Viral Pathogens in Natural Hosts and Vectors Over the past few years, a rising trend of emerging and virulent infectious diseases has been observed. Among the emerging viral infections, more than 75% are natural focal diseases. Natural focal viruses generally recycle in wild animals with relatively large populations as natural hosts, such as bats, rodents, and birds, and are transmitted by vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes that co-exist in the specific natural foci. A program for investigating the main natural hosts and vectors in China has been implemented from 2013 to 2017, which involves a team of researchers across twelve institutions in Xinjiang, Qinghai, Hubei, and Yunnan regions. This special issue collectively presents the interesting results generated from this program. We hope these articles will allow the readers to obtain a better understanding of the importance of investigating pathogen profiles in natural hosts and vectors, and to consider the potential risk of unknown pathogens to the public health. The cover is a gallery of photos which were captured by the team during the field investigation.
Herpesviruses and Antiviral Strategies This special issue is dedicated to the recent research progress on human herpesviruses (HHVs). Human herpesviruses are distributed worldwide, and more than 90% of adults are infected by one or multiple HHVs. The HHV family contains three sub-families: the alpha sub-family [herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, and varicella-zoster virus (VZV)], beta sub-family [human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), HHV6, and HHV7)], and gamma sub-family. [Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV)]. All the viruses typically establish latent infection in host, and undergo lytic reactivation in certain pathophysiological conditions. In this issue, we collectively present ten articles focusing on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and interventions of HSV-1, VZV, HCMV, EBV and KSHV respectively, and these high-quality review and research articles are contributed by experts on those specific viruses.
Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses Viral hemorrhagic fevers are caused by several distinct families of RNA and DNA viruses that can cause devastating disease in humans and other animals. Hemorrhagic fever viruses usually reside in animal or arthropod hosts and transmit to humans, resulting in human outbreak. Four major families of HFVs are Arenaviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, and Flaviviridae. This special Issue presents the recent progress on Ebola virus, dengue virus, hantavirus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, and covers topics on viral epidemiology, viral pathogenesis, and virus-host cell interaction of those hemorrhagic fever viruses. The cover depicts the hemorrhagic fever viruses and their major hosts.
Coronaviruses Coronaviruses (CoVs) infect a wide range of vertebrates, including humans. They can cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic and central nervous system diseases. Some CoVs have managed to across the species barrier, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV. This special issue of Virologica Sinica is dedicated to the recent progress on coronaviruses and covers topics on viral epidemiology, virus replication and the interactions between the coronaviruses and their hosts. This updated information would provide new insights in the control of CoV infections, and in the development of effective antivirals. The cover depicts the modes of transmission of coronavirus from animals to humans.
Oncogenic Viruses and Cancer Viruses are leading causes of different types of human cancers, accounting for about 20% of total cases. Seven viruses are currently considered oncogenic viruses, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein Barr virus (EBV), human herpes virus 8 (HHP8), Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), and human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The molecular mechanisms of viral oncogenesis are complex and may involve the induction of chronic inflammation, disruption of host genetic and epigenetic integrity and homeostasis, interference with cellular DNA repair mechanisms resulting in genome instability and cell cycle dysregulation. Genetic and epigenetic alterations induced by infection and replication of oncogenic viruses may lead to the appearance and proliferation of cancer stem cells, which are important for the initiation, progression, metastasis, relapse, and chemotherapy resistance of cancers. The cover illustrates the seven oncoviruses that could lead to human cancer.
Phage and Therapy This issue of Virologica Sinica is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of “fi lterable lytic factor” or “bacteriophage” (1915-2015). During the past 100 years, both basic knowledge and applications of bacteriophages have been substantially explored and developed. In recent years, bacteriophage research is booming and holding the hope to tackle the rise of antimicrobial resistance in the post-antibiotic era. In this issue, new phages are introduced, phage lytic enzymes are described, phage and host interactions are discussed, and successful experiences of phage therapy are shared. The cover illustrates the phages in this issue: ΦVMY22 (golden yellow), ΦCASbig (orange red), ΦKAZ14(magenta). And the phage in blue color is the courtesy of the Core Facility of Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Herpesviruses The special issue included perspectives, minireviews, research articles, and brief communications. All manuscripts accepted will be waived for publication charge. And all submitted manuscripts will be processed following the standard journal procedure such as being screened by editors and peer-reviewing.
Chronic Viral Infections and Immunomodulation Viral infection in human induces various levels of host immune response, through which the host aims to eliminate those intruders. However, some viruses could often evade immune system and result in chronic infections. Almost 500 million people world-wide are chronically infected with hepatitis B and C viruses and human immune deficiency virus. Thus, a special issue focusing on the interaction of the host immune system with HBC, HCV, and HIV, and new immunomodulations of these chronic viral diseases is presented as the first issue of 2014 in Virologica Sinica. The cover depicts hepatitis C viruses approaching the B lymphocyte.
Structural Virology A special topic section on Structural Virology is included in this issue. The section contains three review articles, which cover the recent research advancement on the structures of reovirus particle, flavivirus NS2B-NS3 protease, and enterophage T7 RNA polymerase. The issue cover presents: i) Crystal structure of a late initiation complex of T7 RNA Polymerase; ii) Crystal structure of the NS2B-NS3 protease with a peptide-based inhibitor; iii) Cryo-EM structure of the turreted reovirus core.
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