Prevalence and genetic diversity of human astroviruses in Mexican children with symptomatic and asymptomatic infections.
ABSTRACT: The prevalence and type diversity of human astroviruses (HAstV) in children with symptomatic and asymptomatic infections were determined in five localities of Mexico. HAstV were detected in 4.6 (24 of 522) and 2.6% (11 of 428) of children with and without diarrhea, respectively. Genotyping of the detected strains showed that at least seven (types 1 to 4 and 6 to 8) of the eight known HAstV types circulated in Mexico between October 1994 and March 1995. HAstV types 1 and 3 were the most prevalent in children with diarrhea, although they were not found in all localities studied. HAstV type 8 was found in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Mérida; in the last it was as prevalent (40%) as type 1 viruses, indicating that this astrovirus type is more common than previously recognized. A correlation between the HAstV infecting type and the presence or absence of diarrheic symptoms was not observed. Enteric adenoviruses were also studied, and they were found to be present in 2.3 (12 of 522) and 1.4% (6 of 428) of symptomatic and asymptomatic children, respectively.
Project description:Human astroviruses (HAstVs) are a leading cause of viral diarrhea in young children, the immunocompromised, and the elderly. There are no vaccines or antiviral therapies against HAstV disease. Several lines of evidence point to the presence of protective antibodies in healthy adults as a mechanism governing protection against reinfection by HAstV. However, development of anti-HAstV therapies is hampered by the gap in knowledge of protective antibody epitopes on the HAstV capsid surface. Here, we report the structure of the HAstV capsid spike domain bound to the neutralizing monoclonal antibody PL-2. The antibody uses all six complementarity-determining regions to bind to a quaternary epitope on each side of the dimeric capsid spike. We provide evidence that the HAstV capsid spike is a receptor-binding domain and that the antibody neutralizes HAstV by blocking virus attachment to cells. We identify patches of conserved amino acids that overlap the antibody epitope and may comprise a receptor-binding site. Our studies provide a foundation for the development of therapies to prevent and treat HAstV diarrheal disease. IMPORTANCE:Human astroviruses (HAstVs) infect nearly every person in the world during childhood and cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Despite the prevalence of this virus, little is known about how antibodies in healthy adults protect them against reinfection. Here, we determined the crystal structure of a complex of the HAstV capsid protein and a virus-neutralizing antibody. We show that the antibody binds to the outermost spike domain of the capsid, and we provide evidence that the antibody blocks virus attachment to human cells. Importantly, our findings suggest that a subunit-based vaccine focusing the immune system on the HAstV capsid spike domain could be effective in protecting children against HAstV disease.
Project description:Diarrhea remains a major cause of death in children. Current diagnostic methods largely rely on stool culture and suffer from low sensitivity and inadequate specificity, often leading to inappropriate treatment. The objective of the present study was to use RNA sequencing (RNAseq) analysis to determine blood transcriptional profiles specific for several common pathogenic bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhea in children. We collected whole blood samples from children in Mexico having diarrhea associated with a single pathogen and without systemic complications. Our RNAseq data suggested that the blood signatures can differentiate children with diarrhea from healthy children either with or without bacterial colonization. Moreover, we detected different expression profiles from bacterial and viral infection, demonstrating for the first time the use of RNAseq to identify the etiology of infectious diarrhea. Whole blood from 207 children including children with diarrhea caused by rotavirus (n=55), E.coli (n=55), Salmonella (n=36), Shigella (n=37) and control children (n=24).
Project description:Human astrovirus (HAstV) represents the third most common virus associated with acute diarrhea (AD). This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of HAstV infection in Brazilian children under 5 years of age with AD, investigate the presence of recently described HAstV strains, through extensive laboratory-based surveillance of enteric viral agents in three Brazilian coastal regions between 2005 and 2011. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the overall HAstV detection rate reached 7.1% (207/2.913) with percentage varying according to the geographic region: 3.9% (36/921) in the northeast, 7.9% in the south (71/903) and 9.2% in the southeast (100/1.089) (p < 0.001). HAstV were detected in cases of all age groups. Detection rates were slightly higher during the spring. Nucleotide sequence analysis of a 320-bp ORF2 fragment revealed that HAstV-1 was the predominant genotype throughout the seven years of the study. The novel AstV-MLB1 was detected in two children with AD from a subset of 200 samples tested, demonstrating the circulation of this virus both the in northeastern and southeastern regions of Brazil. These results provide additional epidemiological and molecular data on HAstV circulation in three Brazilian coastal regions, highlighting its potential to cause infantile AD.
