Fatal systemic necrotizing infections associated with a novel paramyxovirus, anaconda paramyxovirus, in green anaconda juveniles.
ABSTRACT: Beginning in July 2011, 31 green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) juveniles from an oceanarium in Hong Kong died over a 12-month period. Necropsy revealed at least two of the following features in 23 necropsies: dermatitis, severe pan-nephritis, and/or severe systemic multiorgan necrotizing inflammation. Histopathological examination revealed severe necrotizing inflammation in various organs, most prominently the kidneys. Electron microscopic examination of primary tissues revealed intralesional accumulations of viral nucleocapsids with diameters of 10 to 14 nm, typical of paramyxoviruses. Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR results were positive for paramyxovirus (viral loads of 2.33 × 10(4) to 1.05 × 10(8) copies/mg tissue) in specimens from anaconda juveniles that died but negative in specimens from the two anaconda juveniles and anaconda mother that survived. None of the other snakes in the park was moribund, and RT-PCR results for surveillance samples collected from other snakes were negative. The virus was isolated from BHK21 cells, causing cytopathic effects with syncytial formation. The virus could also replicate in 25 of 27 cell lines of various origins, in line with its capability for infecting various organs. Electron microscopy with cell culture material revealed enveloped virus with the typical "herringbone" appearance of helical nucleocapsids in paramyxoviruses. Complete genome sequencing of five isolates confirmed that the infections originated from the same clone. Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses and mRNA editing experiments revealed a novel paramyxovirus in the genus Ferlavirus, named anaconda paramyxovirus, with a typical Ferlavirus genomic organization of 3'-N-U-P/V/I-M-F-HN-L-5'. Epidemiological and genomic analyses suggested that the anaconda juveniles acquired the virus perinatally from the anaconda mother rather than from other reptiles in the park, with subsequent interanaconda juvenile transmission.
Project description:Bats are known to harbor multiple paramyxoviruses. Despite the creation of two new genera, Aquaparamyxovirus and Ferlavirus, to accommodate this increasing diversity, several recently isolated or characterized viruses remain unclassified beyond the subfamily level. In the present study, among 985 bats belonging to 6 species sampled in the Belinga caves of Gabon, RNA of an unclassified paramyxovirus (Belinga bat virus, BelPV) was discovered in 14 African sheath-tailed bats (Coleura afra), one of which exhibited several hemorrhagic lesions at necropsy, and viral sequence was obtained in two animals. Phylogenetically, BelPV is related to J virus and Beilong virus (BeiPV), two other unclassified paramyxoviruses isolated from rodents. In the diseased BelPV-infected C. afra individual, high viral load was detected in the heart, and the lesions were consistent with those reported in wild rodents and mice experimentally infected by J virus. BelPV was not detected in other tested bat species sharing the same roosting sites and living in very close proximity with C. afra in the two caves sampled, suggesting that this virus may be host-specific for C. afra. The mode of transmission of this paramyxovirus in bat populations remains to be discovered.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Fruit bats are known to harbor zoonotic paramyxoviruses including Nipah, Hendra, and Menangle viruses. The aim of this study was to detect the presence of paramyxovirus RNA in fruit bats from Indonesia. METHODS:RNA samples were obtained from the spleens of 110 fruit bats collected from four locations in Indonesia. All samples were screened by semi-nested broad spectrum reverse transcription PCR targeting the paramyxovirus polymerase (L) genes. RESULTS:Semi-nested reverse transcription PCR detected five previously unidentified paramyxoviruses from six fruit bats. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these virus sequences were related to henipavirus or rubulavirus. CONCLUSIONS:This study indicates the presence of novel paramyxoviruses among fruit bat populations in Indonesia.
