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Sean Ekins, Alexander L Perryman, Carolina Horta Andrade
The Zika virus outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern. To help accelerate this fight against Zika, we launched the OpenZika project. OpenZika is an IBM World Community Grid Project that uses distributed computing on millions of computers and Android devices to run docking experiments, in order to dock tens of millions of drug-like compounds against crystal structures and homology models of Zika proteins (and other related flavivirus targets). This will enable the identification of new candidates that can then be tested in vitro, to advance the discovery and development of new antiviral drugs against the Zika virus...
October 2016: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Stefan W Metz, Shaomin Tian, Gabriel Hoekstra, Xianwen Yi, Michelle Stone, Katie Horvath, Michael J Miley, Joseph DeSimone, Chris J Luft, Aravinda M de Silva
Dengue virus (DENV) is the causative agent of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. The virus is endemic in over 120 countries, causing over 350 million infections per year. Dengue vaccine development is challenging because of the need to induce simultaneous protection against four antigenically distinct DENV serotypes and evidence that, under some conditions, vaccination can enhance disease due to specific immunity to the virus. While several live-attenuated tetravalent dengue virus vaccines display partial efficacy, it has been challenging to induce balanced protective immunity to all 4 serotypes...
October 2016: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Jessica M Healy, M Catherine Burgess, Tai-Ho Chen, W Thane Hancock, Karrie-Ann E Toews, Magele Scott Anesi, Ray T Tulafono, Mary Aseta Mataia, Benjamin Sili, Jacqueline Solaita, A Christian Whelen, Rebecca Sciulli, Remedios B Gose, Vasiti Uluiviti, Morgan Hennessey, Fara Utu, Motusa Tuileama Nua, Marc Fischer
During December 2015-January 2016, the American Samoa Department of Health (ASDoH) detected through surveillance an increase in the number of cases of acute febrile rash illness. Concurrently, a case of laboratory-confirmed Zika virus infection, a mosquito-borne flavivirus infection documented to cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects in some infants born to women infected during pregnancy (1,2) was reported in a traveler returning to New Zealand from American Samoa. In the absence of local laboratory capacity to test for Zika virus, ASDoH initiated arboviral disease control measures, including public education and vector source reduction campaigns...
October 21, 2016: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Marie Louise Landry, Kirsten St George
CONTEXT: -The rapid and accurate diagnosis of Zika virus infection is an international priority. OBJECTIVE: -To review current recommendations, methods, limitations, and priorities for Zika virus testing. DATA SOURCES: -Sources include published literature, public health recommendations, laboratory procedures, and testing experience. CONCLUSIONS: -Until recently, the laboratory diagnosis of Zika infection was confined to public health or research laboratories that prepared their own reagents, and test capacity has been limited...
October 20, 2016: Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Laura Rivino, Mei Qiu Lim
Dengue (DENV) and Zika viruses (ZIKV) are rapidly emerging mosquito-borne flaviviruses which represent a public health concern. Understanding host protective immunity to these viruses is critical for the design of optimal vaccines. Over a decade of research has highlighted a significant contribution of the T cell response to both protection and/or disease enhancement during dengue infection, the latter being mainly associated with sub-optimal cross-reactive T cell responses during secondary infections. Phase IIb/III clinical trials of the first licensed tetravalent dengue vaccine highlight increased vaccine efficacy in dengue-immune as opposed to dengue-naïve vaccinees, suggesting a possible immunoprotective role of pre-existing DENV-specific T cells that are boosted upon vaccination...
October 20, 2016: Immunology
Katherine D Shives, Aaron R Massey, Nicholas A May, Thomas E Morrison, J David Beckham
West Nile virus (WNV) is a (+) sense, single-stranded RNA virus in the Flavivirus genus. WNV RNA possesses an (m7)GpppNm 5' cap with 2'-O-methylation that mimics host mRNAs preventing innate immune detection and allowing the virus to translate its RNA genome through the utilization of cap-dependent translation initiation effectors in a wide variety of host species. Our prior work established the requirement of the host mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) for optimal WNV growth and protein expression; yet, the roles of the downstream effectors of mTORC1 in WNV translation are unknown...
October 18, 2016: Viruses
B Mishra, B Behera
Until now, known as the demure cousin of dengue virus (DENV) inhabiting Africa, Zika virus (ZIKV) has reinvented itself to cause explosive epidemics captivating the Western hemisphere. The outbreak causing potential for ZIKV was realized when it made its way from Africa to Yap Island Micronesia in 2007, and in French Polynesia in 2013. From there, it moved on to Brazil in 2015. Now ZIKV has infected people in more than 33 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Moreover the epidemiological and subsequent virological association with microcephaly cases in Brazil has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of International Concern...
