Zika virus genomes from Brazil The Zika virus outbreak is a major cause for concern in Brazil, where it has been linked with increased reports of otherwise rare birth defects and neuropathology. In a phylogenetic analysis, Faria et al. infer a single introduction of Zika to the Americas and estimated the introduction date to be about May to December 2013—some 12 months earlier than the virus was reported. This timing correlates with major events in the Brazilian cultural calendar associated with increased traveler numbers from areas where Zika virus has been circulating. A correlation was also observed between incidences of microcephaly and week 17 of pregnancy. Science , this issue p. 345
BackgroundIn December 2013, an outbreak of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) caused by the Asian genotype was notified in the Caribbean. The outbreak has since spread to 38 regions in the Americas. By September 2014, the first autochthonous CHIKV infections were confirmed in Oiapoque, North Brazil, and in Feira de Santana, Northeast Brazil.MethodsWe compiled epidemiological and clinical data on suspected CHIKV cases in Brazil and polymerase-chain-reaction-based diagnostic was conducted on 68 serum samples from patients with symptom onset between April and September 2014. Two imported and four autochthonous cases were selected for virus propagation, RNA isolation, full-length genome sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis. We then followed CDC/PAHO guidelines to estimate the risk of establishment of CHIKV in Brazilian municipalities.ResultsWe detected 41 CHIKV importations and 27 autochthonous cases in Brazil. Epidemiological and phylogenetic analyses indicated local transmission of the Asian CHIKV genotype in Oiapoque. Unexpectedly, we also discovered that the ECSA genotype is circulating in Feira de Santana. The presumed index case of the ECSA genotype was an individual who had recently returned from Angola and developed symptoms in Feira de Santana. We estimate that, if CHIKV becomes established in Brazil, transmission could occur in 94% of municipalities in the country and provide maps of the risk of importation of each strain of CHIKV in Brazil.ConclusionsThe etiological strains associated with the early-phase CHIKV outbreaks in Brazil belong to the Asian and ECSA genotypes. Continued surveillance and vector mitigation strategies are needed to reduce the future public health impact of CHIKV in the Americas.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0348-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Zika virus (ZIKV) has been associated with microcephaly and other brain abnormalities; however, the molecular consequences of ZIKV to human brain development are still not fully understood. Here we describe alterations in human neurospheres derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells infected with the strain of Zika virus that is circulating in Brazil. Combining proteomics and mRNA transcriptional profiling, over 500 proteins and genes associated with the Brazilian ZIKV infection were found to be differentially expressed. These genes and proteins provide an interactome map, which indicates that ZIKV controls the expression of RNA processing bodies, miRNA biogenesis and splicing factors required for self-replication. It also suggests that impairments in the molecular pathways underpinning cell cycle and neuronal differentiation are caused by ZIKV. These results point to biological mechanisms implicated in brain malformations, which are important to further the understanding of ZIKV infection and can be exploited as therapeutic potential targets to mitigate it.
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy is associated with a spectrum of developmental impairments known as congenital Zika syndrome (CZS). The prevalence of this syndrome varies across ZIKV endemic regions, suggesting that its occurrence could depend on cofactors. Here, we evaluate the relevance of protein malnutrition for the emergence of CZS. Epidemiological data from the ZIKV outbreak in the Americas suggest a relationship between undernutrition and cases of microcephaly. To experimentally examine this relationship, we use immunocompetent pregnant mice, which were subjected to protein malnutrition and infected with a Brazilian ZIKV strain. We found that the combination of protein restriction and ZIKV infection leads to severe alterations of placental structure and embryonic body growth, with offspring displaying a reduction in neurogenesis and postnatal brain size. RNA-seq analysis reveals gene expression deregulation required for brain development in infected low-protein progeny. These results suggest that maternal protein malnutrition increases susceptibility to CZS.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder of the connective tissue with a wide and heterogeneous spectrum of manifestations, with renal and neurological involvement usually related to worse prognosis. SLE more frequently affects females of reproductive age, and a high prevalence and renal manifestation seem to be associated with non-European ethnicity. The present study aims to investigate candidate loci to SLE predisposition and evaluate the influence of ethnic ancestry in the disease risk and clinical phenotypic heterogeneity of lupus at onset. Samples represented by 111 patients and 345 controls, originated from the city of Belém, located in the Northern Region of Brazil, were investigated for polymorphisms in HLA-G, HLA-C, SLC11A1, MTHFR, CASP8 and 15 KIR genes, in addition to 89 Amerindian samples genotyped for SLC11A1. We also investigated 48 insertion/deletion ancestry markers to characterize individual African, European and Amerindian ancestry proportions in the samples. Predisposition to SLE was associated with GTGT deletion at the SLC11A1 3'UTR, presence of KIR2DS2 +/KIR2DS5 +/KIR3DS1 + profile, increased number of stimulatory KIR genes, and European and Amerindian ancestries. The ancestry analysis ruled out ethnic differences between controls and patients as the source of the observed associations. Moreover, the African ancestry was associated with renal manifestations.
