Infectious diseases

  • Article
    | Open Access

    To date there is only one single drug with modest efficacy and no vaccine available to protect from schistosomiasis. Here, Amaral et al. characterize the self-cure process of rhesus macaques following primary infection and secondary challenge with Schistosoma mansoni to inform future vaccine development studies.

    • Murilo Sena Amaral
    • , Daisy Woellner Santos
    •  & Sergio Verjovski-Almeida
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Monoclonal antibodies show great promise in treating Covid-19 patients. Here, Maisonnasse, Aldon and colleagues report pre-clinical results for COVA1-18 and demonstrate that it reduces viral infectivity in three animal models with over 95% efficacy in macaques upper respiratory tract.

    • Pauline Maisonnasse
    • , Yoann Aldon
    •  & Roger Le Grand
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sofosbuvir is a common therapy in hepatitis C virus infection, which targets the NS5B polymerase. Here, Smith et al. analyze the association between whole genome HCV polymorphisms and sofosbuvir treatment failure and identify three common polymorphisms present in non-targeted NS2 and NS3 proteins associated with reduced treatment response.

    • David A. Smith
    • , Carlota Fernandez-Antunez
    •  & M. Azim Ansari
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The immune response to herpes simplex virus is essential in limiting immunopathology during infection, however factors linked to neuroprotection are currently unclear. Here the authors implicate mTORC2 in the host response to viral infection and link to neuroprotection.

    • Rahul K. Suryawanshi
    • , Chandrashekhar D. Patil
    •  & Deepak Shukla
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Clonal haematopoiesis (CH) has been associated with altered inflammatory profiles and increased risk of cardiovascular and malignant diseases. Here, the authors analyze patient data from two different cohorts and show that CH is associated with severe infections and severe Covid19.

    • Kelly L. Bolton
    • , Youngil Koh
    •  & Ahmet Zehir
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Several COVID-19 vaccines have received emergency approval, but durability of protection is unclear. Here, the authors describe correlates of protection (CoP) for the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine in rhesus macaques and report that CoP predict the protection observed 6 months post vaccination.

    • Ramon Roozendaal
    • , Laura Solforosi
    •  & Roland Zahn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many African countries have reported relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases but the true scale of the epidemic is unclear. Here, the authors conduct a population-based survey in a province of Cameroon and estimate 29% seroprevlance, >300 fold higher than the nationwide attack rate implied by case counts.

    • Kene Nwosu
    • , Joseph Fokam
    •  & Laura Ciaffi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the pathology and immunological response to SARS CoV2 infection in specific patient groups is essential for informing the scientific and clinical handling of infections within these patient populations. Here the authors characterise the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV2 infection in people living with HIV.

    • Aljawharah Alrubayyi
    • , Ester Gea-Mallorquí
    •  & Dimitra Peppa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lassa Fever is a rodent-borne viral haemorrhagic fever that is a public health problem in West Africa. Here, the authors develop a spatiotemporal model of the socioecological drivers of disease using surveillance data from Nigeria, and find evidence of climate sensitivity.

    • David W. Redding
    • , Rory Gibb
    •  & Chikwe Ihekweazu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Antibodies (Abs) targeting highly conserved epitopes are important tools against emerging virus variants. Here, the authors characterize Abs that recognize a cryptic epitope in the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike that is well conserved and show that these Abs can neutralize several variants of concerns.

    • Tingting Li
    • , Wenhui Xue
    •  & Ningshao Xia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current high-throughput single-cell transcriptomic methods are incompatible with paraformaldehyde, a common cell fixation technique. Here the authors present FD-seq, a method for droplet-based RNA sequencing of paraformaldehyde-fixed, stained and sorted single cells.

    • Hoang Van Phan
    • , Michiel van Gent
    •  & Savaş Tay
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There has been limited research on the role of the mucosal immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, the authors perform a prospective observational household study and find that mucosal antibody responses are associated with decreased viral load and faster resolution of systemic symptoms.

    • Janeri Fröberg
    • , Joshua Gillard
    •  & Dimitri A. Diavatopoulos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rift Valley fever is a zoonotic haemorrhagic fever with complex transmission dynamics influenced by environmental variables and animal movements. Here, the authors develop a metapopulation model incorporating these factors and use it to identify the main drivers of transmission in the Comoros archipelago.

