Alcelaphine Herpesvirus-1 (Malignant Catarrhal Fever Virus) in Wildebeest Placenta: Genetic Variation of ORF50 and A9.5 Alleles.
ABSTRACT: Alcelaphine herpesvirus-1 (AlHV-1), a causative agent of malignant catarrhal fever in cattle, was detected in wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) placenta tissue for the first time. Although viral load was low, the finding of viral DNA in over 50% of 94 samples tested lends support to the possibility that placental tissue could play a role in disease transmission and that wildebeest calves are infected in utero. Two viral loci were sequenced to examine variation among virus samples obtained from wildebeest and cattle: the ORF50 gene, encoding the lytic cycle transactivator protein, and the A9.5 gene, encoding a novel polymorphic viral glycoprotein. ORF50 was well conserved with six newly discovered alleles differing at only one or two base positions. In contrast, while only three new A9.5 alleles were discovered, these differed by up to 13% at the nucleotide level and up to 20% at the amino acid level. Structural homology searching performed with the additional A9.5 sequences determined in this study adds power to recent analysis identifying the four-helix bundle cytokine interleukin-4 (IL4) as the major homologue. The majority of MCF virus samples obtained from Tanzanian cattle and wildebeest encoded A9.5 polypeptides identical to the previously characterized A9.5 allele present in the laboratory maintained AlHV-1 C500 strain. This supports the view that AlHV-1 C500 is suitable for the development of a vaccine for wildebeest-associated MCF.
Project description:Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a gammaherpesvirus carried asymptomatically by wildebeest. Upon cross-species transmission, AlHV-1 induces malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), a fatal lymphoproliferative disease of ruminants, including cattle. The strain C500 has been cloned as an infectious, pathogenic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) that is used to study MCF. Although AlHV-1 infection can be established in cell culture, multiple passages in vitro cause a loss of virulence associated with rearrangements of the viral genome. Here, sequencing of the BAC clone showed that the long unique region (LUR) of the genome is nearly identical to that of the previously sequenced strain from which the BAC was derived, and identified the duplication and translocation of a region from within LUR, containing the entire coding sequences of ORF50-encoding reactivation transactivator Rta and A6-encoding bZIP protein genes. The duplicated region was further located to a position within the terminal repeat (TR) and its deletion resulted in lower ORF50 expression levels and reduced viral fitness. Finally, the presence of a similar but not identical duplication and translocation containing both genes was found in AlHV-1 strain WC11. These results indicate that selection pressure for enhanced viral fitness may drive the duplication of ORF50 and A6 in AlHV-1.
Project description:Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a gammaherpesvirus that is carried asymptomatically by wildebeest. Upon cross-species transmission to other ruminants, including domestic cattle, AlHV-1 induces malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), which is a fatal lymphoproliferative disease resulting from proliferation and uncontrolled activation of latently infected CD8+ T cells. Two laboratory strains of AlHV-1 are used commonly in research: C500, which is pathogenic, and WC11, which has been attenuated by long-term maintenance in cell culture. The published genome sequence of a WC11 seed stock from a German laboratory revealed the deletion of two major regions. The sequence of a WC11 seed stock used in our laboratory also bears these deletions and, in addition, the duplication of an internal sequence in the terminal region. The larger of the two deletions has resulted in the absence of gene A7 and a large portion of gene A8. These genes are positional orthologs of the Epstein-Barr virus genes encoding envelope glycoproteins gp42 and gp350, respectively, which are involved in viral propagation and switching of cell tropism. To investigate the degree to which the absence of A7 and A8 participates in WC11 attenuation, recombinant viruses lacking these individual functions were generated in C500. Using bovine nasal turbinate and embryonic lung cell lines, increased cell-free viral propagation and impaired syncytia formation were observed in the absence of A7, whereas cell-free viral spread was inhibited in the absence of A8. Therefore, A7 appears to be involved in cell-to-cell viral spread, and A8 in viral cell-free propagation. Finally, infection of rabbits with either mutant did not induce the signs of MCF or the expansion of infected CD8+ T cells. These results demonstrate that A7 and A8 are both essential for regulating viral spread and suggest that AlHV-1 requires both genes to efficiently spread in vivo and reach CD8+ T lymphocytes and induce MCF.
