of this highly virulent strain in chickens.
  108. PubMed DOI 240 citations
    Since the discovery of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in 1926, nine genotypes of class I viruses and ten of class II have been identified, representing a diverse and continually evolving group of viruses. The emergence of new virulent genotypes from global epizootics and the year-to-year changes observed in the genomic sequence of NDV of low and high virulence implies that distinct genotypes of NDV are simultaneously evolving at different geographic locations across the globe. This vast genomic diversity may be favored by the large variety of avian species susceptible to NDV infection and by the availability of highly mobile wild bird reservoirs. The genomic diversity of NDV increases the possibility of diagnostic failures, resulting in unidentified infections. Constant epidemiological surveillance and pro-active characterization of circulating strains are needed to ensure that the immunological and PCR reagents are effective in identifying NDV circulating worldwide. For example, in the United States, the widely used real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) matrix gene assay for the identification of NDV often fails to detect low virulence APMV-1 from waterfowl, while the RRT-PCR fusion gene assay, used to identify virulent isolates, often fails to detect certain virulent NDV genotypes. A new matrix-polymerase multiplex test that detects most of the viruses currently circulating worldwide and a modified fusion test for the identification of virulent pigeon viruses circulating in the U.S. and Europe have recently been developed. For newly isolated viruses with unknown sequences, recently developed random priming sequencing methods need to be incorporated into the diagnostic arsenal. In addition, the current system of classifying NDV into genotypes or lineages is inadequate. Here, we review the molecular epidemiology and recent diagnostic problems related to viral evolution of NDV and explain why a new system, based on objective criteria, is needed to categorize genotypes.
  109. PubMed DOI 106 citations
    A comprehensive dataset of NDV genome sequences was evaluated using bioinformatics to characterize the evolutionary forces affecting NDV genomes. Despite evidence of recombination in most genes, only one event in the fusion gene of genotype V viruses produced evolutionarily viable progenies. The codon-associated rate of change for the six NDV proteins revealed that the highest rate of change occurred at the fusion protein. All proteins were under strong purifying (negative) selection; the fusion protein displayed the highest number of amino acids under positive selection. Regardless of the phylogenetic grouping or the level of virulence, the cleavage site motif was highly conserved implying that mutations at this site that result in changes of virulence may not be favored. The coding sequence of the fusion gene and the genomes of viruses from wild birds displayed higher yearly rates of change in virulent viruses than in viruses of low virulence, suggesting that an increase in virulence may accelerate the rate of NDV evolution.
  110. PubMed DOI 22 citations
    Methods for the isolation of DNA from cell-associated herpesviruses have often yielded samples contaminated with host cellular DNA. Because 2nd and 3rd generation nucleotide sequencers do not rely on molecular cloning of viral DNA, there is a need to develop methods for isolating highly pure DNA from these viruses. The cell-associated alphaherpesvirus Marek's disease virus (MDV-1) was chosen as a test virus for the development of such methodologies. The genomes of six MDV-1 strains have previously been sequenced using both Sanger dideoxy sequencing and 454 Life Sciences pyrosequencing. These genomes largely represent cell culture adapted strains due to the difficulty in obtaining large quantities of DNA from true low passage isolates. There are clear advantages in analyzing MDV-1 virus taken directly from infected tissues or low passage isolates since serial passage attenuates the virus. Procedures using an ATP-dependent exonuclease and Phi29 DNA polymerase to degrade host DNA selectively and amplify MDV-1 DNA enzymatically from total DNA preps were attempted without much success. Ultimately, however, a protocol was developed for purification of low passage MDV-1 DNA from infected avian fibroblasts. The method builds upon and extends available protocols based on hypotonic lysis to release virus particles followed by micrococcal nuclease treatment to degrade cellular DNA. Intact high-molecular weight viral DNA is purified away from an excess of degraded cellular DNA using polyethylene glycol precipitation. 454-based pyrosequencing of viral DNA purified in this manner has generated data containing as little as 2.3% host sequence. On average, DNA preparations were 70% (+/-20%) pure yielding a genome coverage range of 25-74-fold.
  111. PubMed DOI 18 citations
  112. PubMed DOI 66 citations
    As part of West Nile virus surveillance programs in Rhode Island and eastern Texas between 2000 and 2007, brain tissue was collected from 5,608 dead birds representing 21 avian orders found in public places or reported by homeowners. Fifteen Newcastle disease virus isolates were recovered only from birds of the order Columbiformes and were positively identified by the USDA-validated real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay targeting the matrix gene and more specifically as pigeon paramyxovirus serotype 1 (PPMV-1) by hemagglutinin inhibition with monoclonal antibodies. Based upon partial genomic sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, the newly isolated viruses represent a distinct sublineage within class II genotype VIb. All of the viruses (15/15) were classified as virulent based upon their fusion cleavage site motif ((112)RRKKRF(117)) and intracerebral pathogenicity indices of >0.7 (ranging from 0.98 to 1.35); however, these viruses escaped detection by the fusion gene-based real-time PCR test for virulence. Modifications introduced to the probe site of the fusion gene-based assay allowed rapid virulence detection within this distinct sublineage.
  113. PubMed DOI 31 citations
    In order to understand the molecular mechanisms by which different strains of avian influenza viruses overcome host response in birds, we used a complete chicken genome microarray to compare early gene expression levels in chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) infected with two avian influenza viruses (AIV), A/CK/Hong Kong/220/97 and A/Egret/Hong Kong/757.2/02, with different replication characteristics. Gene ontology revealed that the genes with altered expression are involved in many vital functional classes including protein metabolism, translation, transcription, host defense/immune response, ubiquitination and the cell cycle. Among the immune-related genes, MEK2, MHC class I, PDCD10 and Bcl-3 were selected for further expression analysis at 24 hpi using semi-quantitive RT-PCR. Infection of CEF with A/Egret/Hong Kong/757.2/02 resulted in a marked repression of MEK2 and MHC class I gene expression levels. Infection of CEF with A/CK/Hong Kong/220/97 induced an increase of MEK2 and a decrease in PDCD10 and Bcl-3 expression levels. The expression levels of alpha interferon (IFN-alpha), myxovirus resistance 1 (Mx1) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) were also analyzed at 24 hpi, showing higher expression levels of all of these genes after infection with A/CK/Hong Kong/220/97 compared to A/Egret/Hong Kong/757.2/02. In addition, comparison of the NS1 sequences of the viruses revealed amino acid differences that may explain in part the differences in IFN-alpha expression observed. Microarray gene expression analysis has proven to be a useful tool on providing important insights into how different AIVs affect host gene expression and how AIVs may use different strategies to evade host response and replicate in host cells.
  114. PubMed DOI 7 citations
    Highly pathogenic (HP) avian influenza viruses (AIV) present an ongoing threat to the world poultry industry. In order to develop new AIV control strategies it is necessary to understand the underlying mechanism of viral infection at mucosal respiratory sites. Chicken and duck tracheal epithelial cells systems (TEC) were developed to study early host responses to AIV infection on TEC. Infection of 2 week-old chickens and ducks with the highly pathogenic AIV H5N1 Ck/Hong Kong/220/97 and Egret/Hong Kong/757.2/02 viruses together with TEC early responses to infection suggest the induction of differential innate immune responses. Growth curves indicated that although chicken and ducks TEC supported viral replication and re-infection, the capacity of the two viruses to replicate was not equal. A 42K probes chicken microarray system used to characterize differences in gene expression between chicken tracheal epithelial cells infected with these two highly pathogenic AIV identified expression of virus-specific molecular markers. The existence of dissimilar patterns of host gene expression as early as six hours post infection suggests that the differential growth characteristics of the two highly pathogenic AIV in tracheal epithelial cells is preceded by distinct host responses.
  115. PubMed DOI 52 citations
    Prompt detection of virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is challenging because of the broad genetic variability across 2 clades comprising 18 recognized genotypes. A large proportion of class I low virulence ND viruses recently identified in samples recovered from wild birds and from poultry in live bird markets are not detected by the validated real-time RT-PCR assay that targets the matrix gene (M-gene assay). This study describes the identification and sequencing of a conserved region from the polymerase gene of class I NDV and the design and evaluation of a real-time RT-PCR assay (L-TET assay) that identifies a broad range of NDV, demonstrates a 10-fold increase in sensitivity over a previously reported L-gene assay, and works in conjunction with the existing M-gene assay using the same protocol. The L-TET assay detects <or=1 fg of homologous transcribed RNA from genotypes 5, 7, and 8 of class I, and from class II genotype II in either single- or multiplex format. Differential detection of mixed class I and II viruses down to 100 fg is possible because L-TET uses an alternate fluorophore from the M-gene assay. The multiplexed assay is capable of detecting a broad range of class I and II ND viruses with <1 threshold cycle decrease in sensitivity compared to the single probe. A total of 140 class I (n = 108, genotypes 1-2 and 4-9) and class II (n = 32, genotypes I-VII) were correctly identified by both the single- and multiplex formats.
