TWiV 344: Glasgwegians go viral

Episode #344 of the science show This Week in Virology was recorded at the Glasgow Science Festival microTALKS, where Vincent spoke with Ruth, Glen, and Esther about their research on viruses and Hodgkin lymphoma, adenovirus structure and entry into cells, and interactions between arthropod borne viruses and their hosts.

You can find TWiV #344 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 308: The Running Mad Professor

On episode #308 of the science show This Week in Virology, Tom Solomon, an infectious disease doctor from Liverpool, talks with Vincent about viral central nervous system infections of global importance, Ebola virus, and running the fastest marathon dressed as a doctor.

You can find TWiV #308 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

The next emerging threat

Ian Lipkin, Columbia University, New York, and Lyle Petersen, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, discuss recently emerged pathogens, and how to prepare should their range expand. When asked if MERS-coronavirus would cause the next pandemic, Ian Lipkin responded ‘I don’t have a crystal ball’.

Recorded at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Boston, MA on 19 May 2014.

TWiV 115: Color me infected

brainbow pseudorabies virusHosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan DoveRich Condit, and Marc Pelletier

On episode #115 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich and Marc discuss the finding that a limited number of incoming herpesviral genomes can replicate and express in a cell, and controlling viral replication in Aedes aegypti with a Wolbachia symbiont.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #115 (84 MB .mp3, 117 minutes).

Subscribe to TWiV (free) in iTunes , at the Zune Marketplace, by the RSS feed, or by email, or listen on your mobile device with Stitcher Radio.

Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Marc – Homebrew bioreactor (photo, movie) – culture bottle and drive, oil-free vacuum pumps
Rich –
Logitech Harmony Universal Remote
Alan – H.M.S. Challenger Reports
Vincent – Sequence of the strawberry genome and blog post by lead author

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv or leave voicemail at Skype: twivpodcast. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twiv.

TWiV 69: They’re all safecrackers

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

Vincent, Alan, and Rich review recent outbreaks of mumps in the UK, US, and Israel, protection of mice against 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus by 1918-like and classical swine H1N1 vaccines, and a virus-like particle vaccine for chikungunya virus.

This episode is sponsored by Data Robotics Inc. Use the promotion code VINCENT to receive $50 off a Drobo or $100 off a Drobo S.

Win a free Drobo S! Contest rules here.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #69 (59 MB .mp3, 82 minutes)

Subscribe to TWiV (free) in iTunes , at the Zune Marketplace, by the RSS feed, or by email.

Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Rich John Moran Florida Nature Photography
Alan Periodic Table of Videos
Vincent The Protein Databank Educational Resources

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv or leave voicemail at Skype: twivpodcast. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twiv.

TWiV 37: Open access

twiv_aa_2001Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Eric O. Freed

On episode 37 of the podcast “This Week in Virology ” (TWiV), Vincent, Alan, and Eric Freed talk about vesivirus contamination of bioreactors, pandemic influenza, maximizing the effect of vaccination by targeting children, chikungunya virus, and open access scientific journals.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #37 (51 MB .mp3, 74 minutes)

Subscribe to TWiV in iTunes, by the RSS feed, or by email

Links for this episode:
Genzyme shuts down manufacturing of two enzyme drugs because of vesivirus contamination
Brazilian H1N1 isolate is not novel
WHO interactive H1N1 map
Targeting children maximizes the effect of vaccination
Chikungunya virus and Aedes mosquitoes
Viruses, an open-access virology journal
iBioSeminars
A field study of virus removal in septic tank drainfields

Weekly Science Picks
Alan Forrest Mims (website)
Vincent The Machinery of Life by David S. Goodsell

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv

Chikungunya: An exotic virus on the move

aedes-albopictusI recall learning about chikungunya1 virus when I was a Ph.D. student in the late 1970s – only because its exotic name made an impression on me. The virus, first identified in Tanzania in 1953, causes severe rashes and joint pains, but is rarely fatal, and the infection was considered benign. The outbreaks were massive, but largely confined to developing countries in Africa and Asia. I was surprised to discover several years ago that the virus had moved into Europe and was threatening the United States. What changed to bring this third-world viral disease into the forefront of public concern?

Since its discovery over 50 years ago, infection by chikungunya virus was known to be spread by mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti, which feeds almost exclusively on humans. In 2004, an outbreak of chikungunya disease started in Kenya and spread to islands in the Indian Ocean and finally India, where it had not been reported for 32 years. On Réunion, one of the Indian Ocean Islands, nearly 40% of the population of 785,000 fell ill. An outbreak in Italy three years later, the first ever in Europe, was started by an infected traveler from India. Cases of chikungunya have been reported in travelers returning to the US, although transmission within the country has not been reported.

The rapid global movement of chikungunya virus appears to be a consequence of a change in its mosquito vector. Some time during 2005 a virus was selected with a single amino acid change in the envelope glycoprotein which allows efficient replication in Aedes albopictus, the predominant mosquito in Réunion. This mosquito was never a good host for chikungunya virus, partly because it bites so many different animal species. The amino acid change enhances viral replication in the mosquito, leading to much higher levels of virus in the salivary gland. Consequently the virus is more likely to be transmitted upon biting a new host.

To further complicate matters, not only is Aedes albopictus now a good host for chikungunya virus, but the mosquito is spreading across the globe from eastern Asia to Europe and the United States. The mosquito was first found in the New World in 1985 when it was isolated in Houston, Texas. It probably traveled there from northern Asia in ships carrying scrap tires. But there are at least five other reasons to worry about Aedes albopictus: the mosquito has also been found to carry eastern equine encephalitis, Keystone, Tensaw, Cache Valley, and Potosi viruses.

1Chikungunya is believed to be derived from an East African dialect describing the contorted posture of patients with the severe joint pain characteristic of this disease.

Enserink, M. (2007). INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Chikungunya: No Longer a Third World Disease Science, 318 (5858), 1860-1861 DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5858.1860

Vazeille, M., Moutailler, S., Coudrier, D., Rousseaux, C., Khun, H., Huerre, M., Thiria, J., Dehecq, J., Fontenille, D., Schuffenecker, I., Despres, P., & Failloux, A. (2007). Two Chikungunya Isolates from the Outbreak of La Reunion (Indian Ocean) Exhibit Different Patterns of Infection in the Mosquito, Aedes albopictus PLoS ONE, 2 (11) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001168

Tsetsarkin, K., Vanlandingham, D., McGee, C., & Higgs, S. (2007). A Single Mutation in Chikungunya Virus Affects Vector Specificity and Epidemic Potential PLoS Pathogens, 3 (12) DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.0030201