Project description:Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a fatal lymphoproliferative disease of cattle that, in East Africa, results from transmission of the causative virus, alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1), from wildebeest. A vaccine field trial involving an attenuated AlHV-1 virus vaccine was performed over two wildebeest calving seasons on the Simanjiro Plain of northern Tanzania. Each of the two phases of the field trial consisted of groups of 50 vaccinated and unvaccinated cattle, which were subsequently exposed to AlHV-1 challenge by herding toward wildebeest. Vaccination resulted in the induction of virus-specific and virus-neutralizing antibodies. Some cattle in the unvaccinated groups also developed virus-specific antibody responses but only after the start of the challenge phase of the trial. PCR of DNA from blood samples detected AlHV-1 infection in both groups of cattle but the frequency of infection was significantly lower in the vaccinated groups. Some infected animals showed clinical signs suggestive of MCF but few animals went on to develop fatal MCF, with similar numbers in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. This study demonstrated a baseline level of MCF-seropositivity among cattle in northern Tanzania of 1% and showed that AlHV-1 virus-neutralizing antibodies could be induced in Tanzanian zebu shorthorn cross cattle by our attenuated vaccine, a correlate of protection in previous experimental trials. The vaccine reduced infection rates by 56% in cattle exposed to wildebeest but protection from fatal MCF could not be determined due to the low number of fatal cases.
Project description:Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a fatal lymphoproliferative disease affecting bovids, cervids and other ruminant species caused by viruses belonging to subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae, genus Macavirus. Among the 10 MCF viruses known to cause the disease, alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) and ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) are the two most widely prevalent causative organisms. The AlHV-1 naturally infects wildebeest and causes wildebeest associated MCF (WA-MCF) in cattle in regions of African sub-continent. The OvHV-2 is prevalent in all varieties of domestic sheep as a sub-clinical infection and causes sheep associated MCF (SA-MCF) in susceptible ruminants in most regions of the world. In India, the detection of cases of SA-MCF in cattle and OvHV-2 infection in sheep during the last decade has established the presence of the virus in native sheep of the country. The present review presents up to date information on various aspects of SA-MCF and its causative agent OvHV-2 with special reference to Indian scenario.
Project description:Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a ?-herpesvirus (?-HV) carried asymptomatically by wildebeest. Upon cross-species transmission, AlHV-1 induces an acute and fatal lymphoproliferative disease named malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in many ruminants, including cattle and the rabbit model. Latency has been shown to be essential for MCF induction. However, the mechanisms causing the activation and proliferation of infected CD8+ T cells are unknown. Many ?-HVs express microRNAs (miRNAs). These small noncoding RNAs can suppress host or viral target genes involved in various pathways and are thought to facilitate viral infection and/or mediate activation and proliferation of infected lymphocytes. AlHV-1 genome has been predicted to encode a large number of miRNAs. However, their precise contribution in viral infection and pathogenesis in vivo remains unknown. Here, we have cloned small RNAs and sequenced 36 potential miRNAs expressed in a lymphoblastoid cell line propagated from a calf infected with AlHV-1 and developing MCF. Among the sequenced candidate miRNAs, 32 were expressed on the reverse strand of the genome in two main clusters. The expression of these 32 viral miRNAs was further validated using Northern blot and qRT-PCR in lymphoid organs of MCF-developing calves or rabbits. To determine the concerted contribution in MCF of 28 viral miRNAs clustered in the non-protein-coding region of the AlHV-1 genome, a recombinant virus was produced. The absence of these 28 miRNAs did not affect viral growth in vitro nor MCF induction in rabbits, demonstrating that AlHV-1 miRNAs clustered in the non-protein-coding genomic region are not essential for MCF induction. Small RNA sequencing from total RNA from AlHV-1-infected bovine lymphoblastoid cell line propagated with interleukin 2
Project description:Theileria is a genus of tick-borne protozoan that is globally widespread and infects nearly all ungulates in which they cause either latent infection or lethal disease. Wild animals are considered reservoir hosts of many species of Theileria and their diversity in wildlife species is increasingly becoming of interest. The molecular characterization and identification of Theileria infecting wildlife has been studied in a few species including buffalo, which are considered reservoir host for Theileria parva infecting cattle. In this study, we sequenced Theileria species infecting wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and used molecular-genetic and phylogenetic analysis of the 18 Small Subunit of the Ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) to identify their relationships with known species of Theileria. Our results revealed three new Theileria haplotypes infecting wildebeest. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that haplotype 1 and 2 clustered in the same clade as Theileria separata and with Theileria sp. isolated from other small to medium sized antelopes. Haplotype 3 clustered close to the Theileria ovis clade. This is the first molecular description and characterization of Theileria species infecting blue wildebeest in East Africa. This study demonstrates the potential for Theileria transmission between wildebeest and small domestic ungulates, such as sheep and goats.