  116. PubMed DOI 32 citations
    In 2002-2003, velogenic Newcastle Disease Virus outbreaks, closely related to the Mexican isolates, were confirmed in the United States (U.S.) in southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. In this report, virulent NDVs isolated in Mexico between 1998 and 2006 were subjected to biologic characterization, using standard pathogenicity tests, and to phylogenetic analysis. Chicken embryo mean death time (MDT) test results ranged from 39.7 to 61.5 hours, and intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) values were between 1.59 and 1.94, compared to a possible maximum value of 2.0. These isolates showed a dibasic amino acid motif at the fusion protein cleavage site sequence required for host systemic replication. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the Mexican virulent NDVs belong to the class II, genotype V viruses and can be clearly divided in two groups as follows: isolates from 1998 to 2001 with close epidemiologic relationship with the latest U.S. NDV outbreaks, and phylogenetically distinct viruses, isolated from 2004 to 2006, which showed higher virulence. The assessment of the evolution of viruses from Mexico and other neighboring countries will aid in the U.S surveillance efforts for early detection of highly virulent NDV.
  117. PubMed DOI 3 citations
    The complete genome of the Villegas-Glisson/University of Georgia (VG/GA) strain of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and that of a plaque purified clone (clone 5) exhibiting a respiratory phenotype were sequenced and analyzed. The VG/GA strain, isolated from the intestine of healthy turkeys, replicates in the respiratory and intestinal tract of chickens. It is used worldwide as a vaccine strain and its tissue tropism is extremely important for protection against velogenic viscerotropic NDV which targets both intestinal and respiratory epithelia, inducing severe gross and microscopic damage. The clone 5, a plaque purified clone from the VG/GA strain, cannot be recovered from the intestine of infected birds, suggesting a respirotropic nature. A modified primer sequence-independent amplification method was used to sequence the complete coding regions of both viruses and to assess phylogenetic relationships and genomic basis for phenotype differences. The phylogenetic analysis grouped the VG/GA strain and the clone 5 within class II, genotype II viruses and showed that they are greater than 99.9% identical with only 5 nucleotides differences. Both are closely related to classic vaccine strains, such as LaSota and B1. Only 3 amino acid differences at the fusion protein differentiated the VG/GA strain from the clone 5. These differences may explain the differential phenotype observed in the VG/GA strain and are discussed.
  118. PubMed DOI 19 citations
    A major route of infection of avian influenza virus (AIV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in chickens is through cells of the respiratory epithelium. Here we describe the development of a method for culture of tracheal epithelial cells from chicken embryos as well as their use in studies of infection with avian respiratory viruses such as low-pathogenicity AIV and lentogenic NDV. Positive immunostaining for cytokeratin, the presence of cilia and microvilli, and microarray analysis of transcribed RNA demonstrated that the isolated cells were epithelial in nature. Infection of the epithelial cell cultures with AIV and NDV was demonstrated using immunofluorescence or green fluorescence protein fluorescence microscopy, respectively. Growth curves of AIV and NDV in tracheal epithelial cells revealed that tracheal epithelial cells can fully support AIV and NDV growth and reinfection. This system, which mimics that of the natural infection, will be useful to study the mechanisms of early viral infection and cellular host transcriptional responses.
  119. PubMed DOI 22 citations
    Zoonotic transmission of an H5N1 avian influenza A virus to humans in 2003-present has generated increased public health and scientific interest in the prevalence and variability of influenza A viruses in wild birds and their potential threat to human health. Migratory waterfowl and shorebirds are regarded as the primordial reservoir of all influenza A viral subtypes and have been repeatedly implicated in avian influenza outbreaks in domestic poultry and swine. All of the 16 hemagglutinin and nine neuraminidase influenza subtypes have been isolated from wild birds, but waterfowl of the order Anseriformes are the most commonly infected. Using 9-to-11-day-old embryonating chicken egg culture, virus isolation attempts were conducted on 168 cloacal swabs from various resident, imported, and migratory bird species in Barbados during the months of July to October of 2003 and 2004. Hemagglutination assay and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were used to screen all allantoic fluids for the presence of hemagglutinating agents and influenza A virus. Hemagglutination positive-influenza negative samples were also tested for Newcastle disease virus (NDV), which is also found in waterfowl. Two influenza A viruses and one NDV were isolated from Anseriformes (40/168), with isolation rates of 5.0% (2/40) and 2.5% (1/40), respectively, for influenza A and NDV. Sequence analysis of the influenza A virus isolates showed them to be H4N3 viruses that clustered with other North American avian influenza viruses. This is the first report of the presence of influenza A virus and NDV in wild birds in the English-speaking Caribbean.
  120. PubMed DOI 159 citations
    Low-virulence Newcastle disease viruses (loNDV) are frequently recovered from wild bird species, but little is known about their distribution, genetic diversity, or potential to cause disease in poultry. NDV isolates recovered from cloacal samples of apparently healthy waterfowl and shorebirds (WS) in the United States during 1986 to 2005 were examined for genomic diversity and their potential for virulence (n = 249). In addition 19 loNDV isolates from U.S. live bird markets (LBMs) were analyzed and found to be genetically distinct from NDV used in live vaccines but related to WS-origin NDV. Phylogenetic analysis of the fusion protein identified nine novel genotypes among the class I NDV, and new genomic subgroups were identified among genotypes I and II of the class II viruses. The WS-origin viruses exhibited broad genetic and antigenic diversity, and some WS genotypes displayed a closer phylogenetic relationship to LBM-origin NDV. All NDV were predicted to be lentogenic based upon sequencing of the fusion cleavage site, intracerebral pathogenicity index, or mean death time in embryo assays. The USDA real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay, which targets the matrix gene, identified nearly all of the class II NDV tested but failed to detect class I viruses from both LBM and WS. The close phylogenetic proximity of some WS and LBM loNDV suggests that viral transmission may occur among wild birds and poultry; however, these events may occur unnoticed due to the broad genetic diversity of loNDV, the lentogenic presentation in birds, and the limitations of current rapid diagnostic tools.
  121. PubMed DOI 17 citations
    Classical swine fever virus (CSFV)-macrophage interactions during infection were analysed by examining macrophage transcriptional responses via microarray. Eleven genes had increased mRNA levels (>2.5-fold, P<0.05) in infected cell cultures, including arginase-1, an inhibitor of nitric oxide production, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, chemokine receptor 4 and interleukin-1beta. Lower levels of nitric oxide and increased arginase activity were found in CSFV-infected macrophages. These changes in gene expression in macrophages suggest viral modulation of host expression to suppress nitric oxide production.
  122. PubMed DOI 6 citations
    Increasing surveillance for the avian influenza virus (AIV) has underscored the need for quickly and precisely characterizing isolates of this highly variable target. Random amplification, sequencing, and assembly of total RNA from nonpurified virus overcomes the need for specific primers for DNA microarray or PCR protocols.
  123. PubMed DOI 95 citations
    Newcastle disease viruses isolated from Hong Kong live bird markets (LBMs) were not detected by a USDA-validated matrix gene real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assay. Based upon phylogenetic analysis of the fusion gene, these viruses were related to lentogenic class I viruses found in U.S. LBMs and wild waterfowl. An alternative real-time RT-PCR assay which complements the matrix gene assay was developed to efficiently detect class I viruses.
