Experimental infection of the cane mouse Zygodontomys brevicauda (family Muridae) with guanarito virus (Arenaviridae), the etiologic agent of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever. (1/127)

Chronic infections in specific rodents appear to be crucial to the long-term persistence of arenaviruses in nature. The cane mouse, Zygodontomys brevicauda, is a natural host of Guanarito virus (family Arenaviridae), the etiologic agent of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the natural history of Guanarito virus infection in Z. brevicauda. Thirty-nine laboratory-reared cane mice each were inoculated subcutaneously with 3.0 log10 plaque-forming units of the Guanarito virus prototype strain INH-95551. No lethality was associated with infection in any animal, regardless of age at inoculation. The 13 newborn, 14 weanling, and 8 of the 12 adult animals developed chronic viremic infections characterized by persistent shedding of infectious virus in oropharyngeal secretions and urine. These findings indicate that Guanarito virus infection in Z. brevicauda can be chronic and thus support the concept that this rodent species is the natural reservoir of Guanarito virus.  (+info)

Guanarito virus (Arenaviridae) isolates from endemic and outlying localities in Venezuela: sequence comparisons among and within strains isolated from Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever patients and rodents. (2/127)

Despite intensive surveillance, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever (VHF), caused by Guanarito (GTO) virus, has been detected in only a small region of western Venezuela. To determine whether VHF is associated with a particular regional GTO virus strain(s), 29 isolates from rodents and humans throughout the surrounding regions were analyzed by partial sequencing of the nucleocapsid protein gene. Phylogenetic trees delineated nine distinct GTO genotypes that differ by 4-17% in nucleotides and up to 9% in amino acid sequences; most appeared to be restricted to discrete geographic regions, although a few genotypes were isolated in several locations. Each genotype included at least one strain recovered from a rodent, but only two genotypes were isolated from VHF cases. The presence outside of the endemic/epidemic region of two genotypes isolated also from VHF cases suggests that human pathogenic viruses occur outside of the endemic zone, but do not frequently infect people and/or cause apparent disease there. VHF does not appear to be associated with a GTO virus genotype that is restricted to a certain rodent species. When quasispecies diversity was examined, rodent isolates had higher sequence variation than human isolates. One rodent isolate included a mixture of two phylogenetically distinct genotypes, suggesting a dual infection.  (+info)

Homologous and heterologous glycoproteins induce protection against Junin virus challenge in guinea pigs. (3/127)

Tacaribe virus (TACV) is an arenavirus that is genetically and antigenically closely related to Junin virus (JUNV), the aetiological agent of Argentine haemorrhagic fever (AHF). It is well established that TACV protects experimental animals fully against an otherwise lethal challenge with JUNV. To gain information on the nature of the antigens involved in cross-protection, recombinant vaccinia viruses were constructed that express the glycoprotein precursor (VV-GTac) or the nucleocapsid protein (VV-N) of TACV. TACV proteins expressed by vaccinia virus were indistinguishable from authentic virus proteins by gel electrophoresis. Guinea pigs inoculated with VV-GTac or VV-N elicited antibodies that immunoprecipitated authentic TACV proteins. Antibodies generated by VV-GTac neutralized TACV infectivity. Levels of antibodies after priming and boosting with recombinant vaccinia virus were comparable to those elicited in TACV infection. To evaluate the ability of recombinant vaccinia virus to protect against experimental AHF, guinea pigs were challenged with lethal doses of JUNV. Fifty per cent of the animals immunized with VV-GTac survived, whereas all animals inoculated with VV-N or vaccinia virus died. Having established that the heterologous glycoprotein protects against JUNV challenge, a recombinant vaccinia virus was constructed that expresses JUNV glycoprotein precursor (VV-GJun). The size and reactivity to monoclonal antibodies of the vaccinia virus-expressed and authentic JUNV glycoproteins were indistinguishable. Seventy-two per cent of the animals inoculated with two doses of VV-GJun survived lethal JUNV challenge. Protection with either VV-GJun or VV-GTac occurred in the presence of low or undetectable levels of neutralizing antibodies to JUNV.  (+info)

The Whitewater Arroyo virus: natural evidence for genetic recombination among Tacaribe serocomplex viruses (family Arenaviridae). (4/127)

The Tacaribe serocomplex (family Arenaviridae) comprises three phylogenetic lineages, designated A, B, and C. The sequence of a 3278-nt fragment of the small genomic segment of the Whitewater Arroyo (WWA) virus was determined to extend our knowledge on the phylogenetic relationship of this newly discovered North American Tacaribe complex virus to other arenaviruses. Independent analyses of full-length nucleoprotein (N) and glycoprotein precursor (GPC) amino acid sequences indicated that the WWA virus N and GPC genes are descended from a lineage A virus and lineage B virus, respectively. The different phylogenetic histories of the N and GPC genes indicate that the WWA virus genome is a product of recombination between two Tacaribe complex viruses.  (+info)

Pirital virus (Arenaviridae) infection in the syrian golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus: a new animal model for arenaviral hemorrhagic fever. (5/127)

