Conditionally Reprogrammed #Human Normal #Airway #Epithelial #Cells at ALI: A Physiological #Model for #Emerging #Viruses (Virol Sin., abstract)

[Source: Virologica Sinica, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Conditionally Reprogrammed Human Normal Airway Epithelial Cells at ALI: A Physiological Model for Emerging Viruses

Xuefeng Liu, Yuntao Wu & Lijun Rong

Virologica Sinica (2020)



Cancer cell lines have been used widely in cancer biology, and as biological or functional cell systems in many biomedical research fields. These cells are usually defective for many normal activities or functions due to significant genetic and epigenetic changes. Normal primary cell yields and viability from any original tissue specimens are usually relatively low or highly variable. These normal cells cease after a few passages or population doublings due to very limited proliferative capacity. Animal models (ferret, mouse, etc.) are often used to study virus-host interaction. However, viruses usually need to be adapted to the animals by several passages due to tropism restrictions including viral receptors and intracellular restrictions. Here we summarize applications of conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs), long-term cultures of normal airway epithelial cells from human nose to lung generated by conditional cell reprogramming (CR) technology, as an ex vivo model in studies of emerging viruses. CR allows to robustly propagate cells from non-invasive or minimally invasive specimens, for example, nasal or endobronchial brushing. This process is rapid (2 days) and conditional. The CRCs maintain their differentiation potential and lineage functions, and have been used for studies of adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, parvovirus, and SARS-CoV. The CRCs can be easily used for air-liquid interface (ALI) polarized 3D cultures, and these coupled CRC/ALI cultures mimic physiological conditions and are suitable for studies of viral entry including receptor binding and internalization, innate immune responses, viral replications, and drug discovery as an ex vivo model for emerging viruses.

Keywords: Emerging Diseases; Infectious Diseases; SARS-CoV-2.


#Bat-borne #Virus #Diversity, #Spillover and Emergence (Nat Rev Microbiol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2020 Jun 11. doi: 10.1038/s41579-020-0394-z. Online ahead of print.

Bat-borne Virus Diversity, Spillover and Emergence

Michael Letko 1 2, Stephanie N Seifert 3, Kevin J Olival 4, Raina K Plowright 5, Vincent J Munster 6

Affiliations: 1 Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA. 2 Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA. 3 Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA. 4 EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, USA. 5 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA. 6 Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA.

PMID: 32528128  DOI: 10.1038/s41579-020-0394-z



Most viral pathogens in humans have animal origins and arose through cross-species transmission. Over the past 50 years, several viruses, including Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2, have been linked back to various bat species. Despite decades of research into bats and the pathogens they carry, the fields of bat virus ecology and molecular biology are still nascent, with many questions largely unexplored, thus hindering our ability to anticipate and prepare for the next viral outbreak. In this Review, we discuss the latest advancements and understanding of bat-borne viruses, reflecting on current knowledge gaps and outlining the potential routes for future research as well as for outbreak response and prevention efforts.

Keywords: Bats; Wildlife; Infectious Diseases; Emerging Diseases.


#Sounds of #sickness: can people identify infectious disease using sounds of #coughs and #sneezes? (Proc Roy Soc B., abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Sounds of sickness: can people identify infectious disease using sounds of coughs and sneezes?

Nicholas M. Michalak, Oliver Sng, Iris M. Wang and Joshua Ackerman

Published: 10 June 2020 | DOI:



Cough, cough. Is that person sick, or do they just have a throat tickle? A growing body of research suggests pathogen threats shape key aspects of human sociality. However, less research has investigated specific processes involved in pathogen threat detection. Here, we examine whether perceivers can accurately detect pathogen threats using an understudied sensory modality—sound. Participants in four studies judged whether cough and sneeze sounds were produced by people infected with a communicable disease or not. We found no evidence that participants could accurately identify the origins of these sounds. Instead, the more disgusting they perceived a sound to be, the more likely they were to judge that it came from an infected person (regardless of whether it did). Thus, unlike research indicating perceivers can accurately diagnose infection using other sensory modalities (e.g. sight, smell), we find people overperceive pathogen threat in subjectively disgusting sounds.

Keywords: Infectious Diseases; Psychology.


