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Plant Disease ◽  
2022 ◽  
Rochelle de Bruyn ◽  
Rachelle Bester ◽  
Glynnis Cook ◽  
Chanel Steyn ◽  
Johannes Hendrik Jacobus Breytenbach ◽  

Citrus virus A (CiVA), a novel negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus assigned to the species Coguvirus eburi in the genus Coguvirus, was detected in South Africa with the use of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) after its initial discovery in Italy. CiVA is closely related to citrus concave gum-associated virus (CCGaV), recently assigned to the species Citrus coguvirus. Disease association with CiVA is however incomplete. CiVA was detected in grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.), sweet orange (C. sinensis (L.) Osb.) and clementine (C. reticulata Blanco) in South Africa and a survey to determine the distribution, symptom association and genetic diversity was conducted in three provinces and seven citrus production regions. The virus was detected in ‘Delta’ Valencia trees in six citrus production regions and a fruit rind symptom was often observed on CiVA-positive trees. Additionally, grapefruit showing symptoms of citrus impietratura disease were positive for CiVA. This virus was primarily detected in older orchards that were established prior to the application of shoot tip grafting for virus elimination in the South African Citrus Improvement Scheme. The three viral encoded genes of CiVA isolates from each cultivar and region were sequenced to investigate sequence diversity. Genetic differences were detected between the ‘Delta’ Valencia, grapefruit and clementine samples, with greater sequence variation observed with the nucleocapsid protein (NP) compared to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and the movement protein (MP). A real-time detection assay, targeting the RdRp, was developed to simultaneously detect citrus infecting coguviruses, CiVA and CCGaV, using a dual priming reverse primer to improve PCR specificity.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 (4) ◽  
pp. 243-247
Narinder Singh ◽  
Ajeet Pal Singh ◽  
Amar Pal Singh

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral illness that is quickly spreading over the globe, with significant death and morbidity rates. Dengue fever is an acute viral infection transmitted by Aedes mosquitos and caused by an RNA virus from the Flaviviridae family. The symptoms might vary from asymptomatic fever to life-threatening complications including hemorrhagic fever and shock. Although dengue virus infections are normally self-limiting, the disease has become a public health concern in tropical and subtropical countries. Dengue fever is a major public health concern owing to its rapid worldwide spread, and its burdens are now unmet due to a lack of accurate therapy and a simple diagnostic approach for the early stages of illness.

2022 ◽  
Heinz-Josef Schmitt ◽  
Khrystyna Hrynkevych

The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an RNA virus that causes annual ARI outbreaks during winter with mild URTI in the general population, but with severe LRTI particularly among young children (bronchiolitis), patients with underlying diseases and people >65 years of age. RSV does not induce a long-lasting protective immunity and repeated infections throughout life are the norm. Basically, all children have been infected by 2 years of age and of those hospitalized, >50% are <3 months and 75% are <6 months of age. The overall CFR is 1/500. For adults ≥65 years, RSV hospitalization rates are 90–250/105. There is no specific therapy, general preventive measures include general hygiene and isolation/separation of patients. A monoclonal anti-F-protein antibody is available for passive immunization of selected high-risk children. It requires monthly injections, comes at a high cost and has limited efficacy (50% against RSV hospitalization). Active immunization failed in the past, probably as the post-fusion conformation of the F-protein was used. Long-acting monoclonal antibodies (for infants) as well as stabilized pre-fusion F-protein vaccines (for immunization of pregnant women, children, older adults) produced on various platforms are in late stages of clinical development.

Cells ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 253
Sascha Berlansky ◽  
Matthias Sallinger ◽  
Herwig Grabmayr ◽  
Christina Humer ◽  
Andreas Bernhard ◽  

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This respiratory illness was declared a pandemic by the world health organization (WHO) in March 2020, just a few weeks after being described for the first time. Since then, global research effort has considerably increased humanity’s knowledge about both viruses and disease. It has also spawned several vaccines that have proven to be key tools in attenuating the spread of the pandemic and severity of COVID-19. However, with vaccine-related skepticism being on the rise, as well as breakthrough infections in the vaccinated population and the threat of a complete immune escape variant, alternative strategies in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently required. Calcium signals have long been known to play an essential role in infection with diverse viruses and thus constitute a promising avenue for further research on therapeutic strategies. In this review, we introduce the pivotal role of calcium signaling in viral infection cascades. Based on this, we discuss prospective calcium-related treatment targets and strategies for the cure of COVID-19 that exploit viral dependence on calcium signals.

2022 ◽  
Philippe Colson ◽  
philippe Gautret ◽  
Jeremy Delerce ◽  
Herve Chaudet ◽  
Pierre Pontarotti ◽  

The nature and dynamics of mutations associated with the emergence, spread and vanishing of SARS-CoV-2 variants causing successive waves are complex. We determined the kinetics of the most common French variant (Marseille-4) for 10 months since its onset in July 2020. Here, we analysed and classified into subvariants and lineages 7,453 genomes obtained by next-generation sequencing. We identified two subvariants, Marseille-4A, which contains 22 different lineages of at least 50 genomes, and Marseille-4B. Their average lifetime was 4.1+/-1.4 months, during which 4.1+/-2.6 mutations accumulated. Growth rate was 0.079+/-0.045, varying from 0.010 to 0.173. All the lineages exhibited a gamma distribution. Several beneficial mutations at unpredicted sites initiated a new outbreak, while the accumulation of other mutations resulted in more viral heterogenicity, increased diversity and vanishing of the lineages. Marseille-4B emerged when the other Marseille-4 lineages vanished. Its ORF8 gene was knocked out by a stop codon, as reported in several mink lineages and in the alpha variant. This subvariant was associated with increased hospitalization and death rates, suggesting that ORF8 is a nonvirulence gene. We speculate that the observed heterogenicity of a lineage may predict the end of the outbreak.

