Rift Valley Fever: A Deadly Zoonotic Disease of Ruminants and Humans

Rift Valley Fever

Rift Valley fever phlebovirus (RVFV), is a mosquito-borne, zoonotic pathogen in genus Phlebovirus, family Phenuiviridae, order Bunyavirales that typically causes outbreaks in Africa and spread to the Arabian Peninsula in 2000. It has a high colonization capacity, is a potential emergent risk in Europe, Asia and the Americas due to the presence of competent vectors and is a bioterrorism/agroterrorism concern as it could be weaponized. Consequently, it is classified as a category A pathogen by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in recognition of its potential for social disruption requiring significant public health preparedness and is the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s third most dangerous animal threat after avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease. In the U.S. RVFV is a Select Agent. All work with virulent RVFV must be conducted minimally at biosafety level 3 enhanced.

The virus replicates in both Aedes spp. and Culex spp. mosquitoes including species native to non-endemic areas. In ruminants, particularly sheep, RVFV infections cause mass abortion and high mortality rates in neonates. Older animals can succumb to liver and kidney failure as well as hemorrhagic fever. Other ruminants, including cattle, goats, a diversity of African wild hoofstock, white-tailed deer, camels and alpacas are also susceptible to RVF. In humans, RVF ranges from flu-like symptoms to hemorrhagic fever, liver and/or kidney failure and can also include encephalitis and retinitis. Increased abortion risk has also been correlated with the presence of RVFV in humans.

Until recently, our understanding of Rift Valley fever pathology in ruminants has come from extant published case reports of natural disease and observations made during experimental animal studies, for which the primary focus was other than improving our understanding of Rift Valley fever (RVF) pathology. These reports are typically focused on a small number of animals and only a few organs, typically liver and lymphoid tissues. Furthermore, pathology information from experimental animal studies while informative has limited value as these studies cannot fully replicate natural disease in its virus format, dose or route of inoculation/exposure.

This talk will present insights regarding RVF pathogenesis in sheep gleaned from macro- and microscopic pathological examinations as well as viral antigen and nucleic acid distribution of Rift Valley fever virus in over 200 naturally infected South African sheep, lambs and fetuses including placenta. These findings will be compared with published information regarding RVF in humans. Additional, topics for discussion will be the importance of type and number of diagnostic samples to collect, limitations of current diagnostic tests and correlation of natural disease findings with those from experimental animal studies. 


Key Learning Objectives:

After attending this webinar, you would be able to:

  • Describe Rift Valley fever virus, its epidemiology, importance and current countermeasures
  • Identify the key pathological findings in cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in ruminants and humans
  • Delve deeper into the disease expression in sheep (a natural host)
  • As time allows, review some advances in detection of RVF

Speaker Bio:

Dr. A. Sally Davis, DVM, PhD, DACVP runs the Laboratory of Investigative Pathology in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology at Kansas State University (K-State). Her research includes the development of tissue-based biomarkers, diagnostic tests and countermeasures against emerging and zoonotic viral pathogens as well as visualization of host-pathogen interactions using a variety of microscopy and analysis techniques. Specific areas of concentration include biospecimen quality, viral pathogenesis, pathogen inactivation and high containment research including work with small and large animals as well as Select Agents. 

Dr. Davis completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science modified with education as well as a graduate certification in middle school sciences education from the Dartmouth College in 1992 then spent over a decade in computer and business consulting industry including in international management positions with fiscal responsibility for multi-million-dollar projects and up to 20 direct reports. She completed a DVM with a focus on zoo, wildlife and aquatic animal medicine in 2007 and a residency in Anatomic Veterinary Pathology in 2009, both at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (NCSU CVM). In 2014, she completed a PhD in Jeffery Taubenberger’s laboratory in the NIAID within the Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training program at the NIH joint with NCSU CVM. Dr. Davis is a member of the ASIP and on the Executive Council for the Histochemical Society. She is also extraordinary faculty at University of Pretoria, South Africa, which facilitates work with emerging infectious diseases, such as Rift Valley fever virus, in their endemic country.”