  124. PubMed DOI 28 citations
    Sheeppox virus (SPPV), a member of the Capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae, is the etiologic agent of a significant disease of sheep in the developing world. Genomic analysis of pathogenic and vaccine capripoxviruses identified genes with potential roles in virulence and host range, including three genes with similarity to kelch-like genes of other poxviruses and eukaryotes. Here, a mutant SPPV with a deletion in the SPPV-019 kelch-like gene, DeltaKLP, was derived from the pathogenic strain SPPV-SA. DeltaKLP exhibited in vitro growth characteristics similar to those of SPPV-SA and revertant virus (RvKLP). DeltaKLP-infected cells exhibited a reduction in Ca(2+)-independent cell adhesion, suggesting that SPPV-019 may modulate cellular adhesion. When inoculated in sheep by the intranasal or intradermal routes, DeltaKLP was markedly attenuated, since all DeltaKLP-infected lambs survived infection. In contrast, SPPV-SA and RvKLP induced mortality approaching 100%. Lambs inoculated with DeltaKLP exhibited marked reduction or delay in fever response, gross lesions, viremia, and virus shedding compared to parental and revertant viruses. Together, these findings indicate that SPPV-019 is a significant SPPV virulence determinant in sheep.
  125. PubMed DOI 152 citations
    Strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can be separated into genotypes based on genome differences even though they are antigenically considered to be of a single serotype. It is widely recognized that an efficacious Newcastle disease (ND) vaccine made with any NDV does induce protection against morbidity and mortality from a virulent NDV challenge. However, those ND vaccines do not protect vaccinates from infection and viral shed from such a challenge. Vaccines prepared from ND viruses corresponding to five different genotypes were compared to determine if the phylogenetic distance between vaccine and challenge strain influences the protection induced and the amount of challenge virus shed. Six groups of 4-week-old specific pathogen-free Leghorn chickens were given oil-adjuvanted vaccines prepared from one of five different inactivated ND viruses including strains B1, Ulster, CA02, Pigeon84, Alaska 196, or an allantoic fluid control. Three weeks post-vaccination, serum was analyzed for antibody content using a hemagglutination inhibition assay against each of the vaccine antigens and a commercial NDV ELISA. After challenge with virulent CA02, the birds were examined daily for morbidity and mortality and were monitored at selected intervals for virus shedding. All vaccines except for the control induced greater than 90% protection to clinical disease and mortality. The vaccine homologous with the challenge virus reduced oral shedding significantly more than the heterologous vaccines. NDV vaccines formulated to be phylogenetically closer to potential outbreak viruses may provide better ND control by reducing virus transmission from infected birds.
  126. PubMed DOI 44 citations
    Here, we present the genome sequence, with analysis, of a poxvirus infecting Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) (crocodilepox virus; CRV). The genome is 190,054 bp (62% G+C) and predicted to contain 173 genes encoding proteins of 53 to 1,941 amino acids. The central genomic region contains genes conserved and generally colinear with those of other chordopoxviruses (ChPVs). CRV is distinct, as the terminal 33-kbp (left) and 13-kbp (right) genomic regions are largely CRV specific, containing 48 unique genes which lack similarity to other poxvirus genes. Notably, CRV also contains 14 unique genes which disrupt ChPV gene colinearity within the central genomic region, including 7 genes encoding GyrB-like ATPase domains similar to those in cellular type IIA DNA topoisomerases, suggestive of novel ATP-dependent functions. The presence of 10 CRV proteins with similarity to components of cellular multisubunit E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase complexes, including 9 proteins containing F-box motifs and F-box-associated regions and a homologue of cellular anaphase-promoting complex subunit 11 (Apc11), suggests that modification of host ubiquitination pathways may be significant for CRV-host cell interaction. CRV encodes a novel complement of proteins potentially involved in DNA replication, including a NAD(+)-dependent DNA ligase and a protein with similarity to both vaccinia virus F16L and prokaryotic serine site-specific resolvase-invertases. CRV lacks genes encoding proteins for nucleotide metabolism. CRV shares notable genomic similarities with molluscum contagiosum virus, including genes found only in these two viruses. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that CRV is quite distinct from other ChPVs, representing a new genus within the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, and it lacks recognizable homologues of most ChPV genes involved in virulence and host range, including those involving interferon response, intracellular signaling, and host immune response modulation. These data reveal the unique nature of CRV and suggest mechanisms of virus-reptile host interaction.
  127. PubMed DOI 83 citations
    Here we present the genomic sequence of horsepox virus (HSPV) isolate MNR-76, an orthopoxvirus (OPV) isolated in 1976 from diseased Mongolian horses. The 212-kbp genome contained 7.5-kbp inverted terminal repeats and lacked extensive terminal tandem repetition. HSPV contained 236 open reading frames (ORFs) with similarity to those in other OPVs, with those in the central 100-kbp region most conserved relative to other OPVs. Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved region indicated that HSPV is closely related to sequenced isolates of vaccinia virus (VACV) and rabbitpox virus, clearly grouping together these VACV-like viruses. Fifty-four HSPV ORFs likely represented fragments of 25 orthologous OPV genes, including in the central region the only known fragmented form of an OPV ribonucleotide reductase large subunit gene. In terminal genomic regions, HSPV lacked full-length homologues of genes variably fragmented in other VACV-like viruses but was unique in fragmentation of the homologue of VACV strain Copenhagen B6R, a gene intact in other known VACV-like viruses. Notably, HSPV contained in terminal genomic regions 17 kbp of OPV-like sequence absent in known VACV-like viruses, including fragments of genes intact in other OPVs and approximately 1.4 kb of sequence present only in cowpox virus (CPXV). HSPV also contained seven full-length genes fragmented or missing in other VACV-like viruses, including intact homologues of the CPXV strain GRI-90 D2L/I4R CrmB and D13L CD30-like tumor necrosis factor receptors, D3L/I3R and C1L ankyrin repeat proteins, B19R kelch-like protein, D7L BTB/POZ domain protein, and B22R variola virus B22R-like protein. These results indicated that HSPV contains unique genomic features likely contributing to a unique virulence/host range phenotype. They also indicated that while closely related to known VACV-like viruses, HSPV contains additional, potentially ancestral sequences absent in other VACV-like viruses.
  128. PubMed DOI 38 citations
    Virulent forms of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) are a major concern for poultry producers around the world and the rapid diagnosis of an outbreak is crucial to any control program. A validated real-time reverse transcription-PCR test (fusion test) directed at the fusion-cleavage site of NDV was developed to differentiate virulent Newcastle disease virus strains from those of low virulence, however one virulent isolate, Dove/Italy/2736/2000, escaped detection during the initial evaluation of the test. The objectives of this study were to determine how this isolate differed from other detectable isolates, to identify other isolates that may fail detection, and to characterize the effect of specific probe-site mutations on the fusion test at a range of annealing temperatures. Using a virulent NDV isolate (Game fowl/US(CA)/2002) as a backbone that has 100% identity to the fusion-test probe, specific changes were made to the fusion-test probe-site to reflect the unique mismatches found in Dove/Italy/2736/2000 and other selected regions of the probe. Mutated clones with mismatches unique to Dove/Italy/2736/2000 at positions 6, 13, and 14 were not detected until annealing temperatures were lowered to 50 degrees C. Those detected at 58 degrees C contained 1-2 mismatches (position 1 and 6, 13 and 14, or 14 only) although increased cycle threshold values compared to the parent clone indicated decreased sensitivity. Data from this study predicts that the fusion test may fail to detect some viruses among lineage 4b and potential solutions to identify this subset of viruses include lowering the annealing temperature or modifying the probe.
  129. PubMed DOI 66 citations
    Iridoviruses (IVs) are classified into five genera: Iridovirus and Chloriridovirus, whose members infect invertebrates, and Ranavirus, Lymphocystivirus, and Megalocytivirus, whose members infect vertebrates. Until now, Chloriridovirus was the only IV genus for which a representative and complete genomic sequence was not available. Here, we report the genome sequence and comparative analysis of a field isolate of Invertebrate iridescent virus type 3 (IIV-3), also known as mosquito iridescent virus, currently the sole member of the genus Chloriridovirus. Approximately 20% of the 190-kbp IIV-3 genome was repetitive DNA, with DNA repeats localized in 15 apparently noncoding regions. Of the 126 predicted IIV-3 genes, 27 had homologues in all currently sequenced IVs, suggesting a genetic core for the family Iridoviridae. Fifty-two IIV-3 genes, including those encoding DNA topoisomerase II, NAD-dependent DNA ligase, SF1 helicase, IAP, and BRO protein, are present in IIV-6 (Chilo iridescent virus, prototype species of the genus Iridovirus) but not in vertebrate IVs, likely reflecting distinct evolutionary histories for vertebrate and invertebrate IVs and potentially indicative of genes that function in aspects of virus-invertebrate host interactions. Thirty-three IIV-3 genes lack homologues in other IVs. Most of these encode proteins of unknown function but also encode IIV3-053L, a protein with similarity to DNA-dependent RNA polymerase subunit 7; IIV3-044L, a putative serine/threonine protein kinase; and IIV3-080R, a protein with similarity to poxvirus MutT-like proteins. The absence of genes present in other IVs, including IIV-6; the lack of obvious colinearity with any sequenced IV; the low levels of amino acid identity of predicted proteins to IV homologues; and phylogenetic analyses of conserved proteins indicate that IIV-3 is distantly related to other IV genera.
