Clinical case definitions for Argentine hemorrhagic fever.
Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF) is a potentially lethal infection in Argentina. The case-fatality ratio is >15%, but treatment reduces the mortality rate to <1%. Diagnosis is based on clinical and laboratory criteria, but no case definition has been validated. A chart review was conducted for patients hospitalized with suspected AHF. Individuals with a fourfold rise in antibody titer were classified as cases. The combination of a platelet count of <100,000/mm3 and a white blood cell (WBC) count of <2,500/mm3 had a sensitivity and specificity of 87% and 88%, respectively, thus suggesting that the use of these criteria in a case definition would be helpful for epidemiological studies of AHF. The combination of a platelet count of <100,000/mm3 and a WBC count of <4,000/mm3 had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 71%; the use of these criteria in a case definition should be helpful for screening patients for therapy with immune plasma in the region where AHF is endemic. (+info)
Sequence analysis of the small RNA segment of guinea pig-passaged Pichinde virus variants.
The established animal model for Lassa fever is based on the new world arenavirus Pichinde (PIC). Natural isolates of PIC virus are attenuated in guinea pigs, but serial guinea pig passage renders them extremely virulent in that host. We have compared the nucleotide sequences of the small RNA segments of two attenuated, low-passage variants of the PIC virus Munchique strain (CoAn 4763) and two virulent, high-passage derivatives. Missense mutations in the glycoprotein precursor (GPC) gene at codons GPC-119, GPC-140, and GPC-164 and the nucleoprotein gene (NP) codons NP-35 and NP-374 were most closely associated with virulence. Codon GPC-140 is predicted to represent a region of peak hydrophilicity of the glycoprotein 1 (GP1); it is conceivable that mutations at this site could influence virulence by altering B cell epitopes or virus attachment protein conformation. (+info)
Experimental infection of the cane mouse Zygodontomys brevicauda (family Muridae) with guanarito virus (Arenaviridae), the etiologic agent of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever.
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.
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.
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)
Clinical and epidemiological patterns of Argentine haemorrhagic fever.
The epidemiology of Argentine haemorrhagic fever (AHF) is closely related to cricetine rodents acting as natural hosts of Junin virus. The endemo-epidemic area, which has increased 5 times since the disease was first recognized 15-20 years ago, is located in a densely populated region of Argentina. It has been shown that the virus of LCM is active in humans and rodents of the AHF endemic area; this demonstrates the simultaneous presence of two arenaviruses pathogenic for man in a given geographic location.The disease is characterized by haematological, renal, neurological and cardiovascular changes. Electron microscopy and immunohistochemical studies have shown cytopathic changes, characteristic intracellular virus-like particles, and antigenic determinants of Junin virus in different organs from 9 cases of AHF. No deposits of immunoglobulins or C3 were found in the kidneys; in addition, an absence of fibrinogen and C3 in the hepatocytes and of immunoglobulins in the spleen was observed. These findings suggest a direct viral pathogenic action in the human disease.Ultrastructural and immunofluorescence studies in tissues of guinea-pigs inoculated with two strains of Junin virus revealed the presence of the same types of virus-like particles and antigenic determinants of Junin virus as were encountered in the human subjects with AHF. (+info)
Genetic diversity of the Junin virus in Argentina: geographic and temporal patterns.
RNA was purified from 39 strains of cell-cultured Junin virus (JUN) from central Argentina, which included both human- and rodent-derived isolates (a total of 26 and 13, respectively), as well as from 2 laboratory JUN strains, XJ Cl3 and XJ #44. JUN-specific primers were used to amplify a 511-nucleotide (nt) fragment of the nucleocapsid protein gene and a 495-nt fragment of the glycoprotein 1 (GP1) gene. Genetic diversity among JUN strains studied was up to 13% at the nt level and up to 9% at the amino acid (aa) level for the GP1 gene and up to 9% (nt) and 4% (aa) for the NP gene. Phylogenetic analyses of both genes revealed three distinct clades. The first clade was composed of the JUN strains from the center of the endemic area and included the majority of JUN strains analyzed in the current study. The second clade contained 4 JUN strains isolated between 1963 and 1971 from Cordoba Province, the western-most edge of the known endemic area. The third clade contained 4 JUN strains that originated from Calomys musculinus trapped in Zarate, the northeastern edge of the known endemic area. Certain JUN sequences, which were obtained from GenBank and identified as XJ, XJ #44, and Candid #1 strains, appeared to form a separate clade. Over 400 nt of the GP1 and GP2 genes were additionally sequenced for 7 JUN strains derived from patients with different clinical presentations and outcomes of Argentine hemorrhagic fever. Analysis of the corresponding aa sequences did not allow us to attribute any particular genetic marker to the changing severity or clinical form of the human disease. (+info)
Independent regulation of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus-specific T cell memory pools: relative stability of CD4 memory under conditions of CD8 memory T cell loss.
Infection of mice with a series of heterologous viruses causes a reduction of memory CD8(+) T cells specific to viruses from earlier infections, but the fate of the virus-specific memory CD4(+) T cell pool following multiple virus infections has been unknown. We have previously reported that the virus-specific CD4(+) Th precursor (Thp) frequency remains stable into long-term immunity following lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection. In this study, we questioned whether heterologous virus infections or injection with soluble protein CD4 Ags would impact this stable LCMV-specific CD4(+) Thp memory pool. Limiting dilution analyses for IL-2-producing cells and intracellular cytokine staining for IFN-gamma revealed that the LCMV-specific CD4(+) Thp frequency remains relatively stable following multiple heterologous virus infections or protein Ag immunizations, even under conditions that dramatically reduce the LCMV-specific CD8(+) CTL precursor frequency. These data indicate that the CD4(+) and CD8(+) memory T cell pools are regulated independently and that the loss in CD8(+) T cell memory following heterologous virus infections is not a consequence of a parallel loss in the memory CD4(+) T cell population. (+info)