Recommended Reading:

  1. Odendaal L#, Davis AS#, Venter EH. Insights into the Pathogenesis of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Based on Viral Tropism and Tissue Lesions of Natural Rift Valley Fever. Viruses.2021; 13(4):709. doi: 10.3390/v13040709.
  2. van Schalkwyk A#, Gwala S, Schuck KN, Quan M, Davis AS, Romito M, Odendaal L. Retrospective phylogenetic analyses of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples from the 2011 Rift Valley fever outbreak in South Africa, through sequencing of targeted regions. J Virol Meth. 2021; 287:114003. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.
  3. Anthony T, van Schalkwyk A, Romito M, Odendaal L, Clift SJ, Davis AS#. Vaccination with Rift Valley fever virus live attenuated vaccine strain Smithburn causes meningoencephlitis in alpacas. J Vet Diag Invest. 2021; 33(4):777-781. doi 10.1177/10406387211015294.
  4. Odendaal L#, Clift SJ, Fosgate GT, Davis AS#. Ovine fetal and placental lesions and cellular tropism in natural Rift Valley fever virus infections. Veterinary Pathology. 2020; 57(6):791-806. doi: 10.1177/0300985820954549.
  5. Odendaal L#, Davis AS#, Fosgate GT, Clift SJ. Lesions and cellular tropism of natural Rift Valley fever virus infection in young lambs. Veterinary Pathology. 2020;57(1):66-81. doi: 10.1177/0300985819882633.
  6. Ragan IK, Schuck KN, Upreti D, Odendaal L, Richt JA, Trujillo JD, Wilson WC, Davis AS#. Rift Valley Fever Viral RNA Detection by In Situ Hybridization in Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded Tissues. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2019; 19(7):553-556, doi 10.1089/vbz.2018.2383.
  7. Odendaal L#, Clift SJ, Fosgate GT, Davis AS. Lesions and cellular tropism of natural Rift Valley fever virus infection in adult sheep. Veterinary Pathology. 2019; 56(1):61-77, doi: 10:1177/0300985818806049.
  8. Baudin M, Jumaa AM, Jomma HJE, Karsany MS, Bucht G, Naslund J, Ahlm C, Evander M, Mohamed N. Association of Rift Valley fever virus infection with miscarriage in Sudanese women: a cross-sectional study. Lancet Glob Health.2016;4(11):e864-871. Doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30176-0.
  9. Wilson WC, Davis AS*, Gaudreault NN, Faburay B, Trujillo JD, Shivanna V, Sunwoo SY, Balogh A, Endalew A, Ma W, Drolet B, Ruder MG, Morozov I, McVey DS, Richt JA. Experimental Infection of Calves by Two Genetically Distinct Strains of Rift Valley Fever Virus. Viruses. 2016; 8(5), doi: 10.3390/v8050145.
  10. Faburay B, Gaudreault NN, Liu Q, Davis AS, Shivanna V, Sunwoo SY, Lang Y, Morozov I, Ruder MG, Drolet B, McVey DS, Ma W, Wilson WC, Richt JA#. Development of a sheep challenge model for Rift Valley fever. Virology. 2016; 489:128-40, , doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.12.003.
  11. Arishi H.M., Aqeel A.Y., Al Hazmi M.M. Vertical transmission of fatal Rift Valley fever in a newborn. Ann. Trop. Pediatr. 2006;26:251–253. doi: 10.1179/146532806X120363.
  12. Al-Hazmi M., Ayoola E.A., Abdurahman M., Banzal S., Ashraf J., El-Bushra A., Hazmi A., Abdullah M., Abbo H., Elamin A., et al. Epidemic Rift Valley fever in Saudi Arabia: A clinical study of severe illness in humans. Clin. Infect. Dis. Off. Publ. Infect. Dis. Soc. Am. 2003;36:245–252. doi: 10.1086/345671.

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Harvard Medical School
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Tufts University
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Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy
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Elena Fekete 
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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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I’m learning to navigate the #Socialsphere by attending the @ASIPath #SocialMedia Workshop for Scientists! It’s a guide for promoting your #scientific #career online! Want to come? Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkde-vqzMtH9UlBdDHSVhYOjBOCEZtC8oR #ASIPVirtual


Links and Resources for Scientists interested in using Twitter more!

  • You should get Twitter…for science!

You should get Twitter…for science!

The phrase “Hi, we know each other from the internet!” might have been something weird to say a decade ago, but now it’s one of my favorite icebreakers for meeting people in astronomy. The first time someone said this to me, I felt a wave of joy and excitement, realizing that I had made a real connection through my time on Twitter.

