Special Issue "Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "General Virology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 24519

Special Issue Editors

Virology Laboratory, Institute of Basic Health Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2600, Prédio UFRGS nº 21116 - Sala 523, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Interests: bovine herpesvirus; bubaline herpesvirus
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Vaccine Development Center, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Brazil
Interests: viral vaccines; viral diagnostics; nanomaterials applied to viral biotechnologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are opening a second volume of “Viral Infections in Developing Countries” for new submissions, following its previous success.

Viral infections caused by endemic, emerging, and reemerging viruses are constantly challenging public health systems and health policies all over the world. Circulation of these viruses in developing countries emphasizes the need for the development of new, cost-effective diagnostic methods, therapeutic and prevention strategies, and efficient epidemiological surveillance. Despite economic and public health difficulties, developing countries have been braving these issues and making important contributions to virology research over the years. With a focus on high-quality science developed in the face of unique challenges, we encourage researchers to submit articles to Volume II of this Special Issue series entitled “Viral Infection in Developing Countries”.

The Special Issue series’ goal is to publish research studies that address efforts in viral diagnosis, surveillance, prevention and treatment in developing countries. Investigations on the pathogenesis and clinical aspects of virus infection are also welcome, as well as relevant epidemiological findings. Both original manuscripts and reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Luciana Barros de Arruda
Dr. Fabrício S. Campos
Dr. Flavio Guimaraes da Fonseca
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • emerging virus
  • viral epidemiology and surveillance
  • viral disease control
  • viral diagnosis
  • viral pathogenesis
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (38 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Editorial
Special Issue “Viral Infections in Developing Countries”
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020405 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Viral infections by endemic, emerging, and reemerging viruses are constantly challenging public health systems and health policies all over the world [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Analysis of Viral and Host Factors on Immunogenicity of 2018, 2019, and 2020 Southern Hemisphere Seasonal Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in Adults in Brazil
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081692 - 30 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
Annual vaccination against influenza is the best tool to prevent deaths and hospitalizations. Regular updates of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (TIV) are necessary due to high mutation rates in influenza viruses. TIV effectiveness is affected by antigenic mismatches, age, previous immunity, and other [...] Read more.
Annual vaccination against influenza is the best tool to prevent deaths and hospitalizations. Regular updates of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (TIV) are necessary due to high mutation rates in influenza viruses. TIV effectiveness is affected by antigenic mismatches, age, previous immunity, and other host factors. Studying TIV effectiveness annually in different populations is critical. The serological responses to Southern-Hemisphere TIV and circulating influenza strains were evaluated in 2018–2020 among Brazilian volunteers, using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays. Post-vaccination titers were corrected to account for pre-vaccination titers. Our population achieved >83% post-vaccination seroprotection levels, whereas seroconversion rates ranged from 10% to 46%. TIV significantly enhanced antibody titers and seroprotection against all prior and contemporary vaccine and circulating strains tested. Strong cross-reactive responses were detected, especially between H1N1 subtypes. A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016, included in the 2018 TIV, induced the poorest response. Significant titer and seroprotection reductions were observed 6 and 12 months after vaccination. Age had a slight effect on TIV response, whereas previous vaccination was associated with lower seroconversion rates and titers. Despite this, TIV induced high seroprotection for all strains, in all groups. Regular TIV evaluations, based on regional influenza strain circulation, should be conducted and the factors affecting response studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mapping and Validation of Peptides Differentially Recognized by Antibodies from the Serum of Yellow Fever Virus-Infected or 17DD-Vaccinated Patients
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081645 - 27 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1233
Abstract
Yellow Fever disease is caused by the Yellow Fever virus (YFV), an arbovirus from the Flaviviridae family. The re-emergence of Yellow Fever (YF) was facilitated by the increasing urbanization of sylvatic areas, the wide distribution of the mosquito vector, and the low percentage [...] Read more.
Yellow Fever disease is caused by the Yellow Fever virus (YFV), an arbovirus from the Flaviviridae family. The re-emergence of Yellow Fever (YF) was facilitated by the increasing urbanization of sylvatic areas, the wide distribution of the mosquito vector, and the low percentage of people immunized in the Americas, which caused severe outbreaks in recent years, with a high mortality rate. Therefore, serological approaches capable of discerning antibodies generated from the wild-type (YFV-WT) strain between the vaccinal strain (YFV-17DD) could facilitate vaccine coverage surveillance, enabling the development of strategies to avoid new outbreaks. In this study, peptides were designed and subjected to microarray procedures with sera collected from individuals infected by WT-YFV and 17DD–YFV of YFV during the Brazilian outbreak of YFV in 2017/2018. From 222 screened peptides, around ten could potentially integrate serological approaches aiming to differentiate vaccinated individuals from naturally infected individuals. Among those peptides, one was synthesized and validated through ELISA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Global Distribution and Natural Recombination of Hepatitis D Virus: Implication of Kyrgyzstan Emerging HDVs in the Clinical Outcomes
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1467; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071467 - 02 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Discrepancies in human hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genotypes impact the virus’ biological behavior, clinical manifestation, and treatment response. Herein, this report aims to explore the role of recombination in the worldwide genotypic distribution and genetic diversity of HDV. Three-hundred-forty-eight human HDV full-length genomic [...] Read more.
Discrepancies in human hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genotypes impact the virus’ biological behavior, clinical manifestation, and treatment response. Herein, this report aims to explore the role of recombination in the worldwide genotypic distribution and genetic diversity of HDV. Three-hundred-forty-eight human HDV full-length genomic sequences of ~1678 nt in length, isolated in twenty-eight countries worldwide between 1986 and 2018, were analysed. Similarity analysis and recombination mapping were performed, and forty-eight recombination events were identified, twenty-nine of which were isolated from Kyrgyzstan and determined to be involved in the diversity and extension of HDV sub-genotypes. HDV recombination occurred only between the genetically close genotypes (genotype 5 and genotype 2) or mainly within genotype 1, suggesting the complex replicative molecular mechanisms of HDV-RNA. The global distribution and classification of HDV genotypes have been updated, indicating that HDV recombination is one of the driving forces behind the biodiversity and the evolution of human HDV genomes. The outcome analysis suggests that the expansion of HDV sub-genotypes and the complex recombination networks might be related to the genomic character of Kyrgyzstan circulating strains and extensive mobility within countries and across borders. These findings will be of great importance in formulating more effective public health HDV surveillance strategies and guiding future molecular and epidemiological research to achieve better clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Increased Serum Levels of Growth-Differentiation Factor 3 (GDF3) and Inflammasome-Related Markers in Pregnant Women during Acute Zika Virus Infection
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14051004 - 09 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
The systemic inflammatory response elicited by acute Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy plays a key role in the clinical outcomes in mothers and congenitally infected offspring. The present study aimed to evaluate the serum levels of GDF-3 and inflammasome-related markers in pregnant [...] Read more.
