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(1/92) Natural rodent host associations of Guanarito and pirital viruses (Family Arenaviridae) in central Venezuela.

The objective of this study was to elucidate the natural rodent host relationships of Guanarito and Pirital viruses (family Arenaviridae) in the plains of central Venezuela. Ninety-two arenavirus isolates from 607 animals, representing 10 different rodent species, were characterized to the level of serotype. The 92 isolates comprised 19 Guanarito virus strains and 73 Pirital virus strains. The 19 Guanarito virus isolates were from Zygodontomys brevicauda; 72 (98.6%) of the 73 Pirital virus isolates were from Sigmodon alstoni. These results indicate that the natural rodent associations of these 2 sympatric arenaviruses are highly specific and that Z brevicauda and S. alstoni are the principal rodent hosts of Guanarito and Pirital viruses, respectively.  (+info)

(2/92) Fatal illnesses associated with a new world arenavirus--California, 1999-2000.

The California Department of Health Services (CDHS) and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) recently identified evidence of infection with an arenavirus in three patients hospitalized with similar fatal illnesses. This report summarizes the investigation of these cases.  (+info)

(3/92) The viral transmembrane superfamily: possible divergence of Arenavirus and Filovirus glycoproteins from a common RNA virus ancestor.

BACKGROUND: Recent studies of viral entry proteins from influenza, measles, human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), and Ebola virus have shown, first with molecular modeling, and then X-ray crystallographic or other biophysical studies, that these disparate viruses share a coiled-coil type of entry protein. RESULTS: Structural models of the transmembrane glycoproteins (GP-2) of the Arenaviruses, lymphochoriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and Lassa fever virus, are presented, based on consistent structural propensities despite variation in the amino acid sequence. The principal features of the model, a hydrophobic amino terminus, and two antiparallel helices separated by a glycosylated, antigenic apex, are common to a number of otherwise disparate families of enveloped RNA viruses. Within the first amphipathic helix, demonstrable by circular dichroism of a peptide fragment, there is a highly conserved heptad repeat pattern proposed to mediate multimerization by coiled-coil interactions. The amino terminal 18 amino acids are 28% identical and 50% highly similar to the corresponding region of Ebola, a member of the Filovirus family. Within the second, charged helix just prior to membrane insertion there is also high similarity over the central 18 amino acids in corresponding regions of Lassa and Ebola, which may be further related to the similar region of HIV-1 defining a potent antiviral peptide analogue. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a common pattern of structure and function among viral transmembrane fusion proteins from a number of virus families. Such a pattern may define a viral transmembrane superfamily that evolved from a common precursor eons ago.  (+info)

(4/92) Arenavirus antibody in rodents indigenous to coastal southern California.

The purpose of this study was to extend our knowledge on the geographic and natural rodent host ranges of New World arenaviruses in California. Sera from 1,094 sigmodontine and 112 murine rodents were tested for antibody against Whitewater Arroyo and Amapari viruses. Antibody was found in 55 (4.6%) of the 1,206 rodents: 4 from northwestern San Diego County, 3 from Los Angeles County, and 48 from Orange County. The antibody-positive rodents included 8 (7.8%) of 103 Neotoma fuscipes, 1 (0.6%) of 180 Neotoma lepida, 1 (3.1%) of 32 Peromyscus boylii, 8 (11.0%) of 73 Peromyscus californicus, 1 (1.2%) of 85 Peromyscus eremicus, 30 (8.5%) of 353 Peromyscus maniculatus, and 6 (2.2%) of 268 Reithrodontomys megalotis. This study provides the first evidence that New World arenaviruses occur in Los Angeles and Orange counties and northwestern San Diego County, and the first evidence that Peromyscus and Reithrodontomys species are naturally infected with New World arenaviruses.  (+info)

(5/92) Allpahuayo virus: a newly recognized arenavirus (arenaviridae) from arboreal rice rats (oecomys bicolor and oecomys paricola) in northeastern peru.