Viruses ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 104
Adam A. Capoferri ◽  
Wei Shao ◽  
Jon Spindler ◽  
John M. Coffin ◽  
Jason W. Rausch ◽  

COVID-19 vaccines were first administered on 15 December 2020, marking an important transition point for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States (U.S.). Prior to this point in time, the virus spread to an almost completely immunologically naïve population, whereas subsequently, vaccine-induced immune pressure and prior infections might be expected to influence viral evolution. Accordingly, we conducted a study to characterize the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S. pre-vaccination, investigate the depth and uniformity of genetic surveillance during this period, and measure and otherwise characterize changing viral genetic diversity, including by comparison with more recently emergent variants of concern (VOCs). In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 spread across the U.S. in three phases distinguishable by peaks in the numbers of infections and shifting geographical distributions. Virus was genetically sampled during this period at an overall rate of ~1.2%, though there was a substantial mismatch between case rates and genetic sampling nationwide. Viral genetic diversity tripled over this period but remained low in comparison to other widespread RNA virus pathogens, and although 54 amino acid changes were detected at frequencies exceeding 5%, linkage among them was not observed. Based on our collective observations, our analysis supports a targeted strategy for worldwide genetic surveillance as perhaps the most sensitive and efficient means of detecting new VOCs.

2022 ◽  
Vol 5 (4) ◽  
pp. e202101124
Elena Rensen ◽  
Stefano Pietropaoli ◽  
Florian Mueller ◽  
Christian Weber ◽  
Sylvie Souquere ◽  

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus contains a single linear RNA segment that serves as a template for transcription and replication, leading to the synthesis of positive and negative-stranded viral RNA (vRNA) in infected cells. Tools to visualize vRNA directly in infected cells are critical to analyze the viral replication cycle, screen for therapeutic molecules, or study infections in human tissue. Here, we report the design, validation, and initial application of FISH probes to visualize positive or negative RNA of SARS-CoV-2 (CoronaFISH). We demonstrate sensitive visualization of vRNA in African green monkey and several human cell lines, in patient samples and human tissue. We further demonstrate the adaptation of CoronaFISH probes to electron microscopy. We provide all required oligonucleotide sequences, source code to design the probes, and a detailed protocol. We hope that CoronaFISH will complement existing techniques for research on SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 pathophysiology, drug screening, and diagnostics.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (1) ◽  
Shijulal Nelson-Sathi ◽  
P. K. Umasankar ◽  
E. Sreekumar ◽  
R. Radhakrishnan Nair ◽  
Iype Joseph ◽  

Abstract Background SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 pandemic is a RNA virus prone to mutations. Formation of a stable binding interface between the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) of host is pivotal for viral entry. RBD has been shown to mutate frequently during pandemic. Although, a few mutations in RBD exhibit enhanced transmission rates leading to rise of new variants of concern, most RBD mutations show sustained ACE2 binding and virus infectivity. Yet, how all these mutations make the binding interface constantly favourable for virus remain enigmatic. This study aims to delineate molecular rearrangements in the binding interface of SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutants. Results Here, we have generated a mutational and structural landscape of SARS-CoV-2 RBD in first six months of the pandemic. We analyzed 31,403 SARS-CoV-2 genomes randomly across the globe, and identified 444 non-synonymous mutations in RBD that cause 49 distinct amino acid substitutions in contact and non-contact amino acid residues. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggested independent emergence of RBD mutants. Structural mapping of these mutations on the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan reference strain RBD and structural comparison with RBDs from bat-CoV, SARS-CoV, and pangolin-CoV, all bound to human or mouse ACE2, revealed several changes in the interfacial interactions in all three binding clusters. Interestingly, interactions mediated via N487 residue in cluster-I and Y449, G496, T500, G502 residues in cluster-III remained largely unchanged in all RBD mutants. Further analysis showed that these interactions are evolutionarily conserved in sarbecoviruses which use ACE2 for entry. Importantly, despite extensive changes in the interface, RBD-ACE2 stability and binding affinities were maintained in all the analyzed mutants. Taken together, these findings reveal how SARS-CoV-2 uses its RBD residues to constantly remodel the binding interface. Conclusion Our study broadly signifies understanding virus-host binding interfaces and their alterations during pandemic. Our findings propose a possible interface remodelling mechanism used by SARS-CoV-2 to escape deleterious mutations. Future investigations will focus on functional validation of in-silico findings and on investigating interface remodelling mechanisms across sarbecoviruses. Thus, in long run, this study may provide novel clues to therapeutically target RBD-ACE2 interface for pan-sarbecovirus infections.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Limin S. Ding ◽  
Yuhang Zhang ◽  
Dan Wen ◽  
Jianbo Ma ◽  
Hao Yuan ◽  

SARS-CoV-2 is an emerging coronavirus threatening human health and the economy worldwide. As an RNA virus, variants emerge during the pandemic and potentially influence the efficacy of the anti-viral drugs and vaccines. Eight spike variants harboring highly recurrent mutations were selected and introduced into a replication-competent recombinant VSV in place of the original G protein (rVSV-SARS-CoV-2). The resulting mutant viruses displayed similar growth curves in vitro as the wild-type virus and could be neutralized by sera from convalescent COVID-19 patients. Several variants, especially Beta strain, showed resistance to human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD). A single dose of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant could elicit enhanced and broad-spectrum neutralizing antibody responses in human ACE2 knock-in mice and golden Syrian hamsters, while other mutants generated antibody levels comparable to the wild-type. Therefore, our results will be of value to the development of next-generation vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.

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