Samia Hannaoui, Elizabeth Triscott, Camilo Duque Velásquez, Sheng Chun Chang, Maria Immaculata Arifin, Irina Zemlyankina, Xinli Tang, Trent Bollinger, Holger Wille, Debbie McKenzie, Sabine Gilch
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease affecting cervids. Polymorphisms in the prion protein gene can result in extended survival of CWD-infected animals. However, the impact of polymorphisms on cellular prion protein (PrPC) and prion properties is less understood. Previously, we characterized the effects of a polymorphism at codon 116 (A>G) of the white-tailed deer (WTD) prion protein and determined that it destabilizes PrPC structure. Comparing CWD isolates from WTD expressing homozygous wild-type (116AA) or heterozygous (116AG) PrP, we found that 116AG-prions were conformationally less stable, more sensitive to proteases, with lower seeding activity in cell-free conversion and reduced infectivity...
July 26, 2021: PLoS Pathogens
Toni Jernfors, John Danforth, Jenni Kesäniemi, Anton Lavrinienko, Eugene Tukalenko, Jiří Fajkus, Martina Dvořáčková, Tapio Mappes, Phillip C Watts
Altered copy number of certain highly repetitive regions of the genome, such as satellite DNA within heterochromatin and ribosomal RNA loci (rDNA), is hypothesized to help safeguard the genome against damage derived from external stressors. We quantified copy number of the 18S rDNA and a pericentromeric satellite DNA (Msat-160) in bank voles ( Myodes glareolus ) inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), an area that is contaminated by radionuclides and where organisms are exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation...
July 2021: Ecology and Evolution
Saana Sipari, Hussein Khalil, Magnus Magnusson, Magnus Evander, Birger Hörnfeldt, Frauke Ecke
Many zoonotic diseases are weather sensitive, raising concern how their distribution and outbreaks will be affected by climate change. At northern high latitudes, the effect of global warming on especially winter conditions is strong. By using long term monitoring data (1980-1986 and 2003-2013) from Northern Europe on temperature, precipitation, an endemic zoonotic pathogen (Puumala orthohantavirus, PUUV) and its reservoir host (the bank vole, Myodes glareolus), we show that early winters have become increasingly wet, with a knock-on effect on pathogen transmission in its reservoir host population...
July 6, 2021: Ambio
Julia Schneider, Bernd Hoffmann, Cristina Fevola, Marie Luisa Schmidt, Christian Imholt, Stefan Fischer, Frauke Ecke, Birger Hörnfeldt, Magnus Magnusson, Gert E Olsson, Annapaola Rizzoli, Valentina Tagliapietra, Mario Chiari, Chantal Reusken, Elena Bužan, Maria Kazimirova, Michal Stanko, Thomas A White, Daniela Reil, Anna Obiegala, Anna Meredith, Jan Felix Drexler, Sandra Essbauer, Heikki Henttonen, Jens Jacob, Heidi C Hauffe, Martin Beer, Gerald Heckel, Rainer G Ulrich
The development of new diagnostic methods resulted in the discovery of novel hepaciviruses in wild populations of the bank vole ( Myodes glareolus , syn. Clethrionomys glareolus ). The naturally infected voles demonstrate signs of hepatitis similar to those induced by hepatitis C virus (HCV) in humans. The aim of the present research was to investigate the geographical distribution of bank vole-associated hepaciviruses (BvHVs) and their genetic diversity in Europe. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) screening revealed BvHV RNA in 442 out of 1838 (24...
June 28, 2021: Viruses
Michaela Horníková, Silvia Marková, Hayley C Lanier, Jeremy B Searle, Petr Kotlík
Understanding the historical contributions of differing glacial refugia is key to evaluating the roles of microevolutionary forces, such as isolation, introgression, and selection in shaping genomic diversity in present-day populations. In Europe, where both Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean (e.g., Carpathian) refugia of the bank vole ( Clethrionomys glareolus ) have been identified, mtDNA indicates that extra-Mediterranean refugia were the main source of colonization across the species range, while Mediterranean peninsulas harbor isolated, endemic lineages...
June 2021: Ecology and Evolution
Marco A Escalante, Michaela Horníková, Silvia Marková, Petr Kotlík
Species-level environmental niche modeling has been crucial in efforts to understand how species respond to climate variation and change. However, species often exhibit local adaptation and intraspecific niche differences that may be important to consider in predicting responses to climate. Here, we explore whether phylogeographic lineages of the bank vole originating from different glacial refugia (Carpathian, Western, Eastern, and Southern) show niche differentiation, which would suggest a role for local adaptation in biogeography of this widespread Eurasian small mammal...