  130. PubMed DOI 45 citations
    Deerpox virus (DPV), an uncharacterized and unclassified member of the Poxviridae, has been isolated from North American free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) exhibiting mucocutaneous disease. Here we report the genomic sequence and comparative analysis of two pathogenic DPV isolates, W-848-83 (W83) and W-1170-84 (W84). The W83 and W84 genomes are 166 and 170 kbp, containing 169 and 170 putative genes, respectively. Nucleotide identity between DPVs is 95% over the central 157 kbp. W83 and W84 share similar gene orders and code for similar replicative, structural, virulence, and host range functions. DPV open reading frames (ORFs) with putative virulence and host range functions include those similar to cytokine receptors (R), including gamma interferon receptor (IFN-gammaR), interleukin 1 receptor (IL-1R), and type 8 CC-chemokine receptors; cytokine binding proteins (BP), including IL-18BP, IFN-alpha/betaBP, and tumor necrosis factor binding protein (TNFBP); serpins; and homologues of vaccinia virus (VACV) E3L, K3L, and A52R proteins. DPVs also encode distinct forms of major histocompatibility complex class I, C-type lectin-like protein, and transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), a protein not previously described in a mammalian chordopoxvirus. Notably, DPV encodes homologues of cellular endothelin 2 and IL-1R antagonist, novel poxviral genes also likely involved in the manipulation of host responses. W83 and W84 differ from each other by the presence or absence of five ORFs. Specifically, homologues of a CD30 TNFR family protein, swinepox virus SPV019, and VACV E11L core protein are absent in W83, and homologues of TGF-beta1 and lumpy skin disease virus LSDV023 are absent in W84. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that DPVs are genetically distinct from viruses of other characterized poxviral genera and that they likely comprise a new genus within the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae.
  131. PubMed DOI 174 citations
    Bovine papular stomatitis virus (BPSV) and orf virus (ORFV), members of the genus Parapoxvirus of the Poxviridae, are etiologic agents of worldwide diseases affecting cattle and small ruminants, respectively. Here we report the genomic sequences and comparative analysis of BPSV strain BV-AR02 and ORFV strains OV-SA00, isolated from a goat, and OV-IA82, isolated from a sheep. Parapoxvirus (PPV) BV-AR02, OV-SA00, and OV-IA82 genomes range in size from 134 to 139 kbp, with an average nucleotide composition of 64% G+C. BPSV and ORFV genomes contain 131 and 130 putative genes, respectively, and share colinearity over 127 genes, 88 of which are conserved in all characterized chordopoxviruses. BPSV and ORFV contain 15 and 16 open reading frames (ORFs), respectively, which lack similarity to other poxvirus or cellular proteins. All genes with putative roles in pathogenesis, including a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-like gene, are present in both viruses; however, BPSV contains two extra ankyrin repeat genes absent in ORFV. Interspecies sequence variability is observed in all functional classes of genes but is highest in putative virulence/host range genes, including genes unique to PPV. At the amino acid level, OV-SA00 is 94% identical to OV-IA82 and 71% identical to BV-AR02. Notably, ORFV 006/132, 103, 109, 110, and 116 genes (VEGF, homologues of vaccinia virus A26L, A33R, and A34R, and a novel PPV ORF) show an unusual degree of intraspecies variability. These genomic differences are consistent with the classification of BPSV and ORFV as two PPV species. Compared to other mammalian chordopoxviruses, PPV shares unique genomic features with molluscum contagiosum virus, including a G+C-rich nucleotide composition, three orthologous genes, and a paucity of nucleotide metabolism genes. Together, these data provide a comparative view of PPV genomics.
  132. PubMed DOI 128 citations
    Here we present the genomic sequence, with analysis, of a canarypox virus (CNPV). The 365-kbp CNPV genome contains 328 potential genes in a central region and in 6.5-kbp inverted terminal repeats. Comparison with the previously characterized fowlpox virus (FWPV) genome revealed avipoxvirus-specific genomic features, including large genomic rearrangements relative to other chordopoxviruses and novel cellular homologues and gene families. CNPV also contains many genomic differences with FWPV, including over 75 kbp of additional sequence, 39 genes lacking FWPV homologues, and an average of 47% amino acid divergence between homologues. Differences occur primarily in terminal and, notably, localized internal genomic regions and suggest significant genomic diversity among avipoxviruses. Divergent regions contain gene families, which overall comprise over 49% of the CNPV genome and include genes encoding 51 proteins containing ankyrin repeats, 26 N1R/p28-like proteins, and potential immunomodulatory proteins, including those similar to transforming growth factor beta and beta-nerve growth factor. CNPV genes lacking homologues in FWPV encode proteins similar to ubiquitin, interleukin-10-like proteins, tumor necrosis factor receptor, PIR1 RNA phosphatase, thioredoxin binding protein, MyD116 domain proteins, circovirus Rep proteins, and the nucleotide metabolism proteins thymidylate kinase and ribonucleotide reductase small subunit. These data reveal genomic differences likely affecting differences in avipoxvirus virulence and host range, and they will likely be useful for the design of improved vaccine vectors.
  133. PubMed DOI 13 citations
    The eukaryotic Melanoplus sanguinipes entomopoxvirus (MsEPV) genome reveals a homologous sequence to eubacterial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+))-dependent DNA ligases [J. Virol. 73 (1999) 533]. This 522-amino acid open reading frame (ORF) contains all conserved nucleotidyl transferase motifs but lacks the zinc finger motif and BRCT domain found in conventional eubacterial NAD(+) ligases. Nevertheless, cloned MsEPV ligase seals DNA nicks in a NAD(+)-dependent fashion, while adenosine 5'-monophosphate (ATP) cannot serve as an adenylation cofactor. The ligation activity of MsEPV ligase requires Mg(2+) or Mn(2+). MsEPV ligase seals sticky ends efficiently, but has little activity on 1-nucleotide gap or blunt-ended DNA substrates even in the presence of polyethylene glycol. In comparison, bacterial NAD(+)-dependent ligases seal blunt-ended DNA substrates in the presence of polyethylene glycol. MsEPV DNA ligase readily joins DNA nicks with mismatches at either side of the nick junction, except for mismatches at the nick junction containing an A base in the template strand (A/A, G/A, and C/A). MsEPV NAD(+)-dependent DNA ligase can join DNA probes on RNA templates, a unique property that distinguishes this enzyme from other conventional bacterial NAD(+) DNA ligases. T4 ATP-dependent DNA ligase shows no detectable mismatch ligation at the 3' side of the nick but substantial 5' T/G mismatch ligation on an RNA template. In contrast, MsEPV ligase joins mismatches at the 3' side of the nick more frequently than at the 5' side of the nick on an RNA template. The complementary specificities of these two enzymes suggest alternative primer design for genomic profiling approaches that use allele-specific detection directly from RNA transcripts.
