Viruses of Wildlife: Impact on Human and Animal Health

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2022) | Viewed by 13493

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Biomedical Sciences & Molecular Biology, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4810, Australia
Interests: virus evolution; viral metagenomics; wildlife diseases; veterinary virology; viral protein structure and function; recombinant vaccines; animal immunology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past several decades have seen the emergence of novel viral infectious diseases increase steadily in wildlife populations globally. Viral diseases are acknowledged as an apparently growing trend of threats to wildlife and act as the source of a series of high-impact diseases recently emerging as pathogens affecting humans. Most emerging viral pathogens, including Ebola and Marburg virus, human immunodeficiency virus virus-1 and -2, Nipah, Sin Nombre virus, Hendra and Menangle virus, West Nile virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and different subtypes of avian influenza, originate in wildlife and spill over into human hosts due to a range of ecological, demographic, and socioeconomic changes. Diseases caused by viruses, recently exemplified by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) to human populations, also threaten wild animals, from amphibians to mammals. Habitat destructions, pollution, and international trade are among the factors contributing to a growing opportunity for viruses to spread to new hosts and cause disease.

This Special Issue aims to bring attention to viral diseases affecting wildlife followed by their potential impact on human and animal health, as well as discussion on recent advances in diagnostics, pathogenesis, viral/host-pathogen interactions, and evolutionary ecology.