October 2016: Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Daniel R Ripoll, Ilja Khavrutskii, Anders Wallqvist, Sidhartha Chaudhury
Cryo-electron-microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of flaviviruses reveal significant variation in epitope occupancy across different monoclonal antibodies that have largely been attributed to epitope-level differences in conformation or accessibility that affect antibody binding. The consequences of these variations for macroscopic properties such as antibody binding and neutralization are the results of the law of mass action-a stochastic process of innumerable binding and unbinding events between antibodies and the multiple binding sites on the flavivirus in equilibrium-that cannot be directly imputed from structure alone...
October 18, 2016: Biophysical Journal
Kamal Niaz, Mohammad Abdollahi
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a deadly flavivirus that has spread from Africa to Asia and European countries. The virus is associated with other viruses in the same genus or family, transmitted by the same mosquito species with known history of fatality. A sudden increase in the rate of infection from ZIKV has made it a global health concern, which necessitates close symptom monitoring, enhancing treatment options, and vaccine production. This paper reviewed current reports on birth defects associated with ZIKV, mode of transmission, body fluids containing the virus, diagnosis , possible preventive measures or treatments, and vaccine development...
October 18, 2016: Infectious Disorders Drug Targets
Qanta A Ahmed, Ziad A Memish
Hajj is among the world's largest mass gatherings, drawing between 2 and 3.5 million Muslims from 183 nations annually to perform pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Infectious disease outbreaks can be imported both into the Hajj population and exported internationally by returning pilgrims. The domestic Saudi population can also be at risk of outbreaks traveling amid this mass migration. With yellow fever reported for the first time in China following the infection of expatriate Chinese workers in Angola and a full blown outbreak underway in wider West Africa, the prospect of yellow fever outbreaks in Asia threatens to impact Saudi Arabia, both during and beyond the Hajj season...
October 17, 2016: Frontiers of Medicine
Yuka Saito, Meng Ling Moi, Nozomi Takeshita, Chang-Kweng Lim, Hajime Shiba, Kuniaki Hosono, Masayuki Saijo, Ichiro Kurane, Tomohiko Takasaki
BACKGROUND: Dengue virus (DENV) and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) belong to the genus Flavivirus, and infection with a virus within this genus induces antibodies that are cross-reactive to other flaviviruses. Particularly in DENV infection, antibodies to DENV possess two competing activities: neutralizing activity and infection-enhancing activity. These antibody activities are considered central in modulating clinical outcomes of DENV infection. Here, we determined the neutralizing and infection-enhancing activity of DENV cross-reactive antibodies in adults before and after JE vaccination...
October 18, 2016: BMC Infectious Diseases
Edson R A Oliveira, Ronaldo Mohana-Borges, Ricardo B de Alencastro, Bruno A C Horta
Flaviviruses, such as dengue and zika viruses, are etiologic agents transmitted to humans mainly by arthropods and are of great epidemiological interest. The flavivirus capsid protein is a structural element required for the viral nucleocapsid assembly that presents the classical function of sheltering the viral genome. After decades of research, many reports have shown its different functionalities and influence over cell normal functioning. The subcellular distribution of this protein, which involves accumulation around lipid droplets and nuclear localization, also corroborates with its multi-functional characteristic...
October 14, 2016: Virus Research
Fatiha Benmansour, Iuni Trist, Bruno Coutard, Etienne Decroly, Gilles Querat, Andrea Brancale, Karine Barral
With the aim to help drug discovery against dengue virus (DENV), a fragment-based drug design approach was applied to identify ligands targeting a main component of DENV replication complex: the NS5 AdoMet-dependent mRNA methyltransferase (MTase) domain, playing an essential role in the RNA capping process. Herein, we describe the identification of new inhibitors developed using fragment-based, structure-guided linking and optimization techniques. Thermal-shift assay followed by a fragment-based X-ray crystallographic screening lead to the identification of three fragment hits binding DENV MTase...
