Matching Items (15)

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Sequence-specific detection of different strains of LCMV in a single sample using tentacle probes

Description

Background
Virus infections often result in quasispecies of viral strains that can have dramatic impacts on disease outcomes. However, sequencing of viruses to determine strain composition is time consuming and

Background
Virus infections often result in quasispecies of viral strains that can have dramatic impacts on disease outcomes. However, sequencing of viruses to determine strain composition is time consuming and often cost-prohibitive. Rapid, cost-effective methods are needed for accurate measurement of virus diversity to understand virus evolution and can be useful for experimental systems.
Methods
We have developed a novel molecular method for sequence-specific detection of RNA virus genetic variants called Tentacle Probes. The probes are modified molecular beacons that have dramatically improved false positive rates and specificity in routine qPCR. To validate this approach, we have designed Tentacle Probes for two different strains of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) that differ by only 3 nucleotide substitutions, the parental Armstrong and the more virulent Clone-13 strain. One of these mutations is a missense mutation in the receptor protein GP1 that leads to the Armstrong strain to cause an acute infection and Clone-13 to cause a chronic infection instead. The probes were designed using thermodynamic calculations for hybridization between target or non-target sequences and the probe.
Results
Using this approach, we were able to distinguish these two strains of LCMV individually by a single nucleotide mutation. The assay showed high reproducibility among different concentrations of viral cDNA, as well as high specificity and sensitivity, especially for the Clone-13 Tentacle Probe. Furthermore, in virus mixing experiments we were able to detect less than 10% of Clone-13 cDNA diluted in Armstrong cDNA.
Conclusions
Thus, we have developed a fast, cost-effective approach for identifying Clone-13 strain in a mix of other LCMV strains.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-10-13

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Use of a Recombinant Vaccinia Virus Expressing Interferon Gamma for Post-Exposure Protection against Vaccinia and Ectromelia Viruses

Description

Post-exposure vaccination with vaccinia virus (VACV) has been suggested to be effective in minimizing death if administered within four days of smallpox exposure. While there is anecdotal evidence for efficacy

Post-exposure vaccination with vaccinia virus (VACV) has been suggested to be effective in minimizing death if administered within four days of smallpox exposure. While there is anecdotal evidence for efficacy of post-exposure vaccination this has not been definitively studied in humans. In this study, we analyzed post-exposure prophylaxis using several attenuated recombinant VACV in a mouse model. A recombinant VACV expressing murine interferon gamma (IFN-γ) was most effective for post-exposure protection of mice infected with VACV and ectromelia virus (ECTV). Untreated animals infected with VACV exhibited severe weight loss and morbidity leading to 100% mortality by 8 to 10 days post-infection. Animals treated one day post-infection had milder symptoms, decreased weight loss and morbidity, and 100% survival. Treatment on days 2 or 3 post-infection resulted in 40% and 20% survival, respectively. Similar results were seen in ECTV-infected mice. Despite the differences in survival rates in the VACV model, the viral load was similar in both treated and untreated mice while treated mice displayed a high level of IFN-γ in the serum. These results suggest that protection provided by IFN-γ expressed by VACV may be mediated by its immunoregulatory activities rather than its antiviral effects. These results highlight the importance of IFN-γ as a modulator of the immune response for post-exposure prophylaxis and could be used potentially as another post-exposure prophylaxis tool to prevent morbidity following infection with smallpox and other orthopoxviruses.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-17

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Project BandAid: An Analysis of Preventive Health Knowledge Retention Among Elementary Students in Phoenix

Description

Within our current educational infrastructure, there’s a lack of substantial preventive care knowledge present among elementary schoolchildren. With education cuts occurring statewide, many schools are left impoverished and schools are

Within our current educational infrastructure, there’s a lack of substantial preventive care knowledge present among elementary schoolchildren. With education cuts occurring statewide, many schools are left impoverished and schools are incapable of implementing various programs to benefit their local communities. This endeavor aims to visit public and charter elementary schools in the Phoenix Valley to educate youth regarding easily avoidable health risks by implementing healthy eating habits and exercise. Project BandAid will immerse students ages 7-9 in hands-on activities to enhance their knowledge on hygiene, healthy eating habits, and safety. This project incorporated funding from the Woodside Community Action Grant and Barrett, the Honors College as well as the help from Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) volunteers.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Portable and Low-Cost Detection Platform for Hepatitis B Virus Infections

Description

Approximately 248 million people in the world are currently living with chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBV and HCV infections are the primary cause of liver diseases such as

