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Two PRL-releasing peptides (PrRP20 and PrRP31) were recently identified from mammalian hypothalamus by an orphan receptor strategy, and a C-terminal RF (arginyl-phenylalamyl-) amide peptide (RFa), structurally related to mammalian PrRP, was also identified from the brain of the Japanese crucian carp (C-RFa) by an intestine-contracting assay. However, to(More)
Highly virulent avian influenza viruses can arise from avirulent strains maintained in poultry, but evidence to support their generation from viruses in wild birds is lacking. The most likely mechanism for the acquisition of virulence by benign avian viruses is the introduction of mutations by error-prone RNA polymerase, followed by the selection of(More)
Bovine torovirus (BToV), a member of the Coronaviridae family, is an established gastrointestinal infectious agent in cattle. No epidemiological research on BToV has been reported from Japan. In this study, we performed a survey to detect BToV in Japan in 2004 and 2005 using 231 fecal samples (167 from diarrheic cattle and 64 from asymptomatic cattle) that(More)
The receptor specificity of influenza viruses is one factor that allows avian influenza viruses to cross the species barrier. The recent transmissions of avian H5N1 and H9N2 influenza viruses from chickens and/or quails to humans indicate that avian influenza viruses can directly infect humans without an intermediate host, such as pigs. In this study, we(More)
H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) was reintroduced and caused outbreaks in chickens in the 2010-2011 winter season in Japan, which had been free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) since 2007 when HPAI outbreaks occurred and were controlled. On 14 October 2010 at Lake Ohnuma, Wakkanai, the northernmost part of Hokkaido, Japan,(More)
Although raccoons (Procyon lotor) are susceptible to influenza viruses, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) infection in these animals has not been reported. We performed a serosurvey of apparently healthy feral raccoons in Japan and found specific antibodies to subtype H5N1 viruses. Feral raccoons may pose a risk to farms and public health.
The lung is one of the most immunologically challenged organs and can be affected by a number of pathogens, including bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites. The development and chronicity of pulmonary infection are determined by the early innate response to the pathogenic stimuli and are regulated at multiple levels. Initial studies have indicated that the(More)
The pandemic threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza A viruses has created an urgent need for vaccines to protect against H5 virus infection. Because pathogenic viruses grow poorly in chicken eggs and their virulence poses a biohazard to vaccine producers, avirulent viruses produced by reverse genetics have become the preferred basis for vaccine(More)
The role of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in antifungal responses in the immunodeficient and allergic host is unclear. We investigated the role of TLR9 in murine models of invasive aspergillosis and fungal asthma. Neutrophil-depleted TLR9 wild-type (TLR9(+/+)) and TLR9-deficient (TLR9(-/-)) mice were challenged with resting or swollen Aspergillus fumigatus(More)
Widespread outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) caused by H5N1 viruses occurred in wild birds in Japan from 2010-2011. Forty out of 63 deceased wild birds belonged to the order Anseriformes, and mandarin duck was one of the dominant species. To estimate the risk of mandarin ducks as a source of virus infection in the environment, we(More)