Stuart C. Ray
Bio: Stuart C. Ray is an academic researcher from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author has contributed to research in topics: Hepatitis C virus & Virus. The author has an hindex of 56, co-authored 168 publications receiving 16975 citations. Previous affiliations of Stuart C. Ray include Vanderbilt University & Johns Hopkins University.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: Because these clones were obtained from Indian seroconverters, they are likely to facilitate vaccine-related efforts in India by providing potential antigens for vaccine candidates as well as for assays of vaccine responsiveness.
Abstract: According to World Health Organization estimates, India will have the greatest number of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals of any country by the end of this decade (1, 6). High rates of sexually transmitted diseases, rapidly increasing seroprevalence in female commercial sex workers, and inadequate facilities for HIV testing, counseling, and prevention are the major contributing factors in the recent explosive increases in the numbers of HIV infections (5, 6, 24, 29). While antiretroviral drugs have reduced mortality from AIDS in developed nations, their effect will be negligible elsewhere due to their cost. For most communicable diseases, vaccines offer the most cost-effective control strategy. It is likely that development of a vaccine for HIV will require knowledge of the viral variants being transmitted in the target population. Despite India’s impending predominance in the worldwide pandemic, little is known of the genetic diversity of HIV-1 in India. The HIV-1 sequence database is growing exponentially, but the distribution of submitted sequences is not representative of the worldwide picture. Subtype C has been reported in nearly every region affected by HIV-1 (11, 23, 28) and predominates in India, and it also causes 74% of infections in southern Africa and 96% of infections in northern Africa (11, 18, 32). Given the combined population of India and the other regions affected, subtype C is likely to be the most commonly transmitted HIV-1 subtype worldwide. In contrast, 7% of the available HIV-1 sequence data is from subtype C-infected individuals (37), and of the 46 completely sequenced HIV-1 genomes (excluding multiple derivatives of HIV-1LAI), only two are of subtype C, one from a 1992 Brazilian sample and the other from a 1986 Ethiopian sample (37). In November 1997, an analysis of cross-clade epitope variation (9) excluded the C clade from evaluation of p24gag epitopes because of a lack of sequence data, whereas there was sufficient data to analyze subtypes A, B, D, F, G, and H (no HIV-1 harboring a subtype E gag gene has been found). Further sequence data from subtype C is needed, but the past approach of generating data from small subgenomic amplicons is no longer sufficient. Recent developments have made full-genome characterization of HIV-1 isolates both important and feasible. First, the recognition of intersubtype recombination in a significant proportion of HIV-1 sequences (44, 45) has led to detection of mosaic genomes in many regions of the world affected by multiple subtypes (14, 17, 31). Subtypes A, B, and C in India have been reported (4, 22, 30, 31, 59), but mosaic HIV-1 there has not been reported. The existence of such recombinants makes characterization of variants by analyzing subgenomic segments incomplete. Second, immune responses to vaccines based on single genes such as env have been limited (13), and attention is being shifted toward multivalent vaccines that incorporate other gene products. Third, interactions among discontinuous regions of the genome, such as between the long terminal repeat (LTR) and pol (26), can be detected only when such regions can be analyzed from the same template. In an effort to characterize subtype C virus genomes being transmitted currently in India, viral isolates were obtained from individuals with seroincident infections in India. Three of the isolates (collected in 1994 and 1995) were known to be non-syncytium inducing (NSI) and therefore resembled viruses transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, which account for 75 to 85% of new infections (2, 15, 61). These isolates were cloned, and nearly full-length genomic sequences were determined. Detailed sequence analysis was performed, as was an analysis of variation in characterized cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes.
Reorganization of genera in the families Rickettsiaceae and Anaplasmataceae in the order Rickettsiales: unification of some species of Ehrlichia with Anaplasma, Cowdria with Ehrlichia and Ehrlichia with Neorickettsia, descriptions of six new species combinations and designation of Ehrlichia equi and 'HGE agent' as subjective synonyms of Ehrlichia phagocytophila.