The systemic inflammatory response elicited by acute Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy plays a key role in the clinical outcomes in mothers and congenitally infected offspring. The present study aimed to evaluate the serum levels of GDF-3 and inflammasome-related markers in pregnant women during acute ZIKV infection. Serum samples from pregnant (n = 18) and non-pregnant (n = 22) women with acute ZIKV infection were assessed for NLRP3, IL-1β, IL-18, and GDF3 markers through an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. ZIKV-negative pregnant (n = 18) and non-pregnant women (n = 15) were used as control groups. All serum markers were highly elevated in the ZIKV-infected groups in comparison with control groups (p < 0.0001). Among the ZIKV-infected groups, the serum markers were significantly augmented in the pregnant women in comparison with non-pregnant women (NLRP3 p < 0.001; IL-1β, IL-18, and GDF3 p < 0.0001). The IL-18 marker was found at significantly higher levels (p < 0.05) in the third trimester of pregnancy. Bivariate and multivariate analyses showed a strong positive correlation between GDF3 and NLRP3 markers among ZIKV-infected pregnant women (r = 0.91, p < 0.0001). The findings indicated that acute ZIKV infection during pregnancy induces the overexpression of GDF-3 and inflammasome-related markers, which may contribute to congenital disorders and harmful pregnancy outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Decadal Change in Seroprevalence of Chikungunya Virus Infection in Pune City, India
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050998 - 07 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus capable of causing large outbreaks. We aimed to determine the decadal change in the extent of chikungunya virus infection from 2009 to 2019. We implemented a prospective cross-sectional survey in Pune City using a 30-cluster approach [...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus capable of causing large outbreaks. We aimed to determine the decadal change in the extent of chikungunya virus infection from 2009 to 2019. We implemented a prospective cross-sectional survey in Pune City using a 30-cluster approach with probability-proportion-to-size (PPS) sampling, with blood samples collected from 1654 participants in early 2019. The study also included an additional 799 blood samples from an earlier serosurvey in late 2009. The samples were tested by an in-house anti-CHIKV IgG ELISA assay. The overall seroprevalence in 2019 was 53.2% (95% CI 50.7–55.6) as against 8.5% (95% CI 6.5–10.4) in 2009. A fivefold increase in seroprevalence was observed in a decade (p < 0.00001). The seroprevalence increased significantly with age; however, it did not differ between genders. Modeling of age-stratified seroprevalence data from 2019 coincided with a recent outbreak in 2016 followed by the low-level circulation. The mean estimated force of infection during the outbreak was 35.8% (95% CI 2.9–41.2), and it was 1.2% after the outbreak. To conclude, the study reports a fivefold increase in the seroprevalence of chikungunya infection over a decade in Pune City. The modeling approach considering intermittent outbreaks with continuous low-level circulation was a better fit and coincided with a recent outbreak reported in 2016. Community engagement and effective vector control measures are needed to avert future chikungunya outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analysis of Coxsackievirus B5 Infections in the Central Nervous System in Brazil: Insights into Molecular Epidemiology and Genetic Diversity
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050899 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1832
Abstract
Coxsackievirus B5 (CVB5) is one of the most prevalent enteroviruses types in humans and causes annual epidemics worldwide. In the present study, we explored viral genetic diversity, molecular and epidemiological aspects of CVB5 obtained from cerebrospinal fluid and stool samples of patients with [...] Read more.
Coxsackievirus B5 (CVB5) is one of the most prevalent enteroviruses types in humans and causes annual epidemics worldwide. In the present study, we explored viral genetic diversity, molecular and epidemiological aspects of CVB5 obtained from cerebrospinal fluid and stool samples of patients with aseptic meningitis or acute flaccid paralysis, information that is still scarce in Brazil. From 2005 to 2018, 57 isolates of CVB5 were identified in the scope of the Brazilian Poliomyelitis Surveillance Program. Phylogenetic analyses of VP1 sequences revealed the circulation of two CVB5 genogroups, with genogroup B circulating until 2017, further replaced by genogroup A. Network analysis based on deduced amino acid sequences showed important substitutions in residues known to play critical roles in viral host tropism, cell entry, and viral antigenicity. Amino acid substitutions were investigated by the Protein Variation Effect Analyzer (PROVEAN) tool, which revealed two deleterious substitutions: T130N and T130A. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to use in silico approaches to determine the putative impact of amino acid substitutions on the CVB5 capsid structure. This work provides valuable information on CVB5 diversity associated with central nervous system (CNS) infections, highlighting the importance of evaluating the biological impact of certain amino acids substitutions associated with epidemiological and structural analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron Variants Surge in Curitiba, Southern Brazil, and Its Impact on Overall COVID-19 Lethality
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040809 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
Screening efforts and genomic surveillance are essential tools to evaluate the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and assist the public healthcare system in dealing with an increasing number of infections. For the analysis of COVID-19 cases scenarios in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, we performed [...] Read more.
Screening efforts and genomic surveillance are essential tools to evaluate the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and assist the public healthcare system in dealing with an increasing number of infections. For the analysis of COVID-19 cases scenarios in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, we performed a diagnosis of positive cases, coupled with genotyping, for symptomatic and asymptomatic members of the Federal University of Paraná. We achieved over 1000 samples using RT-qPCR for diagnosis. The posterior genotyping allowed us to observe differences in the spread of strains in Curitiba, Brazil. The Delta variant was not associated with an infection wave, whereas the rapid Omicron variant spread became dominant in less than one month. We also evaluated the general vaccination coverage in the state, observing a striking reduction in lethality correlated to the vaccinated fraction of the population; although lower lethality rates were not much affected by the Omicron variant wave, the same effect was not translated in the number of infections. In summary, our results provide a general overview of the pandemic’s course in Paraná State and how there was reduction in lethality after a combination of multiple infection waves and a large-scale vaccination program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of Acute Dengue Virus Infections Detected through Acute Febrile Illness Surveillance, Belize 2020
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040768 - 07 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2112
Abstract
The Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) Surveillance Network in Belize is a country-wide active surveillance program aimed at diagnosing vector-borne, respiratory, and enteric pathogens among patients presenting to 11 participating hospitals and clinics with new onset fever. This study describes the epidemiology of dengue [...] Read more.
The Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) Surveillance Network in Belize is a country-wide active surveillance program aimed at diagnosing vector-borne, respiratory, and enteric pathogens among patients presenting to 11 participating hospitals and clinics with new onset fever. This study describes the epidemiology of dengue virus (DENV) infections in Belize diagnosed through AFI surveillance in 2020. Of the 894 patients enrolled and PCR-tested for DENV in this period, 44 DENV-positive cases (5%) were identified. All four DENV serotypes were detected, with two cases testing positive for DENV serotype 4, which is the first report of this serotype in Belize since 2004. The majority of DENV cases (66%) were diagnosed in the Belize District, which contains the largest urban center in the country (Belize City). Positive cases were detected between January 2020 and September 2020, with the majority (89%) diagnosed during the dry season between January and April, unlike years prior when cases were more often diagnosed during the wet season. Clinical signs and symptoms varied slightly between DENV serotypes. Active surveillance of DENV among AFI cases provides insight into the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of DENV in Belize. This information is important for informing public health interventions to mitigate DENV transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Genomic Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Tocantins State and the Diffusion of P.1.7 and AY.99.2 Lineages in Brazil
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040659 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2473
Abstract
Tocantins is a state in the cross-section between the Central-West, North and Northeast regions of Brazilian territory; it is a gathering point for travelers and transportation from the whole country. In this study, 9493 genome sequences, including 241 local SARS-CoV-2 samples (collected from [...] Read more.