October 5, 2016: European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Richmond Darko, Jessica L Mashburn
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection and its associated complications have become a significant public health concern. Zika virus is a Flavivirus, and is transmitted to humans by Aedes species mosquitoes. In May 2015, the World Health Organization reported the first locally acquired transmission of ZIKV in Brazil, the first case in the Western Hemisphere. There have also been reports of increased incidence of microcephaly and other neurologic complications associated with ZIKV infection, as well as a 20-fold increase in the incidence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome during ZIKV outbreaks...
October 2016: Pediatric Emergency Care
Sean Ekins, John Liebler, Bruno J Neves, Warren G Lewis, Megan Coffee, Rachelle Bienstock, Christopher Southan, Carolina H Andrade
The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae, which is similar to dengue virus, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Recent outbreaks in South America, Latin America, the Caribbean and in particular Brazil have led to concern for the spread of the disease and potential to cause Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly. Although ZIKV has been known of for over 60 years there is very little in the way of knowledge of the virus with few publications and no crystal structures. No antivirals have been tested against it either in vitro or in vivo...
2016: F1000Research
Barry Atkinson, Victoria Graham, Rory W Miles, Kuiama Lewandowski, Stuart D Dowall, Steven T Pullan, Roger Hewson
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging pathogenic flavivirus currently circulating in numerous countries in South America, the Caribbean, and the Western Pacific Region. Using an unbiased metagenomic sequencing approach, we report here the first complete genome sequence of ZIKV isolated from a clinical semen sample.
October 13, 2016: Genome Announcements
Johannes Blümel, Didier Musso, Sebastian Teitz, Tomoyuki Miyabayashi, Klaus Boller, Barbara S Schnierle, Sally A Baylis
BACKGROUND: Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-borne Flavivirus of major public health concern. The potential for ZIKV transmission by blood transfusion has been demonstrated; however, inactivation or removal of ZIKV during the manufacture of plasma-derived medicinal products has not been specifically investigated. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Inactivation of ZIKV by pasteurization and solvent/detergent (S/D) treatment was investigated by spiking high-titer ZIKV stocks into human serum albumin and applying either heat or adding different mixtures of S/D reagents and assaying for infectious virus particles...
October 12, 2016: Transfusion
John H-O Pettersson, Vegard Eldholm, Stephen J Seligman, Åke Lundkvist, Andrew K Falconar, Michael W Gaunt, Didier Musso, Antoine Nougairède, Remi Charrel, Ernest A Gould, Xavier de Lamballerie
The unexpected emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Pacific Islands and Latin America and its association with congenital Zika virus syndrome (CZVS) (which includes microcephaly) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have stimulated wide-ranging research. High densities of susceptible Aedes spp., immunologically naive human populations, global population growth with increased urbanization, and escalation of global transportation of humans and commercial goods carrying vectors and ZIKV undoubtedly enhanced the emergence of ZIKV...
October 11, 2016: MBio
Anna S Ershova, Olga A Gra, Alexander M Lyaschuk, Tatyana M Grunina, Artem P Tkachuk, Mikhail S Bartov, Darya M Savina, Olga V Sergienko, Zoya M Galushkina, Vladimir P Gudov, Liubov I Kozlovskaya, Ivan S Kholodilov, Larissa V Gmyl, Galina G Karganova, Vladimir G Lunin, Anna S Karyagina, Alexander L Gintsburg
BACKGROUND: E protein of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and other flaviviruses is located on the surface of the viral particle. Domain III of this protein seems to be a promising component of subunit vaccines for prophylaxis of TBE and kits for diagnostics of TBEV. METHODS: Three variants of recombinant TBEV E protein domain III of European, Siberian and Far Eastern subtypes fused with dextran-binding domain of Leuconostoc citreum KM20 were expressed in E...
October 7, 2016: BMC Infectious Diseases
Aileen E O'Hearn, Matthew A Voorhees, David P Fetterer, Nadia Wauquier, Moinya R Coomber, James Bangura, Joseph N Fair, Jean-Paul Gonzalez, Randal J Schoepp
BACKGROUND: Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a variety of pathogens, but disease surveillance and the healthcare infrastructure necessary for proper management and control are severely limited. Lassa virus, the cause of Lassa fever, a severe hemorrhagic fever in humans is endemic in West Africa. In Sierra Leone at the Kenema Government Hospital Lassa Diagnostic Laboratory, up to 70 % of acute patient samples suspected of Lassa fever test negative for Lassa virus infection. This large amount of acute undiagnosed febrile illness can be attributed in part to an array of hemorrhagic fever and arthropod-borne viruses causing disease that goes undetected and untreated...
October 3, 2016: Virology Journal
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