Project description:The present study was carried out to determine if group 16SrIV phytoplasmas, causing lethal yellowing (LY) disease, are present in Haplaxius crudus Van Duzee (Hemiptera: Cixiidae) insects associated with palms in Yucatán, Mexico. Haplaxius crudus feral insects were captured from palm foliage at two locations (Chicxulub Puerto and CICY, Mérida, where LY-type diseases are active) and evaluated individually for the presence of phytoplasma DNA by a group 16SrIV-specific nested PCR assay. The results showed positive detection in H. crudus insects in a proportion of 2.7% (of the total 2726 analyzed) during a 3-year period of study. The percentage of detection was different for each site, 5.9% positive of 799 insects from Mérida and 1.7% of 1927 from Chicxulub Puerto. Positive detections were also obtained in extracts from 5.3 to 1.2% of males and females, respectively. Sequencing and in silico RFLP and phylogenetic analyses of PCR-amplified rDNA products indicated that H. crudus insects from Chicxulub Puerto harbored phytoplasma strains of subgroups 16SrIV-A or 16SrIV-D, whereas in insects from Mérida the strains found were 16SrIV-A, 16SrIV-D or 16SrIV-E. The diversity of subgroup strains detected in H. crudus coincided with strains previously identified in palms showing LY-type disease syndromes in Yucatán thereby implicating H. crudus as a candidate vector of 16SrIV phytoplasmas in this region of Mexico.
Project description:Novel human astroviruses (HAstV) were discovered 10 years ago and have been associated with fatal cases of central nervous system infections. Their role in gastroenteritis is controversial, as they have been identified in symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. The aim of the study was to investigate novel HAstV in a gastroenteritis case-control study including a pediatric population in Spain over a one-year period. We included stool samples from patients with gastroenteritis and negative results for viruses screened by routine diagnostics, and stool samples of control subjects who sought for a routine medical consultation. All samples were screened by real-time RT-PCR assays for novel HAstV. An additional screening for rotavirus, norovirus GI, GII, sapovirus, classic HAstV and adenovirus was also performed for the control group. Overall, 23/363 stool samples from case patients (6.3%) and 8/199 stool samples from control patients (4%) were positive for ?1 novel HAstV. MLB1 was predominant (64.5% of positives). Seasonality was observed for the case group (p?=?0.015), but not the control group (p?=?0.95). No difference was observed in the prevalence of novel HAstV between the case and control groups (OR 1.78, 95% CI 0.68-5.45; p?=?0.30). Nevertheless, MLB genome copy numbers/ml of fecal suspension was significantly higher in the control group than in the case group (p?=?0.008). In our study, we identified a lack of association between novel HAstV and gastroenteritis in the studied population, which could indicate a potential role of reservoir for children, especially given the higher viral load observed in the asymptomatic group for some of them.
