(1/226) Rapid and efficient extraction method for reverse transcription-PCR detection of hepatitis A and Norwalk-like viruses in shellfish.

As part of an effort to develop a broadly applicable test for Norwalk-like viruses and hepatitis A virus (HAV) in shellfish, a rapid extraction method that is suitable for use with one-step reverse transcription (RT)-PCR-based detection methods was developed. The method involves virus extraction using a pH 9.5 glycine buffer, polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation, Tri-reagent, and purification of viral poly(A) RNA by using magnetic poly(dT) beads. This glycine-PEG-Tri-reagent-poly(dT) method can be performed in less than 8 h on hard-shell clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) and Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and, when coupled with RT-PCR-based detection, can yield results within 24 h. Observed sensitivities for seeded shellfish extracts are as low as 0.015 PFU of HAV and 22.4 RT-PCR50 units for Norwalk virus. Detection of HAV in live oysters experimentally exposed to contaminated seawater is also demonstrated. An adaptation of this method was used to identify HAV in imported clams (tentatively identified as Ruditapes philippinarum) implicated in an outbreak of food-borne viral illness. All of the required reagents are commercially available. This method should facilitate the implementation of RT-PCR testing of commercial shellfish.  (+info)

(2/226) Kinetic analysis of the conjugation of ubiquitin to picornavirus 3C proteases catalyzed by the mammalian ubiquitin-protein ligase E3alpha.

The 3C proteases of the encephalomyocarditis virus and the hepatitis A virus are both type III substrates for the mammalian ubiquitin-protein ligase E3alpha. The conjugation of ubiquitin to these proteins requires internal ten-amino acid-long protein destruction signal sequences. To evaluate how these destruction signals modulate interactions that must occur between E3alpha and the 3C proteases, we have kinetically analyzed the formation of ubiquitin-3C protease conjugates in a reconstituted system of purified E1, HsUbc2b/E2(14Kb), and human E3alpha. Our measurements show that the encephalomyocarditis virus 3C protease is ubiquitinated in this system with K(m) = 42 +/- 11 microm and V(max) = 0.051 +/- 0.01 pmol/min whereas the parameters for the ubiquitination of the hepatitis A virus 3C protease are K(m) = 20 +/- 5 microm and V(max) = 0.018 +/- 0.003 pmol/min. Mutations in the destruction signal sequences resulted in changes in the rate at which E3alpha conjugates ubiquitin to the altered 3C protease proteins. The K(m) and V(max) values for these reactions change proportionally in the same direction. These results suggest differences in rates of conjugation of ubiquitin to 3C proteases are primarily a k(cat) effect. Replacing specific encephalomyocarditis virus 3C protease lysine residues with arginine residues was found to increase, rather than decrease, the rate of ubiquitin conjugation, and the K(m) and V(max) values for these reactions are both higher than for the wild type protein. The ability of E3alpha to catalyze the conjugation of ubiquitin to both 3C proteases was found to be inhibited by lysylalanine and phenylalanylalanine, demonstrating that the same sites on E3alpha that bind destabilizing N-terminal amino acids in type I and II substrates also interact with the 3C proteases.  (+info)

(3/226) Detection of hepatitis A virus by the nucleic acid sequence-based amplification technique and comparison with reverse transcription-PCR.

A nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) technique for the detection of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in foods was developed and compared to the traditional reverse transcription (RT)-PCR technique. Oligonucleotide primers targeting the VP1 and VP2 genes encoding the major HAV capsid proteins were used for the amplification of viral RNA in an isothermal process resulting in the accumulation of RNA amplicons. Amplicons were detected by hybridization with a digoxigenin-labeled oligonucleotide probe in a dot blot assay format. Using the NASBA, as little as 0.4 ng of target RNA/ml was detected per comparison to 4 ng/ml for RT-PCR. When crude HAV viral lysate was used, a detection limit of 2 PFU (4 x 10(2) PFU/ml) was obtained with NASBA, compared to 50 PFU (1 x 10(4) PFU/ml) obtained with RT-PCR. No interference was encountered in the amplification of HAV RNA in the presence of excess nontarget RNA or DNA. The NASBA system successfully detected HAV recovered from experimentally inoculated samples of waste water, lettuce, and blueberries. Compared to RT-PCR and other amplification techniques, the NASBA system offers several advantages in terms of sensitivity, rapidity, and simplicity. This technique should be readily adaptable for detection of other RNA viruses in both foods and clinical samples.  (+info)

(4/226) Genetic characterization of wild-type genotype VII hepatitis A virus.