Tocantins is a state in the cross-section between the Central-West, North and Northeast regions of Brazilian territory; it is a gathering point for travelers and transportation from the whole country. In this study, 9493 genome sequences, including 241 local SARS-CoV-2 samples (collected from 21 December 2020, to 16 December 2021, and sequenced in the MinION platform) were analyzed with the following aims: (i) identify the relative prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in the state of Tocantins; (ii) analyze them phylogenetically against global SARS-CoV-2 sequences; and (iii) hypothesize the viral dispersal routes of the two most abundant lineages found in our study using phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches. The performed analysis demonstrated that the majority of the strains sequenced during the period belong to the Gamma P.1.7 (32.4%) lineage, followed by Delta AY.99.2 (27.8%), with the first detection of VOC Omicron. As expected, there was mainly a dispersion of P.1.7 from the state of São Paulo to Tocantins, with evidence of secondary spreads from Tocantins to Goiás, Mato Grosso, Amapá, and Pará. Rio de Janeiro was found to be the source of AY.99.2 and from then, multiple cluster transmission was observed across Brazilian states, especially São Paulo, Paraiba, Federal District, and Tocantins. These data show the importance of trade routes as pathways for the transportation of the virus from Southeast to Northern Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Development and Evaluation of a Combined Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) Live Vaccine
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020372 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2063
Abstract
Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (Mmm) is the causative agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle caused by lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). LSD and CBPP are both transboundary diseases spreading in the same areas [...] Read more.
Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (Mmm) is the causative agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle caused by lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). LSD and CBPP are both transboundary diseases spreading in the same areas of Africa and Asia. A combination vaccine to control CBPP and LSD offers significant value to small-scale livestock keepers as a single administration. Access to a bivalent vaccine may improve vaccination rates for both pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated the LSDV/CBPP live combined vaccine by testing the generation of virus neutralizing antibodies, immunogenicity, and safety on target species. In-vitro assessment of the Mycoplasma effect on LSDV growth in cell culture was evaluated by infectious virus titration and qPCR during 3 serial passages, whereas in-vivo interference was assessed through the antibody response to vaccination. This combined Mmm/LSDV vaccine could be used to protect cattle against both diseases with a single vaccination in the endemic countries. There were no adverse reactions detected in this study and inoculated cattle produced high levels of specific antibodies starting from day 7 post-vaccination, suggesting that this combination vaccine is both safe and effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
High Level of Pre-Treatment HIV-1 Drug Resistance and Its Association with HLA Class I-Mediated Restriction in the Pumwani Sex Worker Cohort
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020273 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1988
Abstract
Background: We analyzed the prevalence of pre-antiretroviral therapy (ART) drug resistance mutations (DRMs) in a Kenyan population. We also examined whether host HLA class I genes influence the development of pre-ART DRMs. Methods: The HIV-1 proviral DNAs were amplified from blood samples of [...] Read more.
Background: We analyzed the prevalence of pre-antiretroviral therapy (ART) drug resistance mutations (DRMs) in a Kenyan population. We also examined whether host HLA class I genes influence the development of pre-ART DRMs. Methods: The HIV-1 proviral DNAs were amplified from blood samples of 266 ART-naïve women from the Pumwani Sex Worker cohort of Nairobi, Kenya using a nested PCR method. The amplified HIV genomes were sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology. The prevalence of pre-ART DRMs was investigated. Correlation studies were performed between HLA class I alleles and HIV-1 DRMs. Results: Ninety-eight percent of participants had at least one DRM, while 38% had at least one WHO surveillance DRM. M184I was the most prevalent clinically important variant, seen in 37% of participants. The DRMs conferring resistance to one or more integrase strand transfer inhibitors were also found in up to 10% of participants. Eighteen potentially relevant (p < 0.05) positive correlations were found between HLA class 1 alleles and HIV drug-resistant variants. Conclusions: High levels of HIV drug resistance were found in all classes of antiretroviral drugs included in the current first-line ART regimens in Africa. The development of DRMs may be influenced by host HLA class I-restricted immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Could Phylogenetic Analysis Be Used for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Classification?
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020249 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
The surface envelope (SU) protein determines the cell tropism and consequently the pathogenesis of the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in felids. Recombination of exogenous FeLV (exFeLV) with endogenous retroviruses (enFeLV) allows the emergence of more pathogenic variants. Currently, phenotypic testing through interference assays [...] Read more.
The surface envelope (SU) protein determines the cell tropism and consequently the pathogenesis of the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in felids. Recombination of exogenous FeLV (exFeLV) with endogenous retroviruses (enFeLV) allows the emergence of more pathogenic variants. Currently, phenotypic testing through interference assays is the only method to distinguish among subgroups—namely, FeLV-A, -B, -C, -E, and -T. This study proposes a new method for FeLV classification based on molecular analysis of the SU gene. A total of 404 publicly available SU sequences were used to reconstruct a maximum likelihood tree. However, only 63 of these sequences had available information about phenotypic tests or subgroup assignments. Two major clusters were observed: (a) clade FeLV-A, which includes FeLV-A, FeLV-C, FeLV-E, and FeLV-T sequences, and (b) clade enFeLV, which includes FeLV-B and enFeLV strains. We found that FeLV-B, FeLV-C, FeLV-E, and FeLV-T SU sequences share similarities to FeLV-A viruses and most likely arose independently through mutation or recombination from this strain. FeLV-B and FeLV-C arose from recombination between FeLV-A and enFeLV viruses, whereas FeLV-T is a monophyletic subgroup that has probably originated from FeLV-A through combined events of deletions and insertions. Unfortunately, this study could not identify polymorphisms that are specifically linked to the FeLV-E subgroup. We propose that phylogenetic and recombination analysis together can explain the current phenotypic classification of FeLV viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Tracking SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Mutations in the United States (January 2020—March 2021) Using a Statistical Learning Strategy
Viruses 2022, 14(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010009 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2697
Abstract
The emergence and establishment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of interest (VOIs) and variants of concern (VOCs) highlight the importance of genomic surveillance. We propose a statistical learning strategy (SLS) for identifying and spatiotemporally tracking potentially relevant Spike protein [...] Read more.