Allpahuayo virus was initially isolated from arboreal rice rats (Oecomys bicolor and Oecomys paricola) collected during 1997 at the Allpahuayo Biological Station in northeastern Peru. Serological and genetic studies identified the virus as a new member of the Tacaribe complex of the genus Arenavirus. The small (S) segment of the Allpahuayo virus prototype strain CLHP-2098 (Accession No. AY012686) was sequenced, as well as that of sympatric isolate CLHP-2472 (Accession No. AY012687), from the same rodent species. The S segment was 3382 bases in length and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Allpahuayo is a sister virus to Pichinde in clade A. Two ambisense, nonoverlapping reading frames were identified, which result in two predicted gene products, a glycoprotein precursor (GPC) and a nucleocapsid protein (NP). A predicted stable single hairpin secondary structure was identified in the intergenic region between GPC and NP. Details of the genetic organization of Allpahuayo virus are discussed.  (+info)

(6/92) Transmission of an arenavirus in white-throated woodrats (Neotoma albigula), southeastern Colorado, 1995-1999.

From 1995 to 1999, we conducted longitudinal studies of white- throated woodrats (Neotoma albigula) in southeastern Colorado. Forty-five (42.9%) of 105 female and 15 (26.8%) of 56 male N. albigula had antibodies against Whitewater Arroyo virus (WWAV). Sixteen female and three male N. albigula seroconverted during the study period, most of them during July-November, when population densities are highest. Analyses of longevity data, minimum numbers alive and infected, movements, and weight data suggest that the dominant mode of WWAV transmission among white-throated woodrats in Colorado is direct contact. WWAV was recently reported to cause fatal infection in humans. Our findings will lead to better assessment of the public health threat posed by infected woodrats and may be useful in predicting periods of increased risk for human infection.  (+info)

(7/92) Geographic distribution and genetic diversity of Whitewater Arroyo virus in the southwestern United States.

The purpose of this study was to extend our knowledge of the geographic distribution and genetic diversity of the arenavirus(es) associated with Neotoma species (woodrats) in the southwestern United States. Infectious arenavirus was recovered from 14 (3.3%) of 425 woodrats. The virus-positive species included N. albigula in New Mexico and Oklahoma, N. cinerea in Utah, N. mexicana in New Mexico and Utah, and N. micropus in Texas. Analyses of viral nucleocapsid protein gene sequence data indicated that all the isolates were strains of the Whitewater Arroyo virus, an arenavirus previously known only from northwestern New Mexico. Analyses of the sequence data also indicated that there can be substantial genetic diversity among strains of Whitewater Arroyo virus from conspecific woodrats collected from different localities and substantial genetic diversity among strains from different woodrat species collected from the same locality.  (+info)

(8/92) Common antiviral cytotoxic t-lymphocyte epitope for diverse arenaviruses.

Members of the Arenaviridae family have been isolated from mammalian hosts in disparate geographic locations, leading to their grouping as Old World types (i.e., lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus [LCMV], Lassa fever virus [LFV], Mopeia virus, and Mobala virus) and New World types (i.e., Junin, Machupo, Tacaribe, and Sabia viruses) (C. J. Peters, M. J. Buchmeier, P. E. Rollin, and T. G. Ksiazek, p. 1521-1551, in B. N. Fields, D. M. Knipe, and P. M. Howley [ed.], Fields virology, 3rd ed., 1996; P. J. Southern, p. 1505-1519, in B. N. Fields, D. M. Knipe, and P. M. Howley [ed.], Fields virology, 3rd ed., 1996). Several types in both groups-LFV, Junin, Machupo, and Sabia viruses-cause severe and often lethal human diseases. By sequence comparison, we noted that eight Old World and New World arenaviruses share several amino acids with the nucleoprotein (NP) that consists of amino acids (aa) 118 to 126 (NP 118-126) (RPQASGVYM) of LCMV that comprise the immunodominant cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) epitope for H-2(d) mice (32). This L(d)-restricted epitope constituted >97% of the total bulk CTLs produced in the specific antiviral or clonal responses of H-2(d) BALB mice. NP 118-126 of the Old World arenaviruses LFV, Mopeia virus, and LCMV and the New World arenavirus Sabia virus bound at high affinity to L(d). The primary H-2(d) CTL anti-LCMV response as well as that of a CTL clone responsive to LCMV NP 118-126 recognized target cells coated with NP 118-126 peptides derived from LCMV, LFV, and Mopeia virus but not Sabia virus, indicating that a common functional NP epitope exists among Old World arenaviruses. Use of site-specific amino acid exchanges in the NP CTL epitope among these arenaviruses identified amino acids involved in major histocompatibility complex binding and CTL recognition.  (+info)