Project description:A 3-year study involving 2,347 gastroenteritis samples was conducted to determine the prevalence, time distribution, and medical significance of human astrovirus infection in Barcelona, Spain. The overall incidence of astrovirus was found to be 4.9%. Mixed infections with other enteric agents were detected in 17.2% of all astrovirus-positive samples. During the 3-year period, the highest astrovirus incidence was reported in the winter months, although infections also occurred in summer. The peak detection rate was observed in children between 2 and 4 years of age. Overall, HAstV-1 was the most prevalent type, followed by HAstV-4, HAstV-3, HAstV-8, and HAstV-2. HAstV-5, HAstV-6, and HAstV-7 were not detected during these 3 years. From our serotype data for each age group, we observed that HAstV-1, HAstV-2, and HAstV-3 affected mostly children younger than 3 years of age, while HAstV-4 and HAstV-8 had a greater impact in older children. Genetic variability was analyzed between astroviruses isolated in Barcelona and strains isolated in other parts of the world. A fourth lineage was described for HAstV-1, most likely due to the large number of assayed samples, which may also explain the high level of genetic variability observed in the astrovirus isolates.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Human astrovirus (HAstV) is a leading cause of viral diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. HAstV is a nonenveloped virus with a T=3 capsid and a positive-sense RNA genome. The capsid protein (CP) of HAstV is synthesized as a 90-kDa precursor (VP90) that can be divided into three linear domains: a conserved N-terminal domain, a hypervariable domain, and an acidic C-terminal domain. Maturation of HAstV requires proteolytic processing of the astrovirus CP both inside and outside the host cell, resulting in the removal of the C-terminal domain and the breakdown of the rest of the CP into three predominant protein species with molecular masses of ?34, 27/29, and 25/26 kDa, respectively. We have now solved the crystal structure of VP90(71-415) (amino acids [aa] 71 to 415 of VP90) of human astrovirus serotype 8 at a 2.15-Å resolution. VP90(71-415) encompasses the conserved N-terminal domain of VP90 but lacks the hypervariable domain, which forms the capsid surface spikes. The structure of VP90(71-415) is comprised of two domains: an S domain, which adopts the typical jelly-roll ?-barrel fold, and a P1 domain, which forms a squashed ?-barrel consisting of six antiparallel ?-strands similar to what was observed in the hepatitis E virus (HEV) capsid structure. Fitting of the VP90(71-415) structure into the cryo-electron microscopy (EM) maps of HAstV produced an atomic model for a continuous, T=3 icosahedral capsid shell. Our pseudoatomic model of the human HAstV capsid shell provides valuable insights into intermolecular interactions required for capsid assembly and trypsin-mediated proteolytic maturation needed for virus infectivity. Such information has potential applications in the development of a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine as well as small-molecule drugs targeting astrovirus assembly/maturation. IMPORTANCE:Human astrovirus (HAstV) is a leading cause of viral diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. As a nonenveloped virus, HAstV exhibits an intriguing feature in that its maturation requires extensive proteolytic processing of the astrovirus capsid protein (CP) both inside and outside the host cell. Mature HAstV contains three predominant protein species, but the mechanism for acquired infectivity upon maturation is unclear. We have solved the crystal structure of VP90(71-415) of human astrovirus serotype 8. VP90(71-415) encompasses the conserved N-terminal domain of the viral CP. Fitting of the VP90(71-415) structure into the cryo-EM maps of HAstV produced an atomic model for the T=3 icosahedral capsid. Our model of the HAstV capsid provides valuable insights into intermolecular interactions required for capsid assembly and trypsin-mediated proteolytic maturation. Such information has potential applications in the development of a VLP vaccine as well as small-molecule drugs targeting astrovirus assembly/maturation.
Project description:Objective:Human astroviruses (HAstVs) are single-stranded RNA viruses of the Astroviridae family. Infection of classic HAstVs is one of the most common causes of acute viral gastroenteritis (infectious viral diarrhea). There is a lack of data on the prevalence and genetic characterization of classic HAstVs in acute viral gastroenteritis in the whole population. This study aimed to investigate the epidemiological trend, genotypes, viral co-infections, and viral loads of classic HAstVs in Shanghai, China, from January 2015 to December 2016. Methods:A total of 6,051 non-redundant stool samples were collected in outpatients with acute diarrhea in Shanghai from January 2015 to December 2016. One-step real-time RT-PCR was used for screening viral diarrhea, including rotavirus A, rotavirus B, rotavirus C, norovirus genotype I and II, classic human astroviruses, and sapovirus. Real-time PCR was used for screening human enteric adenoviruses. Conventional RT-PCR was used for the amplification of viral fragments for genotyping. PCR products were sequenced and used for the construction of phylogenetic trees. Results:The detection rate of classic HAstVs was 1.55% (94/6,051). The prevalence of HAstV infection displayed a typical winter/spring (December to March) seasonality and was highest in the 5-14 age group. Eighty-six samples were genotyped, which revealed HAstV-1 as the most prevalent genotype, followed by HAstV-5, HAstV-4, HAstV- 2, HAstV-8, and HAstV-3. There was a dramatic rise in the prevalence of HAstV-4 from December 2015 to March 2016, and the viral loads of HAstV-4 were significantly higher than those of other genotypes. Among the mixed infection samples, noroviruses were found to be the most frequently co-infected enteric viruses with HAstV. Conclusion:Multiple genotypes of classic HAstVs circulated in Shanghai from January 2015 to December 2016. For the first time, HAstV-3\4\5\8 were detected in Shanghai.