Approximately 248 million people in the world are currently living with chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBV and HCV infections are the primary cause of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinomas in the world with an estimated 1.4 million deaths annually. HBV in the Republic of Peru was used as a case study of an emerging and rapidly spreading disease in a developing nation. Wherein, clinical diagnosis of HBV infections in at-risk communities such the Amazon Region and the Andes Mountains are challenging due to a myriad of reasons. High prices of clinical diagnosis and limited access to treatment are alone the most significant deterrent for individuals living in at-risk communities to get the much need help. Additionally, limited testing facilities, lack of adequate testing policies or national guidelines, poor laboratory capacity, resource-limited settings, geographical isolation, and public mistrust are among the chief reasons for low HBV testing. Although, preventative vaccination programs deployed by the Peruvian health officials have reduced the number of infected individuals by year and region. To significantly reduce or eradicate HBV in hyperendemic areas and countries such as Peru, preventative clinical diagnosis and vaccination programs are an absolute necessity. Consequently, the need for a portable low-priced diagnostic platform for the detection of HBV and other diseases is substantial and urgent not only in Peru but worldwide. Some of these concerns were addressed by designing a low-cost, rapid detection platform. In that, an immunosignature technology (IMST) slide used to test for reactivity against the presence of antibodies in the serum-sample was used to test for picture resolution and clarity. IMST slides were scanned using a smartphone camera placed on top of the designed device housing a circuit of 32 LED lights at 647 nm, an optical magnifier at 15X, and a linear polarizing film sheet. Tow 9V batteries powered the scanning device LED circuit ensuring enough lighting. The resulting pictures from the first prototype showed that by lighting the device at 647 nm and using a smartphone camera, the camera could capture high-resolution images. These results conclusively indicate that with any modern smartphone camera, a small box lighted to 647 nm, and optical magnifier; a powerful and expensive laboratory scanning machine can be replaced by another that is inexpensive, portable and ready to use anywhere.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Establishing a murine model for congenital LCMV infection

Description

Pathogens such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) cause abnormalities in the nervous system of developing mice and humans. While humans are able to recover from infection and clear the virus,

Pathogens such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) cause abnormalities in the nervous system of developing mice and humans. While humans are able to recover from infection and clear the virus, the mouse immune system tolerates the virus and lifelong infection ensues. In order to understand the factors driving LCMV evolution and evaluate its neuropathogenesis, a mouse model was needed. To establish congenital infection, newborn C57BL/6J mice were intra-cerebrally (i.c.) injected with 1 x 103 PFU LCMV Armstrong. Mice failed to thrive, resulting in a linear reduction in survival over the following two weeks and overall survival of 13%. Surviving mice did not have virus in their circulation after thirty days. As an alternative, 500 PFU of LCMV Armstrong was injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) into other litters. While this was associated with significantly reduced mortality, no mice in this group developed persistent infection either. ELISAs revealed that the mothers of injected pups developed a robust humoral response, confirming earlier reports that contact-associated acute infection occurs (Hotchin, 1971). In addition, the offspring of two litters of mice (out of six tested) also had antibodies to the virus, but at slightly lower titers. This indicates that the humoral response of the mothers may play a role in the neonatal clearance of infection. A higher titer of LCMV in i.p. injections may be necessary to overcome these barriers and establish chronic infection. In contrast, a lower dose of LCMV is recommended for i.c. injections, as the mortality seemed directly linked to the effects of the virus on offspring growth and development. Exposure to the virus in utero may also be necessary to increase survival and the likelihood of chronic infection.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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MicroRNA Function and Role in Splenocyte ST2 Expression via Cellular Transfection

Description

Stroke is a devastating disease that affects thousands of individuals each year. Stroke, specifically cerebral ischemia, and immune responses are important areas of study and focus. Previous studies on stroke

Stroke is a devastating disease that affects thousands of individuals each year. Stroke, specifically cerebral ischemia, and immune responses are important areas of study and focus. Previous studies on stroke in mouse models had shown the upregulation of a specific micro-RNA: miR-1224. We hypothesized that miR-1224 was responsible for the regulation of the ST2 receptor protein’s expression. We performed cellular transfection on murine splenocytes with four different miRNAs—miR-1224-mimic, miR-1224-inhibitor, miR-451-mimic, and a control. We predicted that transfection with 1224m would decrease ST2 expression, while transfection with 1224i would increase ST2 expression. Two complete trials were run, and analysis of the results included RT-PCR of both miRNA samples and mRNA samples to confirm transfection and controlled transcription. Reverse transcription and qPCR of miRNA was done in order to confirm that transfection was in fact successful. Reverse transcription and qPCR of the mRNA was done in order to confirm that ST2 mRNA was not altered; this allowed us to attribute any changes in ST2 protein levels to miRNA interactions, as the mRNA levels were consistent. Western blotting was done in order to assess relative protein content. We found that transfection with 1224m slightly decreased ST2 expression and transfection with 1224i slightly increased ST2 expression, however, after assessing the p-values through statistical analyses, neither difference was significant. As such, our hypothesis was rejected as it is not evident that miR-1224 plays a significant role on ST2 gene expression. Future studies are needed in order to analyze alternate protein targets to fully assess the role of miR-1224.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Linking Immunologic and Epidemiologic Models of Virus Transmission and Susceptibility

