Person: Benítez Rico, Laura
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Genética, Fisiología y Microbiología
Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
PublicationClinical and hematological follow-Up of long-term oral therapy with type-I interferon in cats naturally infected with feline Leukemia virus or felineiImmunodeficiency Virus(MDPI, 2020-08-20) Gómez-Lucía Duato, Esperanza; Collado Alcalá, Victorio Manuel; Miró Corrales, Guadalupe; Martín Iniesta, Sonsoles; Benítez Rico, Laura; Doménech, AnaFeline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), two of the most important pathogens of cats, produce chronic systemic diseases with progressive death of cells involved in the immune response, ultimately leading to death. Immunostimulants is one of the few alternatives to the symptomatic treatment. In this study, 27 naturally FeLV-infected (FeLV+) and 31 naturally FIV-infected (FIV+) cats were administered orally by their owners 60 IU/day of recombinant human interferon alpha (rHuIFN-α) for four months in alternate weeks. Clinical status was evaluated and blood samples collected at four different visits or months (M): pretreatment (M0), mid-treatment (M2), end of treatment (M4), and 4–8 months after end of treatment (M10). Most cats ostensibly improved their clinical status, and many became asymptomatic. rHuIFN-α treatment improved the anemic processes observed at M0 (at least in cats with mild or moderate anemia) and leukocyte counts, including a more favorable CD4+/CD8+ ratio. An increase in the serum gammaglobulin concentration was seen in 80% of the cats. Despite observing an obvious favorable progress in the clinical, biopathological, and CD4+/CD8+ values during treatment, almost invariably all the parameters analyzed worsened after treatment discontinuation (M10), which suggests that the interferon-α protocol should be either extended or include additional cycles for a long-lasting benefit in FeLV+ and FIV+ cats. PublicationA novel group of avian astroviruses from Neotropical passerine birds broaden the diversity and host range of Astroviridae(Nature Research, 2019-07-02) Fernández-Correa, Izaskun; Truchado, Daniel A.; Gómez-Lucía Duato, Esperanza; Doménech, Ana; Pérez Tris, Javier; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Cadar, Daniel; Benítez Rico, LauraMetagenomics is helping to expand the known diversity of viruses, especially of those with poorly studied hosts in remote areas. The Neotropical region harbors a considerable diversity of avian species that may play a role as both host and short-distance vectors of unknown viruses. Viral metagenomics of cloacal swabs from 50 Neotropical birds collected in French Guiana revealed the presence of four complete astrovirus genomes. They constitute an early diverging novel monophyletic clade within the Avastrovirus phylogeny, representing a putative new astrovirus species (provisionally designated as Avastrovirus 5) according to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) classifcation criteria. Their genomic organization shares some characteristics with Avastrovirus but also with Mamastrovirus. The pan-astrovirus RT-PCR analysis of the cloacal samples of 406 wild Neotropical birds showed a community-level prevalence of 4.9% (5.1% in passerines, the highest described so far in this order of birds). By screening birds of a remote region, we expanded the known host range of astroviruses to the avian families Cardinalidae, Conopophagidae, Furnariidae, Thamnophilidae, Turdidae and Tyrannidae. Our results provide important frst insights into the unexplored viral communities, the ecology, epidemiology and features of host-pathogen interactions that shape the evolution of avastroviruses in a remote Neotropical rainforest. PublicationPrevalence and genetic diversity of avipoxvirus in house sparrows in Spain(2016-12-22) Ruiz Martínez, Jorge; Ferraguti, Martina; Figuerola, Jordi; Martínez de la Puente, Josué; Williams, Richard Alexander John; Herrera Dueñas, Amparo; Aguirre de Miguel, José Ignacio; Soriguer, Ramón; Escudero, Clara; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Pérez Tris, Javier; Benítez Rico, LauraAvipoxvirus (APV) is a fairly common virus affecting birds that causes morbidity and mortality in wild and captive birds. We studied the prevalence of pox-like lesions and genetic diversity of APV in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in natural, agricultural and urban areas in southern Spain in 2013 and 2014 and in central Spain for 8 months (2012–2013). Overall, 3.2% of 2,341 house sparrows visually examined in southern Spain had cutaneous lesions consistent with avian pox. A similar prevalence (3%) was found in 338 birds from central Spain. Prevalence was higher in hatch-year birds than in adults. We did not detect any clear spatial or temporal patterns of APV distribution. Molecular analyses of poxvirus-like lesions revealed that 63% of the samples were positive. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of 29 DNA sequences from the fpv167 gene, detected two strains belonging to the canarypox clade (subclades B1 and B2) previously found in Spain. One of them appears predominant in Iberia and North Africa and shares 70% similarity to fowlpox and canarypox virus. This APV strain has been identified in a limited number of species in the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco and Hungary. The second one has a global distribution and has been found in numerous wild bird species around the world. To our knowledge, this represents the largest study of avian poxvirus disease in the broadly distributed house sparrow and strongly supports the findings that Avipox prevalence in this species in South and central Spain is moderate and the genetic diversity low. PublicationIdentification of two novel CRESS DNA viruses associated with an Avipoxvirus lesion of a blue-and-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)(Elsevier, 2018-06) Moens, Michaël André Jean; Pérez Tris, Javier; Cortey, Martí; Benítez Rico, LauraThe discovery of circular rep-encoding single stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses has increased spectacularly over the past decade. They represent the smallest animal viruses known worldwide infecting a wide variety of invertebrates and vertebrates in different natural and human-made environments. The extremely low similarity of nucleotide and protein sequences among different CRESS DNA genomes has challenged their classification. Moreover, the existence of capsid proteins (Cp) remains difficult to demonstrate which is crucial to understand the structural properties of these viruses. Here we describe two unclassified CRESS DNA viruses isolated from a cutaneous lesion, caused by a strain of Avipoxvirus, from a blue-and-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus) in Southern Ecuador. Both viruses present replication-associated proteins (Rep) and one to two open reading frames (ORF), one of which represents a putative Cp. The two new Rep are long proteins characterized by the existence of the several highly conserved amino acid residues characteristic of rolling circle replication. Within the putative Cp we detected intrinsically disordered regions (IDR), potential protein and DNA binding regions, and nuclear localization signals (NLS), providing further evidence of presumed Cp. Despite being found on the same host lesion, both viruses show low similarity between each other (< 60%) and other known CRESS DNA viruses. Furthermore, we analyze the evolutionary relationships within the CRESS DNA diversity. Additional sampling is needed to explore the possible pathogenic effects, prevalence and diversity (both phylogenetical and structural) of these viruses in wild bird populations. PublicationGenomic characterization of the first oral avian papillomavirus in a colony of breeding canaries (Serinus canaria)(Springer, 2018) Truchado, Daniel A.; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Callejas, Sergio; Pérez Tris, Javier; Benítez Rico, LauraPapillomaviruses are non-enveloped, DNA viruses that infect skin and mucosa of a wide variety of vertebrates, causing neoplasias or simply persisting asymptomatically. Avian papillomaviruses, with six fully sequenced genomes, are the second most studied group after mammalian papillomaviruses. In this study, we describe the first oral avian papillomavirus, detected in the tongue of a dead Yorkshire canary (Serinus canaria) and in oral swabs of the same bird and other two live canaries from an aviary in Madrid, Spain. Its genome is 8,071 bp and presents the canonical papillomavirus architecture with six early (E6, E7, E1, E9, E2, E4) and two late open reading frames (L1 and L2) and a long control region between L1 and E6. This new avian papillomavirus L1 gene shares a 64% pairwise identity with FcPV1 L1, so it has been classified as a new species (ScPV1) within the Ethapapillomavirus genus. Although the canary died after showing breathing problems, there is no evidence that the papillomavirus caused those symptoms so it could be part of the oral microbiota of the birds. Hence, future investigations are needed to evaluate the clinical relevance of the virus. PublicationA Novel and Divergent Gyrovirus with Unusual Genomic Features Detected in Wild Passerine Birds from a Remote Rainforest in French Guiana(MDPI, 2019-12-11) Truchado, Daniel A.; Díaz-Piqueras, José Manuel; Gómez-Lucía Duato, Esperanza; Doménech, Ana; Milá, Borja; Pérez Tris, Javier; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Cadar, Daniel; Benítez Rico, LauraSequence-independent amplification techniques have become important tools for virus discovery, metagenomics, and exploration of viral diversity at the global scale, especially in remote areas. Here, we describe the detection and genetic characterization of a novel gyrovirus, named GyV11, present in cloacal, oral, and blood samples from neotropical wild birds in French Guiana. The molecular epidemiology revealed the presence of GyV11 only in passerine birds from three different species at a low prevalence (0.73%). This is the first characterization and prevalence study of a gyrovirus carried out in resident wild bird populations in a remote region, and provides evidence of the fecal–oral route transmission and local circulation of the virus. The molecular phylogeny of gyroviruses reveals the existence of two distinct gyrovirus lineages in which GyV11 is phylogenetically distinct from previously reported gyroviruses. Furthermore, GyV11 is placed basal in the gyrovirus phylogeny, likely owing to its ancestral origin and marked divergence. This study also provides important insights into the ecology, epidemiology, and genomic features of gyroviruses in a remote neotropical rainforest. The pathogenesis of this virus in avian species or whether GyV11 can infect humans and/or chickens needs to be further investigated. PublicationEstrategias para el estudio de tránscritos y genes específicos de enquistamiento en "Colpoda