Project description:Viral semaphorins are semaphorin 7A (sema7A) mimics found in pox- and herpesviruses. Among herpesviruses, semaphorins are encoded by gammaherpesviruses of the Macavirus genus only. Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a macavirus that persistently infects wildebeest asymptomatically but induces malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) when transmitted to several species of susceptible ruminants and the rabbit model. MCF is caused by the activation/proliferation of latently infected T lymphocytes. Viral semaphorins have been suggested to mediate immune evasion mechanisms and/or directly alter host T cell function. We studied AlHV-sema, the viral semaphorin encoded by the A3 gene of AlHV-1. Phylogenetic analyses revealed independent acquisition of pox- and herpesvirus semaphorins, suggesting that these proteins might have distinct functions. AlHV-sema showed a predicted three-dimensional structure very similar to sema7A and conserved key residues in sema7A-plexinC1 interaction. Expression analyses revealed that AlHV-sema is a secreted 93-kDa glycoprotein expressed during the early phase of virus replication. Purified AlHV-sema was able to bind to fibroblasts and dendritic cells and induce F-actin condensation and cell retraction through a plexinC1 and Rho/cofilin-dependent mechanism. Cytoskeleton rearrangement was further associated with inhibition of phagocytosis by dendritic cells and migration to the draining lymph node. Next, we generated recombinant viruses and demonstrated that the lack of A3 did not significantly affect virus growth in vitro and did not impair MCF induction and associated lymphoproliferative lesions. In conclusion, AlHV-sema has immune evasion functions through mechanisms similar to poxvirus semaphorin but is not directly involved in host T cell activation during MCF.Whereas most poxviruses encode viral semaphorins, semaphorin-like genes have only been identified in few gammaherpesviruses belonging to the Macavirus genus. Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a macavirus carried asymptomatically by wildebeest but induces a latency-associated lymphoproliferative disease of T lymphocytes in various ruminant species, namely, malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). Viral semaphorins have been hypothesized to have immune evasion functions and/or be involved in activating latently infected T cells. We present evidence that the viral semaphorin AlHV-sema inhibits dendritic cell phagocytosis and migration to the draining lymph node, both being indispensable mechanisms for protective antiviral responses. Next, we engineered recombinant viruses unable to express AlHV-sema and demonstrated that this protein is dispensable for the induction of MCF. In conclusion, this study suggests that herpesvirus and poxvirus semaphorins have independently evolved similar functions to thwart the immune system of the host while AlHV-sema is not directly involved in MCF-associated T-cell activation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Wildebeest associated malignant catarrhal fever (WA-MCF) is a fatal disease of cattle. Outbreaks are seasonal and associated with close interaction between cattle and calving wildebeest. In Kenya, WA-MCF has a dramatic effect on cattle-keepers who lose up to 10% of their cattle herds per year. The objective of this study was to report the impact of WA-MCF on a commercial ranch and assess the performance of clinical diagnosis compared to laboratory diagnosis as a disease management tool. A retrospective study of WA-MCF in cattle was conducted from 2014 to 2016 at Kapiti Plains Ranch Ltd., Kenya. During this period, 325 animals showed clinical signs of WA-MCF and of these, 123 were opportunistically sampled. In addition, 51 clinically healthy animals were sampled. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to confirm clinically diagnosed cases of WA-MCF. A latent class model (LCM) was used to evaluate the diagnostic parameters of clinical diagnosis and the tests in the absence of a gold standard. RESULTS:By PCR, 94% (95% C.I. 89-97%) of clinically affected animals were positive to WA-MCF while 63% (95% C.I. 54-71%) were positive by indirect ELISA. The LCM demonstrated the indirect ELISA had poor sensitivity 63.3% (95% PCI 54.4-71.7%) and specificity 62.6% (95% PCI 39.2-84.9%) while the nested PCR performed better with sensitivity 96.1% (95% PCI 90.7-99.7%) and specificity 92.9% (95% PCI 76.1-99.8%). The sensitivity and specificity of clinical diagnosis were 99.1% (95% PCI 96.8-100.0%) and 71.5% (95% PCI 48.0-97.2%) respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Clinical diagnosis was demonstrated to be an effective method to identify affected animals although animals may be incorrectly classified resulting in financial loss. The study revealed indirect ELISA as a poor test and nested PCR to be a more appropriate confirmatory test for diagnosing acute WA-MCF. However, the logistics of PCR make it unsuitable for field diagnosis of WA-MCF. The future of WA-MCF diagnosis should be aimed at development of penside techniques, which will allow for fast detection in the field.
