Virus infection improves drought tolerance

Author: Xu, Ping; Chen, Fang; Mannas, Jonathan P.; Feldman, Tracy; Sumner, Lloyd W.; Roossinck, Marilyn J. Description: Viruses are obligate intracellular symbionts. Plant viruses are often discovered and studied as pathogenic parasites that cause diseases in agricultural plants. However, here it is shown that viruses can extend survival of their hosts under conditions of abiotic stress that could benefit hosts if they subsequently recover and reproduce. Various plant species were inoculated with four different RNA viruses, Brome mosaic virus (BMV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), Tobacco mosaic virus and Tobacco rattle…

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Viruses in cancer treatment

Author: Alemany, R. Description: Soon after the discovery that viruses cause human disease, started the idea of using viruses to treat cancer. After the initial indiscriminate use, crude preparations of each novel virus in the early twentieth century, a second wave of virotherapy blossomed in the 60s with purified and selected viruses. Responses were rare and short-lived. Immune rejection of the oncolytic viruses was identified as the major problem and virotherapy was abandoned. During the past two decades, virotherapy has re-emerged with engineered viruses, with a trend towards using them…

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Viruses in the phytobiome

Author: Roossinck, Marilyn J. Description: The phytobiome, defined as plants and all the entities that interact with them, is rich in viruses, but with the exception of plant viruses of crop plants, most of the phytobiome viruses remain very understudied. This review focuses on the neglected portions of the phytobiome, including viruses of other microbes interacting with plants, viruses in the soil, viruses of wild plants, and relationships between viruses and the vectors of plant viruses. Subject headings: Phytobiome; Virus; Plants; Crops; Microbes; Soil Publication year: 2019 Journal or book…

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The origin of viruses and their possible roles in major evolutionary transitions

Author: Forterre, Patrick Description: Viruses infecting cells from the three domains of life, Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya, share homologous features, suggesting that viruses originated very early in the evolution of life. The three current hypotheses for virus origin, e.g. the virus first, the escape and the reduction hypotheses are revisited in this new framework. Theoretical considerations suggest that RNA viruses may have originated in the nucleoprotein world by escape or reduction from RNA-cells, whereas DNA viruses (at least some of them) might have evolved directly from RNA viruses. The antiquity…

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Reprogrammed viruses as cancer therapeutics: targeted, armed and shielded

Author: Cattaneo, Roberto; Miest, Tanner; Shashkova, Elena V.; Barry, Michael A. Description: Viruses are reprogrammed into vectors for cancer treatment based on three types of modification: targeting, arming and shielding. Viruses that are turned into therapeutics are beginning to find their place in cancer clinical practice, in combination with chemotherapy and radiation.The principles of virus reprogramming are illustrated in this article using adenovirus, a DNA virus with a naked icosahedral capsid, and measles virus, an enveloped RNA virus with a helical capsid. Targeting introduces multiple layers of cancer specificity, thereby…

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New viruses for cancer therapy: meeting clinical needs

Author: Miest, Tanner S.; Cattaneo, Roberto Description: Oncolytic virotherapy re-engineers and repurposes replicating viruses for the treatment of cancer. Therapeutic viruses specifically infect and spread within cancer tissue, causing cell death.  In recent years, an increasing number of viruses have been developed as cancer therapeutics. There are nine virus families that are currently used in virotherapy clinical trials. Different viruses have evolved tissue specificities that can be exploited to preferentially destroy certain tumor types. Engineering strategies to improve the therapeutic potential of oncolytic viruses include protection from neutralizing immunity, restriction…

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The good viruses: viral mutualistic symbioses

Author: Roossinck, Marilyn J. Description: Viruses have traditionally been thought of as pathogens, but many confer a benefit to their hosts and some are essential for the host life cycle. The polydnaviruses of endoparasitoid wasps have evolved with their hosts to become essential. Many of the viral genes are now encoded in the host nucleus. Endogenous retroviruses are abundant in many genomes of higher eukaryotes, and some have been involved in the evolution of their hosts, such as placental mammals. Some mammalian viruses can protect their hosts from infection by…

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in infancy

Author: Chan, K.H.; Tam, J.S.; Peiris, J.S.; Seto, W.H.; Ng, M.H. Description: BACKGROUND: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been shown to be the cause of infectious mononucleosis (IM) and has more complicated associations with several malignant diseases. These EBV associated diseases provide a strong incentive for the development of an EBV vaccine. Most primary EBV infection during infancy and early childhood is mild or subclinical. Little is known about its infection in infancy. The pattern of EBV serological response during infancy may be important for vaccine management. OBJECTIVES: This study has…

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A comprehensive review of the antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral potential of essential oils and their chemical constituents against drug-resistant microbial pathogens

Author: Tariq, Saika; Wani, Saira; Rasool, Waseem; Shafi, Khushboo; Bhat, Muzzaffar Ahmad; Prabhakar, Anil; Shalla, Aabid Hussain; Rather, Manzoor A. Description: Essential oils are a complex mixture of odoriferous, volatile organic compounds. There are an extensive number of published articles which highlight the antimicrobial action of a variety of essential oils from various parts of the world. The main aim of this review article is to compile these antimicrobial essential oils and their constituents from reliable sources and put them together. The published literature indicates that essential oils possess a…

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Detection of hepatitis E virus and other livestock-related pathogens in Iowa streams

Author: Givens, C.E.; Kolpin, D.W.; Borchardt, M.A.; Duris, J.W.; Moorman, T.B.; Spencer, S.K. Description: Manure application is a source of pathogens to the environment. Through overland runoff and tile drainage, zoonotic pathogens can contaminate surface water and streambed sediment and could affect both wildlife and human health. This study examined the environmental occurrence of gene markers for livestock-related bacterial, protozoan, and viral pathogens and antibiotic resistance in surface waters within the South Fork Iowa River basin before and after periods of swine manure application on agricultural land. Increased concentrations of…

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