TL;DR: It is proposed that all members of the tribes Ehrlichieae and Wolbachieae be transferred to the family Anaplasmataceae and that the tribe structure of the family Rickettsiaceae be eliminated.
Abstract: The genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Cowdria, Neorickettsia and Wolbachia encompass a group of obligate intracellular bacteria that reside in vacuoles of eukaryotic cells and were previously placed in taxa based upon morphological, ecological, epidemiological and clinical characteristics. Recent genetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes, groESL and surface protein genes have indicated that the existing taxa designations are flawed. All 16S rRNA gene and groESL sequences deposited in GenBank prior to 2000 and selected sequences deposited thereafter were aligned and phylogenetic trees and bootstrap values were calculated using the neighbour-joining method and compared with trees generated with maximum-probability, maximum-likelihood, majority-rule consensus and parsimony methods. Supported by bootstrap probabilities of at least 54%, 16S rRNA gene comparisons consistently clustered to yield four distinct clades characterized roughly as Anaplasma (including the Ehrlichia phagocytophila group, Ehrlichia platys and Ehrlichia bovis) with a minimum of 96.1% similarity, Ehrlichia (including Cowdria ruminantium) with a minimum of 97.7% similarity, Wolbachia with a minimum of 95.6% similarity and Neorickettsia (including Ehrlichia sennetsu and Ehrlichia risticii) with a minimum of 94.9% similarity. Maximum similarity between clades ranged from 87.1 to 94.9%. Insufficient differences existed among E. phagocytophila, Ehrlichia equi and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent to support separate species designations, and this group was at least 98.2% similar to any Anaplasma species. These 16S rRNA gene analyses are strongly supported by similar groESL clades, as well as biological and antigenic characteristics. It is proposed that all members of the tribes Ehrlichieae and Wolbachieae be transferred to the family Anaplasmataceae and that the tribe structure of the family Rickettsiaceae be eliminated. The genus Anaplasma should be emended to include Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) phagocytophila comb. nov. (which also encompasses the former E. equi and the HGE agent), Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) bovis comb. nov. and Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) platys comb. nov., the genus Ehrlichia should be emended to include Ehrlichia (Cowdria) ruminantium comb. nov. and the genus Neorickettsia should be emended to include Neorickettsia (Ehrlichia) risticii comb. nov. and Neorickettsia (Ehrlichia) sennetsu comb. nov.
TL;DR: The virological and immunological features of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were studied weekly for 6 months after accidental needlestick exposure in five health care workers, four of whom developed acute hepatitis that progressed to chronicity while one subject cleared the virus.
Abstract: The virological and immunological features of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were studied weekly for 6 months after accidental needlestick exposure in five health care workers, four of whom developed acute hepatitis that progressed to chronicity while one subject cleared the virus. In all subjects, viremia was first detectable within 1–2 weeks of inoculation, 1 month or more before the appearance of virus-specific T cells. The subject who cleared the virus experienced a prolonged episode of acute hepatitis that coincided with a CD38+ IFN-γ− CD8+ T cell response to HCV and a small reduction in viremia. Subsequently, a strong CD4+ T cell response emerged and the CD8+ T cells became CD38− and started producing IFN-γ in response to HCV, coinciding with a rapid 100,000-fold decrease in viremia that occurred without a corresponding surge of disease activity. Chronic infection developed in two subjects who failed to produce a significant T cell response and in two other subjects who initially mounted strong CD4+ T cell responses that ultimately waned. In all subjects, viremia was higher at the peak of acute hepatitis than it was when the disease began, and the disease improved during the viremia. These results provide the first insight into the host–virus relationship in humans during the incubation phase of acute HCV infection, and they provide the only insight to date into the virological and immunological characteristics of clinically asymptomatic acute HCV infection, the commonest manifestation of this disease. In addition, the results suggest that the vigor and quality of the antiviral T cell response determines the outcome of acute HCV infection, that the ability of HCV to outpace the T cell response may contribute to its tendency to persist; that the onset of hepatitis coincides with the onset of the CD8+T cell response, that disease pathogenesis and viral clearance are mediated by different CD8+ T cell populations that control HCV by both cytolytic and noncytolytic mechanisms, and that there are different pathways to viral persistence in asymptomatic and symptomatic acute HCV infection.