The emergence and establishment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of interest (VOIs) and variants of concern (VOCs) highlight the importance of genomic surveillance. We propose a statistical learning strategy (SLS) for identifying and spatiotemporally tracking potentially relevant Spike protein mutations. We analyzed 167,893 Spike protein sequences from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the United States (excluding 21,391 sequences from VOI/VOC strains) deposited at GISAID from 19 January 2020 to 15 March 2021. Alignment against the reference Spike protein sequence led to the identification of viral residue variants (VRVs), i.e., residues harboring a substitution compared to the reference strain. Next, generalized additive models were applied to model VRV temporal dynamics and to identify VRVs with significant and substantial dynamics (false discovery rate q-value < 0.01; maximum VRV proportion >10% on at least one day). Unsupervised learning was then applied to hierarchically organize VRVs by spatiotemporal patterns and identify VRV-haplotypes. Finally, homology modeling was performed to gain insight into the potential impact of VRVs on Spike protein structure. We identified 90 VRVs, 71 of which had not previously been observed in a VOI/VOC, and 35 of which have emerged recently and are durably present. Our analysis identified 17 VRVs ~91 days earlier than their first corresponding VOI/VOC publication. Unsupervised learning revealed eight VRV-haplotypes of four VRVs or more, suggesting two emerging strains (B1.1.222 and B.1.234). Structural modeling supported a potential functional impact of the D1118H and L452R mutations. The SLS approach equally monitors all Spike residues over time, independently of existing phylogenic classifications, and is complementary to existing genomic surveillance methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Establishment of Outbreak Thresholds for Hepatitis A in South Africa Using Laboratory Surveillance, 2017–2020
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13122470 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2196
Abstract
As South Africa transitions from endemic to intermediate endemicity, hepatitis A surveillance needs strengthening to monitor trends in disease incidence and to identify outbreaks. We used passive laboratory-based surveillance data from the National Health Laboratory Services to calculate national hepatitis A incidence and [...] Read more.
As South Africa transitions from endemic to intermediate endemicity, hepatitis A surveillance needs strengthening to monitor trends in disease incidence and to identify outbreaks. We used passive laboratory-based surveillance data from the National Health Laboratory Services to calculate national hepatitis A incidence and to establish thresholds for outbreaks. Incidence was calculated by age and geographic location. The static threshold used two or three standard deviations (SDs) above the mean hepatitis A incidence in 2017–2019, and a cumulative summation (CuSum2) threshold used three SDs above the mean of the preceding seven months. These thresholds were applied to hepatitis A data for 2020. From 2017 to 2020, the mean incidence of hepatitis A IgM was 4.06/100,000 and ranged from 4.23 to 4.85/100,000 per year. Hepatitis A incidence was highest in the Western Cape province (WCP) (7.00–10.92/100,000 per year). The highest incidence was in the 1–9-year-olds. The incidence of hepatitis A in 2020 exceeded the static threshold in two districts of the WCP: Cape Winelands in January and Overberg district in August. The provincial incidence did not exceed the static and CuSum2 thresholds. District-level analysis using either threshold was sensitive enough to monitor trends and to alert district health authorities, allowing early outbreak responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Evolutionary Landscape of SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.1.519 and Its Clinical Impact in Mexico City
Viruses 2021, 13(11), 2182; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13112182 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5026
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is one of the most concerning health problems around the globe. We reported the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.519 in Mexico City. We reported the effective reproduction number (Rt) of B.1.1.519 and presented evidence of its geographical origin based on [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is one of the most concerning health problems around the globe. We reported the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.519 in Mexico City. We reported the effective reproduction number (Rt) of B.1.1.519 and presented evidence of its geographical origin based on phylogenetic analysis. We also studied its evolution via haplotype analysis and identified the most recurrent haplotypes. Finally, we studied the clinical impact of B.1.1.519. The B.1.1.519 variant was predominant between November 2020 and May 2021, reaching 90% of all cases sequenced in February 2021. It is characterized by three amino acid changes in the spike protein: T478K, P681H, and T732A. Its Rt varies between 0.5 and 2.9. Its geographical origin remain to be investigated. Patients infected with variant B.1.1.519 showed a highly significant adjusted odds ratio (aOR) increase of 1.85 over non-B.1.1.519 patients for developing a severe/critical outcome (p = 0.000296, 1.33–2.6 95% CI) and a 2.35-fold increase for hospitalization (p = 0.005, 1.32–4.34 95% CI). The continuous monitoring of this and other variants will be required to control the ongoing pandemic as it evolves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Multidisciplinary Investigation of the First Chikungunya Virus Outbreak in Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Viruses 2021, 13(10), 1988; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101988 - 03 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2253
Abstract
Early March 2019, health authorities of Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alerted a sudden increase in acute fever/arthralgia cases, prompting an outbreak investigation. We collected surveillance data, clinical data, and laboratory specimens from clinical suspects (for CHIKV-PCR/ELISA, malaria RDT), semi-structured [...] Read more.
Early March 2019, health authorities of Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alerted a sudden increase in acute fever/arthralgia cases, prompting an outbreak investigation. We collected surveillance data, clinical data, and laboratory specimens from clinical suspects (for CHIKV-PCR/ELISA, malaria RDT), semi-structured interviews with patients/caregivers about perceptions and health seeking behavior, and mosquito sampling (adult/larvae) for CHIKV-PCR and estimation of infestation levels. The investigations confirmed a large CHIKV outbreak that lasted February–June 2019. The total caseload remained unknown due to a lack of systematic surveillance, but one of the two health zones of Matadi notified 2686 suspects. Of the clinical suspects we investigated (n = 220), 83.2% were CHIKV-PCR or IgM positive (acute infection). One patient had an isolated IgG-positive result (while PCR/IgM negative), suggestive of past infection. In total, 15% had acute CHIKV and malaria. Most adult mosquitoes and larvae (>95%) were Aedes albopictus. High infestation levels were noted. CHIKV was detected in 6/11 adult mosquito pools, and in 2/15 of the larvae pools. This latter and the fact that 2/6 of the CHIKV-positive adult pools contained only males suggests transovarial transmission. Interviews revealed that healthcare seeking shifted quickly toward the informal sector and self-medication. Caregivers reported difficulties to differentiate CHIKV, malaria, and other infectious diseases resulting in polypharmacy and high out-of-pocket expenditure. We confirmed a first major CHIKV outbreak in Matadi, with main vector Aedes albopictus. The health sector was ill-prepared for the information, surveillance, and treatment needs for such an explosive outbreak in a CHIKV-naïve population. Better surveillance systems (national level/sentinel sites) and point-of-care diagnostics for arboviruses are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Real-Time Genomic Surveillance during the 2021 Re-Emergence of the Yellow Fever Virus in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil
Viruses 2021, 13(10), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101976 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3079
Abstract
The 2021 re-emergence of yellow fever in non-human primates in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), southernmost Brazil, resulted in the death of many howler monkeys (genus Alouatta) and led the state to declare a Public Health Emergency of State [...] Read more.
The 2021 re-emergence of yellow fever in non-human primates in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), southernmost Brazil, resulted in the death of many howler monkeys (genus Alouatta) and led the state to declare a Public Health Emergency of State Importance, despite no human cases reported. In this study, near-complete genomes of yellow fever virus (YFV) recovered from the outbreak were sequenced and examined aiming at a better understanding of the phylogenetic relationships and the spatio-temporal dynamics of the virus distribution. Our results suggest that the most likely sequence of events involved the reintroduction of YFV from the state of São Paulo to RS through the states of Paraná and Santa Catarina, by the end of 2020. These findings reinforce the role of genomic surveillance in determining the pathways of distribution of the virus and in providing references for the implementation of preventive measures for populations in high risk areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
High Rate of Mutational Events in SARS-CoV-2 Genomes across Brazilian Geographical Regions, February 2020 to June 2021
Viruses 2021, 13(9), 1806; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13091806 - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5333
Abstract
Brazil was considered one of the emerging epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, experiencing over 3000 daily deaths caused by the virus at the peak of the second wave. In total, the country had more than 20.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, [...] Read more.