Description

Memory CD8+ T-cells can persist in the absence of antigen, primed for immediate activation and proliferation if later exposed to the same antigen. These cytotoxic lymphocytes provide long-term immunity following

Memory CD8+ T-cells can persist in the absence of antigen, primed for immediate activation and proliferation if later exposed to the same antigen. These cytotoxic lymphocytes provide long-term immunity following an acute infection. Studies have observed that intermediate levels of general T cell transfer prior to infection may cause an inappropriate response resulting in increased pathology rather than prevention. Therefore, our study focused on a memory CD8 T-cell therapy using lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) specific splenocytes, which activate and proliferate at an accelerated pace compared to that of naive T-cells. LCMV is a natural murine pathogen which also poses a zoonotic infection threat to humans, and the effect of immune cell vaccination therapies for LCMV is not fully understood. We observed the effect of multiple memory CD8 T cell dosage levels on overall disease and memory CD8 T-cell response to the virus. Infection by exposure to a carrier was shown to have a reduced impact on mice receiving higher doses of memory T cells prior to infection compared to mice receiving less or no memory cells. Higher presence of activated memory cells were shown to correlate with less disease-related weight loss and accelerated recovery times. Survival rate after exposure to carriers was not shown to be affected by dosage level, warranting further research regarding the prevalence of the immunopathology observed in other studies in natural murine transmission models.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Genetic Trends in the Vertical Transmission of the Clone-13 Variant of LCMV

Description

Among wild rodent populations, vertical transmission is believed to constitute the primary route of infection for Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV), a non-lytic arenavirus with both acute and chronic forms. When

Among wild rodent populations, vertical transmission is believed to constitute the primary route of infection for Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV), a non-lytic arenavirus with both acute and chronic forms. When carrier mice infected at birth with the acute Armstrong strain reproduce, they generate congenital carrier offspring containing a quasispecies of LCMV that includes Armstrong as well as its chronic Clone-13 variant. This study examined the genetic trends in the vertical transmission of LCMV from mothers infected perinatally with Clone-13. Viral isolates obtained from the serum of congenital carrier offspring were partially sequenced to reveal residue 260 in the glycoprotein-encoding region of their S segment, the site of a major amino acid change differentiating the chronic and acute strains. It was found that the phenylalanine-to-leucine mutation associated with Clone-13 was present in 100% of the isolates, strongly indicating that the offspring of Clone-13 carriers contain exclusively the chronic variant. This research has broad implications for the epidemiology of the virus, and, given the predominance of Armstrong in the wild, suggests that there must be a biological cost associated with Clone-13 infection in non-carriers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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On the dynamics of dengue virus type 2 with residence times and vertical transmission

Description

A two-patch mathematical model of Dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) that accounts for vectors’ vertical transmission and between patches human dispersal is introduced. Dispersal is modelled via a Lagrangian approach.

A two-patch mathematical model of Dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) that accounts for vectors’ vertical transmission and between patches human dispersal is introduced. Dispersal is modelled via a Lagrangian approach. A host-patch residence-times basic reproduction number is derived and conditions under which the disease dies out or persists are established. Analytical and numerical results highlight the role of hosts’ dispersal in mitigating or exacerbating disease dynamics. The framework is used to explore dengue dynamics using, as a starting point, the 2002 outbreak in the state of Colima, Mexico.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-05

Enhanced T-Cell Immunity to Osteosarcoma Through Antibody Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 Interactions

Description

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents. Although 70% of patients with localized disease are cured with chemotherapy and surgical resection, patients with metastatic osteosarcoma are

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents. Although 70% of patients with localized disease are cured with chemotherapy and surgical resection, patients with metastatic osteosarcoma are typically refractory to treatment. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) limit the development of metastatic osteosarcoma. We have investigated the role of PD-1, an inhibitory TNFR family protein expressed on CTLs, in limiting the efficacy of immune-mediated control of metastatic osteosarcoma. We show that human metastatic, but not primary, osteosarcoma tumors express a ligand for PD-1 (PD-L1) and that tumor-infiltrating CTLs express PD-1, suggesting this pathway may limit CTLs control of metastatic osteosarcoma in patients. PD-L1 is also expressed on the K7M2 osteosarcoma tumor cell line that establishes metastases in mice, and PD-1 is expressed on tumor-infiltrating CTLs during disease progression. Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions dramatically improves the function of osteosarcoma-reactive CTLs in vitro and in vivo, and results in decreased tumor burden and increased survival in the K7M2 mouse model of metastatic osteosarcoma. Our results suggest that blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions in patients with metastatic osteosarcoma should be pursued as a therapeutic strategy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-01