A mouse model for studying viscerotropic disease caused by yellow fever virus infection.
ABSTRACT: Mosquito-borne yellow fever virus (YFV) causes highly lethal, viscerotropic disease in humans and non-human primates. Despite the availability of efficacious live-attenuated vaccine strains, 17D-204 and 17DD, derived by serial passage of pathogenic YFV strain Asibi, YFV continues to pose a significant threat to human health. Neither the disease caused by wild-type YFV, nor the molecular determinants of vaccine attenuation and immunogenicity, have been well characterized, in large part due to the lack of a small animal model for viscerotropic YFV infection. Here, we describe a small animal model for wild-type YFV that manifests clinical disease representative of that seen in primates without adaptation of the virus to the host, which was required for the current hamster YF model. Investigation of the role of type I interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) in protection of mice from viscerotropic YFV infection revealed that mice deficient in the IFN-alpha/beta receptor (A129) or the STAT1 signaling molecule (STAT129) were highly susceptible to infection and disease, succumbing within 6-7 days. Importantly, these animals developed viscerotropic disease reminiscent of human YF, instead of the encephalitic signs typically observed in mice. Rapid viremic dissemination and extensive replication in visceral organs, spleen and liver, was associated with severe pathologies in these tissues and dramatically elevated MCP-1 and IL-6 levels, suggestive of a cytokine storm. In striking contrast, infection of A129 and STAT129 mice with the 17D-204 vaccine virus was subclinical, similar to immunization in humans. Although, like wild-type YFV, 17D-204 virus amplified within regional lymph nodes and seeded a serum viremia in A129 mice, infection of visceral organs was rarely established and rapidly cleared, possibly by type II IFN-dependent mechanisms. The ability to establish systemic infection and cause viscerotropic disease in A129 mice correlated with infectivity for A129-derived, but not WT129-derived, macrophages and dendritic cells in vitro, suggesting a role for these cells in YFV pathogenesis. We conclude that the ability of wild-type YFV to evade and/or disable components of the IFN-alpha/beta response may be primate-specific such that infection of mice with a functional IFN-alpha/beta antiviral response is attenuated. Consequently, subcutaneous YFV infection of A129 mice represents a biologically relevant model for studying viscerotropic infection and disease development following wild-type virus inoculation, as well as mechanisms of 17D-204 vaccine attenuation, without a requirement for adaptation of the virus.
Project description:Live attenuated viruses are historically among the most effective viral vaccines. Development of a safe vaccine requires the virus to be less virulent, a phenotype that is historically arrived by empirical evaluation often leaving the mechanisms of attenuation unknown. The yellow fever virus 17D live attenuated vaccine strain has been developed as a delivery vector for heterologous antigens; however, the mechanisms of attenuation remain elusive. The successful and safe progress of 17D as a vaccine vector and the development of live attenuated vaccines (LAVs) to related flaviviruses requires an understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to attenuation. Using subcutaneous infection of interferon-deficient mouse models of wild type yellow fever virus (WT YFV) pathogenesis and 17D-mediated immunity, we found that, in the absence of type I IFN (IFN-?/?), type II interferon (IFN-?) restricted 17D replication, but not that of WT YFV, by 1-2 days post-infection. In this context, IFN-? responses protected 17D-infected animals from mortality, largely restricted the virus to lymphoid organs, and eliminated viscerotropic disease signs such as steatosis in the liver and inflammatory cell infiltration into the spleen. However, WT YFV caused a disseminated infection, gross liver pathology, and rapid death of the animals. In vitro, IFN-? treatment of myeloid cells suppressed the replication of 17D significantly more than that of WT YFV, suggesting a direct differential effect on 17D virus replication. Together these data indicate that an important mechanism of 17D attenuation in vivo is increased sensitivity to IFN-? stimulated responses elicited early after infection.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV), a member of the genus Flavivirus, is a mosquito-borne pathogen that requires wild-type (wt), virulent strains to be handled at biosafety level (BSL) 3, with HEPA-filtration of room air exhaust (BSL3+). YFV is found in tropical regions of Africa and South America and causes severe hepatic disease and death in humans. Despite the availability of effective vaccines (17D-204 or 17DD), YFV is still responsible for an estimated 200,000 cases of illness and 30,000 deaths annually. Besides vaccination, there are no other prophylactic or therapeutic strategies approved for use in human YF. Current small animal models of YF require either intra-cranial inoculation of YF vaccine to establish infection, or use of wt strains (e.g., Asibi) in order to achieve pathology. We have developed and characterized a BSL2, adult mouse peripheral challenge model for YFV infection in mice lacking receptors for