Browsing by Subject "COINFECTION"

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  • Susi, Hanna; Filloux, Denis; Frilander, Mildco J.; Roumagnac, Philippe; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2019)
    Wild plant populations may harbour a myriad of unknown viruses. As the majority of research efforts have targeted economically important plant species, the diversity and prevalence of viruses in the wild has remained largely unknown. However, the recent shift towards metagenomics-based sequencing methodologies, especially those targeting small RNAs, is finally enabling virus discovery from wild hosts. Understanding this diversity of potentially pathogenic microbes in the wild can offer insights into the components of natural biodiversity that promotes long-term coexistence between hosts and parasites in nature, and help predict when and where risks of disease emergence are highest. Here, we used small RNA deep sequencing to identify viruses in Plantago lanceolata populations, and to understand the variation in their prevalence and distribution across the Aland Islands, South-West Finland. By subsequent design of PCR primers, we screened the five most common viruses from two sets of P. lanceolata plants: 164 plants collected from 12 populations irrespective of symptoms, and 90 plants collected from five populations showing conspicuous viral symptoms. In addition to the previously reported species Plantago lanceolata latent virus (PlLV), we found four potentially novel virus species belonging to Caulimovirus, Betapartitivirus, Enamovirus, and Closterovirus genera. Our results show that virus prevalence and diversity varied among the sampled host populations. In six of the virus infected populations only a single virus species was detected, while five of the populations supported between two to five of the studied virus species. In 20% of the infected plants, viruses occurred as coinfections. When the relationship between conspicuous viral symptoms and virus infection was investigated, we found that plants showing symptoms were usually infected (84%), but virus infections were also detected from asymptomatic plants (44%). Jointly, these results reveal a diverse virus community with newly developed tools and protocols that offer exciting opportunities for future studies on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of viruses infecting plants in the wild.
  • Jääskeläinen, Anne J.; Korhonen, Essi M.; Huhtamo, Eili; Lappalainen, Maija; Vapalahti, Olli; Kallio-Kokko, Hannimari (2019)
    The laboratory confirmation of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, and the differential diagnosis from other flavivirus infections such as dengue virus (DENV), often requires the use of several diagnostic test types. Cross-reactions and secondary infections complicate the serological diagnosis and specific viral RNA detection assays are often needed for confirming the diagnosis. The aim of this study was to validate serological and molecular methods for diagnosing ZIKV infection. This included the evaluation of a ZIKV RT-qPCR assay for diagnostics that was previously set up for research use and to compare the ZIKV, DENV and TBEV EIA methods. External and in-house controls and pre-characterized sample panels were tested, and also automated and manual nucleic acid extraction methods were compared. A total of ten Finnish traveler patients were diagnosed with acute ZIKV infection during 2015-2017 including one suspected dual DENV and ZIKV infection. These samples along with panels of DENV and tick-bome encephalitis virus (TBEV) infections were used to test the cross-reactive properties of ZIKV, DENV and TBEV IgM assays. Additionally, the diagnosed acute ZIKV patient samples were tested using commercially available diagnostic DENV NS1 antigen assay and a ZIKV NS1 antigen assay intended for research use. The ZIKV RT-qPCR assay was demonstrated to be both specific and sensitive (one genome per reaction) and suitable for routine diagnostic use utilizing automated nucleic acid extraction. Of the tested IgM tests the NS1 antigen-based ZIKV IgM (Euroimmun) assay performed with least cross -reactivity with a specificity of 97.4%. The DENV IgM assay (Focus Diagnostics) had specificity of only 86.1%. The results are in line with previous studies and additionally highlight that also acute TBEV patients may give a false positive test result in DENV and ZIKV IgM assays.
  • Laine, Anna-Liisa; Barres, Benoit; Numminen, Elina; Siren, Jukka P. (2019)
    Many pathogens possess the capacity for sex through outcrossing, despite being able to reproduce also asexually and/or via selfing. Given that sex is assumed to come at a cost, these mixed reproductive strategies typical of pathogens have remained puzzling. While the ecological and evolutionary benefits of outcrossing are theoretically well-supported, support for such benefits in pathogen populations are still scarce. Here, we analyze the epidemiology and genetic structure of natural populations of an obligate fungal pathogen, Podosphaera plantaginis. We find that the opportunities for outcrossing vary spatially. Populations supporting high levels of coinfection -a prerequisite of sex - result in hotspots of novel genetic diversity. Pathogen populations supporting coinfection also have a higher probability of surviving winter. Jointly our results show that outcrossing has direct epidemiological consequences as well as a major impact on pathogen population genetic diversity, thereby providing evidence of ecological and evolutionary benefits of outcrossing in pathogens.