PCP consensus sequences of flaviviruses: correlating variance with vector competence and disease phenotype.
ABSTRACT: Computational methods are needed to design multivalent vaccines against flaviviruses (FVs) such as the West Nile virus or the dengue virus (DENV).We aimed to use physicochemical property (PCP) consensus sequences of FV strains to delineate conserved motifs, areas of maximum variability, and specific loci that correlate with arthropod vector, serotype, and disease severity.PCP consensus sequences for 27 species were prepared from 928 annotated sequences catalogued in Flavitrack. Alignments of these correlated well with the known structures of the NS3 protease domain and envelope (E) proteins. The PCPMer suite was used to identify motifs common to all FVs. Areas of PCP variability that correlated with phenotype were plotted on the structures.Despite considerable diversity at the amino acid level, PCPs for both proteins were well conserved throughout the FVs. A series of insertions in E separated tick- from mosquito-borne viruses and all arthropod-borne viruses from isolates with no known vector or directly from insects. Comparison of a PCP consensus sequence of E derived from 600 DENV strains (DENV600) with individual ones for DENV1-DENV4 showed that most major serotype-specific variation occurs near these insertions. The DENV600 differed from one prepared from eight hemorrhagic or fatal strains from four DENV serotypes at only three positions, two of which overlap known escape mutant sites.Comparing consensus sequences showed that substantial changes occur in only a few areas of the E protein. PCP consensus sequences can contribute to the design of multivalent vaccines.
Project description:Designing proteins that reflect the natural variability of a pathogen is essential for developing novel vaccines and drugs. Flaviviruses, including Dengue (DENV) and West Nile (WNV), evolve rapidly and can "escape" neutralizing monoclonal antibodies by mutation. Designing antigens that represent many distinct strains is important for DENV, where infection with a strain from one of the four serotypes may lead to severe hemorrhagic disease on subsequent infection with a strain from another serotype. Here, a DENV physicochemical property (PCP)-consensus sequence was derived from 671 unique sequences from the Flavitrack database. PCP-consensus proteins for domain 3 of the envelope protein (EdomIII) were expressed from synthetic genes in Escherichia coli. The ability of the purified consensus proteins to bind polyclonal antibodies generated in response to infection with strains from each of the four DENV serotypes was determined. The initial consensus protein bound antibodies from DENV-1-3 in ELISA and Western blot assays. This sequence was altered in 3 steps to incorporate regions of maximum variability, identified as significant changes in the PCPs, characteristic of DENV-4 strains. The final protein was recognized by antibodies against all four serotypes. Two amino acids essential for efficient binding to all DENV antibodies are part of a discontinuous epitope previously defined for a neutralizing monoclonal antibody. The PCP-consensus method can significantly reduce the number of experiments required to define a multivalent antigen, which is particularly important when dealing with pathogens that must be tested at higher biosafety levels.
Project description:Analysis of large sets of biological sequence data from related strains or organisms is complicated by superficial redundancy in the set, which may contain many members that are identical except at one or two positions. Thus a new method, based on deriving physicochemical property (PCP)-consensus sequences, was tested for its ability to generate reference sequences and distinguish functionally significant changes from background variability.The PCP consensus program was used to automatically derive consensus sequences starting from sequence alignments of proteins from Flaviviruses (from the Flavitrack database) and human enteroviruses, using a five dimensional set of Eigenvectors that summarize over 200 different scalar values for the PCPs of the amino acids. A PCP-consensus protein of a Dengue virus envelope protein was produced recombinantly and tested for its ability to bind antibodies to strains using ELISA.PCP-consensus sequences of the flavivirus family could be used to classify them into five discrete groups and distinguish areas of the envelope proteins that correlate with host specificity and disease type. A multivalent Dengue virus antigen was designed and shown to bind antibodies against all four DENV types. A consensus enteroviral VPg protein had the same distinctive high pKa as wild type proteins and was recognized by two different polymerases.The process for deriving PCP-consensus sequences for any group of aligned similar sequences, has been validated for sequences with up to 50% diversity. Ongoing projects have shown that the method identifies residues that significantly alter PCPs at a given position, and might thus cause changes in function or immunogenicity. Other potential applications include deriving target proteins for drug design and diagnostic kits.
Project description:The Flavitrack database groups Flaviviruses (FV), evolutionarily related organisms with high subtype variability, according to their phenotypes. Here, PCPMer tools were used to calculate consensus sequences based on conservation of Physicochemical Properties (PCP) for 919 sequences of NS2a, a non-structural protein involved in preventing host interferon response to infection. Conserved PCP-motifs were detected, primarily in the N-terminal half of NS2a. One model structure, based on a nuclear receptor, groups residues essential for West Nile (WN) infectivity (I59, V61, and M103) in a pocket on the protein surface. These methods will aid in the design of vaccines and specific therapies against FV.