TL;DR: It is shown that the NS3/4A serine protease of hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes specific proteolysis of Toll-IL-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (TRIF or TICAM-1), an adaptor protein linking TLR3 to kinases responsible for activating IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) and NF-kappaB, transcription factors controlling a multiplicity of antiviral defenses.
Abstract: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) bind pathogen-specific ligands early in infection, initiating signaling pathways that lead to expression of multiple protective cellular genes. Many viruses have evolved strategies that block the effector mechanisms induced through these signaling pathways, but viral interference with critical proximal receptor interactions has not been described. We show here that the NS3/4A serine protease of hepatitis C virus (HCV), a virus notorious for its ability to establish persistent intrahepatic infection, causes specific proteolysis of Toll-IL-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (TRIF or TICAM-1), an adaptor protein linking TLR3 to kinases responsible for activating IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) and NF-kappaB, transcription factors controlling a multiplicity of antiviral defenses. NS3/4A-mediated cleavage of TRIF reduces its abundance and inhibits polyI:C-activated signaling through the TLR3 pathway before its bifurcation to IRF-3 and NF-kappaB. This uniquely broad mechanism of immune evasion potentially limits expression of multiple host defense genes, thereby promoting persistent infections with this medically important virus.
TL;DR: A revised model of the interaction of the 18S ribosomal RNA with the mRNA at the site of translation initiation is proposed and biases against the CG dinucleotide immediately downstream of termination codons suggest that they may lead to faulty termination and/or failure of the ribosome to disassociate from the mRNA.
Abstract: Sequences flanking translational initiation and termination sites have been compiled and statistically analyzed for various eukaryotic taxonomic groups. A few key similarities between taxonomic groups support conserved mechanisms of initiation and termination. However, a high degree of sequence variation at these sites within and between various eukaryotic groups suggest that translation may be modulated for many mRNAs. Multipositional analysis of di-, tri-, and quadrinucleotide sequences flanking start/stop sites indicate significant biases. In particular, strong tri-nucleotide biases are observed at the -3, -2, and -1 positions upstream of the start codon. These biases and the interspecific variation in nucleotide preferences at these three positions have lead us to propose a revised model of the interaction of the 18S ribosomal RNA with the mRNA at the site of translation initiation. Unusually strong biases against the CG dinucleotide immediately downstream of termination codons suggest that they may lead to faulty termination and/or failure of the ribosome to disassociate from the mRNA.
TL;DR: New insights into innate immunity are changing the way the way the authors think about pathogenesis and the treatment of infectious diseases, allergy, and autoimmunity.
Abstract: Microorganisms that invade a vertebrate host are initially recognized by the innate immune system through germline-encoded pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs). Several classes of PRRs, including Toll-like receptors and cytoplasmic receptors, recognize distinct microbial components and directly activate immune cells. Exposure of immune cells to the ligands of these receptors activates intracellular signaling cascades that rapidly induce the expression of a variety of overlapping and unique genes involved in the inflammatory and immune responses. New insights into innate immunity are changing the way we think about pathogenesis and the treatment of infectious diseases, allergy, and autoimmunity.
TL;DR: The phylogenetic analysis suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, an animal sold at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an intermediate host facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans.