Project description:Human astroviruses are recognized as a leading cause of viral diarrhea worldwide in children, immunocompromised patients, and the elderly. There are currently no vaccines available to prevent astrovirus infection; however, antibodies developed by healthy individuals during previous infection correlate with protection from reinfection, suggesting that an effective vaccine could be developed. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism by which several strains of human astrovirus serotype 2 (HAstV-2) are resistant to the potent HAstV-2-neutralizing monoclonal antibody PL-2 (MAb PL-2). Sequencing of the HAstV-2 capsid genes reveals mutations in the PL-2 epitope within the capsid's spike domain. To understand the molecular basis for resistance from MAb PL-2 neutralization, we determined the 1.35-Å-resolution crystal structure of the capsid spike from one of these HAstV-2 strains. Our structure reveals a dramatic conformational change in a loop within the PL-2 epitope due to a serine-to-proline mutation, locking the loop in a conformation that sterically blocks binding and neutralization by MAb PL-2. We show that mutation to serine permits loop flexibility and recovers MAb PL-2 binding. Importantly, we find that HAstV-2 capsid spike containing a serine in this loop is immunogenic and elicits antibodies that neutralize all HAstV-2 strains. Taken together, our results have broad implications for rational selection of vaccine strains that do not contain prolines in antigenic loops, so as to elicit antibodies against diverse loop conformations.IMPORTANCE Human astroviruses (HAstVs) infect nearly every person in the world during childhood and cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. In this study, we investigated how several strains of HAstV are resistant to a virus-neutralizing monoclonal antibody. We determined the crystal structure of the capsid protein spike domain from one of these HAstV strains and found that a single amino acid mutation induces a structural change in a loop that is responsible for antibody binding. Our findings reveal how viruses can escape antibody neutralization and provide insight for the rational design of vaccines to elicit diverse antibodies that provide broader protection from infection.
Project description:Human astroviruses (HAstVs) cause severe diarrhea and represent an important health problem in children under two years of age. Despite their medical importance, the study of these pathogens has been neglected. To better understand the astrovirus antigenic structure and the basis of protective immunity, in this work we produced a panel of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (Nt-MAbs) to HAstV serotypes 1, 2, and 8 and identified the mutations that allow the viruses to escape neutralization. We first tested the capacity of the recombinant HAstV capsid core and spike domains to elicit Nt-Abs. Hyperimmunization of animals with the two domains showed that although both induced a potent immune response, only the spike was able to elicit antibodies with neutralizing activity. Based on this finding, we used a mixture of the recombinant spike domains belonging to the three HAstV serotypes to immunize mice. Five Nt-MAbs were isolated and characterized; all of them were serotype specific, two were directed to HAstV-1, one was directed to HAstV-2, and two were directed to HAstV-8. These antibodies were used to select single and double neutralization escape variant viruses, and determination of the amino acid changes that allow the viruses to escape neutralization permitted us to define the existence of four potentially independent neutralization epitopes on the HAstV capsid. These studies provide the basis for development of subunit vaccines that induce neutralizing antibodies and tools to explore the possibility of developing a specific antibody therapy for astrovirus disease. Our results also establish a platform to advance our knowledge on HAstV cell binding and entry.IMPORTANCE Human astroviruses (HAstVs) are common etiological agents of acute gastroenteritis in children, the elderly, and immunocompromised patients; some virus strains have also been associated with neurological disease. Despite their medical importance, the study of these pathogens has advanced at a slow pace. In this work, we produced neutralizing antibodies to the virus and mapped the epitopes they recognize on the virus capsid. These studies provide the basis for development of subunit vaccines that induce neutralizing antibodies, as well as tools to explore the development of a specific antibody therapy for astrovirus disease. Our results also establish a platform to advance our knowledge on HAstV cell binding and entry.