Identifying Suspect #Bat #Reservoirs of #Emerging #Infections (Vaccines, abstract)

[Source: Vaccines, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Identifying Suspect Bat Reservoirs of Emerging Infections

by  Daniel Crowley 1,*, Daniel Becker 2 , Alex Washburne 1 and Raina Plowright 1

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA; 2 Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Vaccines 2020, 8(2), 228; (registering DOI)

Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 10 May 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 17 May 2020

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research in Bat-borne Zoonotic Viruses)



Bats host a number of pathogens that cause severe disease and onward transmission in humans and domestic animals. Some of these pathogens, including henipaviruses and filoviruses, are considered a concern for future pandemics. There has been substantial effort to identify these viruses in bats. However, the reservoir hosts for Ebola virus are still unknown and henipaviruses are largely uncharacterized across their distribution. Identifying reservoir species is critical in understanding the viral ecology within these hosts and the conditions that lead to spillover. We collated surveillance data to identify taxonomic patterns in prevalence and seroprevalence and to assess sampling efforts across species. We systematically collected data on filovirus and henipavirus detections and used a machine-learning algorithm, phylofactorization, in order to search the bat phylogeny for cladistic patterns in filovirus and henipavirus infection, accounting for sampling efforts. Across sampled bat species, evidence for filovirus infection was widely dispersed across the sampled phylogeny. We found major gaps in filovirus sampling in bats, especially in Western Hemisphere species. Evidence for henipavirus infection was clustered within the Pteropodidae; however, no other clades have been as intensely sampled. The major predictor of filovirus and henipavirus exposure or infection was sampling effort. Based on these results, we recommend expanding surveillance for these pathogens across the bat phylogenetic tree.

Keywords: Nipah; Ebola; bats; phylofactor; phylogenetics

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Crowley, D.; Becker, D.; Washburne, A.; Plowright, R. Identifying Suspect Bat Reservoirs of Emerging Infections. Vaccines 2020, 8, 228.

Keywords: Filovirus; Henipavirus; Bats.


Restricted and Uncontained: #Health #Considerations in the Event of #Loss of #Containment During the Restricted Earth Return of Extraterrestrial #Samples (Health Secur., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Health Secur. Mar/Apr 2020;18(2):132-138. doi: 10.1089/hs.2019.0088.

Restricted and Uncontained: Health Considerations in the Event of Loss of Containment During the Restricted Earth Return of Extraterrestrial Samples

Betsy Pugel 1, Saskia Popescu 2, Syra Madad 3

PMID: 32324071 DOI: 10.1089/hs.2019.0088



The normal scope of an adequate public health response to released biological material is framed by working with biological vectors with known pathogenicity and virulence. Defining the scope of a response to the release of biological material with unknown pathogenicity and virulence enters into a novel and yet to be framed domain. A current case, in which extraterrestrial samples returned from a location such as Mars, which may harbor life as we know it, requires framing a public health response. An unintentional release of biological material with unknown pathogenicity and virulence may occur when biological containment mechanisms in the Earth-returning transport method are lost. This article raises initial public health and healthcare response questions during a return of extraterrestrial samples to Earth, in the event of its release from biological containment mechanisms: How does the public health community prepare for a response when there is release of samples that may contain potential extraterrestrial organisms from a planetary body or hardy terrestrial organisms surviving a round trip? If a mishap occurs during the return of these samples, what considerations need to be made to confine, decontaminate, and collect material in regions around the mishap? How will the public health community work with relevant government organizations to prepare the general public? The unknowns of exposure, potential extraterrestrial pathogenicity, and decontamination approaches underscore gaps in biopreparedness for this novel case from federal to local levels.

Keywords: Biocontainment; Biological Hazards; Infectious diseases.


#Global #shifts in #mammalian #population trends reveal key #predictors of #virus #spillover risk (Proc Roy Soc B., abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Global shifts in mammalian population trends reveal key predictors of virus spillover risk

Christine K. Johnson, Peta L. Hitchens, Pranav S. Pandit, Julie Rushmore, Tierra Smiley Evans, Cristin C. W. Young and Megan M. Doyle

Published: 08 April 2020 | DOI:



Emerging infectious diseases in humans are frequently caused by pathogens originating from animal hosts, and zoonotic disease outbreaks present a major challenge to global health. To investigate drivers of virus spillover, we evaluated the number of viruses mammalian species have shared with humans. We discovered that the number of zoonotic viruses detected in mammalian species scales positively with global species abundance, suggesting that virus transmission risk has been highest from animal species that have increased in abundance and even expanded their range by adapting to human-dominated landscapes. Domesticated species, primates and bats were identified as having more zoonotic viruses than other species. Among threatened wildlife species, those with population reductions owing to exploitation and loss of habitat shared more viruses with humans. Exploitation of wildlife through hunting and trade facilitates close contact between wildlife and humans, and our findings provide further evidence that exploitation, as well as anthropogenic activities that have caused losses in wildlife habitat quality, have increased opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitated zoonotic disease transmission. Our study provides new evidence for assessing spillover risk from mammalian species and highlights convergent processes whereby the causes of wildlife population declines have facilitated the transmission of animal viruses to humans.