  • How to Use Twitter as a Scientist

How to Use Twitter as a Scientist

Those of you who not only read my blog, but follow my through other channels, might know that I’m quite active on Twitter. I joined Twitter in Spring 2010, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Quite some time ago, I wrote a post with my favorite tweeps.

  • Our Year on Twitter: Science in #SocialMedia (Trends in Immunology journal)
  • How to Make Twitter Work for You (and for Science)

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But I’ve never tweeted!

Attending a conference and want to participate, but you don’t know what to say? Here’s your guide for 1st time social media-ites! We are breaking down the hashtags to help you begin your social adventure.

  • Promote Your Journal using Social Media

Promote your journal using social media | Editor Resources

Social media is an amazing tool for journal editors. Many editors are already are using Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to create an online community for their journals. This, in turn, is providing them with an ideal platform to raise the profile of their journal and promote their content.

  • Early Career Research Toolbox: Social Media for Scientists

Early Career Researcher Toolbox: Social Media for Scientists

Before I started writing for the Addgene blog, sharing Chemistry Cat memes was how I used social media as a scientist. I mean, I had a LinkedIn page and a Twitter handle, but I wasn’t using them to my professional advantage.

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●      “Write the Tweet you need in Academia”

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●      Navigating the Socialsphere: A How-to Guide for Promoting Your Scientific Career Online. Want to try a tweet?

Navigating the Socialsphere: A How-to Guide for Promoting Your Scientific Career Online


By the end of the session you will learn:
• how to tweet
• how to promote your science
• best practices

Registration is free!
Participants can submit questions and comments now or during the live event.

Daisy Shu, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear,
Harvard Medical School
@EyeDaisyShu


Eric Perkins, PhD
Director of Product Management
Addgene
@AllostEricSite


Samira Kiani, MD
Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh
@samira_kiani1

Don’t miss this interactive webinar!
Send us your questions and twitter handle before the webinar!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 6PM EST

Click to Tweet before the session!

I’m a (insert role) at (tag institute you work for) studying (insert your field of research) Follow me! @ASIPath Social Media Workshop for Scientists #ASIPSocial #ASIPVirtual Navigating the Socialsphere: A How-to Guide for Promoting Your Scientific Career Online https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkde-vqzMtH9UlBdDHSVhYOjBOCEZtC8oR


We will provide more sample tweets after registration!


Sponsored by the ASIP Committee for Career Development and Diversity

Organizers:

Andrew W. Duncan, PhD
@DuncanWAndrew
University of Pittsburgh


Daisy Shu, PhD
@EyeDaisyShu
Harvard University


Chad Walesky, PhD
@ChadWaleskyPhD
Harvard University


Francisco Carrillo-Salinas, PhD
@FranCarrilloPhD
Tufts University


Marina Anastasiou, BS
@emmy_a_
Tufts University


Gina LaBorde
@GinaLaBorde1
ASIP

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Weathering the cytokine storm in COVID-19

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Webinar Description: 

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. COVID-19 symptoms, including systemic inflammatory response and multi-system organ failure, are now affecting thousands of SARS-CoV-2–infected patients and causing widespread mortality.  Life-threatening “cytokine storms” involving the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., tumor necrosis factor-α; interleukin-6, -1, and -8; and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) may contribute to the rapid systemic organ failure observed in select critically ill COVID-19 patients. Therefore, controlling inflammatory responses to COVID-19 may be as important as anti-viral therapies. A paradigm shift is emerging in our understanding of the resolution of inflammation as an active biochemical process with the discovery of novel endogenous specialized pro-resolving lipid autacoid mediators (SPMs), such as resolvins. SPMs stimulate macrophage-mediated clearance of debris and counter pro-inflammatory cytokine production—a process collectively termed the resolution of inflammation. The role of resolution of inflammation in COVID-19 remains of interest. Mortality due to COVID-19 is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, whereas COVID-19 itself can also induce myocardial injury, acute coronary syndrome, and venous thromboembolism.


Key Learning Objectives:

  1. What is the cytokine storm in COVID-19?
  2. What are the therapeutic approaches to treating the cytokine storm in COVID-19?
  3. What is the resolution of inflammation and how is it different from anti-inflammation?
  4. Is stimulation of resolution a strategy to control the cytokine storm and hyper-inflammation in COVID-19? 
  5. Understand immune cell responses in the cytokine storm of severe COVID19 patients, and a) how the virus itself induces immune responses that negatively impact the cardiovascular system and the heart, b) how pre-existing inflammation in cardiovascular disease patients predisposes them to more severe cytokine storm and COVID-19.