  134. PubMed DOI 73 citations
    African swine fever virus (ASFV) multigene family 360 and 530 (MGF360/530) genes affect viral growth in macrophage cell cultures and virulence in pigs (L. Zsak, Z. Lu, T. G. Burrage, J. G. Neilan, G. F. Kutish, D. M. Moore, and D. L. Rock, J. Virol. 75:3066-3076, 2001). The mechanism by which these novel genes affect virus-host interactions is unknown. To define MGF360/530 gene function, we compared macrophage transcriptional responses following infection with parental ASFV (Pr4) and an MGF360/530 deletion mutant (Pr4 Delta 35). A swine cDNA microarray containing 7,712 macrophage cDNA clones was used to compare the transcriptional profiles of swine macrophages infected with Pr4 and Pr4 Delta 35 at 3 and 6 h postinfection (hpi). While at 3 hpi most (7,564) of the genes had similar expression levels in cells infected with either virus, 38 genes had significantly increased (>2.0-fold, P < 0.05) mRNA levels in Pr4 Delta 35-infected macrophages. Similar up-regulation of these genes was observed at 6 hpi. Viral infection was required for this induced transcriptional response. Most Pr Delta 35 up-regulated genes were part of a type I interferon (IFN) response or were genes that are normally induced by double-stranded RNA and/or viral infection. These included monocyte chemoattractant protein, transmembrane protein 3, tetratricopeptide repeat protein 1, a ubiquitin-like 17-kDa protein, ubiquitin-specific protease ISG43, an RNA helicase DEAD box protein, GTP-binding MX protein, the cytokine IP-10, and the PKR activator PACT. Differential expression of IFN early-response genes in Pr4 Delta 35 relative to Pr4 was confirmed by Northern blot analysis and real-time PCR. Analysis of IFN-alpha mRNA and secreted IFN-alpha levels at 3, 8, and 24 hpi revealed undetectable IFN-alpha in mock- and Pr4-infected macrophages but significant IFN-alpha levels at 24 hpi in Pr4 Delta 35-infected macrophages. The absence of IFN-alpha in Pr4-infected macrophages suggests that MGF360/530 genes either directly or indirectly suppress a type I IFN response. An inability to suppress host type I IFN responses may account for the growth defect of Pr4 Delta 35 in macrophages and its attenuation in swine.
  135. PubMed DOI 113 citations
    Here we present the complete genomic sequence of bovine herpesvirus 5 (BHV-5), an alphaherpesvirus responsible for fatal meningoencephalitis in cattle. The 138390-bp genome encodes 70 putative proteins and resembles the alpha2 subgroup of herpesviruses in genomic organization and gene content. BHV-5 is very similar to BHV-1, the etiological agent of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, as reflected by the high level of amino acid identity in their protein repertoires (average, 82%). The highest similarity to BHV-1 products (>or=95% amino acid identity) is found in proteins involved in viral DNA replication and processing (UL5, UL15, UL29, and UL39) and in virion proteins (UL14, UL19, UL48, and US6). Among the least conserved (<or=75%) are the homologues of immediate-early (IE) proteins BICP0, BICP4, and BICP22, the three proteins being longer in BHV-5 than in BHV-1. The structure of the BHV-5 latency-related (LR) region departs markedly from that of BHV-1 in both coding and transcriptional regulatory regions. Given the potential significance of IE genes and the LR region in virus-neuron interactions, it is likely these differences contribute to BHV-5 neuropathogenicity.
  136. PubMed DOI 64 citations
    Camelpox virus (CMLV), a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae, is the etiologic agent of a disease of camels. Here we report the CMLV genomic sequence with analysis. The 205,719-bp CMLV genome contains 211 putative genes and consists of a central region bound by identical inverted terminal repeats of approximately 7 kb. A high degree of similarity in gene order, gene content, and amino acid composition in the region located between CMLV017 and CMLV184 (average 96% amino acid identity to vaccinia virus (VACV)) indicates a close structural and functional relationship between CMLV and other known orthopoxviruses (OPVs). Notably, CMLV contains a unique region of approximately 3 kb, which encodes three ORFs (CMLV185, CMLV186, CMLV187) absent in other OPVs. These ORFs are most similar to B22R homologues found in other chordopoxvirus genera. Among OPVs, CMLV is the most closely related to variola virus (VARV), sharing all genes involved in basic replicative functions and the majority of genes involved in other host-related functions. Differences between CMLV and VARV include deletion and disruption of a large number of genes. Twenty-seven CMLV ORFs are absent in VARV, including seven full-length homologues of NMDA-like receptor, phospholipase D, Schlafen, MT-4 virulence, kelch, VACV C8L, and cowpox (CPXV) B21R proteins. Thirty-eight CMLV ORFs, some of which are fragments of larger genes, differ in size from corresponding VARV ORFs by more than 10% (amino acids). Genome structure and phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences for all ORFs indicate that CMLV is clearly distinct from VARV and VACV and, as it has been suggested for VARV, it may have originated from a CPXV virus-like ancestor.
  137. PubMed DOI 161 citations
    Sheeppox virus (SPPV) and goatpox virus (GTPV), members of the Capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae, are etiologic agents of important diseases of sheep and goats in northern and central Africa, southwest and central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Here we report the genomic sequence and comparative analysis of five SPPV and GTPV isolates, including three pathogenic field isolates and two attenuated vaccine viruses. SPPV and GTPV genomes are approximately 150 kbp and are strikingly similar to each other, exhibiting 96% nucleotide identity over their entire length. Wild-type genomes share at least 147 putative genes, including conserved poxvirus replicative and structural genes and genes likely involved in virulence and host range. SPPV and GTPV genomes are very similar to that of lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), sharing 97% nucleotide identity. All SPPV and GTPV genes are present in LSDV. Notably in both SPPV and GTPV genomes, nine LSDV genes with likely virulence and host range functions are disrupted, including a gene unique to LSDV (LSDV132) and genes similar to those coding for interleukin-1 receptor, myxoma virus M003.2 and M004.1 genes (two copies each), and vaccinia virus F11L, N2L, and K7L genes. The absence of these genes in SPPV and GTPV suggests a significant role for them in the bovine host range. SPPV and GTPV genomes contain specific nucleotide differences, suggesting they are phylogenetically distinct. Relatively few genomic changes in SPPV and GTPV vaccine viruses account for viral attenuation, because they contain 71 and 7 genomic changes compared to their respective field strains. Notable genetic changes include mutation or disruption of genes with predicted functions involving virulence and host range, including two ankyrin repeat proteins in SPPV and three kelch-like proteins in GTPV. These comparative genomic data indicate the close genetic relationship among capripoxviruses, and they suggest that SPPV and GTPV are distinct and likely derived from an LSDV-like ancestor.
  138. PubMed DOI 78 citations
    Swinepox virus (SWPV), the sole member of the Suipoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae, is the etiologic agent of a worldwide disease specific for swine. Here we report the genomic sequence of SWPV. The 146-kbp SWPV genome consists of a central coding region bounded by identical 3.7-kbp inverted terminal repeats and contains 150 putative genes. Comparison of SWPV with chordopoxviruses reveals 146 conserved genes encoding proteins involved in basic replicative functions, viral virulence, host range, and immune evasion. Notably, these include genes with similarity to genes for gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) receptor, IFN resistance protein, interleukin-18 binding protein, IFN-alpha/beta binding protein, extracellular enveloped virus host range protein, dUTPase, hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase, serpin, herpesvirus major histocompatibility complex inhibitor, ectromelia virus macrophage host range protein, myxoma virus M011L, variola virus B22R, four ankyrin repeat proteins, three kelch-like proteins, five vaccinia virus (VV) A52R-like family proteins, and two G protein-coupled receptors. The most conserved genomic region is centrally located and corresponds to the VV region located between genes F9L and A38L. Within the terminal 13 kbp, colinearity is disrupted and multiple poxvirus gene homologues are absent or share a lower percentage of amino acid identity. Most of these differences involve genes and gene families with likely functions involving viral virulence and host range. Three open reading frames (SPV018, SPV019. and SPV020) are unique for SWPV. Phylogenetic analysis, genome organization, and amino acid identity indicate that SWPV is most closely related to the capripoxvirus lumpy skin disease virus, followed by the yatapoxvirus yaba-like disease virus and the leporipoxviruses. The gene complement of SWPV better defines Suipoxvirus within the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily and provides a basis for future genetic comparisons.
