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Abstract

Duck viral hepatitis (DVH) is an acute and fatal disease of young ducklings characterized by rapid transmission and damages. The most important agent of DVH is duck hepatitis virus 1 (DHV-1). The effective control of DVH was achieved by active immunization of 1-day-old duck- lings with an attenuated DHV-1 virus vaccine. However, the attenuated virus might reverse to virulence. In this study, a DHV-1 strain, Du/CH/LBJ/090809, was identified and its genomic se- quences were determined. The genome of Du/CH/LBJ/090809 is composed of 7,692 nt excluding poly A and the virus was clustered into genotype A by comparing with other referenced DHV-1 strains. Du/CH/LBJ/090809 could lead to 30% mortality of 10-day-old specific pathogen free (SPF) ducklings. The virus was passaged serially in SPF chicken embryonated eggs and three vi- ruses, passage 16 (P16), P29 and P40, were selected for genomic analysis. P29 and P40 were used to evaluate the attenuation in duckling by inoculating the virus to 10-day-old SPF ducklings. Re- sults of vaccination-challenge assay showed that the inactivated virus P40 could evoke protection against the pathogenic parent virus. Nucleotide and amino acid sequences of the genomes of Du/ CH/LBJ/090809, P16, P29 and P40 were compared. Changes both in nucleotides and amino acids, which might be contributed to the decreasing in virulence by chicken embryo-passaging of DHV- 1, were observed. We speculated that these changes might be important in the adaption and at- tenuation of the virulent virus. Additionally, strains obtained in this study will provide potential candidate in the development of vaccines against DHV-1.
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Abstract

MDAP-2 is a new antibacterial peptide with a unique structure that was isolated from house- flies. However, its biological characteristics and antibacterial mechanisms against bacteria are still poorly understood. To study the biological characteristics, antibacterial activity, hemolytic activi- ty, cytotoxicity to mammalian cells, and the secondary structure of MDAP-2 were detected; the results showed that MDAP-2 displayed high antibacterial activity against all of the tested Gram-negative bacteria. MDAP-2 had lower hemolytic activity to rabbit red blood cells; only 3.4% hemolytic activity was observed at a concentration of 800μg/ml. MDAP-2 also had lower cytotoxicity to mammalian cells; IC50 values for HEK-293 cells, VERO cells, and IPEC-J2 cells were greater than 1000 μg/ml. The circular dichroism (CD) spectra showed that the peptide most- ly has α-helical properties and some β-fold structure in water and in membrane-like conditions. MDAP-2 is therefore a promising antibacterial agent against Gram-negative bacteria. To deter- mine the antibacterial mechanism(s) of action, fluorescent probes, flow cytometry, and transmis- sion electron microscopy (TEM) were used to study the effects of MDAP-2 on membrane perme- ability, polarization ability, and integrity of Gram-negative bacteria. The results indicated that the peptide caused membrane depolarization, increased membrane permeability, and destroyed membrane integrity. In conclusion, MDAP-2 is a broad-spectrum, lower hemolytic activity, and lower cytotoxicity antibacterial peptide, which is mainly effective on Gram-negative bacteria. It exerts its antimicrobial effects by causing bacterial cytoplasm membrane depolarization, increas- ing cell membrane permeability and disturbing the membrane integrity of Gram-negative bacte- ria. MDAP-2 may offer a new strategy to for defense against Gram-negative bacteria.
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