Dr. Subir Sarker
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 2782 KiB  
Article
Structural Characterization of Porcine Adeno-Associated Virus Capsid Protein with Nuclear Trafficking Protein Importin Alpha Reveals a Bipartite Nuclear Localization Signal
by Mikayla Hoad, Emily M. Cross, Camilla M. Donnelly, Subir Sarker, Justin A. Roby and Jade K. Forwood
Viruses 2023, 15(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15020315 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2113
Abstract
Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) are important vectors for gene therapy, and accordingly, many aspects of their cell transduction pathway have been well characterized. However, the specific mechanisms that AAV virions use to enter the host nucleus remain largely unresolved. We therefore aimed to reveal [...] Read more.
Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) are important vectors for gene therapy, and accordingly, many aspects of their cell transduction pathway have been well characterized. However, the specific mechanisms that AAV virions use to enter the host nucleus remain largely unresolved. We therefore aimed to reveal the interactions between the AAV Cap protein and the nuclear transport protein importin alpha (IMPα) at an atomic resolution. Herein we expanded upon our earlier research into the Cap nuclear localization signal (NLS) of a porcine AAV isolate, by examining the influence of upstream basic regions (BRs) towards IMPα binding. Using a high-resolution crystal structure, we identified that the IMPα binding determinants of the porcine AAV Cap comprise a bipartite NLS with an N-terminal BR binding at the minor site of IMPα, and the previously identified NLS motif binding at the major site. Quantitative assays showed a vast difference in binding affinity between the previously determined monopartite NLS, and bipartite NLS described in this study. Our results provide a detailed molecular view of the interaction between AAV capsids and the nuclear import receptor, and support the findings that AAV capsids enter the nucleus by binding the nuclear import adapter IMPα using the classical nuclear localization pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Wildlife: Impact on Human and Animal Health)
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20 pages, 4463 KiB  
Article
Unexpected Pathogen Diversity Detected in Australian Avifauna Highlights Potential Biosecurity Challenges
by Vasilli Kasimov, Michelle Wille, Subir Sarker, Yalun Dong, Renfu Shao, Clancy Hall, Dominique Potvin, Gabriel Conroy, Ludovica Valenza, Amber Gillett, Peter Timms and Martina Jelocnik
Viruses 2023, 15(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010143 - 2 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2802
Abstract
Birds may act as hosts for numerous pathogens, including members of the family Chlamydiaceae, beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), avipoxviruses, Columbid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CoAHV1) and Psittacid alphaherpesvirus 1 (PsAHV1), all of which are a significant biosecurity concern in Australia. While Chlamydiaceae [...] Read more.
Birds may act as hosts for numerous pathogens, including members of the family Chlamydiaceae, beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), avipoxviruses, Columbid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CoAHV1) and Psittacid alphaherpesvirus 1 (PsAHV1), all of which are a significant biosecurity concern in Australia. While Chlamydiaceae and BFDV have previously been detected in Australian avian taxa, the prevalence and host range of avipoxviruses, CoAHV1 and PsAHV1 in Australian birds remain undetermined. To better understand the occurrence of these pathogens, we screened 486 wild birds (kingfisher, parrot, pigeon and raptor species) presented to two wildlife hospitals between May 2019 and December 2021. Utilising various qPCR assays, we detected PsAHV1 for the first time in wild Australian birds (37/486; 7.61%), in addition to BFDV (163/468; 33.54%), Chlamydiaceae (98/468; 20.16%), avipoxviruses (46/486; 9.47%) and CoAHV1 (43/486; 8.85%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that BFDV sequences detected from birds in this study cluster within two predominant superclades, infecting both psittacine and non-psittacine species. However, BFDV disease manifestation was only observed in psittacine species. All Avipoxvirus sequences clustered together and were identical to other global reference strains. Similarly, PsAHV1 sequences from this study were detected from a series of novel hosts (apart from psittacine species) and identical to sequences detected from Brazilian psittacine species, raising significant biosecurity concerns, particularly for endangered parrot recovery programs. Overall, these results highlight the high pathogen diversity in wild Australian birds, the ecology of these pathogens in potential natural reservoirs, and the spillover potential of these pathogens into novel host species in which these agents cause disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Wildlife: Impact on Human and Animal Health)
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9 pages, 589 KiB  
Communication
West Nile Virus and Usutu Virus: A Post-Mortem Monitoring Study in Wild Birds from Rescue Centers, Central Italy
by Giuseppe Giglia, Giulia Mencattelli, Elvio Lepri, Gianfilippo Agliani, Marco Gobbi, Andrea Gröne, Judith M. A. van den Brand, Giovanni Savini and Maria Teresa Mandara
Viruses 2022, 14(9), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14091994 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2467
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are mosquito-borne flaviviruses that have been associated with neurological diseases in humans and wild birds. Wild bird rescue centers are potential significant hot spots for avian infection surveillance, as recognized in the Italian Integrate National [...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are mosquito-borne flaviviruses that have been associated with neurological diseases in humans and wild birds. Wild bird rescue centers are potential significant hot spots for avian infection surveillance, as recognized in the Italian Integrate National Surveillance Plan for Arboviruses. Here we report the results of a post-mortem active monitoring study conducted from November 2017 to October 2020 on animals hosted in five wild bird rescue centers of Central Italy. Five hundred seventy-six (n = 576) wild birds were tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the presence of WNV or USUV RNA fragments. No birds tested positive for USUV RNA (n = 0; 0.00%). Evidence of WNV RNA (Ct value = 34.36) was found in one bird (n = 1; 0.17%), an adult little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis subsp. ruficollis), that tested WNV positive in December 2019. This study highlights the strategic role of wildlife rescue centers in monitoring both the introduction and circulation of avian emerging zoonotic diseases. In addition, the presence of WNV during the cold season evidences the possible role of birds in overwintering mechanisms in the Italian territory and requires further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Wildlife: Impact on Human and Animal Health)
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11 pages, 1290 KiB  
Communication
The First Report and Phylogenetic Analysis of Canine Distemper Virus in Cerdocyon thous from Colombia
by Diego Fernando Echeverry-Bonilla, Edwin Fernando Buriticá-Gaviria, Delio Orjuela-Acosta, Danny Jaír Chinchilla-Cardenas and Julian Ruiz-Saenz
Viruses 2022, 14(9), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14091947 - 1 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2303
Abstract
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is the etiological agent of a highly prevalent viral infectious disease of domestic and wild carnivores. This virus poses a conservation threat to endangered species worldwide due to its ability to jump between multiple species and produce a disease, [...] Read more.
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is the etiological agent of a highly prevalent viral infectious disease of domestic and wild carnivores. This virus poses a conservation threat to endangered species worldwide due to its ability to jump between multiple species and produce a disease, which is most often fatal. Although CDV infection has been regularly diagnosed in Colombian wildlife, to date the molecular identity of circulating CDV lineages is currently unknown. Our aim was to evaluate the presence and phylogenetic characterization of CDV detected in samples from naturally infected Cerdocyon thous from Colombia. We sequenced for the first time the CDV infecting wildlife in Colombia and demonstrated the presence of South America/North America-4 Lineage with a higher relationship to sequences previously reported from domestic and wild fauna belonging to the United States of America. Our results are crucial for the understanding of the interspecies transmission of CDV in the domestic/wild interface and for the prevention and control of such an important multi-host pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Wildlife: Impact on Human and Animal Health)
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15 pages, 2568 KiB  
Article
Adenoviruses in Avian Hosts: Recent Discoveries Shed New Light on Adenovirus Diversity and Evolution
by Ajani Athukorala, Karla J. Helbig, Brian P. Mcsharry, Jade K. Forwood and Subir Sarker
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081767 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2791
Abstract
While adenoviruses cause infections in a wide range of vertebrates, members of the genus Atadenovirus, Siadenovirus, and Aviadenovirus predominantly infect avian hosts. Several recent studies on avian adenoviruses have encouraged us to re-visit previously proposed adenovirus evolutionary concepts. Complete genomes and [...] Read more.
While adenoviruses cause infections in a wide range of vertebrates, members of the genus Atadenovirus, Siadenovirus, and Aviadenovirus predominantly infect avian hosts. Several recent studies on avian adenoviruses have encouraged us to re-visit previously proposed adenovirus evolutionary concepts. Complete genomes and partial DNA polymerase sequences of avian adenoviruses were extracted from NCBI and analysed using various software. Genomic analyses and constructed phylogenetic trees identified the atadenovirus origin from an Australian native passerine bird in contrast to the previously established reptilian origin. In addition, we demonstrated that the theories on higher AT content in atadenoviruses are no longer accurate and cannot be considered as a species demarcation criterion for the genus Atadenovirus. Phylogenetic reconstruction further emphasised the need to reconsider siadenovirus origin, and we recommend extended studies on avian adenoviruses in wild birds to provide finer evolutionary resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Wildlife: Impact on Human and Animal Health)
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