Project description:Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a γ-herpesvirus (γ-HV) carried asymptomatically by wildebeest. Upon cross-species transmission, AlHV-1 induces an acute and fatal lymphoproliferative disease named malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in many ruminants, including cattle and the rabbit model. Latency has been shown to be essential for MCF induction. However, the mechanisms causing the activation and proliferation of infected CD8+ T cells are unknown. Many γ-HVs express microRNAs (miRNAs). These small noncoding RNAs can suppress host or viral target genes involved in various pathways and are thought to facilitate viral infection and/or mediate activation and proliferation of infected lymphocytes. AlHV-1 genome has been predicted to encode a large number of miRNAs. However, their precise contribution in viral infection and pathogenesis in vivo remains unknown. Here, we have cloned small RNAs and sequenced 36 potential miRNAs expressed in a lymphoblastoid cell line propagated from a calf infected with AlHV-1 and developing MCF. Among the sequenced candidate miRNAs, 32 were expressed on the reverse strand of the genome in two main clusters. The expression of these 32 viral miRNAs was further validated using Northern blot and qRT-PCR in lymphoid organs of MCF-developing calves or rabbits. To determine the concerted contribution in MCF of 28 viral miRNAs clustered in the non-protein-coding region of the AlHV-1 genome, a recombinant virus was produced. The absence of these 28 miRNAs did not affect viral growth in vitro nor MCF induction in rabbits, demonstrating that AlHV-1 miRNAs clustered in the non-protein-coding genomic region are not essential for MCF induction. Small RNA sequencing from total RNA from AlHV-1-infected bovine lymphoblastoid cell line propagated with interleukin 2
Project description:Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a ?-herpesvirus (?-HV) belonging to the macavirus genus that persistently infects its natural host, the wildebeest, without inducing any clinical sign. However, cross-transmission to other ruminant species causes a deadly lymphoproliferative disease named malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). AlHV-1 ORF73 encodes the latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA)-homolog protein (aLANA). Recently, aLANA has been shown to be essential for viral persistence in vivo and induction of MCF, suggesting that aLANA shares key properties of other ?-HV genome maintenance proteins. Here we have investigated the evasion of the immune response by aLANA. We found that a glycin/glutamate (GE)-rich repeat domain was sufficient to inhibit in cis the presentation of an epitope linked to aLANA. Although antigen presentation in absence of GE was dependent upon proteasomal degradation of aLANA, a lack of GE did not affect protein turnover. However, protein self-synthesis de novo was downregulated by aLANA GE, a mechanism directly associated with reduced antigen presentation in vitro. Importantly, codon-modification of aLANA GE resulted in increased antigen presentation in vitro and enhanced induction of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses in vivo, indicating that mRNA constraints in GE rather than peptidic sequence are responsible for cis-limitation of antigen presentation. Nonetheless, GE-mediated limitation of antigen presentation in cis of aLANA was dispensable during MCF as rabbits developed the disease after virus infection irrespective of the expression of full-length or GE-deficient aLANA. Altogether, we provide evidence that inhibition in cis of protein synthesis through GE is likely involved in long-term immune evasion of AlHV-1 latent persistence in the wildebeest natural host, but dispensable in MCF pathogenesis.