  139. PubMed DOI 34 citations
    Previously we have shown that the African swine fever virus (ASFV) NL gene deletion mutant E70DeltaNL is attenuated in pigs. Our recent observations that NL gene deletion mutants of two additional pathogenic ASFV isolates, Malawi Lil-20/1 and Pr4, remained highly virulent in swine (100% mortality) suggested that these isolates encoded an additional virulence determinant(s) that was absent from E70. To map this putative virulence determinant, in vivo marker rescue experiments were performed by inoculating swine with infection-transfection lysates containing E70 NL deletion mutant virus (E70DeltaNL) and cosmid DNA clones from the Malawi NL gene deletion mutant (MalDeltaNL). A cosmid clone representing the left-hand 38-kb region (map units 0.05 to 0.26) of the MalDeltaNL genome was capable of restoring full virulence to E70DeltaNL. Southern blot analysis of recovered virulent viruses confirmed that they were recombinant E70DeltaNL genomes containing a 23- to 28-kb DNA fragment of the Malawi genome. These recombinants exhibited an unaltered MalDeltaNL disease and virulence phenotype when inoculated into swine. Additional in vivo marker rescue experiments identified a 20-kb fragment, encoding members of multigene families (MGF) 360 and 530, as being capable of fully restoring virulence to E70DeltaNL. Comparative nucleotide sequence analysis of the left variable region of the E70DeltaNL and Malawi Lil-20/1 genomes identified an 8-kb deletion in the E70DeltaNL isolate which resulted in the deletion and/or truncation of three MGF 360 genes and four MGF 530 genes. A recombinant MalDeltaNL deletion mutant lacking three members of each MGF gene family was constructed and evaluated for virulence in swine. The mutant virus replicated normally in macrophage cell culture but was avirulent in swine. Together, these results indicate that a region within the left variable region of the ASFV genome containing the MGF 360 and 530 genes represents a previously unrecognized virulence determinant for domestic swine.
  140. PubMed DOI 131 citations
    Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), a member of the capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae, is the etiologic agent of an important disease of cattle in Africa. Here we report the genomic sequence of LSDV. The 151-kbp LSDV genome consists of a central coding region bounded by identical 2.4 kbp-inverted terminal repeats and contains 156 putative genes. Comparison of LSDV with chordopoxviruses of other genera reveals 146 conserved genes which encode proteins involved in transcription and mRNA biogenesis, nucleotide metabolism, DNA replication, protein processing, virion structure and assembly, and viral virulence and host range. In the central genomic region, LSDV genes share a high degree of colinearity and amino acid identity (average of 65%) with genes of other known mammalian poxviruses, particularly suipoxvirus, yatapoxvirus, and leporipoxviruses. In the terminal regions, colinearity is disrupted and poxvirus homologues are either absent or share a lower percentage of amino acid identity (average of 43%). Most of these differences involve genes and gene families with likely functions involving viral virulence and host range. Although LSDV resembles leporipoxviruses in gene content and organization, it also contains homologues of interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-1 binding proteins, G protein-coupled CC chemokine receptor, and epidermal growth factor-like protein which are found in other poxvirus genera. These data show that although LSDV is closely related to other members of the Chordopoxvirinae, it contains a unique complement of genes responsible for viral host range and virulence.
  141. PubMed DOI 140 citations
    In this report we describe the complete genome sequence of a nucleopolyhedrovirus that infects larval stages of the mosquito Culex nigripalpus (CuniNPV). The CuniNPV genome is a circular double-stranded DNA molecule of 108,252 bp and is predicted to contain 109 genes. Although 36 of these genes show homology to genes from other baculoviruses, their orientation and order exhibit little conservation relative to the genomes of lepidopteran baculoviruses. CuniNPV genes homologous to those from other baculoviruses include genes involved in early and late gene expression (lef-4, lef-5, lef-8, lef-9, vlf-1, and p47), DNA replication (lef-1, lef-2, helicase-1, and dna-pol), and structural functions (vp39, vp91, odv-ec27, odv-e56, p6.9, gp41, p74, and vp1054). Auxiliary genes include homologues of genes encoding the p35 antiapoptosis protein and a novel insulin binding-related protein. In contrast to these conserved genes, CuniNPV lacks apparent homologues of baculovirus genes essential (ie-1 and lef-3) or stimulatory (ie-2, lef-7, pe38) for DNA replication. Also, baculovirus genes essential or stimulatory for early-late (ie-1, ie-2), early (ie-0 and pe-38), and late (lef-6, lef-11, and pp31) gene transcription are not identifiable. In addition, CuniNPV lacks homologues of genes involved in the formation of virogenic stroma (pp31), nucleocapsid (orf1629, p87, and p24), envelope of occluded virions (odv-e25, odv-e66, odv-e18), and polyhedra (polyhedrin/granulin, p10, pp34, and fp25k). A homologue of gp64, a budded virus envelope fusion protein, was also absent, although a gene related to the other category of baculovirus budded virus envelope proteins, Ld130, was present. The absence of homologues of occlusion-derived virion (ODV) envelope proteins and occlusion body (OB) protein (polyhedrin) suggests that both CuniNPV ODV and OB may be structurally and compositionally different from those found in terrestrial lepidopteran hosts. The striking difference in genome organization, the low level of conservation of homologous genes, and the lack of many genes conserved in other baculoviruses suggest a large evolutionary distance between CuniNPV and lepidopteran baculoviruses.
  142. PubMed DOI 104 citations
    Here we present the first complete genomic sequence of Marek's disease virus serotype 3 (MDV3), also known as turkey herpesvirus (HVT). The 159,160-bp genome encodes an estimated 99 putative proteins and resembles alphaherpesviruses in genomic organization and gene content. HVT is very similar to MDV1 and MDV2 within the unique long (UL) and unique short (US) genomic regions, where homologous genes share a high degree of colinearity and their proteins share a high level of amino acid identity. Within the UL region, HVT contains 57 genes with homologues found in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), six genes with homologues found only in MDV, and two genes (HVT068 and HVT070 genes) which are unique to HVT. The HVT US region is 2.2 kb shorter than that of MDV1 (Md5 strain) due to the absence of an MDV093 (SORF4) homologue and to differences at the UL/short repeat (RS) boundary. HVT lacks a homologue of MDV087, a protein encoded at the UL/RS boundary of MDV1 (Md5), and it contains two homologues of MDV096 (glycoprotein E) in the RS. HVT RS are 1,039 bp longer than those in MDV1, and with the exception of an ICP4 gene homologue, the gene content is different from that of MDV1. Six unique genes, including a homologue of the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-2, are found in the RS. This is the first reported Bcl-2 homologue in an alphaherpesvirus. HVT long repeats (RL) are 7,407 bp shorter than those in MDV1 and do not contain homologues of MDV1 genes with functions involving virulence, oncogenicity, and immune evasion. HVT lacks homologues of MDV1 oncoprotein MEQ, CxC chemokine, oncogenicity-associated phosphoprotein pp24, and conserved domains of phosphoprotein pp38. These significant genomic differences in and adjacent to RS and RL regions likely account for the differences in host range, virulence, and oncogenicity between nonpathogenic HVT and highly pathogenic MDV1.
  143. PubMed DOI 234 citations
    Here we present the genomic sequence, with analysis, of a pathogenic fowlpox virus (FPV). The 288-kbp FPV genome consists of a central coding region bounded by identical 9.5-kbp inverted terminal repeats and contains 260 open reading frames, of which 101 exhibit similarity to genes of known function. Comparison of the FPV genome with those of other chordopoxviruses (ChPVs) revealed 65 conserved gene homologues, encoding proteins involved in transcription and mRNA biogenesis, nucleotide metabolism, DNA replication and repair, protein processing, and virion structure. Comparison of the FPV genome with those of other ChPVs revealed extensive genome colinearity which is interrupted in FPV by a translocation and a major inversion, the presence of multiple and in some cases large gene families, and novel cellular homologues. Large numbers of cellular homologues together with 10 multigene families largely account for the marked size difference between the FPV genome (260 to 309 kbp) and other known ChPV genomes (178 to 191 kbp). Predicted proteins with putative functions involving immune evasion included eight natural killer cell receptors, four CC chemokines, three G-protein-coupled receptors, two beta nerve growth factors, transforming growth factor beta, interleukin-18-binding protein, semaphorin, and five serine proteinase inhibitors (serpins). Other potential FPV host range proteins included homologues of those involved in apoptosis (e.g., Bcl-2 protein), cell growth (e.g., epidermal growth factor domain protein), tissue tropism (e.g., ankyrin repeat-containing gene family, N1R/p28 gene family, and a T10 homologue), and avian host range (e.g., a protein present in both fowl adenovirus and Marek's disease virus). The presence of homologues of genes encoding proteins involved in steroid biogenesis (e.g., hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase), antioxidant functions (e.g., glutathione peroxidase), vesicle trafficking (e.g., two alpha-type soluble NSF attachment proteins), and other, unknown conserved cellular processes (e.g., Hal3 domain protein and GSN1/SUR4) suggests that significant modification of host cell function occurs upon viral infection. The presence of a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer photolyase homologue in FPV suggests the presence of a photoreactivation DNA repair pathway. This diverse complement of genes with likely host range functions in FPV suggests significant viral adaptation to the avian host.