inflata"(Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Servicio de Publicaciones, 2002) Benítez Rico, Laura; Gutiérrez Fernández, Juan CarlosEsta tesis representa diferentes aproximaciones moleculares para el estudio y búsqueda de genes específicos de enquistamiento en el ciliado colpoda inflata: aislamiento y posterior clonación de bandas especificas de arnm. Experimentos de sustracción y aislamiento de bandas diferenciales obtenidas del estudio de polimorfismos con cebadores arbitrarios. Finalmente, se obtuvo una sonda especifica a partir de un transcrito obtenido de adnc de la población quística que, aunque presente en todas las poblaciones de adnc estudiadas (vegetativos, prequisticos de 12 h, 18h, y 24 h) se acumula especialmente en el estado diferenciado o quiste de resistencia. Se presenta la secuencia obtenida de esta sonda y se discuten posibles interpretaciones sobre sus mecanismos de acumulación PublicationComparative metagenomics of Palearctic and Neotropical avian cloacal viromes reveal geographic bias in virus discovery(MDPI, 2020-11-26) Truchado, Daniel A.; Llanos Garrido, Alejandro; Oropesa Olmedo, David A.; Cerrada, Belén; Cea, Pablo; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Gómez-Lucía Duato, Esperanza; Doménech, Ana; Milá, Borja; Pérez Tris, Javier; Cadar, Daniel; Benítez Rico, LauraOur understanding about viruses carried by wild animals is still scarce. The viral diversity of wildlife may be best described with discovery-driven approaches to the study of viral diversity that broaden research efforts towards non-canonical hosts and remote geographic regions. Birds have been key organisms in the transmission of viruses causing important diseases, and wild birds are threatened by viral spillovers associated with human activities. However, our knowledge of the avian virome may be biased towards poultry and highly pathogenic diseases. We describe and compare the fecal virome of two passerine-dominated bird assemblages sampled in a remote Neotropical rainforest in French Guiana (Nouragues Natural Reserve) and a Mediterranean forest in central Spain (La Herrería). We used metagenomic data to quantify the degree of functional and genetic novelty of viruses recovered by examining if the similarity of the contigs we obtained to reference sequences differed between both locations. In general, contigs from Nouragues were significantly less similar to viruses in databases than contigs from La Herrería using Blastn but not for Blastx, suggesting that pristine regions harbor a yet unknown viral diversity with genetically more singular viruses than more studied areas. Additionally, we describe putative novel viruses of the families Picornaviridae, Reoviridae and Hepeviridae. These results highlight the importance of wild animals and remote regions as sources of novel viruses that substantially broaden the current knowledge of the global diversity of viruses. PublicationA century of Shope Papillomavirusin Museum Rabbit Specimens(Plublic Library of Science (PLOS), 2015-07-06) Escudero Duch, Clara; Williams, Richard; Timm, Robert M.; Pérez Tris, Javier; Benítez Rico, LauraSylvilagus floridanus Papillomavirus (SfPV) causes growth of large horn-like tumors on rabbits. SfPV was described in cottontail rabbits (probably Sylvilagus floridanus) from Kansas and Iowa by Richard Shope in 1933, and detected in S. audubonii in 2011. It is known almost exclusively from the US Midwest. We explored the University of Kansas Natural History Museum for historical museum specimens infected with SfPV, using molecular techniques, to assess if additional wild species host SfPV, and whether SfPV occurs throughout the host range, or just in the Midwest. Secondary aims were to detect distinct strains, and evidence for strain spatio-temporal specificity. We found 20 of 1395 rabbits in the KU collection SfPV symptomatic. Three of 17 lagomorph species (S. nuttallii, and the two known hosts) were symptomatic, while Brachylagus, Lepus and eight additional Sylvilagus species were not. 13 symptomatic individuals were positive by molecular testing, including the first S. nuttallii detection. Prevalence of symptomatic individuals was significantly higher in Sylvilagus (1.8%) than Lepus. Half of these specimens came from Kansas, though new molecular detections were obtained from Jalisco—Mexico’s first—and Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, USA. We document the oldest lab-confirmed case (Kansas, 1915), predating Shope’s first case. SfPV amplification was possible from 63.2% of symptomatic museum specimens. Using multiple methodologies, rolling circle amplification and, multiple isothermal displacement amplification in addition to PCR, greatly improved detection rates. Short sequences were obtained from six individuals for two genes. L1 gene sequences were identical to all previously detected sequences; E7 gene sequences, were more variable, yielding five distinct SfPV1 strains that differing by less than 2% from strains circulating in the Midwest and Mexico, between 1915 and 2005. Our results do not clarify whether strains are host species specific, though they are consistent with SfPV specificity to genus Sylvilagus. PublicationEpidemia vir(t)ual: el juego sobre virus para teléfonos inteligentes(2015-03) Gómez-Lucía Duato, Esperanza; Benítez Rico, Laura; Blanco Gutiérrez, María del Mar; Cutuli de Simón, Mª Teresa; Doménech Gómez, Ana; Flores Pedauyé, Ricardo; Quer Sivila, Josep; Romero Cano, JavierInforme del PIMCD 25 del año 2014.