interferons ?, ?, and ? (strain AG129). Intraperitoneal challenge of AG129 mice with 17D-204 is a uniformly lethal in a dose-dependent manner, and 17D-204-infected AG129 mice exhibit high viral titers in both brain and liver suggesting this infection is both neurotropic and viscerotropic. Furthermore the use of a mouse model permitted the construction of a 59-biomarker multi-analyte profile (MAP) using samples of brain, liver, and serum taken at multiple time points over the course of infection. This MAP serves as a baseline for evaluating novel therapeutics and their effect on disease progression. Changes (4-fold or greater) in serum and tissue levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators as well as other factors associated with tissue damage were noted in AG129 mice infected with 17D-204 as compared to mock-infected control animals.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus, infecting ~200,000 people worldwide annually and causing about 30,000 deaths. The live attenuated vaccine strain, YFV-17D, has significantly contributed in controlling the global burden of yellow fever worldwide. However, the viral and host contributions to YFV-17D attenuation remain elusive. Type I interferon (IFN-α/β) signaling and type II interferon (IFN-γ) signaling have been shown to be mutually supportive in controlling YFV-17D infection despite distinct mechanisms of action in viral infection. However, it remains unclear how type III IFN (IFN-λ) integrates into this antiviral system. Here, we report that while wild-type (WT) and IFN-λ receptor knockout (λR-/-) mice were largely resistant to YFV-17D, deficiency in type I IFN signaling resulted in robust infection. Although IFN-α/β receptor knockout (α/βR-/-) mice survived the infection, mice with combined deficiencies in both type I signaling and type III IFN signaling were hypersusceptible to YFV-17D and succumbed to the infection. Mortality was associated with viral neuroinvasion and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). α/βR-/- λR-/- mice also exhibited distinct changes in the frequencies of multiple immune cell lineages, impaired T-cell activation, and severe perturbation of the proinflammatory cytokine balance. Taken together, our data highlight that type III IFN has critical immunomodulatory and neuroprotective functions that prevent viral neuroinvasion during active YFV-17D replication. Type III IFN thus likely represents a safeguard mechanism crucial for controlling YFV-17D infection and contributing to shaping vaccine immunogenicity.IMPORTANCE YFV-17D is a live attenuated flavivirus vaccine strain recognized as one of the most effective vaccines ever developed. However, the host and viral determinants governing YFV-17D attenuation and its potent immunogenicity are still unknown. Here, we analyzed the role of type III interferon (IFN)-mediated signaling, a host immune defense mechanism, in controlling YFV-17D infection and attenuation in different mouse models. We uncovered a critical role of type III IFN-mediated signaling in preserving the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and preventing viral brain invasion. Type III IFN also played a major role in regulating the induction of a potent but balanced immune response that prevented viral evasion of the host immune system. An improved understanding of the complex mechanisms regulating YFV-17D attenuation will provide insights into the key virus-host interactions that regulate host immune responses and infection outcomes as well as open novel avenues for the development of innovative vaccine strategies.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV), a member of the genus Flavivirus, is a mosquito-borne virus found in tropical regions of Africa and South America that causes severe hepatic disease and death in humans. Despite the availability of effective vaccines, YFV is responsible for an estimated 200,000 cases and 30,000 deaths annually. There are currently no prophylactic or therapeutic strategies approved for use in human YFV infections. Furthermore, implementation of YFV 17D-204 vaccination campaigns has become problematic due to an increase in reported post-vaccinal adverse events. We have created human/murine chimeric MAbs of a YFV-reactive murine monoclonal antibody (mMAb), 2C9, that was previously shown to protect mice from lethal YFV infection and to have therapeutic activity. The new chimeric (cMAbs) were constructed by fusion of the m2C9 IgG gene variable regions with the constant regions of human IgG and IgM and expressed in Sp2 murine myelomas. The 2C9 cMAbs (2C9-cIgG and 2C9-cIgM) reacted with 17D-204 vaccine strain in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and neutralized virus in vitro similarly to the parent m2C9. Both m2C9 and 2C9-cIgG when administered prophylactically 24h prior to infection protected AG129 mice from peripheral 17D-204 challenge at antibody concentrations ?1.27 ?g/mouse; however, the 2C9-cIgM did not protect even at a dose of 127 ?g/mouse. The 17D-204 infection of AG129 mice is otherwise uniformly lethal. While the m2C9 was shown previously to be therapeutically effective in YFV-infected BALB/c mice at day 4 post-infection, the m2C9 and 2C9-cIgG demonstrated therapeutic activity only when administered 1 day post-infection in 17D-204-infected AG129 mice.