June 2021: Ecology and Evolution
Thorbjörn Sievert, Hannu Ylönen, James D Blande, Amélie Saunier, Dave van der Hulst, Olga Ylönen, Marko Haapakoski
Chemical communication plays an important role in mammalian life history decisions. Animals send and receive information based on body odour secretions. Odour cues provide important social information on identity, kinship, sex, group membership or genetic quality. Recent findings show, that rodents alarm their conspecifics with danger-dependent body odours after encountering a predator. In this study, we aim to identify the chemistry of alarm pheromones (AP) in the bank vole, a common boreal rodent. Furthermore, the vole foraging efficiency under perceived fear was measured in a set of field experiments in large outdoor enclosures...
June 25, 2021: Oecologia
Nina Hautala, Terhi Partanen, Anna-Maria Kubin, Heikki Kauma, Timo Hautala
Puumala hantavirus (PUUV), carried and spread by the bank vole ( Myodes glareolus ), causes a mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) called nephropathia epidemica (NE). Acute high fever, acute kidney injury (AKI), thrombocytopenia, and hematuria are typical features of this syndrome. In addition, headache, blurred vision, insomnia, vertigo, and nausea are commonly associated with the disease. This review explores the mechanisms and presentations of ocular and central nervous system involvement in acute NE...
May 31, 2021: Viruses
Burkhard Jandrig, Hans Krause, Wolfgang Zimmermann, Emilija Vasiliunaite, Alma Gedvilaite, Rainer G Ulrich
Hamster polyomavirus (Mesocricetus auratus polyomavirus 1, HaPyV) was discovered as one of the first rodent polyomaviruses at the end of the 1960s in a colony of Syrian hamsters ( Mesocricetus auratus ) affected by skin tumors. Natural HaPyV infections have been recorded in Syrian hamster colonies due to the occurrence of skin tumors and lymphomas. HaPyV infections of Syrian hamsters represent an important and pioneering tumor model. Experimental infections of Syrian hamsters of different colonies are still serving as model systems (e...
May 13, 2021: Viruses
Annika Lundstig, Sharia L McDonald, Marlena Maziarz, William C Weldon, Fariba Vaziri-Sani, Åke Lernmark, Anna-Lena Nilsson
Ljungan virus (LV), a Parechovirus of the Picornavirus family, first isolated from a bank vole at the Ljungan river in Sweden, has been implicated in the risk for autoimmune type 1 diabetes. An assay for neutralizing Ljungan virus antibodies (NLVA) was developed using the original 87-012 LV isolate. The goal was to determine NLVA titres in incident 0-18 years old newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients ( n =67) and school children controls ( n =292) from Jämtland county in Sweden. NLVA were found in 41 of 67 (61 %) patients compared to 127 of 292 (44 %) controls ( P =0...
May 2021: Journal of General Virology
Kay Fountain, Tiffany Blackett, Helen Butler, Catherine Carchedi, Anna-Katarina Schilling, Anna Meredith, Marjorie J Gibbon, David H Lloyd, Anette Loeffler, Edward J Feil
Fatal exudative dermatitis (FED) is a significant cause of death of red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris ) on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands where it is associated with a virulent clone of Staphylococcus aureus, ST49. S. aureus ST49 has been found in other hosts such as small mammals, pigs and humans, but the dynamics of carriage and disease of this clone, or any other lineage in red squirrels, is currently unknown. We used whole-genome sequencing to characterize 228 isolates from healthy red squirrels on Jersey, the Isle of Arran (Scotland) and Brownsea Island (England), from red squirrels showing signs of FED on Jersey and the Isle of Wight (England) and a small number of isolates from other hosts...
May 2021: Microbial Genomics
Anton Lavrinienko, Anni Hämäläinen, Rasmus Hindström, Eugene Tukalenko, Zbyszek Boratyński, Kati Kivisaari, Timothy A Mousseau, Phillip C Watts, Tapio Mappes
Species identity is thought to dominate over environment in shaping wild rodent gut microbiota, but it remains unknown whether the responses of host gut microbiota to shared anthropogenic habitat impacts are species-specific or if the general gut microbiota response is similar across host species. Here, we compare the influence of exposure to radionuclide contamination on the gut microbiota of four wild mouse species: Apodemus flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, A. speciosus, A. argenteus. Building on the evidence that radiation impacts bank vole (Myodes glareolus) gut microbiota, we hypothesised that radiation exposure has general impact on rodent gut microbiota...
May 6, 2021: Molecular Ecology
Jeremy V Camp, Eva Schmon, Robert Krause, Wolfdieter Sixl, Daniela Schmid, Stephan W Aberle
Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV) has a wide distribution throughout Europe. Distinctive temporal patterns of spillover into the human population are related to population dynamics of the reservoir host, the bank vole ( Clethrionomys glareolus ). As the rodent host is tied to specific habitats with small individual ranges, PUUV genetic diversity is also highly correlated with geographic distance. Using sequenced portions of viral S and M segments, we determined whether geographic clusters were supported. Human cases of PUUV infections are concentrated in southeastern Austria...
