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Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a severe viral disease in pigs, causing great economic losses worldwide each year. The causative agent of the disease, PRRS virus (PRRSV), is a member of the family Arteriviridae. Here we report our investigation of the unparalleled large-scale outbreaks of an originally unknown, but so-called "high(More)
Biogenesis and replication of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) include the crucial step of replicative polyprotein processing by self-encoded proteases. Whole genome bioinformatics analysis suggests that nonstructural protein 4 (nsp4) is a 3C-like serine protease (3CLSP), responsible for most of the nonstructural protein(More)
BACKGROUND Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2) is an important zoonotic pathogen, causing more than 200 cases of severe human infection worldwide, with the hallmarks of meningitis, septicemia, arthritis, etc. Very recently, SS2 has been recognized as an etiological agent for streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), which was originally associated with(More)
Pathogenicity islands (PAIs), a distinct type of genomic island (GI), play important roles in the rapid adaptation and increased virulence of pathogens. 89K is a newly identified PAI in epidemic Streptococcus suis isolates that are related to the two recent large-scale outbreaks of human infection in China. However, its mechanism of evolution and(More)
Influenza A virus neuraminidase can be classified into groups 1 and 2 on the basis of its primary structure. The main structural feature of group 1 neuraminidase is an extra cavity in the active site, the 150-cavity. Here we present the crystal structure of neuraminidase from the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza strain. In contrast to other characterized N1(More)
An epidemic of an avian-origin H7N9 influenza virus has recently emerged in China, infecting 134 patients of which 45 have died. This is the first time that an influenza virus harboring an N9 serotype neuraminidase (NA) has been known to infect humans. H7N9 viruses are divergent and at least two distinct NAs and hemagglutinins (HAs) have been found,(More)
The innate immune response plays a critical role in the host defense against invading pathogens, and TLR2, a member of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family, has been implicated in the immune response and initiation of inflammatory cytokine secretion against several human viruses. Previous studies have demonstrated that infectious and ultraviolet-inactivated(More)
Long-term endemicity of avian H5N1 influenza virus in poultry and continuous sporadic human infections in several countries has raised the concern of another potential pandemic influenza. Suspicion of the avian origin of the previous pandemics results in the close investigation of the mechanism of interspecies transmission. Entry and fusion is the first(More)
BACKGROUND Ear infection or otitis media (OM) accounts for most bacterial respiratory infections in children in both developed and developing nations. Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the major OM pathogens. However, little is known about the genetic basis of bacterial OM largely due to practical(More)
BACKGROUND The scavenging ability of sufficient divalent metal ions is pivotal for pathogenic bacteria to survive in the host. ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type metal transporters provide a considerable amount of different transition metals for bacterial growth. TroA is a substrate binding protein for uptake of multiple metal ions. However, the function and(More)