Project description:The paramyxovirus family includes major human and animal pathogens, including measles virus, mumps virus, and human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as the emerging zoonotic Hendra and Nipah viruses. In the U.S., RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalizations due to viral infectious disease. Despite their clinical significance, effective drugs for the improved management of paramyxovirus disease are lacking. The development of novel anti-paramyxovirus therapeutics is therefore urgently needed. Paramyxoviruses contain RNA genomes of negative polarity, necessitating a virus-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) complex for replication and transcription. Since an equivalent enzymatic activity is absent in host cells, the RdRp complex represents an attractive druggable target, although structure-guided drug development campaigns are hampered by the lack of high-resolution RdRp crystal structures. Here, we review the current structural and functional insight into the paramyxovirus polymerase complex in conjunction with an evaluation of the mechanism of activity and developmental status of available experimental RdRp inhibitors. Our assessment spotlights the importance of the RdRp complex as a premier target for therapeutic intervention and examines how high-resolution insight into the organization of the complex will pave the path toward the structure-guided design and optimization of much-needed next-generation paramyxovirus RdRp blockers.
Project description:The causative agents of a number of emerging zoonotic diseases have been identified as paramyxoviruses originating in bats. We report here the complete genome sequence of two Teviot paramyxoviruses, novel rubulaviruses isolated from urine samples collected from pteropid bats in Australia. The zoonotic potential of Teviot paramyxovirus is undetermined.
Project description:Paramyxoviruses include major pathogens with significant global health and economic impact. This large family of enveloped RNA viruses infects cells by employing two surface glycoproteins that tightly cooperate to fuse their lipid envelopes with the target cell plasma membrane, an attachment and a fusion (F) protein. Membrane fusion is believed to depend on receptor-induced conformational changes within the attachment protein that lead to the activation and subsequent refolding of F. While structural and mechanistic studies have considerably advanced our insight into paramyxovirus cell adhesion and the structural basis of F refolding, how precisely the attachment protein links receptor engagement to F triggering remained poorly understood. Recent reports based on work with several paramyxovirus family members have transformed our understanding of the triggering mechanism of the membrane fusion machinery. Here, we review these recent findings, which (i) offer a broader mechanistic understanding of the paramyxovirus cell entry system, (ii) illuminate key similarities and differences between entry strategies of different paramyxovirus family members, and (iii) suggest new strategies for the development of novel therapeutics.
Project description:Yellow anacondas (Eunectes notaeus) are large, semiaquatic boid snakes found in wetland systems in South America. These snakes are commercially harvested under a sustainable management plan in Argentina, so information regarding population structuring can be helpful for determination of management units. We evaluated genetic structure and migration using partial sequences from the mitochondrial control region and mitochondrial genes cyt-b and ND4 for 183 samples collected within northern Argentina. A group of landscape features and environmental variables including several treatments of temperature and precipitation were explored as potential drivers of observed genetic patterns. We found significant population structure between most putative population comparisons and bidirectional but asymmetric migration in several cases. The configuration of rivers and wetlands was found to be significantly associated with yellow anaconda population structure (IBD), and important for gene flow, although genetic distances were not significantly correlated with the environmental variables used here. More in-depth analyses of environmental data may be needed to fully understand the importance of environmental conditions on population structure and migration. These analyses indicate that our putative populations are demographically distinct and should be treated as such in Argentina's management plan for the harvesting of yellow anacondas.
Project description:Ferlaviruses are important pathogens in snakes and other reptiles. They cause respiratory and neurological disease in infected animals and can cause severe disease outbreaks. Isolates from this genus can be divided into four genogroups-A, B, and C, as well as a more distantly related sister group, "tortoise". Sequences from large portions (5.3 kb) of the genomes of a variety of ferlavirus isolates from genogroups A, B, and C, including the genes coding the surface glycoproteins F and HN as well as the L protein were determined and compared. In silico analyses of the glycoproteins of genogroup A, B, and C isolates were carried out. Three isolates representing these three genogroups were used in transmission studies with corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus), and clinical signs, gross and histopathology, electronmicroscopic changes in the lungs, and isolation of bacteria from the lungs were evaluated. Analysis of the sequences supported the previous categorization of ferlaviruses into four genogroups, and criteria for definition of ferlavirus genogroups and species were established based on sequence identities (80% resp. 90%). Analysis of the ferlavirus glycoprotein models showed parallels to corresponding regions of other paramyxoviruses. The transmission studies showed clear differences in the pathogenicities of the three virus isolates used. The genogroup B isolate was the most and the group A virus the least pathogenic. Reasons for these differences were not clear based on the differences in the putative structures of their respective glycoproteins, although e.g. residue and consequential structure variation of an extended cleavage site or changes in electrostatic charges at enzyme binding sites could play a role. The presence of bacteria in the lungs of the infected animals also clearly corresponded to increased pathogenicity. This study contributes to knowledge about the structure and phylogeny of ferlaviruses and lucidly demonstrates differences in pathogenicity between strains of different genogroups.