Keywords: Emerging diseases, Infectious Diseases.


From #Hendra to #Wuhan: what has been learned in responding to emerging #zoonotic viruses (Lancet, summary)

[Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

From Hendra to Wuhan: what has been learned in responding to emerging zoonotic viruses

Lin-Fa Wang, Danielle E Anderson, John S Mackenzie, Michael H Merson

Published: February 11, 2020 / DOI:


As the world watches the rapid spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, it is important to reflect on the lessons that can be learned from this and previous emerging zoonotic viruses (EZV) in a comparative and analytic way. Although the source of 2019-nCoV is yet to be confirmed, early findings suggest a high possibility of a bat origin.1 There have been six major EZV outbreaks in the past 25 years caused by proven or suspected bat-borne viruses (table).2, 3, 4, 5,6,7 With these in mind, four major points are worth considering in the context of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.


Keywords: COVID-19; Zoonoses; Emerging diseases; Henipavirus.


A Qualitative Study of #Zoonotic #Risk Factors Among Rural Communities in Southern #China (Int Health, abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Int Health  2020 Feb 10 [Online ahead of print]

A Qualitative Study of Zoonotic Risk Factors Among Rural Communities in Southern China

Hong-Ying Li 1, Guang-Jian Zhu 1, Yun-Zhi Zhang 2, Li-Biao Zhang 3, Emily A Hagan 1, Stephanie Martinez 1, Aleksei A Chmura 1, Leilani Francisco 4, Hina Tai 5, Maureen Miller 6, Peter Daszak 1

Affiliations: 1 EcoHealth Alliance, 460 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001, USA. 2 Institute of Preventive Medicine, Dali University, Dali, 671000, China. 3 Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, #105 Xingang Road West, Guangzhou, 510260, China. 4 Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Bethesda, MD 20817, USA. 5 School of Medicine, St. George’s University, Great River, NY 11739, USA. 6 Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

PMID: 32040190 DOI: 10.1093/inthealth/ihaa001




Strategies are urgently needed to mitigate the risk of zoonotic disease emergence in southern China, where pathogens with zoonotic potential are known to circulate in wild animal populations. However, the risk factors leading to emergence are poorly understood, which presents a challenge in developing appropriate mitigation strategies for local communities.


Residents in rural communities of Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces were recruited and enrolled in this study. Data were collected through ethnographic interviews and field observations, and thematically coded and analysed to identify both risk and protective factors for zoonotic disease emergence at the individual, community and policy levels.


Eighty-eight ethnographic interviews and 55 field observations were conducted at nine selected sites. Frequent human-animal interactions and low levels of environmental biosecurity in local communities were identified as risks for zoonotic disease emergence. Policies and programmes existing in the communities provide opportunities for zoonotic risk mitigation.


This study explored the relationship among zoonotic risk and human behaviour, environment and policies in rural communities in southern China. It identifies key behavioural risk factors that can be targeted for development of tailored risk-mitigation strategies to reduce the threat of novel zoonoses.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; SARS; Zoonotic Risk; coronavirus; ethnographic; qualitative; rural communities; southern China.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press.

Keywords: Zoonoses; Infectious Diseases; Emerging diseases; China.


Recent #advances in the #detection of #respiratory virus #infection in #humans (J Med Virol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

J Med Virol. 2020 Jan 15. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25674. [Epub ahead of print]

Recent advances in the detection of respiratory virus infection in humans.

Zhang N1, Wang L2, Deng X3, Liang R3, Su M3, He C3, Hu L3, Su Y3, Ren J3, Yu F3, Du L4, Jiang S4,5.

Author information: 1 Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou, China. 2 State Key Laboratory of North China Crop Improvement and Regulation, Research Center of Chinese Jujube, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, China. 3 State Key Laboratory of North China Crop Improvement and Regulation, College of Life and Science, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, China. 4 Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, New York, USA. 5 Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology (MOE/NHC/CAMS), School of Basic Medical Sciences, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



Respiratory tract viral infection caused by viruses or bacteria is one of the most common diseases in human worldwide, while those caused by emerging viruses, such as the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV that caused the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China most recently, have posed great threats to global public health. Identification of the causative viral pathogens of respiratory tract viral infections is important to select an appropriate treatment, save people’s lives, stop the epidemics, and avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics. Conventional diagnostic tests, such as the assays for rapid detection of antiviral antibodies or viral antigens, are widely used in many clinical laboratories. With the development of modern technologies, new diagnostic strategies, including multiplex nucleic acid amplification and microarray-based assays, are emerging. This review summarizes currently available and novel emerging diagnostic methods for the detection of common respiratory viruses, such as influenza virus, human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), coronavirus, human adenovirus (hAdV), and human rhinovirus (hRV). Multiplex assays for simultaneous detection of multiple respiratory viruses are also described. It is anticipated that such data will assist researchers and clinicians to develop appropriate diagnostic strategies for timely and effective detection of respiratory virus infections.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Respiratory viral infection; adenovirus; coronavirus; diagnostic methods; influenza virus; respiratory syncytial virus; rhinovirus

PMID: 31944312 DOI: 10.1002/jmv.25674

Keywords: Infectious Diseases; Diagnostic tests; 2019-nCoV.