Abstract:In parasitology, routine laboratory diagnosis involves conventional methods, such as optical microscopy, used for the morphological identification of parasites. Currently, molecular biology techniques are increasingly used to diagnose parasite structures in order to enhance the identification and characterization of parasites. The objective of the present study was to review the main current and new diagnostic techniques for confirmation of parasite infections, namely: polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), Luminex xMAP, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), in addition to microsatellites. Molecular assays have comprehensively assisted in the diagnosis, treatment and epidemiological studies of parasitic diseases that affect people worldwide, helping to control parasitic disease mortality.Key words: parasite infection, diagnosis, molecular techniques, molecular epidemiology. Review ARticle The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases ISSN 1678-9199 | 2011 | volume 17 | issue 3 | pages 239-248 INTRODUCTIONIn parasitology, routine laboratory diagnosis involves conventional methods, such as optical microscopy, used for the morphological identification of parasites (1). However, the occasional difficulty of identifying these parasite structures may decrease the sensitivity of such methods. Currently, because of these difficulties, molecular biology has been employed to detect parasites responsible for parasitic diseases (2).Traditional parasitological analyses have the advantage of being less costly without requiring expensive reagents and equipment. Additionally, such analyses can be easily performed when a trained microscopist is available. On the other hand, molecular technology demonstrates the presence of parasites based on their antigenic components or DNA segments (3). These tests are not influenced by environmental factors that usually can interfere with the results of a stool test, for example, thus ensuring highly reliable results (4).Current laboratory diagnostic methods for the identification of parasites include: polymerase chain reaction (PCR), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), microsatellite marker method, Luminex xMAP-based technology (areas of multianalyte profiling), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and the recently added real-time PCR (5-12).The objective of the present article was to review the applications of molecular biology techniques in parasitology by evaluating and discussing their uses and benefits. MOLECULAR METHODS FOR DETECTION OF PARASITE STRUCTURESSeveral molecular tests to detect parasites have been developed in the last decade. Their specificity and sensitivity have gradually increased, and parasites that were previously difficult to diagnose usi...
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is highly disseminated among swine herds worldwide. HEV is also a threat to public health, since particularly genotypes 3 and 4 may cause acute hepatitis in human beings. No previous studies were done on the occurrence of HEV in environmental samples in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In the present study, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was employed to detect the presence of HEV in swine feces and in effluents from slurry lagoons in farms located in the municipality of Teutônia, inside the area of swine husbandry in the state. Pooled fecal samples from the floor of pig barns from 9 wean-to-finish farms and liquid manure samples were collected from the slurry lagoons from 8 of these farms. From the pooled fecal samples, 8/9 were positive for the HEV ORF1 gene by RT-PCR; all the slurry lagoon samples were positive for HEV RNA (100%). The identity of the HEV ORF1 amplicons was confirmed by sequencing belonging to HEV genotype 3, which was previously shown to be circulating in South America.Keywords: Hepatitis E virus, swine HEV, slurry, zoonosis RESUMOO vírus da hepatite E (HEV) é altamente disseminado entre rebanhos suínos no mundo todo. O HEV é também uma ameaça à saúde pública, já que os genótipos 3 e 4 podem causar hepatite aguda em seres humanos. Não há estudos anteriores sobre a ocorrência de HEV em amostras ambientais no Rio Grande do Sul. No presente estudo, empregou-se transcrição reversa e reação em cadeia da polimerase (RT-PCR) para detectar a presença de HEV em fezes de suínos e efluentes de lagoas de chorume em fazendas localizadas no município de Teutônia, representativo da região de maior produção de suínos no estado. Pools de amostras fecais foram coletadas a partir do chão de galpões de suínos provenientes de 9 propriedades de terminação; outra amostra de esterco líquido foi coletada das lagoas de chorume de 8 dessas fazendas. A partir das amostras fecais reunidas, 8/9 foram positivas para o gene ORF1 de HEV por PCR convencional; todas as amostras de lagoas de chorume foram positivas para RNA de HEV (100%). A identificação dos produtos de amplificação de HEV ORF1 foi confirmada por sequenciamento pertencente ao HEV genótipo 3, o qual foi previamente detectado na América do Sul.
In May 2015 the first autochthonous Zika virus infection was reported in Brazil. Rapid and urgent measures are needed to contain the ongoing outbreak. Here we report the full-length ZIKV coding sequence from Bahia. Genetic analysis of outbreak sequences will be essential for characterizing the diversity of circulating strains, identifying hotspots of virus transmission and guiding public health control. Rapid and urgent measures are needed to contain the ongoing outbreak.
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