April 8, 2021: Viruses
Maciej Grzybek, Daniela Antolová, Katarzyna Tołkacz, Mohammed Alsarraf, Jolanta Behnke-Borowczyk, Joanna Nowicka, Jerzy Paleolog, Beata Biernat, Jerzy M Behnke, Anna Bajer
Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular Apicomplexan parasite with a broad range of intermediate hosts, including humans and rodents. Rodents are considered to be reservoirs of infection for their predators, including cats, felids, pigs, and wild boars. We conducted a multi-site, long-term study on T. gondii in northeastern Poland. The study aimed to monitor the seroprevalence of T. gondii in the four abundant vole species found in the region ( Myodes glareolus, Microtus arvalis, Microtus agrestis , and Alexandromys oeconomus ) and to assess the influence of both extrinsic (year of study and study site) and intrinsic (host sex and host age) factors on seroprevalence...
April 8, 2021: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Rachael E Antwis, Nicholas A Beresford, Joseph A Jackson, Ross Fawkes, Catherine L Barnett, Elaine Potter, Lee Walker, Sergey Gaschak, Michael D Wood
Environmental impacts of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident are much debated, but the effects of radiation on host microbiomes have received little attention to date. We present the first analysis of small mammal gut microbiome from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in relation to total absorbed dose rate and including caecum as well as faeces sample. We provide novel evidence that host species determines fungal community composition, and that associations between microbiome (both bacterial and fungal) communities and radiation exposure varies between host species...
April 26, 2021: Journal of Animal Ecology
Jan P M Langeveld, Anne Balkema-Buschmann, Dieter Becher, Achim Thomzig, Romolo Nonno, Olivier Andréoletti, Aart Davidse, Michele A Di Bari, Laura Pirisinu, Umberto Agrimi, Martin H Groschup, Michael Beekes, Jason Shih
The unconventional infectious agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are prions. Their infectivity co-appears with PrPSc , aberrant depositions of the host's cellular prion protein (PrPC ). Successive heat treatment in the presence of detergent and proteolysis by a keratinase from Bacillus licheniformis PWD-1 was shown before to destroy PrPSc from bovine TSE (BSE) and sheep scrapie diseased brain, however data regarding expected reduction of infectivity were still lacking. Therefore, transgenic Tgbov XV mice which are highly BSE susceptible were used to quantify infectivity before and after the bovine brain treatment procedure...
April 16, 2021: Veterinary Research
Edoardo Bistaffa, Alba Marín Moreno, Juan Carlos Espinosa, Chiara Maria Giulia De Luca, Federico Angelo Cazzaniga, Sara Maria Portaleone, Luigi Celauro, Giuseppe Legname, Giorgio Giaccone, Juan Maria Torres, Fabio Moda
Background: Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is a genetic prion disease caused by the D178N mutation in the prion protein gene ( PRNP ) in coupling phase with methionine at PRNP 129. In 2017, we have shown that the olfactory mucosa (OM) collected from FFI patients contained traces of PrPSc detectable by Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA). Methods In this work, we have challenged PMCA generated products obtained from OM and brain homogenate of FFI patients in BvPrP-Tg407 transgenic mice expressing the bank vole prion protein to test their ability to induce prion pathology...
April 14, 2021: ELife
Johann Vulin, Séverine Murri, Sarah Madrières, Maxime Galan, Caroline Tatard, Sylvain Piry, Gabriele Vaccari, Claudia D'Agostino, Nathalie Charbonnel, Guillaume Castel, Philippe Marianneau
Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV) causes a mild form of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) called nephropathia epidemica (NE), regularly diagnosed in Europe. France represents the western frontier of the expansion of NE in Europe with two distinct areas: an endemic area (north-eastern France) where PUUV circulates in rodent populations, with the detection of many human NE cases, and a non-endemic area (south-western France) where the virus is not detected, with only a few human cases being reported...
March 16, 2021: Pathogens
Lorenz Ulrich, Anna Michelitsch, Nico Halwe, Kerstin Wernike, Donata Hoffmann, Martin Beer
After experimental inoculation, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection was confirmed in bank voles by seroconversion within 8 days and detection of viral RNA in nasal tissue for up to 21 days. However, transmission to contact animals was not detected. Thus, bank voles are unlikely to establish effective transmission cycles in nature.
April 2021: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Soyoun Hwang, Justin J Greenlee, Eric M Nicholson
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that is fatal to free-range and captive cervids. CWD has been reported in the United States, Canada, South Korea, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, and the case numbers in both wild and farmed cervids are increasing rapidly. Studies indicate that lateral transmission of cervids likely occurs through the shedding of infectious prions in saliva, feces, urine, and blood into the environment. Therefore, the detection of CWD early in the incubation time is advantageous for disease management...
2021: Frontiers in Veterinary Science
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