Project description:Some viral strains of the Paramyxoviridae family may be used as anti-tumor agents. Oncolytic paramyxoviruses include attenuated strains of the measles virus, Newcastle disease virus, and Sendai virus. These viral strains, and the Sendai virus in particular, can preferentially induce the death of malignant, rather than normal, cells. The death of cancer cells results from both direct killing by the virus and through virus-induced activation of anticancer immunity. Sialic-acid-containing glycoproteins that are overexpressed in cancer cells serve as receptors for some oncolytic paramyxoviruses and ensure preferential interaction of paramyxoviruses with malignant cells. Frequent genetic defects in interferon and apoptotic response systems that are common to cancer cells ensure better susceptibility of malignant cells to viruses. The Sendai virus as a Paramyxovirus is capable of inducing the formation of syncytia, multinuclear cell structures which promote viral infection spread within a tumor without virus exposure to host neutralizing antibodies. As a result, the Sendai virus can cause mass killing of malignant cells and tumor destruction. Oncolytic paramyxoviruses can also promote the immune-mediated elimination of malignant cells. In particular, they are powerful inducers of interferon and other cytokynes promoting antitumor activity of various cell components of the immune response, such as dendritic and natural killer cells, as well as cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Taken together these mechanisms explain the impressive oncolytic activity of paramyxoviruses that hold promise as future, efficient anticancer therapeutics.
Project description:Many pleomorphic, lipid-enveloped viruses encode matrix proteins that direct their assembly and budding, but the mechanism of this process is unclear. We have combined X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron tomography to show that the matrix protein of Newcastle disease virus, a paramyxovirus and relative of measles virus, forms dimers that assemble into pseudotetrameric arrays that generate the membrane curvature necessary for virus budding. We show that the glycoproteins are anchored in the gaps between the matrix proteins and that the helical nucleocapsids are associated in register with the matrix arrays. About 90% of virions lack matrix arrays, suggesting that, in agreement with previous biological observations, the matrix protein needs to dissociate from the viral membrane during maturation, as is required for fusion and release of the nucleocapsid into the host's cytoplasm. Structure and sequence conservation imply that other paramyxovirus matrix proteins function similarly.
Project description:Paramyxoviruses represent a family of RNA viruses causing significant human diseases. These include measles virus, the most infectious virus ever reported, in addition to parainfluenza virus, and other emerging viruses. Paramyxoviruses likely share common replication machinery but their mechanisms of RNA biosynthesis activities and details of their complex polymerase structures are unknown. Mechanistic and functional details of a paramyxovirus polymerase would have sweeping implications for understanding RNA virus replication and for the development of new antiviral medicines. To study paramyxovirus polymerase structure and function, we expressed an active recombinant Nipah virus (NiV) polymerase complex assembled from the multifunctional NiV L protein bound to its phosphoprotein cofactor. NiV is an emerging highly pathogenic virus that causes severe encephalitis and has been declared a global public health concern due to its high mortality rate. Using negative-stain electron microscopy, we demonstrated NiV polymerase forms ring-like particles resembling related RNA polymerases. We identified conserved sequence elements driving recognition of the 3'-terminal genomic promoter by NiV polymerase, and leading to initiation of RNA synthesis, primer extension, and transition to elongation mode. Polyadenylation resulting from NiV polymerase stuttering provides a mechanistic basis for transcription termination. It also suggests a divergent adaptation in promoter recognition between pneumo- and paramyxoviruses. The lack of available antiviral therapy for NiV prompted us to identify the triphosphate forms of R1479 and GS-5734, two clinically relevant nucleotide analogs, as substrates and inhibitors of NiV polymerase activity by delayed chain termination. Overall, these findings provide low-resolution structural details and the mechanism of an RNA polymerase from a previously uncharacterized virus family. This work illustrates important functional differences yet remarkable similarities between the polymerases of nonsegmented negative-strand RNA viruses.