Recommended Reading:

  1. Inflammation resolution: a dual-pronged approach to averting cytokine storms in COVID-19?
  2. Eicosanoids The Overlooked Storm in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
  3. COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease: from basic mechanisms to clinical perspectives
  4. Longitudinal analyses reveal immunological misfiring in severe COVID-19
  5. Pro-resolving lipid mediators are leads for resolution physiology
  6. Resolvins in inflammation: emergence of the pro-resolving superfamily of mediators

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Charles Serhan:

Dr. Serhan is the Simon Gelman Professor of Anaesthesia (Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology) at Harvard Medical School and also Professor of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He is Director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Charles received a BS in biochemistry from Stony Brook University followed by a Doctorate in experimental pathology and medical sciences from New York University School of Medicine.  Dr. Serhan has experience leading multidisciplinary research teams as PI/PD for several NIH supported Program Project Grants and a P-50 Center Grant.  He has received several research awards including an NIH MERIT and international awards among these are the 2008 William Harvey Outstanding Scientist Medal and AAAS Fellow in 2011. In 2010, he received the SLB Bonazinga Award, The American College of Rheumatology Hench (Nobel Laurate) Award Lecture in 2011 presented by the Mayo Clinic Hench Society. In 2016, he received the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine. Charles received the International Eicosanoid Research Foundation’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Society of Investigative Pathology 2018 Rous Whipple Award, and the 2018 Gaddum International Prize and Award Lecture from the British Pharmacology Society. 

Dr. Dipak Panigrahy:

Dr. Dipak Panigrahy was accepted to medical school while still in high school, and trained as a physician-scientist. He has become an expert in the field of cancer and inflammation. Dr. Panigrahy has extensive expertise in complex techniques of modeling cancer in animals. The Panigrahy laboratory has established novel debris-stimulated chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and carcinogen cancer models to study eicosanoid and cytokine storms relevant to COVID-19 and cancer. The novelty of these studies is demonstrated as his laboratory has won over 50 awards for their studies on lipid autacoids in cancer. He has chaired over 15 symposiums and given over 50 invited lectures on lipid autacoids in cancer at national/international meetings over the past five years. Dr. Panigrahy is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Dr. Pilar Alcaide

Dr. Pilar Alcaide has a PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology. She is an Associate Professor of Immunology and the Kenneth and JoAnn G. Wellner Professor at Tufts University, Boston, MA. Her current research focusses on T cell responses in heart disease. 

Promote Yourself and Your Science on Social Media Free Session!

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Click the twitter button below and insert your information where there are (parenthesis)

Hi, I’m (insert name) and I’m a (insert role) at (tag institute or work) doing (insert your field of research) I’m attending the @ASIPath Social Media Workshop for Scientists #ASIPSocial #ASIPVirtual Want to come? Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMsfuqhqjgrHtSGPjO6VZyjBK8EKeJioyt4

Promote Yourself and Your Science on Social Media

By the end of the session you will learn:* how to tweet* how to promote your science* how to become a storytellerRegistration is free!Participants can submit…


By the end of the session you will learn:
• how to tweet
• how to promote your science
• how to become a storyteller

Registration is free!
Participants can submit questions and comments now or during the live event.

Daisy Shu, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard University
@EyeDaisyShu


Eric Perkins, PhD
Director of Product Management
Addgene
@AllostEricSite


Samira Kiani, MD
Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh
@samira_kiani1

Don’t miss this interactive webinar!
Send us your questions and twitter handle before the webinar!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 EST
4:00 pm

Click to Tweet before the session!

Hi, I’m (insert name) and I’m a (insert role) at (tag institute you work for) studying (insert your field of research) Follow me @(insert Twitter handle) on (insert social media platforms that you have) @ASIPath Social Media Workshop for Scientists #ASIPSocial #ASIPVirtual https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMsfuqhqjgrHtSGPjO6VZyjBK8E


We will provide more sample tweets after registration!


Sponsored by the ASIP Committee for Career Development and Diversity

Organizers:

Andrew W. Duncan, PhD
University of Pittsburgh


Daisy Shu, PhD
Harvard University


Chad Walesky, PhD
Harvard University


Gina LaBorde
ASIP