Abstract: Summary Background In late December, 2019, patients presenting with viral pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, China. A novel coronavirus was subsequently identified as the causative pathogen, provisionally named 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As of Jan 26, 2020, more than 2000 cases of 2019-nCoV infection have been confirmed, most of which involved people living in or visiting Wuhan, and human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Methods We did next-generation sequencing of samples from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and cultured isolates from nine inpatients, eight of whom had visited the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Complete and partial 2019-nCoV genome sequences were obtained from these individuals. Viral contigs were connected using Sanger sequencing to obtain the full-length genomes, with the terminal regions determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends. Phylogenetic analysis of these 2019-nCoV genomes and those of other coronaviruses was used to determine the evolutionary history of the virus and help infer its likely origin. Homology modelling was done to explore the likely receptor-binding properties of the virus. Findings The ten genome sequences of 2019-nCoV obtained from the nine patients were extremely similar, exhibiting more than 99·98% sequence identity. Notably, 2019-nCoV was closely related (with 88% identity) to two bat-derived severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronaviruses, bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, collected in 2018 in Zhoushan, eastern China, but were more distant from SARS-CoV (about 79%) and MERS-CoV (about 50%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 2019-nCoV fell within the subgenus Sarbecovirus of the genus Betacoronavirus, with a relatively long branch length to its closest relatives bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, and was genetically distinct from SARS-CoV. Notably, homology modelling revealed that 2019-nCoV had a similar receptor-binding domain structure to that of SARS-CoV, despite amino acid variation at some key residues. Interpretation 2019-nCoV is sufficiently divergent from SARS-CoV to be considered a new human-infecting betacoronavirus. Although our phylogenetic analysis suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, an animal sold at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an intermediate host facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans. Importantly, structural analysis suggests that 2019-nCoV might be able to bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor in humans. The future evolution, adaptation, and spread of this virus warrant urgent investigation. Funding National Key Research and Development Program of China, National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shandong First Medical University.
TL;DR: Phylogenetic and metagenomic analyses of the complete viral genome of a new coronavirus from the family Coronaviridae reveal that the virus is closely related to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses found in bats in China.
Abstract: Emerging infectious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Zika virus disease, present a major threat to public health1–3. Despite intense research efforts, how, when and where new diseases appear are still a source of considerable uncertainty. A severe respiratory disease was recently reported in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. As of 25 January 2020, at least 1,975 cases had been reported since the first patient was hospitalized on 12 December 2019. Epidemiological investigations have suggested that the outbreak was associated with a seafood market in Wuhan. Here we study a single patient who was a worker at the market and who was admitted to the Central Hospital of Wuhan on 26 December 2019 while experiencing a severe respiratory syndrome that included fever, dizziness and a cough. Metagenomic RNA sequencing4 of a sample of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from the patient identified a new RNA virus strain from the family Coronaviridae, which is designated here ‘WH-Human 1’ coronavirus (and has also been referred to as ‘2019-nCoV’). Phylogenetic analysis of the complete viral genome (29,903 nucleotides) revealed that the virus was most closely related (89.1% nucleotide similarity) to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses (genus Betacoronavirus, subgenus Sarbecovirus) that had previously been found in bats in China5. This outbreak highlights the ongoing ability of viral spill-over from animals to cause severe disease in humans. Phylogenetic and metagenomic analyses of the complete viral genome of a new coronavirus from the family Coronaviridae reveal that the virus is closely related to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses found in bats in China.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center2, FHI 3603, University of Zimbabwe4, Johns Hopkins University5, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation6, Chiang Mai University7, Fenway Health8, Harvard University9, Kenya Medical Research Institute10, University of the Witwatersrand11, University of California, San Francisco12, University of Nebraska Medical Center13, National Institutes of Health14, University of California, Los Angeles15, University of Washington16
TL;DR: In this article, Antiretroviral therapy that reduces viral replication could limit the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in serodiscordant couples.
Abstract: Background Antiretroviral therapy that reduces viral replication could limit the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in serodiscordant couples. Methods In nine countries, we...
TL;DR: In an elegant series of clinical observations and laboratory studies published in 1880 and 1882, Ogston described staphylococcal disease and its role in sepsis and abscess formation.
Abstract: Micrococcus, which, when limited in its extent and activity, causes acute suppurative inflammation (phlegmon), produces, when more extensive and intense in its action on the human system, the most virulent forms of septicaemia and pyaemia.1 In an elegant series of clinical observations and laboratory studies published in 1880 and 1882, Ogston described staphylococcal disease and its role in sepsis and abscess formation.1,2 More than 100 years later, Staphylococcus aureus remains a versatile and dangerous pathogen in humans. The frequencies of both community-acquired and hospital-acquired staphylococcal infections have increased steadily, with little change in overall mortality. Treatment of these infections . . .