Stress granules (SGs) are intracellular granules formed when cellular translation is blocked. Viral infections can induce the formation of SGs, which in turn promote or inhibit viral infection. In this issue, Xia Zhai et al. investigated the effect of coxsackievirus B type 3 (CVB3) infection on SG formation, and found that CVB3 could induce SG formation in the early phase of infection, while SGs could in turn restrict the biosynthesis of CVB3 in host cells. The cover image shows the formation of stress granules (green dots) in HeLa cells infected with CVB3 (red) for 6 h (kindly provided by Prof. Zhaohua Zhong). See page 314–322 for details.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a global health concern, notably in Southeast Asia, and in Laos the presentation of the disease is poorly known. Our objective was thus to describe a comprehensive HCV infection pattern in order to guide national health policies. A study on a group of 1,765 patients formerly diagnosed by rapid test in health centres was conducted at the Centre of Infectiology Lao Christophe Merieux in Vientiane. The demographic information of patients, their infection status (viral load: VL), liver function (aminotransferases) and treatments were analysed. Results showed that gender distribution of infected people was balanced; with median ages of 53.8 for men and 51.6 years for women (13–86 years). The majority of patients (72%) were confirmed positive (VL > 50 IU/mL) and 28 % of them had high VL (> 6log10). About 23% of patients had level of aminotransferases indicative of liver damage (> 40 IU/mL); but less than 20 % of patients received treatment. Patients rarely received a second sampling or medical imaging. The survey also showed that cycloferon, pegylated interferon and ribavirin were the drugs prescribed preferentially by the medical staff, without following any international recommendations schemes. In conclusion, we recommend that a population screening policy and better management of patients should be urgently implemented in the country, respecting official guidelines. However, the cost of biological analysis and treatment are significant barriers that must be removed. Public health resolutions should be immediately enforced in the perspective of meeting the WHO HCV elimination deadline by 2030.
Enteric viruses are the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young children and a significant public health problem globally. Hospital admissions of children under 5 years of age with diarrhea are primarily associated with group A rotavirus (RVA) infection. In this retrospective study, the population structure of viruses linked to AGE etiology in young children hospitalized with AGE in Moscow was evaluated, and molecular characterization of RVA strains was performed. Fecal specimens were collected from children under 5 years old hospitalized with AGE between 2009 and 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Multiplex real-time reverse transcription PCR was used to detect enteric viruses and for G/[P]-genotyping of isolated RVAs. Sequencing of RVA VP7 and VP4 cDNA fragments was used to validate the data obtained by PCRgenotyping. The main causes for hospitalization of children with AGE were RVA (40.1%), followed by noroviruses (11.4%), while adenoviruses, astroviruses, sapoviruses, enteroviruses, and orthoreoviruses were detected in 4.7%, 1.9%, 1.4%, 1.2%, and 0.2% of samples tested, respectively. Nosocomial infections, predominantly associated with RVAs and noroviruses, were detected in 24.8% of cases and occurred significantly more frequently in younger infants. The predominant RVA genotype was G4P, detected in 38.7% of RVA-positive cases, whereas genotypes G1P, G9P, G3P, and G2P were found in 11.8%, 6.6%, 4.2%, and 3.3% of cases, respectively. Together, the presence of circulating RVA strains with rare VP7 and VP4 gene variants (G6 and P) highlights the need to conduct continuous epidemiological monitoring of RVA infection.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes substantial economic losses to the global pig industry. Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is a mechanism that diversifies gene expression, which is important for tumorigenesis, development, and cell differentiation. However, it is unclear whether APA plays a role in the course of PRRSV infection. To address this issue, in this study we carried out a whole-genome transcriptome analysis of PRRSVinfected Marc-145 African green monkey kidney cells and identified 185 APA switching genes and 393 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Most of these genes were involved in cellular process, metabolism, and biological regulation, and there was some overlap between the two gene sets. DEGs were found to be more directly involved in the antiviral response than APA genes. These findings provide insight into the dynamics of host gene regulation during PRRSV infection and a basis for elucidating the pathogenesis of PRRSV.
In the absence of serum panels from individuals with absolute defined infection status, sera from experimentally infected monkeys were generated to cover all four infection scenarios with Zika or dengue virus alone as well as Zika infection followed by dengue and dengue infection followed by Zika. Our data indicated that no currently available single assay platform is sufficiently specific to serologically determine Zika positivity in the presence of prior exposure to dengue and vice versa.