Project description:Entomological surveillance for arthropod-borne viruses is vital for monitoring vector-borne diseases and informing vector control programs. In this study, we conducted entomological surveillance in Zika virus endemic areas. In Thailand, it is standard protocol to perform mosquito control within 24 h of a reported dengue case. Aedes females were collected within 72 h of case reports from villages with recent Zika-human cases in Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand in 2017 and 2018. Mosquitoes were bisected into head-thorax and abdomen and then screened for Zika (ZIKV) and dengue (DENV) viruses using real-time RT-PCR. ZIKV RNA was detected in three samples from two female Ae. aegypti (1.4%). A partial envelope sequence analysis revealed that the ZIKV sequences were the Asian lineage identical to sequences from ZIKV-infected cases reported in Thailand during 2016 and 2017. Dengue virus-1 (DENV-1) and dengue virus-4 (DENV-4) were found in four Ae. aegypti females (2.8%), and partial capsid sequences were nearly identical with DENV-1 and DENV-4 from Thai human cases reported in 2017. Findings in the current study demonstrate the importance of entomological surveillance programs to public health mosquito-borne disease prevention measures and control.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Detection of different serotypes of dengue virus and provide information on origin, distribution and genotype of the virus. METHODS:Dengue virus serotypes identified as DEN-1 and DEN-2 were amplified and sequenced with E gene. The consensus sequences were aligned with references E gene sequences of globally available GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using Neighbor-joining and Kimura 2-parameter model to construct phylogenetic tree. RESULTS:A total of 53 dengue virus isolates were positive, of which 38 (71.7%) were DENV-1 and 15 (28.3%) were DENV-2. Phylogenetic tree of DENV-1 and DENV-2 showed that the isolates were clustered in genotype I and cosmopolitan genotype, respectively considered the predominant genotypes in Southeast Asian countries. The molecular epidemiology genotype I DENV-1 and cosmopolitan genotype DENV-2 have been co-circulating in Klang Valley areas, Malaysia without shifting of genotype. CONCLUSION:The study reveals that DENV-1 and DENV-2 have been circulating in Malaysia. The isolates are clustered in genotype 1 and cosmopolitian genotype, respectively. The study results would help in planning for prevention and control of dengue virus in Malaysia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Despite the global threat caused by arthropod-borne viruses, there is not an efficient method for screening vector populations to detect novel viral sequences. Current viral detection and surveillance methods based on culture can be costly and time consuming and are predicated on prior knowledge of the etiologic agent, as they rely on specific oligonucleotide primers or antibodies. Therefore, these techniques may be unsuitable for situations when the causative agent of an outbreak is unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we explored the use of high-throughput pyrosequencing for surveillance of arthropod-borne RNA viruses. Dengue virus, a member of the positive strand RNA Flavivirus family that is transmitted by several members of the Aedes genus of mosquitoes, was used as a model. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes experimentally infected with dengue virus type 1 (DENV-1) were pooled with noninfected mosquitoes to simulate samples derived from ongoing arbovirus surveillance programs. Using random-primed methods, total RNA was reverse-transcribed and resulting cDNA subjected to 454 pyrosequencing. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In two types of samples, one with 5 adult mosquitoes infected with DENV-1- and the other with 1 DENV-1 infected mosquito and 4 noninfected mosquitoes, we identified DENV-1 DNA sequences. DENV-1 sequences were not detected in an uninfected control pool of 5 adult mosquitoes. We calculated the proportion of the Ae. aegypti metagenome contributed by each infecting Dengue virus genome (p(IP)), which ranged from 2.75×10(-8) to 1.08×10(-7). DENV-1 RNA was sufficiently concentrated in the mosquito that its detection was feasible using current high-throughput sequencing instrumentation. We also identified some of the components of the mosquito microflora on the basis of the sequence of expressed RNA. This included members of the bacterial genera Pirellula and Asaia, various fungi, and a potentially uncharacterized mycovirus.