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV)-17D is an empirically developed, highly effective live-attenuated vaccine that has been administered to human beings for almost a century. YFV-17D has stood as a paradigm for a successful viral vaccine, and has been exploited as a potential virus vector for the development of recombinant vaccines against other diseases. In this study, a DNA-launched YFV-17D construct (pBeloBAC-FLYF) was explored as a new modality to the standard vaccine to combine the commendable features of both DNA vaccine and live-attenuated viral vaccine. The DNA-launched YFV-17D construct was characterized extensively both in cell culture and in mice. High titres of YFV-17D were generated upon transfection of the DNA into cells, whereas a mutant with deletion in the capsid-coding region (pBeloBAC-YF/?C) was restricted to a single round of infection, with no release of progeny virus. Homologous prime-boost immunization of AAD mice with both pBeloBAC-FLYF and pBeloBAC-YF/?C elicited specific dose-dependent cellular immune response against YFV-17D. Vaccination of A129 mice with pBeloBAC-FLYF resulted in the induction of YFV-specific neutralizing antibodies in all vaccinated subjects. These promising results underlined the potential of the DNA-launched YFV both as an alternative to standard YFV-17D vaccination and as a vaccine platform for the development of DNA-based recombinant YFV vaccines.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a re-emerging flavivirus, which can lead to severe clinical manifestations and high mortality, with no specific antiviral therapies available. The live-attenuated yellow fever vaccine 17D (YF17D) has been widely used for over eighty years. However, the emergence of yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YFL-AVD) and yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease (YFL-AND) raised non-negligible concerns. Additionally, the attenuation mechanism of YF17D is still unclear. Thus, the development of convenient models is crucial to understand the mechanisms behind YF17D attenuation and its adverse effects. In this work, we generated a reporter YF17D expressing nano-luciferase (NLuc). <i>In vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> characterization demonstrated that the NLuc-YF17D shared similar biological properties with its parental strain and the NLuc activity can reflect viral infectivity reliably. Combined with <i>in vivo</i> bioluminescence imaging, a series of mice models of YF17D infection was established, which will be useful for the evaluation of antiviral medicines and novel vaccine candidates. Especially, we demonstrated that intraperitoneally (i.p.) infection of NLuc-YF17D in type I interferon receptor-deficient mice A129 resulted in outcomes resembling YEL-AVD and YEL-AND, evidenced by viral replication in multiple organs and invasion of the central neuronal system. Finally, <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> assays based on this reporter virus were established to evaluate the antiviral activities of validated antiviral agents. In conclusion, the bioluminescent reporter virus described herein provides a powerful platform to study YF17D attenuation and vaccine-associated diseases as well as to develop novel countermeasures against YFV.
Project description:Infection with yellow fever virus (YFV), an explosively replicating flavivirus, results in viral hemorrhagic disease characterized by cardiovascular shock and multi-organ failure. Unvaccinated populations experience 20 to 50% fatality. Few studies have examined the pathophysiological changes that occur in humans during YFV infection due to the sporadic nature and remote locations of outbreaks. Rhesus macaques are highly susceptible to YFV infection, providing a robust animal model to investigate host-pathogen interactions. In this study, we characterized disease progression as well as alterations in immune system homeostasis, cytokine production and gene expression in rhesus macaques infected with the virulent YFV strain DakH1279 (YFV-DakH1279). Following infection, YFV-DakH1279 replicated to high titers resulting in viscerotropic disease with ?72% mortality. Data presented in this manuscript demonstrate for the first time that lethal YFV infection results in profound lymphopenia that precedes the hallmark changes in liver enzymes and that although tissue damage was noted in liver, kidneys, and lymphoid tissues, viral antigen was only detected in the liver. These observations suggest that additional tissue damage could be due to indirect effects of viral replication. Indeed, circulating levels of several cytokines peaked shortly before euthanasia. Our study also includes the first description of YFV-DakH1279-induced changes in gene expression within peripheral blood mononuclear cells 3 days post-infection prior to any clinical signs. These data show that infection with wild type YFV-DakH1279 or live-attenuated vaccine strain YFV-17D, resulted in 765 and 46 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), respectively. DEGs detected after YFV-17D infection were mostly associated with innate immunity, whereas YFV-DakH1279 infection resulted in dysregulation of genes associated with the development of immune response, ion metabolism, and apoptosis. Therefore, WT-YFV infection is associated with significant changes in gene expression that are detectable before the onset of clinical symptoms and may influence disease progression and outcome of infection.
