Every year, millions of individuals throughout the world are seriously affected by dengue virus. The unavailability of a vaccine and of anti-viral drugs has made this mosquito-borne disease a serious health concern. Not only does dengue cause fatalities but it also has a profoundly negative economic impact. In recent decades, extensive research has been performed on epidemiology, vector biology, life cycle, pathogenesis, vaccine development and prevention. Although dengue research is still not at a stage to suggest definite hopes of a cure, encouraging significant advances have provided remarkable progress in the fight against infection. Recent developments indicate that both anti-viral drug and vaccine research should be pursued, in parallel with vector control programs.
Recreational waters contaminated with human fecal pollution are a public health concern, and ensuring the safety of recreational waters for public use is a priority of both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current recreational water standards rely on fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) levels as indicators of human disease risk. However present evidence indicates that levels of FIB do not always correspond to the presence of other potentially harmful organisms, such as viruses. Thus, enteric viruses are currently tested as water quality indicators, but have yet to be successfully implemented in routine monitoring of water quality. This study utilized enteric viruses as possible alternative indicators of water quality to examine 18 different fresh and offshore recreational waters on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, by using newly established laboratory techniques including highly optimized PCR, real time PCR, and viral infectivity assays. All sample sites were detected positive for human enteric viruses by PCR including enterovirus, norovirus genogroups I and II, and male specific FRNA coliphage. A six time-point seasonal study of enteric virus presence indicated significant variation in virus detection between the rainy and dry seasons. Quantitative PCR detected the presence of norovirus genogroup II at levels at which disease risk may occur, and there was no correlation found between enteric virus presence and FIB counts. Under the present laboratory conditions, no infectious viruses were detected from the samples PCR-positive for enteric viruses. These data emphasize both the need for additional indicators for improved monitoring of water quality, and the feasibility of using enteric viruses as these indicators.
The widespread use of antibiotics has caused serious drug resistance. Bacteria that were once easily treatable are now extremely difficult to treat. Endolysin can be used as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of drug-resistant bacteria. To analyze the antibacterial activity of the endolysin of phage Bp7 (Bp7e), a 489-bp DNA fragment of endolysin Bp7e was PCR-amplified from a phage Bp7 genome and cloned, and then a pET28a-Bp7e prokaryotic expression vector was constructed. Two amino acids were mutated (L99A, M102E) to construct pET28a-Bp7Δe, with pET28a-Bp7e as a template. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that BP7e belongs to a T4-like phage endolysin group. Bp7e and its mutant Bp7Δe were expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) as soluble proteins. They were purified by affinity chromatography, and then their antibacterial activities were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the recombinant proteins Bp7e and Bp7Δe showed obvious antibacterial activity against Micrococcus lysodeikticus but no activity against Staphylococcus aureus. In the presence of malic acid, Bp7e and Bp7Δe exhibited an effect on most E. coli strains which could be lysed by phage Bp7, but no effect on Salmonella paratyphi or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Moreover, Bp7Δe with double-site mutations showed stronger antibacterial activity and a broader lysis range than Bp7e.