Project description:Properly annotated sequence data for flaviviruses, which cause diseases, such as tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), dengue fever (DF), West Nile (WN) and yellow fever (YF), can aid in the design of antiviral drugs and vaccines to prevent their spread. Flavitrack was designed to help identify conserved sequence motifs, interpret mutational and structural data and track evolution of phenotypic properties.Flavitrack contains over 590 complete flavivirus genome/protein sequences and information on known mutations and literature references. Each sequence has been manually annotated according to its date and place of isolation, phenotype and lethality. Internal tools are provided to rapidly determine relationships between viruses in Flavitrack and sequences provided by the user.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV) (Flavivirus, Flaviviridae) is a reemerging arthropod-borne virus with a worldwide circulation, transmitted mainly by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Since the first detection of its main transmitting vector in 1992 and the invasion of DENV-1 in 1993, Costa Rica has faced dengue outbreaks yearly. In 2007 and 2013, Costa Rica experienced two of the largest outbreaks in terms of total and severe cases. To provide genetic information about the etiologic agents producing these outbreaks, we conducted phylogenetic analysis of viruses isolated from human samples. A total of 23 DENV-1 and DENV-2 sequences were characterized. These analyses signaled that DENV-1 genotype V and DENV-2 American/Asian genotype were circulating in those outbreaks. Our results suggest that the 2007 and 2013 outbreak viral strains of DENV-1 and DENV-2 originated from nearby countries and underwent in situ microevolution.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dengue virus (DENV) infects hundreds of thousands of people annually in Indonesia. However, DENV sequence data from the country are limited, as samples from outbreaks must be shipped across long-distances to suitably equipped laboratories to be sequenced. This approach is time-consuming, expensive, and frequently results in failure due to low viral load or degradation of the RNA genome. METHODS:We evaluated a method designed to address this challenge, using the 'Primal Scheme' multiplex PCR tiling approach to rapidly generate short, overlapping amplicons covering the complete DENV coding-region, and sequencing the amplicons on the portable Nanopore MinION device. The resulting sequence data was assessed in terms of genome coverage, consensus sequence accuracy and by phylogenetic analysis. RESULTS:The multiplex approach proved capable of producing near complete coding-region coverage from all samples tested ([Formula: see text] = 99.96%, n?=?18), 61% of which could not be fully amplified using the current, long-amplicon PCR, approach. Nanopore-generated consensus sequences were found to be between 99.17-99.92% identical to those produced by high-coverage Illumina sequencing. Consensus accuracy could be improved by masking regions below 20X coverage depth (99.69-99.92%). However, coding-region coverage was reduced at this depth ([Formula: see text] = 93.48%). Nanopore and Illumina consensus sequences generated from the same samples formed monophyletic clades on phylogenetic analysis, and Indonesian consensus sequences accurately clustered by geographical origin. CONCLUSION:The multiplex, short-amplicon approach proved superior for amplifying DENV genomes from clinical samples, particularly when the virus was present at low concentrations. The accuracy of Nanopore-generated consensus sequences from these amplicons was sufficient for identifying the geographic origin of the samples, demonstrating that the approach can be a useful tool for identifying and monitoring DENV clades circulating in low-resource settings across Indonesia. However, the inaccuracies in Nanopore-generated consensus sequences mean that the approach may not be appropriate for higher resolution transmission studies, particularly when more accurate sequencing technologies are available.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dengue fever (DF) is an arthropod-borne disease caused by dengue virus (DENV). DENV is a member of the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae. Recently, DENV has been reported as an important emerging infectious viral pathogen in Sudan. Multiple outbreaks and sporadic cases of DF have been frequently reported in the eastern region of Sudan. The present study was conducted to confirm DENV outbreak in Kassala State, eastern Sudan, 2019, and to provide some information on the molecular characterization of the DENV isolate associated with the disease outbreak. METHODS:A hundred serum samples were collected during the outbreak from residents of Kassala State, Sudan, 2019. ELISA was used to detect DENV non structural protein NS1 (DENV-NS1) in acute phase sera sampled during the disease outbreak. RT-PCR assays were used to amplify a fragment of the capsid/pre-membrane region (CprM) of the viral polyprotein gene. The PCR products of the amplified CprM region of the viral polyprotein gene were purified and partial sequences were generated and used to confirm the specificity of DENV sequences and to identify the virus serotype. Phylogenetic tree was constructed to determine the genotype of DENV associated with the outbreak. RESULTS:Using DENV-NS1 ELISA assay, DENV infection was confirmed in 23% sampled sera. The detection of DENV RNA was made possible using group-specific RT-PCR assay. The virus was serotyped as DENV serotype 3 (DENV-3) using DENV serotype-specific RT-PCR assay. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial CprM sequences of the viral polyprotein gene indicates that the virus belonged to genotype III of DENV-3. CONCLUSION:The scientific data presented in this investigation confirmed that genotype III of DENV-3 was associated with the disease outbreak in eastern Sudan, 2019. The study represents the first report on molecular characterization of DENV-3 in Sudan.