Adult Syrian golden hamsters inoculated intraperitoneally with Pirital virus, a recently discovered member of the Tacaribe complex of New World arenaviruses, developed a progressively severe, fatal illness with many of the pathologic features observed in fatal human cases of Lassa fever and other arenaviral hemorrhagic fevers. Most of the animals became moribund by Day 5 and were dead by Day 7 after inoculation. The most consistent histopathologic changes included interstitial pneumonitis, splenic lymphoid depletion and necrosis, and multifocal hepatic necrosis without significant inflammatory cell infiltration. The liver changes ranged from single cell death by apoptosis to coagulative necrosis of clusters of hepatocytes. Immunohistochemical studies of the liver demonstrated the presence and accumulation ot Pirital virus antigen within hepatocytes as well as Kupffer cells. An in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay showed progressively increasing apoptotic activity in the liver of infected hamsters. A human hepatoblastoma cell line (Hep G2/C3A) inoculated with Pirital virus also developed progressive cell destruction and accumulation of viral antigen, as demonstrated by immunofluorescence. Results of this pilot study suggest that the Pirital virus-hamster model is a very promising new small animal model for studying the pathogenesis of arenavirus infections, particularly, the mechanism of direct virus-induced hepatic injury. It may also be useful for testingantiviral agents for treatment of arenaviral hemorrhagic fevers.  (+info)

Protection against simian immunodeficiency virus vaginal challenge by using Sabin poliovirus vectors. (6/127)

Here we provide the first report of protection against a vaginal challenge with a highly virulent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) by using a vaccine vector. New poliovirus vectors based on Sabin 1 and 2 vaccine strain viruses were constructed, and these vectors were used to generate a series of new viruses containing SIV gag, pol, env, nef, and tat in overlapping fragments. Two cocktails of 20 transgenic polioviruses (SabRV1-SIV and SabRV2-SIV) were inoculated into seven cynomolgus macaques. All monkeys produced substantial anti-SIV serum and mucosal antibody responses. SIV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses were detected in three of seven monkeys after vaccination. All 7 vaccinated macaques, as well as 12 control macaques, were challenged vaginally with pathogenic SIVmac251. Strikingly, four of the seven vaccinated animals exhibited substantial protection against the vaginal SIV challenge. All 12 control monkeys became SIV positive. In two of the seven SabRV-SIV-vaccinated monkeys we found no virological evidence of infection following challenge, indicating that these two monkeys were completely protected. Two additional SabRV-SIV-vaccinated monkeys exhibited a pronounced reduction in postacute viremia to <10(3) copies/ml, suggesting that the vaccine elicited an effective cellular immune response. Three of six control animals developed clinical AIDS by 48 weeks postchallenge. In contrast, all seven vaccinated monkeys remained healthy as judged by all clinical parameters. These results demonstrate the efficacy of SabRV as a potential human vaccine vector, and they show that the use of a vaccine vector cocktail expressing an array of defined antigenic sequences can be an effective vaccination strategy in an outbred population.  (+info)

Transcription and RNA replication of tacaribe virus genome and antigenome analogs require N and L proteins: Z protein is an inhibitor of these processes. (7/127)

Tacaribe virus (TV), the prototype of the New World group of arenaviruses, comprises a single phylogenetic lineage together with four South American pathogenic producers of hemorrhagic disease. The TV genome consists of two single-stranded RNA segments called S and L. A reconstituted transcription-replication system based on plasmid-supplied TV-like RNAs and TV proteins was established. Plasmid expression was driven by T7 RNA polymerase supplied by a recombinant vaccinia virus. Plasmids were constructed to produce TV S segment analogs containing the negative-sense copy of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) flanked at the 5' and 3' termini by sequences corresponding to those of the 5' and 3' noncoding regions of the S genome (minigenome) or the S antigenome (miniantigenome). In cells expressing N and L proteins, input minigenome or miniantigenome produced, respectively, encapsidated miniantigenome or minigenome which in turn produced progeny minigenome or progeny miniantigenome. Both minigenome and miniantigenome in the presence of N and L mediated transcription, which was analyzed as CAT expression. Coexpression of the small RING finger Z (p11) protein was highly inhibitory to both transcription and replication mediated by the minigenome or the miniantigenome. The effect depended on synthesis of Z protein rather than on plasmid or the RNA and was not ascribed to decreased amounts of plasmid-supplied template or proteins (N or L). N and L proteins were sufficient to support full-cycle RNA replication of a plasmid-supplied S genome analog in which CAT replaced the N gene. Replication of this RNA was also inhibited by Z expression.  (+info)

New World arenavirus clade C, but not clade A and B viruses, utilizes alpha-dystroglycan as its major receptor. (8/127)

Alpha-dystroglycan (alpha-DG) has been identified as a major receptor for lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and Lassa virus, two Old World arenaviruses. The situation with New World arenaviruses is less clear: previous studies demonstrated that Oliveros virus also exhibited high-affinity binding to alpha-DG but that Guanarito virus did not. To extend these initial studies, several additional Old and New World arenaviruses were screened for entry into mouse embryonic stem cells possessing or lacking alpha-DG. In addition, representative viruses were further analyzed for direct binding to alpha-DG by means of a virus overlay protein blot assay technique. These studies indicate that Old World arenaviruses use alpha-DG as a major receptor, whereas, of the New World arenaviruses, only clade C viruses (i.e., Oliveros and Latino viruses) use alpha-DG as a major receptor. New World clade A and B arenaviruses, which include the highly pathogenic Machupo, Guanarito, Junin, and Sabia viruses, appear to use a different receptor or coreceptor for binding. Previous studies with LCMV have suggested the need for a small aliphatic amino acid at LCMV GP1 glycoprotein amino acid position 260 to allow high-affinity binding to alpha-DG. As reported herein, this requirement appears to be broadly applicable to the arenaviruses as determined by more extensive analysis of alpha-DG receptor usage and GP1 sequences of Old and New World arenaviruses. In addition, GP1 amino acid position 259 also appears to be important, since all arenaviruses showing high-affinity alpha-DG binding possess a bulky aromatic amino acid (tyrosine or phenylalanine) at this position.  (+info)