Project description:Humans infected with yellow fever virus (YFV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus, can develop illness ranging from a mild febrile disease to hemorrhagic fever and death. The 17D vaccine strain of YFV was developed in the 1930s, has been used continuously since development and has proven very effective. Genetic differences between vaccine and wild-type viruses are few, yet viral or host mechanisms associated with protection or disease are not fully understood. Over the past 20 years, a number of cases of vaccine-associated disease have been identified following vaccination with 17D; these cases have been correlated with reduced immune status at the time of vaccination. Recently, several studies have evaluated T cell responses to vaccination in both humans and non-human primates, but none have evaluated the response to wild-type virus infection. In the studies described here, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) and dendritic cells (MoDC) from both humans and rhesus macaques were evaluated for their ability to support infection with either wild-type Asibi virus or the 17D vaccine strain and the host cytokine and chemokine response characterized. Human MoDC and MDM were also evaluated for their ability to stimulate CD4+ T cells. It was found that MoDC and MDM supported viral replication and that there were differential cytokine responses to infection with either wild-type or vaccine viruses. Additionally, MoDCs infected with live 17D virus were able to stimulate IFN-? and IL-2 production in CD4+ T cells, while cells infected with Asibi virus were not. These data demonstrate that wild-type and vaccine YFV stimulate different responses in target antigen presenting cells and that wild-type YFV can inhibit MoDC activation of CD4+ T cells, a critical component in development of protective immunity. These data provide initial, but critical insight into regulatory capabilities of wild-type YFV in development of disease.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) emerged as an important infectious disease agent in Brazil in 2016. Infection usually leads to mild symptoms, but severe congenital neurological disorders and Guillain-Barré syndrome have been reported following ZIKV exposure. Creating an effective vaccine against ZIKV is a public health priority. We describe the protective effect of an already licensed attenuated yellow fever vaccine (YFV, 17DD) in type-I interferon receptor knockout mice (A129) and immunocompetent BALB/c and SV-129 (A129 background) mice infected with ZIKV. YFV vaccination provided protection against ZIKV, with decreased mortality in A129 mice, a reduction in the cerebral viral load in all mice, and weight loss prevention in BALB/c mice. The A129 mice that were challenged two and three weeks after the first dose of the vaccine were fully protected, whereas partial protection was observed five weeks after vaccination. In all cases, the YFV vaccine provoked a substantial decrease in the cerebral viral load. YFV immunization also prevented hippocampal synapse loss and microgliosis in ZIKV-infected mice. Our vaccine model is T cell-dependent, with AG129 mice being unable to tolerate immunization (vaccination is lethal in this mouse model), indicating the importance of IFN-γ in immunogenicity. To confirm the role of T cells, we immunized nude mice that we demonstrated to be very susceptible to infection. Immunization with YFV and challenge 7 days after booster did not protect nude mice in terms of weight loss and showed partial protection in the survival curve. When we evaluated the humoral response, the vaccine elicited significant antibody titers against ZIKV; however, it showed no neutralizing activity in vitro and in vivo. The data indicate that a cell-mediated response promotes protection against cerebral infection, which is crucial to vaccine protection, and it appears to not necessarily require a humoral response. This protective effect can also be attributed to innate factors, but more studies are needed to strengthen this hypothesis. Our findings open the way to using an available and inexpensive vaccine for large-scale immunization in the event of a ZIKV outbreak. Author summary Zika virus (ZIKV) is as an important infectious that may result in severe congenital neurological disorders. Our study reports that the current attenuated yellow fever vaccine is effective in immunizing against the infection caused by the Zika virus, due to the similarity between the two viruses. To study the efficacy of the vaccine, we used different mouse strains, including both animals with a healthy immune system (immunocompetent) and animals with compromised immune systems and therefore more susceptible to viral (immunocompromised) infections. The vaccine was given subcutaneously, as it does in humans. The animals were inoculated with the Zika virus directly into the brain—a protocol normally adopted in vaccine studies to simulate a high lethality infection. In all cases, the vaccinated mice developed a high degree of protection against Zika infection. Altogether, we demonstrate that the YFV vaccine elicits an immune response that protects against cerebral infection by ZIKV. Our findings suggest the possibility of using an available and inexpensive vaccine for large-scale immunization in the event of a ZIKV outbreak.
Project description:Despite the availability of an effective, live attenuated yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine (YFV 17D), this flavivirus still causes up to ?60,000 deaths annually. A number of new approaches are seeking to address vaccine supply issues and improve safety for the immunocompromised vaccine recipients. Herein we describe an adult female IFNAR-/- mouse model of YFV 17D infection and disease that recapitulates many features of infection and disease in humans. We used this model to evaluate a new YFV vaccine that is based on a recently described chimeric Binjari virus (BinJV) vaccine technology. BinJV is an insect-specific flavivirus and the chimeric YFV vaccine (BinJ/YFV-prME) was generated by replacing the prME genes of BinJV with the prME genes of YFV 17D. Such BinJV chimeras retain their ability to replicate to high titers in C6/36 mosquito cells (allowing vaccine production), but are unable to replicate in vertebrate cells. Vaccination with adjuvanted BinJ/YFV-prME induced neutralizing antibodies and protected mice against infection, weight loss and liver pathology after YFV 17D challenge.