Person:
Benítez Rico, Laura

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First Name
Laura
Last Name
Benítez Rico
Affiliation
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Ciencias Biológicas
Department
Genética, Fisiología y Microbiología
Area
Microbiología
Identifiers
UCM identifierORCIDScopus Author IDDialnet IDGoogle Scholar ID

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    Prevalence 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, Laura
    Avipoxvirus (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.
  • Publication
    Identification 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, Laura
    The 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.
  • Publication
    A 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, Laura
    Sylvilagus 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.
  • Publication
    A Multiplex PCR for Detection of Poxvirus and Papillomavirus in Cutaneous Warts from Live Birds and Museum Skins
    (American Association of Avian Pathologists, 2011-05-31) Pérez Tris, Javier; Williams, Richard Alexander John; Abel-Fernandez, F; Barreiro, Jose; Conesa, J J; Figuerola, Jordi; Martinez-Martınez, M; Ramírez García, Álvaro; Benítez Rico, Laura
    Viral cutaneous lesions are frequent in some bird populations, though we are generally ignorant of the causal agent. In some instances, they represent a threat to livestock and wildlife health. We present here a multiplex PCR which detects and distinguishes infection by two such agents, avipoxviruses and papillomaviruses, in avian hosts. We assayed biopsies and superficial skin swabs from field and preserved museum skin specimens. Ninety-three percent of samples from symptomatic specimens tested positive for the presence of avipox (n  =  23) or papillomavirus (n  =  5). Sixteen and five sequences, corresponding to the P4b and L1 genes, were obtained from avipox and papillomavirus, respectively. One museum specimen, of Fringilla coelebs (chaffinch), was apparently infected with both viruses. Although papillomavirus sequences proved identical to previously published sequences, four novel avipox sequences were generated and used to build a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree. Our tree recovered a similar topology to that of several recent authors; however, we also propose here two new minor avipox clades (B1b and B3). This multiplex PCR technique shows improved sensitivity compared to other avipox and papillomavirus assays, is able to detect a wide range of avipox and papillomavirus types (it amplifies all three avian-derived papillomavirus genera described thus far and sequences from both major avipox clades), and was even able to detect ancient viral DNA contained in museum specimens of greater than 75 years antiquity for both viruses.
  • Publication
    Polymerase chain reaction detection of avipox and avian papillomavirus in naturally infected wild birds: comparisons of blood, swab and tissue samples
    (Taylor & Francis Online, 2014-02-13) Williams, Richard Alexander John; Escudero Duch, Clara; Pérez Tris, Javier; Benítez Rico, Laura
    Avian poxvirus (avipox) is widely reported from avian species, causing cutaneous or mucosal lesions. Mortality rates of up to 100% are recorded in some hosts. Three major avipox clades are recognized. Several diagnostic techniques have been reported, with molecular techniques used only recently. Avipox has been reported from 278 different avian species, but only 111 of these involved sequence and/or strain identification. Collecting samples from wild birds is challenging as only few wild bird individuals or species may be symptomatic. Also, sampling regimes are tightly regulated and the most efficient sampling method, whole bird collection, is ethically challenging. In this study, three alternative sampling techniques (blood, cutaneous swabs and tissue biopsies) from symptomatic wild birds were examined. Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect avipoxvirus and avian papillomavirus (which also induces cutaneous lesions in birds). Four out of 14 tissue samples were positive but all 29 blood samples and 22 swab samples were negative for papillomavirus. All 29 blood samples were negative but 6/22 swabs and 9/14 tissue samples were avipox-positive. The difference between the numbers of positives generated from tissue samples and from swabs was not significant. The difference in the avipox-positive specimens in paired swab (4/6) and tissue samples (6/6) was also not significant. These results therefore do not show the superiority of swab or tissue samples over each other. However, both swab (6/22) and tissue (8/9) samples yielded significantly more avipox-positive cases than blood samples, which are therefore not recommended for sampling these viruses.
  • Publication
    Genomic characterization of the first oral avian papillomavirus in a colony of breeding canaries (Serinus canaria)
    (Springer, 2018) Truchado Martín, Daniel Alejandro; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Callejas, Sergio; Pérez Tris, Javier; Benítez Rico, Laura
    Papillomaviruses 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.
  • Publication
    Comparative metagenomics of Palearctic and Neotropical avian cloacal viromes reveal geographic bias in virus discovery
    (MDPI, 2020-11-26) Truchado Martín, Daniel Alejandro; Llanos Garrido, Alejandro; Oropesa Olmedo, David A.; Cerrada, Belén; Cea, Pablo; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Gómez-Lucía Duato, María Esperanza; Doménech, Ana; Milá, Borja; Pérez Tris, Javier; Cadar, Daniel; Benítez Rico, Laura
    Our 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.
  • Publication
    A 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 Martín, Daniel Alejandro; Díaz-Piqueras, José Manuel; Gómez-Lucía Duato, María Esperanza; Doménech, Ana; Milá, Borja; Pérez Tris, Javier; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Cadar, Daniel; Benítez Rico, Laura
    Sequence-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.
  • Publication
    A 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 Martín, Daniel Alejandro; Gómez-Lucía Duato, María Esperanza; Doménech, Ana; Pérez Tris, Javier; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Cadar, Daniel; Benítez Rico, Laura
    Metagenomics 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.