Brazil was considered one of the emerging epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, experiencing over 3000 daily deaths caused by the virus at the peak of the second wave. In total, the country had more than 20.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including over 582,764 fatalities. A set of emerging variants arose in the country, some of them posing new challenges for COVID-19 control. The goal of this study was to describe mutational events across samples from Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 sequences publicly obtainable on Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data-EpiCoV (GISAID-EpiCoV) platform and to generate indexes of new mutations by each genome. A total of 16,953 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were obtained, which were not proportionally representative of the five Brazilian geographical regions. A comparative sequence analysis was conducted to identify common mutations located at 42 positions of the genome (38 were in coding regions, whereas two were in 5′ and two in 3′ UTR). Moreover, 11 were synonymous variants, 27 were missense variants, and more than 44.4% were located in the spike gene. Across the total of single nucleotide variations (SNVs) identified, 32 were found in genomes obtained from all five Brazilian regions. While a high genomic diversity has been reported in Europe given the large number of sequenced genomes, Africa has demonstrated high potential for new variants. In South America, Brazil, and Chile, rates have been similar to those found in South Africa and India, providing enough “space” for new mutations to arise. Genomic surveillance is the central key to identifying the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil and has shown that the country is one of the “hotspots” in the generation of new variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Algerian Chapter of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: An Evolutionary, Genetic, and Epidemiological Prospect
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1525; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081525 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2195
Abstract
To explore the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Algeria, a dataset comprising ninety-five genomes originating from SARS-CoV-2 sampled from Algeria and other countries worldwide, from 24 December 2019, through 4 March 2021, was thoroughly examined. While performing a multi-component analysis regarding the Algerian outbreak, the [...] Read more.
To explore the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Algeria, a dataset comprising ninety-five genomes originating from SARS-CoV-2 sampled from Algeria and other countries worldwide, from 24 December 2019, through 4 March 2021, was thoroughly examined. While performing a multi-component analysis regarding the Algerian outbreak, the toolkit of phylogenetic, phylogeographic, haplotype, and genomic analysis were effectively implemented. We estimated the Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) in reference to the Algerian pandemic and highlighted the multiple introductions of the disease and the missing data depicted in the transmission loop. In addition, we emphasized the significant role played by local and international travels in disease dissemination. Most importantly, we unveiled mutational patterns, the effect of unique mutations on corresponding proteins, and the relatedness regarding the Algerian sequences to other sequences worldwide. Our results revealed individual amino-acid replacements such as the deleterious replacement A23T in the orf3a gene in Algeria_EPI_ISL_418241. Additionally, a connection between Algeria_EPI_ISL_420037 and sequences originating from the USA was observed through a USA characteristic amino-acid replacement T1004I in the nsp3 gene, found in the aforementioned Algerian sequence. Similarly, successful tracing could be established, such as Algeria/G37318-8849/2020|EPI_ISL_766863, which was imported from Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage. Lastly, we assessed the Algerian mitigation measures regarding disease containment using statistical analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Detection and Genetic Characterization of Hepatitis B and D Viruses: A Multi-Site Cross-Sectional Study of People Who Use Illicit Drugs in the Amazon Region
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071380 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2000
Abstract
Hepatitis B (HBV) and delta (HDV) viruses are endemic in the Amazon region, but vaccine coverage against HBV is still limited. People who use illicit drugs (PWUDs) represent a high-risk group due to common risk behavior and socioeconomic factors that facilitate the acquisition [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B (HBV) and delta (HDV) viruses are endemic in the Amazon region, but vaccine coverage against HBV is still limited. People who use illicit drugs (PWUDs) represent a high-risk group due to common risk behavior and socioeconomic factors that facilitate the acquisition and transmission of pathogens. The present study assessed the presence of HBV and HBV-HDV co-infection, identified viral sub-genotypes, and verified the occurrence of mutations in coding regions for HBsAg and part of the polymerase in HBV-infected PWUDs in municipalities of the Brazilian states of Amapá and Pará, in the Amazon region. In total, 1074 PWUDs provided blood samples and personal data in 30 municipalities of the Brazilian Amazon. HBV and HDV were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction. Viral genotypes were identified by nucleotide sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis, whereas viral mutations were analyzed by specialized software. High rates of serological (32.2%) and molecular (7.2%) markers for HBV were detected, including cases of occult HBV infection (2.5%). Sub-genotypes A1, A2, D4, and F2a were most frequently found. Escape mutations due to vaccine and antiviral resistance were identified. Among PWUDs with HBV DNA, serological (19.5%) and molecular (11.7%) HDV markers were detected, such as HDV genotypes 1 and 3. These are worrying findings, presenting clear implications for urgent prevention and treatment needs for the carriers of these viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Emergence of a Novel Dengue Virus 3 (DENV-3) Genotype-I Coincident with Increased DENV-3 Cases in Yangon, Myanmar between 2017 and 2019
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061152 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2538
Abstract
Dengue fever, caused by the mosquito-borne dengue virus (DENV), has been endemic in Myanmar since 1970 and it has become a significant public health burden. It is crucial that circulating DENV strains are identified and monitored, and that their transmission efficiency and association [...] Read more.
Dengue fever, caused by the mosquito-borne dengue virus (DENV), has been endemic in Myanmar since 1970 and it has become a significant public health burden. It is crucial that circulating DENV strains are identified and monitored, and that their transmission efficiency and association with disease severity is understood. In this study, we analyzed DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4 serotypes in 1235 serum samples collected in Myanmar between 2017 and 2019. Whole-genome sequencing of DENV-1–4 demonstrated that most DENV-1–4 strains had been circulating in Myanmar for several years. We also identified the emergence of DENV-3 genotype-I in 2017 samples, which persisted through 2018 and 2019. The emergence of the strain coincided with a period of increased DENV-3 cases and marked changes in the serotype dynamics. Nevertheless, we detected no significant differences between serum viral loads, disease severity, and infection status of individuals infected with different DENV serotypes during the 3-year study. Our results not only identify the spread of a new DENV-3 genotype into Yangon, Myanmar, but also support the importance of DENV evolution in changing the epidemic dynamics in endemic regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Wa-1 Equine-Like G3P[8] Rotavirus from a Child with Diarrhea in Colombia
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1075; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061075 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Rotavirus A (RVA) has been considered the main cause of diarrheal disease in children under five years in emergency services in both developed and developing countries. RVA belongs to the Reoviridae family, which comprises 11 segments of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as a genomic [...] Read more.