    • Warren S. D. Tennant
    • , Eric Cardinale
    •  & Raphaëlle Métras
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Kodama et al. describe the discovery, isolation and characterization of a novel tick-borne orthonairovirus, designated Yezo virus (YEZV), from patients with an acute febrile illness in Japan. Serological testing of wildlife and molecular screening of ticks suggest an endemic circulation of YEZV in Japan.

    • Fumihiro Kodama
    • , Hiroki Yamaguchi
    •  & Keita Matsuno
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Shaban et al. show that coronaviruses modulate ER stress and the unfolded protein response. The ER stress inducer thapsigargin exerts potent antiviral effects, partially reverses the virus-induced translational shut-down, reprograms the host proteome and suppresses autophagic flux, thereby inhibiting coronavirus replication at multiple levels.

    • Mohammed Samer Shaban
    • , Christin Müller
    •  & Michael Kracht
  • Article
    | Open Access

    m6Am is a modification of the 5′ end of mRNAs catalyzed by PCIF1. Here, Zhang et al. show that HIV infection induces a decrease in m6Am of cellular mRNAs through Vpr-mediated PCIF1 ubiquitination and degradation, resulting in increased HIV replication through regulation of host transcription factors.

    • Qiong Zhang
    • , Yuqi Kang
    •  & Tariq M. Rana
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the treatment of HIV-1 requires life-long daily adherence to supress viral replication, and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors that are commonly used in ART have not been converted into long-acting agents. Here, the authors report two lipophilic tenofovir (TVF) ProTide nanoformulations, NM1TFV and NM2TFV, which sustain drug levels above therapeutic concentrations for two months after a single intramuscular dose in rats.

    • Denise A. Cobb
    • , Nathan Smith
    •  & Benson Edagwa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Myeloid cells are implicated in the innate immune and inflammatory response during infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. Here the authors show the evasion of the neutrophil response to infection and concomitant induction of sterile immunity via the purinergic P2X7 receptor.

    • Chunfu Yang
    • , Lei Lei
    •  & Harlan D. Caldwell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Broszeit et al. show that circulating A/H3N2 viruses have evolved binding specificity to α2,6-sialosides on extended LacNAc moieties and therefore cannot agglutinate erythrocytes. Applying glycan remodeling allows to install functional receptors on erythrocytes and promotes identification of newly circulating variants to facilitate vaccine design.

    • Frederik Broszeit
    • , Rosanne J. van Beek
    •  & Geert-Jan Boons
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Infection with SARS-CoV2 and the development of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been linked to induction of autoimmunity and autoantibody production. Here the authors characterise the new-onset IgG autoantibody response in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 which they correlate to the magnitude of the SARS-CoV2 response.

    • Sarah Esther Chang
    • , Allan Feng
    •  & Paul J. Utz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During herpesvirus infection, most individuals intrinsically suppress a primary infection and therewith preclude potential damage or neurodegeneration of the CNS. Here, Ames et al. show that Optineurin (OPTN), a conserved autophagy receptor, restricts HSV-1 spread, degrades viral VP16 through autophagy and is neuroprotective against HSV infection in vivo.

    • Joshua Ames
    • , Tejabhiram Yadavalli
    •  & Deepak Shukla
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Newly emerged pathogens are inherently difficult to forecast, due to many unknowns about their biology early in an epidemic. Here, the authors assess forecasts of a suite of models during the Zika epidemic in Colombia, finding that the models that performed best changed over the course of the epidemic.

    • Rachel J. Oidtman
    • , Elisa Omodei
    •  & T. Alex Perkins
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anti-retroviral treatment does not fully resolve mucosal dysfunction and systemic inflammation in HIV infected individuals. Authors show here that an unusual population of regulatory T cells, distinguished by Amphiregulin expression and the incapability to suppress CD4 T cells might contribute to disrupted oral immune protection in HIV patients.

    • N. Bhaskaran
    • , E. Schneider
    •  & P. Pandiyan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common infection in children and older adults but little is known about within-host viral population diversity. Here, the authors perform deep sequencing and find that RSV subgroup B exhibited more diversity than subgroup A, with implications for development of therapeutics and vaccines.

    • Gu-Lung Lin
    • , Simon B. Drysdale
    •  & Andrew J. Pollard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    RNA viruses, such as Zika and Dengue, activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) signaling to restrict the antiviral response. Here, the authors report that coronaviruses also activate AHR signaling, potentially allowing them to escape the immune response, and show that AHR antagonism limits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro, suggesting that AHR could be targeted for antiviral therapy.