  144. PubMed DOI 197 citations
    Here we present the first complete genomic sequence, with analysis, of a very virulent strain of Marek's disease virus serotype 1 (MDV1), Md5. The genome is 177,874 bp and is predicted to encode 103 proteins. MDV1 is colinear with the prototypic alphaherpesvirus herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) within the unique long (UL) region, and it is most similar at the amino acid level to MDV2, herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT), and nonavian herpesviruses equine herpesviruses 1 and 4. MDV1 encodes 55 HSV-1 UL homologues together with 6 additional UL proteins that are absent in nonavian herpesviruses. The unique short (US) region is colinear with and has greater than 99% nucleotide identity to that of MDV1 strain GA; however, an extra nucleotide sequence at the Md5 US/short terminal repeat boundary results in a shorter US region and the presence of a second gene (encoding MDV097) similar to the SORF2 gene. MD5, like HVT, encodes an ICP4 homologue that contains a 900-amino-acid amino-terminal extension not found in other herpesviruses. Putative virulence and host range gene products include the oncoprotein MEQ, oncogenicity-associated phosphoproteins pp38 and pp24, a lipase homologue, a CxC chemokine, and unique proteins of unknown function MDV087 and MDV097 (SORF2 homologues) and MDV093 (SORF4). Consistent with its virulent phenotype, Md5 contains only two copies of the 132-bp repeat which has previously been associated with viral attenuation and loss of oncogenicity.
  145. PubMed 162 citations
    The family Poxviridae contains two subfamilies: the Entomopoxvirinae (poxviruses of insects) and the Chordopoxvirinae (poxviruses of vertebrates). Here we present the first characterization of the genome of an entomopoxvirus (EPV) which infects the North American migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes and other important orthopteran pests. The 236-kbp M. sanguinipes EPV (MsEPV) genome consists of a central coding region bounded by 7-kbp inverted terminal repeats and contains 267 open reading frames (ORFs), of which 107 exhibit similarity to previously described genes. The presence of genes not previously described in poxviruses, and in some cases in any other known virus, suggests significant viral adaptation to the arthropod host and the external environment. Genes predicting interactions with host cellular mechanisms include homologues of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein, stress response protein phosphatase 2C, extracellular matrixin metalloproteases, ubiquitin, calcium binding EF-hand protein, glycosyltransferase, and a triacylglyceride lipase. MsEPV genes with putative functions in prevention and repair of DNA damage include a complete base excision repair pathway (uracil DNA glycosylase, AP endonuclease, DNA polymerase beta, and an NAD+-dependent DNA ligase), a photoreactivation repair pathway (cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer photolyase), a LINE-type reverse transcriptase, and a mutT homologue. The presence of these specific repair pathways may represent viral adaptation for repair of environmentally induced DNA damage. The absence of previously described poxvirus enzymes involved in nucleotide metabolism and the presence of a novel thymidylate synthase homologue suggest that MsEPV is heavily reliant on host cell nucleotide pools and the de novo nucleotide biosynthesis pathway. MsEPV and lepidopteran genus B EPVs lack genome colinearity and exhibit a low level of amino acid identity among homologous genes (20 to 59%), perhaps reflecting a significant evolutionary distance between lepidopteran and orthopteran viruses. Divergence between MsEPV and the Chordopoxvirinae is indicated by the presence of only 49 identifiable chordopoxvirus homologues, low-level amino acid identity among these genes (20 to 48%), and the presence in MsEPV of 43 novel ORFs in five gene families. Genes common to both poxvirus subfamilies, which include those encoding enzymes involved in RNA transcription and modification, DNA replication, protein processing, virion assembly, and virion structural proteins, define the genetic core of the Poxviridae.
  146. PubMed DOI 27 citations
    Previously, we described a highly conserved nonessential African swine fever virus (ASFV) right variable region gene, NL. Deletion of NL from the European pathogenic isolate E70 resulted in almost complete attenuation of the virus in domestic swine. To study gene function further, NL gene deletion mutants were constructed from two pathogenic African ASFV isolates, Malawi Lil-20/1 (Mal) and Pretoriuskop/96/4 (Pr4). Unexpectedly, both Mal (Mal-deltaNL) and PR4 (Pr4deltaNL) null mutants remained highly virulent when inoculated in swine. Mal-deltaNL exhibited a disease and virulence phenotype indistinguishable from its revertant, Mal-NLR, which caused 100% mortality. Mortality among Pr4deltaNL-infected animals was also high; however, a significant delay in onset of fever and viraemia and in time to death was observed. These data indicate that NL gene function is not required for ASFV virulence and that other yet-to-be identified viral determinants perform significant virulence functions in these African field isolates.
  147. PubMed DOI 167 citations
    The green-fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria has been shown to be a convenient and flexible reporter molecule within a variety of eukaryotic systems, including higher plants. It is particularly suited for applications in vivo, since the mechanism of fluorophore formation involves an intramolecular autoxidation and does not require exogenous co-factors. Unlike standard histochemical procedures of fixation and staining required for analysis of the cellular or tissue-specific expression of other popular reporter molecules, such as the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) marker, analysis of GFP can be done in living cells with no specific pretreatments. This implies that GFP might also be particularly suited for studies of intracellular protein targeting. In this paper, the use of GUS is compared with that of GFP for the analysis of nuclear targeting in tobacco. A novel oligopeptide motif from a tobacco protein is described which confers nuclear localization of GUS. The use of this oligopeptide and two from potyviral proteins to target GFP to the nucleus is examined. An essential modification of GFP is described, which specifically increases its molecular weight to eliminate its passive penetration into the nucleus. Three examples of the targeting of these enlarged GFP molecules to the nucleus are illustrated. GFP, in combination with confocal microscopy, offers significant advantages over traditional methods of studying nuclear targeting.
  148. PubMed 72 citations
    Here, we show that the African swine fever virus 5-HL gene is a highly conserved viral gene and contains all known protein domains associated with Bcl-2 activity, including those involved with dimerization, mediating cell death, and protein-binding functions, and that its protein product, p21, suppresses apoptotic cell death in the mammalian lymphoid cell line FL5.12. Thus, 5-HL is a true functional viral member of the Bcl-2 gene family.
  149. PubMed DOI 29 citations
    Here we describe an African swine fever virus (ASFV) protein encoded by the open reading frame 5-AR that shares structural and functional similarities with the family of bacterial histone-like proteins which include histone-like DNA binding proteins, integration host factor, and Bacillus phage SPO1 transcription factor, TF1. The ASFV 5-AR gene was cloned by PCR and expressed in E. coli. Monospecific antiserum prepared to the 5-AR bacterial expression product specifically immunoprecipitated a protein of approximately 11.6 kDa from ASFV infected swine macrophages at late times post infection. Additionally, the 5-AR expression product was strongly recognized by ASFV convalescent pig serum, indicating its antigenicity during natural infection. Cloned p11.6 bound both double and single stranded DNA-cellulose columns. Consistent with a DNA binding function, immunoelectronmicroscopy localized p11.6 to the virion nucleoid, To our knowledge, p11.6 is the first bacterial histone-like DNA-binding protein found in an animal virus or eukaryotic cell system.
  150. PubMed 34 citations
    Long-term persistent infection was established in 100% of pigs (n = 19) experimentally infected with African swine fever virus (ASFV). Viral DNA was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBML) at greater than 500 days postinfection by a PCR assay. Infectious virus was not, however, isolated from the same PBML samples. In cell fractionation studies of PBML, monocytes/macrophages were found to harbor viral DNA during the persistent phase of infection. This result indicates that monocytes/macrophages are persistently infected with ASFV and that ASFV-swine monocyte/macrophage interactions can result in either lytic or persistent infection.
  151. PubMed DOI 39 citations
    An open reading frame, LMW8-DR, in the African swine fever virus (ASFV) genome possesses striking similarity to the lymphocyte membrane antigen CD2. All characterized CD2 domains, including the amino-terminal signal sequence, IgV, hinge, IgC2, stalk, transmembrane, and proline-rich carboxy cytoplasmic domains, are highly conserved in the ASFV gene. Critical residues for the binding of the lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA-3) and CD59 and for T-cell activation are also partially conserved. LMW8-DR is actively transcribed in ASFV-infected swine macrophages and Vero cells at late times in the infection cycle and Vero and COS cells transiently expressing the LMW8-DR open reading frame hemadsorbed swine red blood cells. The structural and functional similarities of LMW8-DR to CD2, a protein that is involved in cell-cell adhesion and immune response modulation, suggest a possible role in the pathogenesis of ASFV infection.