Rotavirus A (RVA) has been considered the main cause of diarrheal disease in children under five years in emergency services in both developed and developing countries. RVA belongs to the Reoviridae family, which comprises 11 segments of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as a genomic constellation that encodes for six structural and five to six nonstructural proteins. RVA has been classified in a binary system with Gx[Px] based on the spike protein (VP4) and the major outer capsid glycoprotein (VP7), respectively. The emerging equine-like G3P[8] DS-1-like strains reported worldwide in humans have arisen an important concern. Here, we carry out the complete genome characterization of a previously reported G3P[8] strain in order to recognize the genetic diversity of RVA circulating among infants in Colombia. A near-full genome phylogenetic analysis was done, confirming the presence of the novel equine-like G3P[8] with a Wa-like backbone for the first time in Colombia. This study demonstrated the importance of surveillance of emerging viruses in the Colombian population; furthermore, additional studies must focus on the understanding of the spread and transmission dynamic of this important RVA strain in different areas of the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Hepatitis E Virus in People Who Use Crack-Cocaine: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Remote Region of Northern Brazil
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050926 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2018
Abstract
People who use crack-cocaine (PWUCC) have numerous vulnerabilities and pose a challenge to health and social assistance services. The exposure to pathogens and risk situations occur differently according to each individual, region and social group. This study identified the presence, genotypes and factors [...] Read more.
People who use crack-cocaine (PWUCC) have numerous vulnerabilities and pose a challenge to health and social assistance services. The exposure to pathogens and risk situations occur differently according to each individual, region and social group. This study identified the presence, genotypes and factors associated with hepatitis E virus (HEV) exposure among a community-recruited cohort of 437 PWUCC in northern Brazil. Epidemiological information was collected through community-based assessments and interviews. Thereafter, blood and fecal samples were collected and tested for HEV using an immunoenzymatic assay, and the genotype was identified by PCR. Logistic regressions were used to identify the risk factors independently associated with exposure to HEV. In total, 79 (18.1%) PWUCC were exposed to HEV: 73 (16.7%) for IgG and six for IgG + IgM. HEV RNA was detected in six fecal samples and in two blood samples from PWUCC with IgM + IgG. Subtype 3c was identified in all of the samples. The factors associated with exposure to HEV were low monthly income, unstable housing (e.g., homelessness), crack-cocaine use ≥40 months, and the shared use of crack-cocaine equipment. The current study provides unique initial insights into HEV status and risk factors among PWUCC in a remote area in Brazil, with diverse implications for urgently improved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment intervention needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Limited Genetic Diversity Detected in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus Variants Circulating in Dromedary Camels in Jordan
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040592 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a persistent zoonotic pathogen with frequent spillover from dromedary camels to humans in the Arabian Peninsula, resulting in limited outbreaks of MERS with a high case-fatality rate. Full genome sequence data from camel-derived MERS-CoV variants show [...] Read more.
Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a persistent zoonotic pathogen with frequent spillover from dromedary camels to humans in the Arabian Peninsula, resulting in limited outbreaks of MERS with a high case-fatality rate. Full genome sequence data from camel-derived MERS-CoV variants show diverse lineages circulating in domestic camels with frequent recombination. More than 90% of the available full MERS-CoV genome sequences derived from camels are from just two countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE). In this study, we employ a novel method to amplify and sequence the partial MERS-CoV genome with high sensitivity from nasal swabs of infected camels. We recovered more than 99% of the MERS-CoV genome from field-collected samples with greater than 500 TCID50 equivalent per nasal swab from camel herds sampled in Jordan in May 2016. Our subsequent analyses of 14 camel-derived MERS-CoV genomes show a striking lack of genetic diversity circulating in Jordan camels relative to MERS-CoV genome sequences derived from large camel markets in KSA and UAE. The low genetic diversity detected in Jordan camels during our study is consistent with a lack of endemic circulation in these camel herds and reflective of data from MERS outbreaks in humans dominated by nosocomial transmission following a single introduction as reported during the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea. Our data suggest transmission of MERS-CoV among two camel herds in Jordan in 2016 following a single introduction event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Adjusting the Cut-Off and Maximum Pool Size in RT-qPCR Pool Testing for SARS-CoV-2
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040557 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1980
Abstract
Reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA is an essential test to monitor the occurrence of COVID-19. A methodology is proposed for the determination of maximum pool size and adjustments of cut-off values of cycle threshold ( [...] Read more.
Reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA is an essential test to monitor the occurrence of COVID-19. A methodology is proposed for the determination of maximum pool size and adjustments of cut-off values of cycle threshold (Ct in RT-qPCR pool testing, to compensate for the dilution caused by pooling. The trade-off between pool size and test sensitivity is stated explicitly. The procedure was designed to ensure that samples that would be detectable in individual testing remain detectable in pool testing. The proposed relaxation in cut-off is dependent on the pool size, allowing a relatively tight correction to avoid loss of detection of positive samples. The methodology was evaluated in a study of pool testing of adults attending a public emergency care unit, reference for COVID-19 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and presenting flu-like symptoms. Even samples on the edge of detectability in individual testing were detected correctly. The proposed procedure enhances the consistency of RT-qPCR pool testing by enforcing that the scales of detectability in pool processing and in individual sample processing are compatible. This may enhance the contribution of pool testing to large-scale testing for COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Prevalence and Phylogenetic Analysis of Parvovirus (B19V) among Blood Donors with Different Nationalities Residing in Qatar
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040540 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2297
Abstract
Human parvovirus (B19V) is the causative agent of erythema infectiosum in children and is linked to a wide range of clinical manifestations. Studies related to B19V prevalence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and other parts of Asia are very [...] Read more.
Human parvovirus (B19V) is the causative agent of erythema infectiosum in children and is linked to a wide range of clinical manifestations. Studies related to B19V prevalence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and other parts of Asia are very scarce. The objectives of this study were to estimate the seroprevalence (anti-B19V IgM and IgG), the viremia rate (B19V DNA), and the circulating genotypes of B19V among blood donors in Qatar. Methods: Donors’ blood samples (n = 5026) from different nationalities, mainly from the MENA region and South East Asia, were collected from 2014–2016. Samples were tested for the B19V DNA using RT-PCR. Furthermore, 1000 selected samples were tested to determine the seroprevalence of B19V antibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Genotyping was performed on 65 DNA positive samples by sequencing of nested PCR fragments (NS1-VP1u region, 927 nt). Results: Only 1.4% (70/5026) of the samples had detectible B19V DNA in their blood. B19V DNA prevalence statistically decreased with age (p = 0.03). Anti-B19V IgG was detected in 60.3% (561/930) of the tested samples, while only 2.1% (20/930) were IgM-positive and 1.2% (11/930) were both IgM- and IgG-positive. B19V genotyping showed a predominance of Genotype 1 (100%). Sequence analysis of the NS1-VP1u region revealed 139 mutation sites, some of which were amino acid substitutions. Conclusion: Our results indicated a relatively high seroprevalence of B19V in Qatar. Most importantly, B19 DNA was detected among Qatari and non-Qatari blood donors. Therefore, blood banks in Qatar might need to consider screening for B19V, especially when transfusion is intended for high-risk populations, including immunocompromised patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Multiple Early Introductions of SARS-CoV-2 to Cape Town, South Africa
Viruses 2021, 13(3), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030526 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4380
Abstract
Cape Town was the first city in South Africa to experience the full impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We acquired samples from all suspected cases and their contacts during the first month of the pandemic from Tygerberg Hospital. Nanopore sequencing [...] Read more.