The complete genome sequence of the only identified genotype VII hepatitis A virus (HAV), strain SLF88, was obtained from PCR amplicons generated by a modified long PCR approach. There was 90% nucleotide identity in the 5' untranslated region compared to other known HAV sequences. In the remainder of the genome containing the long open reading frame, there was about 85% nucleotide identity to human HAV genotypes IA and IB and 80% identity to simian HAV genotype V. Compared to HAV strain HM-175, the capsid amino acids were highly conserved, with only four homologous amino acid changes, while an increasing number of amino acid differences was seen in the P2 and P3 genome regions. While nucleotide variability within the three functional coding regions did not differ, the P3D region was found to have the largest number of amino acid changes compared to HM-175.  (+info)

(5/226) Replication of subgenomic hepatitis A virus RNAs expressing firefly luciferase is enhanced by mutations associated with adaptation of virus to growth in cultured cells.

Replication of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in cultured cells is inefficient and difficult to study due to its protracted and generally noncytopathic cycle. To gain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved, we constructed a subgenomic HAV replicon by replacing most of the P1 capsid-coding sequence from an infectious cDNA copy of the cell culture-adapted HM175/18f virus genome with sequence encoding firefly luciferase. Replication of this RNA in transfected Huh-7 cells (derived from a human hepatocellular carcinoma) led to increased expression of luciferase relative to that in cells transfected with similar RNA transcripts containing a lethal premature termination mutation in 3D(pol) (RNA polymerase). However, replication could not be confirmed in either FrhK4 cells or BSC-1 cells, cells that are typically used for propagation of HAV. Replication was substantially slower than that observed with replicons derived from other picornaviruses, as the basal luciferase activity produced by translation of input RNA did not begin to increase until 24 to 48 h after transfection. Replication of the RNA was reversibly inhibited by guanidine. The inclusion of VP4 sequence downstream of the viral internal ribosomal entry site had no effect on the basal level of luciferase or subsequent increases in luciferase related to its amplification. Thus, in this system this sequence does not contribute to viral translation or replication, as suggested previously. Amplification of the replicon RNA was profoundly enhanced by the inclusion of P2 (but not 5' noncoding sequence or P3) segment mutations associated with adaptation of wild-type virus to growth in cell culture. These results provide a simple reporter system for monitoring the translation and replication of HAV RNA and show that critical mutations that enhance the growth of virus in cultured cells do so by promoting replication of viral RNA in the absence of encapsidation, packaging, and cellular export of the viral genome.  (+info)

(6/226) Influence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection on acute hepatitis A virus infection.

To assess the possible influence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection on the clinical course of acute hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection, 15 HIV-1-infected homosexual men and 15 non-HIV-infected age-matched subjects were compared. HAV load was higher in HIV-1-infected than in non-HIV-infected patients (P<.001). Duration of viremia in HIV-1-infected patients (median, 53 days) was significantly (P<.05) longer than in non-HIV-infected patients (median, 22 days). HIV-1-infected patients had lower elevations in alanine aminotransferase levels than did non-HIV-infected patients (P<.01) but had higher elevations in alkaline phosphatase levels than did non-HIV-infected patients (P<.001). Some HIV-1-infected patients still had HAV viremia when clinical symptoms had disappeared and alanine aminotransferase levels had returned to normal (60-90 days after the onset of symptoms). HIV-1 infection was associated with prolongation of HAV viremia, which might cause a long-lasting outbreak of HAV infection in HIV-1-infected homosexual men.  (+info)

(7/226) Genetic analysis of wild-type hepatitis A virus strains.

OBJECTIVE: To clarify the distribution of hepatitis A virus (HAV) genotype in geographical regions of China. METHODS: Seventeen representative HAV strains were isolated from the stool or serum of hepatitis A patients in different geographical regions. Viral RNA was recovered from stool or serum by proteinase K digestion and phenol-chloroform extraction, followed by ethanol precipitation prior to reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification. The nucleotide sequences of VP1/2A junction region were tested by using a direct sequencing technique. RESULTS: A pairwise comparison of sequences within 168 bases at the VP1/2A junction revealed that all the sequences clustered within genotype I. About 53% of strains clustered in genotype I B, with less than 6% variability; while the others clustered in genotype I A, with less than 5.3% variability. Sequence homology between genotype I A and I B varied from 88.7% to 92.3%. CONCLUSION: Epidemic or sporadic HAV strains in China may belong to HAV genotype I A or I B. Epidemiologically related strains may be identical or closely related in sequence.  (+info)

(8/226) Hepatitis A virus polyprotein processing by Escherichia coli proteases.

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) encodes a single polyprotein, which is post-translationally processed. This processing represents an essential step in capsid formation. The virus possesses only one protease, 3C, responsible for all cleavages, except for that at the VP1/2A junction region, which is processed by cellular proteases. In this study, data demonstrates that HAV polyprotein processing by Escherichia coli protease(s) leads to the formation of particulate structures. P3 polyprotein processing in E. coli is not dependent on an active 3C protease: the same processing pattern is observed with wild-type 3C or with several 3C mutants. However, this processing pattern is temperature-dependent, since it differs at 37 or 42 degrees C. The bacterial protease(s) cleave scissile bonds other than those of HAV; this contributes to the low efficiency of particle formation.  (+info)