Phage display is a method for the study of protein- or peptide-biological molecule interactions that utilize bacteriophages to connect peptides with the genetic information that encodes them. The filamentous bacteriophage M13, which can be functionalized by genetic engineering and chemical conjugation of its exterior surface coat proteins, has been applied as a biological scaffold in biomaterials, imaging, biocatalysis, and drug delivery. In this issue, a research group lead by Dr. Xiaosheng Liang, reports an engineered tyrosinedisplaying M13 phage that can aggregate under a wide range of concentration of ferric and ferrous ions. This engineered phage could be used as a probe for detection of ferric or ferrous ions without complicated instruments or reagents. The cover image shows the filamentous tyrosine-displaying phages aggregated side by side after incubation with Fe3+ and Fe2+. See page 410- 416 for details.
The present study characterizes the recently circulating DENV-3 strain in the metropolitan city of Delhi during post monsoon period of 2013-14. Partial molecular characterization of 12 DENV3 isolates was carried out on the basis of envelope (E) and non-structural 1 (NS1) gene regions. Phylogenetic analysis showed all these 12 isolates grouped under lineage III of genotype III with recent isolates from China and Pakistan. The point mutation L430I in the Env region appears to be the unique molecular signature for the 2013 strains. Another unique substitution, I167V in NS1 protein was observed in a single isolate among those 12 samples. The study describing the molecular characterization could be significant if these unique substitutions cause the poor B cell responses.
Our results indicate that CHIKV strains circulating in these three regions of Cameroon have a common origin and do not differ from strains circulating in Central Africa as they all clustered in the central African lineage. The presence of the E1-A226V mutation indicates the possible virulence of the Cameroonian strains and might explain the emergence or re-emergence of chikungunya in Central Africa during the last decade after the introduction of A. albopictus.