Cape Town was the first city in South Africa to experience the full impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We acquired samples from all suspected cases and their contacts during the first month of the pandemic from Tygerberg Hospital. Nanopore sequencing generated SARS-CoV-2 whole genomes. Phylogenetic inference with maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods were used to determine lineages that seeded the local epidemic. Three patients were known to have travelled internationally and an outbreak was detected in a nearby supermarket. Sequencing of 50 samples produced 46 high-quality genomes. The sequences were classified as lineages: B, B.1, B.1.1.1, B.1.1.161, B.1.1.29, B.1.8, B.39, and B.40. All the sequences from persons under investigation (PUIs) in the supermarket outbreak (lineage B.1.8) fall within a clade from the Netherlands with good support (p > 0.9). In addition, a new mutation, 5209A>G, emerged within the Cape Town cluster. The molecular clock analysis suggests that this occurred around 13 March 2020 (95% confidence interval: 9–17 March). The phylogenetic reconstruction suggests at least nine early introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Cape Town and an early localized transmission in a shopping environment. Genomic surveillance was successfully used to investigate and track the spread of early introductions of SARS-CoV-2 in Cape Town. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in a Human T Cell Line Is Hampered at Multiple Steps
Viruses 2021, 13(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020231 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2428
Abstract
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the most frequent cause of severe respiratory disease in children. The main targets of HRSV infection are epithelial cells of the respiratory tract, and the great majority of the studies regarding HRSV infection are done in respiratory [...] Read more.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the most frequent cause of severe respiratory disease in children. The main targets of HRSV infection are epithelial cells of the respiratory tract, and the great majority of the studies regarding HRSV infection are done in respiratory cells. Recently, the interest on respiratory virus infection of lymphoid cells has been growing, but details of the interaction of HRSV with lymphoid cells remain unknown. Therefore, this study was done to assess the relationship of HRSV with A3.01 cells, a human CD4+ T cell line. Using flow cytometry and fluorescent focus assay, we found that A3.01 cells are susceptible but virtually not permissive to HRSV infection. Dequenching experiments revealed that the fusion process of HRSV in A3.01 cells was nearly abolished in comparison to HEp-2 cells, an epithelial cell lineage. Quantification of viral RNA by RT-qPCR showed that the replication of HRSV in A3.01 cells was considerably reduced. Western blot and quantitative flow cytometry analyses demonstrated that the production of HRSV proteins in A3.01 was significantly lower than in HEp-2 cells. Additionally, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we found that the inclusion body-associated granules (IBAGs) were almost absent in HRSV inclusion bodies in A3.01 cells. We also assessed the intracellular trafficking of HRSV proteins and found that HRSV proteins colocalized partially with the secretory pathway in A3.01 cells, but these HRSV proteins and viral filaments were present only scarcely at the plasma membrane. HRSV infection of A3.01 CD4+ T cells is virtually unproductive as compared to HEp-2 cells, as a result of defects at several steps of the viral cycle: Fusion, genome replication, formation of inclusion bodies, recruitment of cellular proteins, virus assembly, and budding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Multiple Introductions Followed by Ongoing Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2 at One of the Largest Metropolitan Areas of Northeast Brazil
Viruses 2020, 12(12), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12121414 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5806
Abstract
Multiple epicenters of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have emerged since the first pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, such as Italy, USA, and Brazil. Brazil is the third-most affected country worldwide, but genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 strains are mostly restricted to states from the Southeast [...] Read more.
Multiple epicenters of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have emerged since the first pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, such as Italy, USA, and Brazil. Brazil is the third-most affected country worldwide, but genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 strains are mostly restricted to states from the Southeast region. Pernambuco state, located in the Northeast region, is the sixth most affected Brazilian state, but very few genomic sequences from the strains circulating in this region are available. We sequenced 101 strains of SARS-CoV-2 from patients presenting Covid-19 symptoms that reside in Pernambuco. Phylogenetic reconstructions revealed that all genomes belong to the B lineage and most of the samples (88%) were classified as lineage B.1.1. We detected multiple viral introductions from abroad (likely from Europe) as well as six local B.1.1 clades composed by Pernambuco only strains. Local clades comprise sequences from the capital city (Recife) and other country-side cities, corroborating the community spread between different municipalities of the state. These findings demonstrate that different from Southeastern Brazilian states where the epidemics were majorly driven by one dominant lineage (B.1.1.28 or B.1.1.33), the early epidemic phase at the Pernambuco state was driven by multiple B.1.1 lineages seeded through both national and international traveling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Review
Rotaviruses: From Pathogenesis to Disease Control—A Critical Review
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050875 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3927
Abstract
Since their first recognition in human cases about four decades ago, rotaviruses have remained the leading cause of acute severe dehydrating diarrhea among infants and young children worldwide. The WHO prequalification of oral rotavirus vaccines (ORV) a decade ago and its introduction in [...] Read more.
Since their first recognition in human cases about four decades ago, rotaviruses have remained the leading cause of acute severe dehydrating diarrhea among infants and young children worldwide. The WHO prequalification of oral rotavirus vaccines (ORV) a decade ago and its introduction in many countries have yielded a significant decline in the global burden of the disease, although not without challenges to achieving global effectiveness. Poised by the unending malady of rotavirus diarrhea and the attributable death cases in developing countries, we provide detailed insights into rotavirus biology, exposure pathways, cellular receptors and pathogenesis, host immune response, epidemiology, and vaccination. Additionally, recent developments on the various host, viral and environmental associated factors impacting ORV performance in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) are reviewed and their significance assessed. In addition, we review the advances in nonvaccine strategies (probiotics, candidate anti-rotaviral drugs, breastfeeding) to disease prevention and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Towards Integrated Management of Dengue in Mumbai
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2436; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13122436 - 04 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2655
Abstract
With increasing urbanisation, the dengue disease burden is on the rise in India, especially in large cities such as Mumbai. Current dengue surveillance in Mumbai includes municipal corporation carrying out specific activities to reduce mosquito breeding sites and the use of insecticides to [...] Read more.
With increasing urbanisation, the dengue disease burden is on the rise in India, especially in large cities such as Mumbai. Current dengue surveillance in Mumbai includes municipal corporation carrying out specific activities to reduce mosquito breeding sites and the use of insecticides to suppress the adult mosquito populations. Clinical cases remain either underreported or misreported due to the restriction to government clinics, missing the large private health care sector. There is a need for an integrated approach to manage dengue outbreaks in Mumbai. There are various novel strategies available for use that can be utilised to improve disease detection, mosquito surveillance, and control of mosquito-borne diseases. These novel technologies are discussed in this manuscript. Given the complex ecosystem of mosquito-borne diseases in Mumbai, integrating data obtained from these technologies would support the ongoing mosquito control measures in Mumbai. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Viral and Prion Infections Associated with Central Nervous System Syndromes in Brazil
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071370 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3843
Abstract
Virus-induced infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are among the most serious problems in public health and can be associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, mainly in low- and middle-income countries, where these manifestations have been neglected. Typically, herpes simplex [...] Read more.