An observational prospective cohort study of the #epidemiology of hospitalized patients with acute #febrile #illness in #Indonesia (PLOS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


An observational prospective cohort study of the epidemiology of hospitalized patients with acute febrile illness in Indonesia

Muhammad Hussein Gasem , Herman Kosasih , Emiliana Tjitra, Bachti Alisjahbana, Muhammad Karyana, Dewi Lokida, Aaron Neal, Jason Liang, Abu Tholib Aman, Mansyur Arif, Pratiwi Sudarmono, Suharto, Tuti Parwati Merati,  [ … ], for INA-RESPOND


Published: January 10, 2020 / DOI: / This is an uncorrected proof.




The epidemiology of acute febrile illness, a common cause of hospitalization in Indonesia, has not been systematically studied.

Methodology/Principal gindings

This prospective observational study enrolled febrile patients (temperature ≥38°C) aged ≥1 year from July 2013 until June 2016 at eight government referral teaching hospitals in seven provincial capitals in Indonesia. Patients were managed according to the hospital standard-of-care (SOC), and blood samples were drawn for molecular and serological assays. Clinical data, laboratory results, and specimens for additional tests were collected at enrollment, days 14–28, and at three months. Regular follow-up visits were then scheduled for every three months either until symptoms resolved or until one year. In total, this study included 1,486 adult and pediatric patients presenting with multi-organ (768, 51.7%), gastrointestinal (497, 33.0%), respiratory (114, 7.7%), constitutional (62, 4.2%), skin and soft-tissue (24, 1.6%), central nervous system (17, 1.1%), or genitourinary (4, 0.3%) manifestations. Microbiological diagnoses were found in 1,003/1,486 (67.5%) participants, of which 351/1,003 (35.0%) were not diagnosed during hospitalization using SOC diagnostic tests. Missed diagnoses included all cases caused by Rickettsia spp., chikungunya, influenza, and Seoul virus. The most common etiologic agents identified were dengue virus (467, 46.6%), Salmonella spp. (103, 10.3%), and Rickettsia spp. (103, 10.3%). The overall mortality was 89 (5.9%).


Febrile illness in Indonesia has various microbiologic etiologies and substantial overall mortality. Diagnostic limitations and lack of epidemiologic data resulted in potentially treatable, and at times fatal, diseases being missed.


Author summary

In tropical countries like Indonesia, fever due to infectious disease is the most common reason for hospitalization. However, diagnoses are mostly unconfirmed, as diagnostic tests are not available or are not performed due to budget constraints. Consequently, many patients are only treated based on clinical syndromes. To gain a better understanding of the epidemiology of acute fever in Indonesia, we conducted a study at eight hospitals in the seven largest cities from 2013–2016. We enrolled 1,486 subjects aged ≥1 year with acute fever ≥38°C. Blood cultures were mandatory for all subjects, while cultures of other biological specimens, microscopic examinations, and rapid tests for specific pathogens were based on clinical judgment and availability. Retrospectively, we performed molecular and serological testing for a panel of bacterial and viral pathogens for systemic, respiratory, and diarrheal diseases. We found six pathogens to be the most prevalent: dengue virus (47%), Salmonella Typhi/Paratyphi (10%), Rickettsia typhi (10%), influenza virus (7%), Leptospira spp. (5%), and chikungunya virus (4%). Rickettsia typhi, influenza, and chikungunya had not been considered in the differential diagnosis of any subject at the hospitals. Thus, multiple pathogens were associated with acute febrile illnesses, and a subset of treatable cases were missed. This may have resulted in increased overall mortality.


Citation: Gasem MH, Kosasih H, Tjitra E, Alisjahbana B, Karyana M, Lokida D, et al. (2020) An observational prospective cohort study of the epidemiology of hospitalized patients with acute febrile illness in Indonesia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 14(1): e0007927.

Editor: Florian Marks, International Vaccine Institute, REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Received: December 5, 2018; Accepted: November 14, 2019; Published: January 10, 2020

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, under contract Nos. HHSN261200800001E and HHSN261201500003I. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Infectious Diseases; Indonesia.