  152. PubMed DOI 30 citations
    Here, we describe two novel multigene families (MGF) present in the terminal variable regions of the African swine fever virus (ASFV) genome. MGF530 includes at least six related ORFs (averaging 530 amino acids) containing four well-conserved domains and amino acid identities ranging from 24 to 55%. MGF300 is composed of three ORFs (averaging 300 amino acids) containing three highly conserved domains and amino acid identities ranging from 25 to 46%. Amino terminal regions of predicted MGF530 and 300 proteins share significant similarity with each other and with the comparable regions of previously characterized MGF360 ORFs. Members of both MGF530 and 300 are transcribed in ASFV-infected porcine macrophages. These results indicate that the composition and organization of MGF in the terminal variable region of the ASFV genome are more complex than previously recognized.
  153. PubMed DOI 35 citations
    We have previously described a monoclonal antibody (mAb 135D4) to an unidentified 70- to 72-kDa African swine fever virus (ASFV) protein that exhibited high levels of neutralizing activity against various virulent ASFV isolates. Here, we identify the reactive ASFV protein as the major virus structural protein p72. In vitro-translated products of the p72 protein gene were specifically immunoprecipitated by mAb 135D4. Immunoprecipitation of a nested set of truncated p72 in vitro translation products defined the region between amino acid residues 400 and 404 as necessary for mAb 135D4 reactivity. Five partially overlapping peptides (15mers) covering residues 388-446 failed to react with mAb 135D4, suggesting the conformational dependence of the epitope. Supporting this interpretation, larger in vitro translation products representing residues 56-282, 159-361, 360-508, and 507-646 also failed to react with mAb 135D4. Consistent with its involvement in virus neutralization, immunoelectromicroscopy, using a rabbit antiserum against mAb 135D4-purified p72, located the protein on the surface of unenveloped virus particles.
  154. PubMed 155 citations
    An open reading frame, LMW5-HL, in the African swine fever virus genome displays a high degree of similarity to the proto-oncogene bcl-2 and, to a lesser degree, the Epstein-Barr virus gene BHRF1. A highly conserved central region is found in all three proteins. LMW5-HL encodes a protein of 18 kDa that is present in infected porcine macrophages at both early and late times postinfection. The similarity of LMW5-HL to bcl-2 and BHRF1 suggests a role for it in cell maintenance during productive or persistent viral infection.
  155. PubMed DOI 38 citations
    Convalescent swine serum to African swine fever virus (ASFV) isolate E75 neutralized the infectivity of virulent ASFV isolates E75, E70, Lisbon 60, Malawi Lil 20/1 and a low passage tissue culture adapted variant of E75, E75CV/V3, by 86-97% in Vero and macrophage cell cultures. A monoclonal antibody, mAb-135D4, recognizing an ASFV protein of 72 kDa also exhibited strong neutralizing activity with these viruses. Unexpectedly, both E75 immune sera and mAb-135D4 failed to neutralize high passage tissue culture adapted ASFV variants including Lisbon 60, Haiti, Dominican Republic I, Dominican Republic II, and Brazil II, even though mAb-135D4 reacted with all viruses. These results suggest that tissue culture adaptation of ASFV isolates may be associated with loss of specific determinants associated with virus neutralization. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an ASFV neutralizing epitope.
  156. PubMed 29 citations
    Here we describe an open reading frame (LMW23-NL) in the African swine fever virus genome that possesses striking similarity to a murine myeloid differentiation primary response gene (MyD116) and the neurovirulence-associated gene (ICP34.5) of herpes simplex virus. In all three proteins, a centrally located acidic region precedes a highly conserved, hydrophilic 56-amino-acid domain located at the carboxy terminus. LMW23-NL predicts a highly basic protein of 184 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 21.3 kDa. The similarity of LMW23-NL to genes involved in myeloid cell differentiation and viral host range suggests a role for it in African swine fever virus host range.
  157. PubMed DOI 10 citations
    Leaf protoplasts of tobacco (Nicotlana tabacum L.) were employed for transfection of chimeric transcriptional gene fusions comprising the 35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus, the coding sequence of the G-protein from vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVG) and the transcriptional terminator from the Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline-synthetase gene. Transient expression of the chimeric gene was monitored through Northern analysis of total protoplast RNA using a labeled VSV cDNA probe, and through Western-blot analysis of protoplast proteins using a polyclonal and-VSV antiserum. Although a single species of mRNA was detected in the transfected protoplasts, two glycoproteins differing in mass by approx. 9 kDa were detected by the antiserum. Biosynthesis of the VSVG isoforms was not impeded by chemical inhibitors of cell-wall production or of proline hydroxylation. Transfection using mutant forms of the VSVG coding sequence in which either one or both consensus glycosylation sites were removed resulted in the production of progressively smaller VSVG proteins. Those proteins produced from the double mutant had mobilities on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis that were very similar to those produced from the wild-type construct in the presence of tunicamycin. Analysis of protoplast homogenates by differential centrifugation showed that the two VSVG isoforms were exclusively associated with cellular membranes. The larger protein co-localized with the plasma membrane and with the organelles of the endomembrane-secretory pathway leading to the plasma membrane. The smaller protein was associated with membranes of lower isopycnic densities which were not identical to the endoplasmic reticulum. The larger protein displayed greater sensitivity than did the smaller to degradation in vivo by exogenously added protease. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that the VSVG isoforms were present both within the protoplasts and at the surface of the plasma membrane. The intracellular distribution was either punctate or reticulate. These results are consistent with the progressive and accurate glycosylation of the newly synthesized VSVG polypeptide during its passage through the endomembrane-secretory pathway, the access of the larger isoform to the cell surface, and the conversion of the larger to the small isoform by selective proteolysis.
  158. PubMed DOI 48 citations
    We have identified and characterized a 30-kDa phosphoprotein (p30) of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that is synthesized, membrane localized, and released into the culture medium at early times after infection. Sequence analysis of the p30 open reading frame predicts a highly antigenic protein with putative phosphorylation, glycosylation, and membrane attachment sites.
  159. PubMed DOI 38 citations
    Membranes from tobacco cell suspension cultures were used as antigens for the preparation of monoclonal antibodies. Use of solid phase and indirect immunofluorescence assays led to the identification of hybridomas producing antibodies directed against cell surface epitopes. One of these monoclonal antibodies (11.D2) was found to recognize a molecular species which on two-dimensional analysis (using nonequilibrium pH-gradient electrophoresis and SDS-PAGE) was found to have a high and polydisperse molecular mass and a very basic isoelectric point. This component was conspicuously labeled by [3H]proline in vivo. The monoclonal antibody cross-reacted with authentic tomato extensin, but not with potato lectin nor larch arabinogalactan. Use of the monoclonal antibody as an immunoaffinity reagent allowed the purification of a tobacco glycoprotein which was identical in amino acid composition to extensin. Finally, immunocytological analyses revealed tissue-specific patterns of labeling by the monoclonal antibody that were identical to those observed with a polyclonal antibody raised against purified extensin. We have concluded that monoclonal antibody 11.D2 recognizes an epitope that is carried exclusively by extensin. Analysis of cellular homogenates through differential and isopycnic gradient centrifugation revealed that biosynthesis of the extensin epitope was found on or within the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi region and plasma membrane. This result is consistent with the progressive glycosylation of the newly-synthesized extensin polypeptide during its passage through a typical eukaryotic endomembrane pathway of secretion. The 11.D2 epitope was not found in protoplasts freshly isolated from leaf tissues. However, on incubation of these protoplasts in appropriate culture media, biosynthesis of the epitope was initiated. This process was not impeded by the presence of chemicals that are reported to be inhibitors of cell wall production or of proline hydroxylation.
  160. PubMed DOI 31 citations
    Protoplasts were prepared from suspension cultures of Nicotiana tabacum cv Wisconsin 38 that had been prelabeled with FITC. The protoplasts were subjected to flow sorting based on fluorescence content using a Coulter EPICS V Flow Cytometer - Cell Sorter. Conditions were established that allowed the recovery after sorting of approximately 30% of the initial protoplasts in a viable state. These were subsequently regenerated into calli that underwent shoot morphogenesis.