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Research on Virology and Cytopathology
Title
Research on Virology and Cytopathology
Editor
iConcept Press
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USD$39.00
ISBN
978-1-922227-70-6
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14040

Chapter 1

Research on Virology and Cytopathology

Emergence of a Highly Divergent Encephalomyocarditis Virus from Nonhu-man Primates in Singapore

by Koon Wui Lee, Dawn Su-Yin Yeo, Pui San Wong, Myint Zu Myaing, Eliza Chua, Serena Oh, Richard Sugrue and Boon-Huan Tan

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Abstract

In 2001 and 2002, we investigated the etiological agent responsible for the fatal myocarditis cases among the orang utans in the Singapore Zoological Gardens. Electron microscopy of viral culture isolates revealed spherical viral particles of about 20 to 30 nm, consistent with the size and morphology of Picornaviruses. PCR diagnostics identified the viral isolates to be Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and subsequently, sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the viral genomes clustered these isolates away from existing EMCV strains. Our data qualified these Singapore viral isolates as a separate lineage, lineage D of EMCV, and these virus strains were named after one of the dead orang utans, as “intan virus”. In 2013, more than a decade later, EMCV re-emerged and was identified to be the causative agent for the sudden deaths of more wildlife housed separately within the same zoo in Singapore. PCR and subsequent strain-typing of the VP1 and VP3 genes identified novel EMCV strains similar to the intan viruses, isolated in 2001 and 2002. These data suggest that there is localised and sustained circulation of the intan viruses within the zoo. As an antiviral strategy, we investigated the expression of virus-like-particles from the intan virus isolates using the recombinant bacterial expression system. The VP1 and VP2 genes were co-expressed with a His-tag and allowed to spontaneously form virus-like particles (VLPs). Electron micrographs taken using transmission electron microscope suggested that these VLPs were morphologically similar in shape and size to the authentic viral particles. Biochemical studies using protein page gel and immuno blotting further suggested that the VLPs were antigenically similar to the virus proteins. Our data suggests that these recombinant VLPs can be potentially exploited as a vaccine candidate for wildlife, offering further protection from future infection.

Author Details

Koon Wui Lee
Detection and Diagnostics Laboratory, DMERI, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore
Dawn Su-Yin Yeo
Detection and Diagnostics Laboratory, DMERI, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore
Pui San Wong
Detection and Diagnostics Laboratory, DMERI, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore
Myint Zu Myaing
School of Biological Sciences, National Technological University, Singapore
Eliza Chua
School of Biological Sciences, National Technological University, Singapore
Serena Oh
Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Singapore
Richard Sugrue
School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Boon-Huan Tan
Detection and Diagnostics Laboratory, DMERI, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore

Citation

Koon Wui Lee, Dawn Su-Yin Yeo, Pui San Wong, Myint Zu Myaing, Eliza Chua, Serena Oh, Richard Sugrue and Boon-Huan Tan. Emergence of a Highly Divergent Encephalomyocarditis Virus from Nonhu-man Primates in Singapore. In Research on Virology and Cytopathology. ISBN:978-1-922227-70-6. iConcept Press. 2016.

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