Virology highlights

Virus podcast with Professor Lennart Svensson (in Swedish)

Kaptein SJF, Goethals O, Kiemel D, et al. A pan-serotype dengue virus inhibitor targeting the NS3-NS4B interaction. Nature. 2021 Oct;598(7881):504-509.

This article, from the research group of Johan Neyts, demonstrates a novel antiviral mechanism against denguevirus, one of the clinically most important viruses on our planet, according to WHO. Of special interest is that a nonstructural protein of an RNA virus can be targetted by antivirals, a finding which may be of general importance.

Salvati MV, Salaris C, Monteil V, et al. Virus-Derived DNA Forms Mediate the Persistent Infection of Tick Cells by Hazara Virus and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus. J Virol. 2021 Nov 23;95(24):e0163821.

How can ticks establish persistent infections of RNA viruses such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF)? This virus, which is a biosafety level (BSL)-4 pathogen, utilizes ticks of the genus Hyalomma as its viral reservoir. Here, the authors instead study the Hazara virus (HAZV) as a BSL-2 model virus of CCHFV, in order to study virus-vector interactions. Interestingly, they found a presence of short viral-derived DNA forms (vDNAs) after HAZV infection that could downregulate viral replication to promote cell survival. Synthesis of vDNA might therefore constitute a strategy to allow persistent viral infection in ticks, through control of the viral RNA replication