    • Federico Giovannoni
    • , Zhaorong Li
    •  & Francisco J. Quintana
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors perform transcriptional profiling on tracheal aspirates of adults requiring mechanical ventilation for SARS-CoV2-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and identify a dysregulated host response predicted to predicted to be potentially modulated by dexamethasone.

    • Aartik Sarma
    • , Stephanie A. Christenson
    •  & Charles R. Langelier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    China operates a national surveillance program for acute respiratory infections and sampled over 200,000 patients between 2009–2019. Here, the authors present results from this program and describe patterns by age, pathogen type, presence of pneumonia, and season.

    • Zhong-Jie Li
    • , Hai-Yang Zhang
    •  & Jun Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Interferon (IFN) is an important component of antiviral immunity, but can also be exploited by bacteria for immune evasion. Here the authors show that Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) induces type I IFN to suppress the degradation of Lm virulence proteins, ActA and LLO, and promote Lm infection in an IFITM3-dependent manner, thereby hinting at a potential target for antimicrobial therapy.

    • Joel M. J. Tan
    • , Monica E. Garner
    •  & John H. Brumell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The chemokine CXCL10 is associated with pathogenesis of cerebral malaria in Plasmodium falciparum infection. Here the authors show that P. falciparum produces extracellular vesicles laden with RNAs that are taken up by monocytes resulting in a RIG-I and HUR-1 mediated mechanism of inhibition of CXCL10 protein translation.

    • Yifat Ofir-Birin
    • , Hila Ben Ami Pilo
    •  & Neta Regev-Rudzki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Kenya in March 2020 and there was evidence of local transmission in the following months. Here, the authors characterise the early stages of the epidemic in coastal Kenya using phylogenetics and find evidence of multiple strain importations from international points of entry.

    • George Githinji
    • , Zaydah R. de Laurent
    •  & Charles N. Agoti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Applying neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 to infected patients is a promising anti-viral treatment strategy. Here, Zhao et al. derive RBD-targeting monoclonal antibodies from a naïve human phage-displayed Fab library and show their  prophylactic and therapeutic potential in hACE2-transgenic mice.

    • Shaojuan Zhao
    • , Huajun Zhang
    •  & Rui Gong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    West and colleagues develop the Variant Database software tool for examination of changing Spike mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The authors use this to detect emerging lineages of SARS-CoV-2 in New York and report the rapid spread of the B.1.526 lineage in the city.

    • Anthony P. West Jr.
    • , Joel O. Wertheim
    •  & Pamela J. Bjorkman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the context of limited supply, strategies for optimising allocation of COVID-19 vaccines are needed. Here, the authors explore time-varying strategies that adapt to the epidemiological situation and simultaneously optimise for multiple objectives including reducing numbers of infections, hospitalisations, and deaths.

    • Shasha Han
    • , Jun Cai
    •  & Hongjie Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a reemerging mosquito-borne virus that has caused outbreaks in various regions of the world. Here the authors present safety and immunogenicity data from a phase 1 trial with the simian adenovirus vectored vaccine ChAdOx1 Chik, showing induction of neutralizing antibodies to four CHIKV lineages.

    • Pedro M. Folegatti
    • , Kate Harrison
    •  & Arturo Reyes-Sandoval
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To understand malaria symptoms, several studies investigate association between parasite’s transcriptome and disease severity. Here, Thomson-Luque et al. reanalyze available transcriptomic data of P. falciparum and find that longer circulation of infected erythrocytes without sequestering to endothelial cells associates with decreasing parasitaemia and less severe disease.

    • Richard Thomson-Luque
    • , Lasse Votborg-Novél
    •  & Silvia Portugal
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Why children are generally less susceptible than adults to COVID-19 is unclear and has not extensively been examined longitudinally. Here the authors compare antibodies, cytokines and immune cell responses in adults and children over 6 months post-infection showing, among other things, a reduced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response in children.

    • Carolyn A. Cohen
    • , Athena P. Y. Li
    •  & Sophie A. Valkenburg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SARS-CoV-2 infection of expecting mothers has been reported. Here the authors profile the peripheral blood from 14 pregnant women with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection to find grossly normal immune cell composition but heterogenous induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thereby implicating possible therapeutic targets for virus-induced damages during pregnancy.

    • Sara De Biasi
    • , Domenico Lo Tartaro
    •  & Andrea Cossarizza