Virus-induced infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are among the most serious problems in public health and can be associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, mainly in low- and middle-income countries, where these manifestations have been neglected. Typically, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, varicella-zoster, and enterovirus are responsible for a high number of cases in immunocompetent hosts, whereas other herpesviruses (for example, cytomegalovirus) are the most common in immunocompromised individuals. Arboviruses have also been associated with outbreaks with a high burden of neurological disorders, such as the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil. There is a current lack of understanding in Brazil about the most common viruses involved in CNS infections. In this review, we briefly summarize the most recent studies and findings associated with the CNS, in addition to epidemiological data that provide extensive information on the circulation and diversity of the most common neuro-invasive viruses in Brazil. We also highlight important aspects of the prion-associated diseases. This review provides readers with better knowledge of virus-associated CNS infections. A deeper understanding of these infections will support the improvement of the current surveillance strategies to allow the timely monitoring of the emergence/re-emergence of neurotropic viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
The Epidemiological Impact of STIs among General and Vulnerable Populations of the Amazon Region of Brazil: 30 years of Surveillance
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050855 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2422
Abstract
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) represent a worldwide public health problem and, although many of them are curable, they continue to be neglected, especially in areas with a low human development index, such as in the northern region of Brazil. This review describes the [...] Read more.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) represent a worldwide public health problem and, although many of them are curable, they continue to be neglected, especially in areas with a low human development index, such as in the northern region of Brazil. This review describes the results of 30 years of studies at the Virus Laboratory at the Federal University of Pará, including the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1, HTLV-1/2, HPV, HBV, Treponema pallidum and Chlamydia trachomatis among urban and non-urban populations, and also in vulnerable groups in the Brazilian Amazon. Control strategies and challenges in preventing STIs are discussed considering this immense geographic region, where essential health services are unable to reach the entire population, especially the most vulnerable, such as female sex workers, people who use illicit drugs, remnants of quilombolos and indigenous communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Dengue Virus Infection and Associated Risk Factors in Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040536 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4372
Abstract
Dengue contributes a significant burden on global public health and economies. In Africa, the burden of dengue virus (DENV) infection is not well described. This review was undertaken to determine the prevalence of dengue and associated risk factors. A literature search was done [...] Read more.
Dengue contributes a significant burden on global public health and economies. In Africa, the burden of dengue virus (DENV) infection is not well described. This review was undertaken to determine the prevalence of dengue and associated risk factors. A literature search was done on PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Embase, and Google Scholar databases to identify articles published between 1960 and 2020. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effect model at a 95% confidence interval, followed by subgroup meta-analysis to determine the overall prevalence. Between 1960 and 2020, 45 outbreaks were identified, of which 17 and 16 occurred in East and West Africa, respectively. Dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1) and DENV-2 were the dominant serotypes contributing to 60% of the epidemics. Of 2211 cases reported between 2009 and 2020; 1954 (88.4%) were reported during outbreaks. Overall, the prevalence of dengue was 29% (95% CI: 20–39%) and 3% (95% CI: 1–5%) during the outbreak and non-outbreak periods, respectively. Old age (6/21 studies), lack of mosquito control (6/21), urban residence (4/21), climate change (3/21), and recent history of travel (3/21) were the leading risk factors. This review reports a high burden of dengue and increased risk of severe disease in Africa. Our findings provide useful information for clinical practice and health policy decisions to implement effective interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
In Vitro and In Vivo Models for Studying SARS-CoV-2, the Etiological Agent Responsible for COVID-19 Pandemic
Viruses 2021, 13(3), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030379 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 5907
Abstract
The emergence and rapid worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has prompted the scientific community to rapidly develop in vitro and in vivo models that could be applied in COVID-19 research. In vitro models include two-dimensional (2D) cultures of [...] Read more.
The emergence and rapid worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has prompted the scientific community to rapidly develop in vitro and in vivo models that could be applied in COVID-19 research. In vitro models include two-dimensional (2D) cultures of immortalized cell lines or primary cells and three-dimensional (3D) cultures derived from lung, alveoli, bronchi, and other organs. Although cell-based systems are economic and allow strict control of experimental variables, they do not always resemble physiological conditions. Thus, several in vivo models are being developed, including different strains of mice, hamsters, ferrets, dogs, cats, and non-human primates. In this review, we summarize the main models of SARS-CoV-2 infection developed so far and discuss their advantages, drawbacks and main uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Brief Report
Previous Infection with SARS-CoV-2 Correlates with Increased Protective Humoral Responses after a Single Dose of an Inactivated COVID-19 Vaccine
Viruses 2022, 14(3), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14030510 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1974
Abstract
Previous studies have indicated that antibody responses can be robustly induced after the vaccination in individuals previously infected by SARS-CoV-2. To evaluate anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral responses in vaccinated individuals with or without a previous history of COVID-19, we compared levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in [...] Read more.
Previous studies have indicated that antibody responses can be robustly induced after the vaccination in individuals previously infected by SARS-CoV-2. To evaluate anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral responses in vaccinated individuals with or without a previous history of COVID-19, we compared levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the sera from 21 vaccinees, including COVID-19-recovered or -naïve individuals in different times, before and after immunization with an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine. Anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies elicited after COVID-19 and/or immunization with an inactivated vaccine were measured by ELISA and Plaque Reduction Neutralizing assays. Antibody kinetics were consistently different between the two vaccine doses for naïve individuals, contrasting with the SARS-CoV-2-recovered subjects in which we observed no additional increase in antibody levels following the second dose. Sera from SARS-CoV2-naïve individuals had no detectable neutralizing activity against lineage B.1 SARS-CoV-2 or Gamma variant five months after the second vaccine dose. Contrarily, SARS-CoV-2-recovered subjects retained considerable neutralizing activity against both viruses. We conclude that a single inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose may be sufficient to induce protective antibody responses in individuals with previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries, Volume II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Brief Report
Yellow Fever Outbreak in Eastern Senegal, 2020–2021
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081475 - 28 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3034
Abstract
Yellow fever virus remains a major threat in low resource countries in South America and Africa despite the existence of an effective vaccine. In Senegal and particularly in the eastern part of the country, periodic sylvatic circulation has been demonstrated with varying degrees [...] Read more.
Yellow fever virus remains a major threat in low resource countries in South America and Africa despite the existence of an effective vaccine. In Senegal and particularly in the eastern part of the country, periodic sylvatic circulation has been demonstrated with varying degrees of impact on populations in perpetual renewal. We report an outbreak that occurred from October 2020 to February 2021 in eastern Senegal, notified and managed through the synergistic effort yellow fever national surveillance implemented by the Senegalese Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the countrywide 4S network set up by the Ministry of Health, the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, and the surveillance of arboviruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses in human and vector populations implemented since mid 2020 in eastern Senegal. Virological analyses highlighted the implication of sylvatic mosquito species in virus transmission. Genomic analysis showed a close relationship between the circulating strain in eastern Senegal, 2020, and another one from the West African lineage previously detected and sequenced two years ago from an unvaccinated Dutch traveler who visited the Gambia and Senegal before developing signs after returning to Europe. Moreover, genome analysis identified a 6-nucleotide deletion in the variable domain of the 3′UTR with potential impact on the biology of the viral strain that merits further investigations. Integrated surveillance of yellow fever virus but also of other arboviruses of public health interest is crucial in an ecosystem such as eastern Senegal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Developing Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop