Viral load and humoral immune response in association with disease severity in Puumala hantavirus-infected patients--implications for treatment.
ABSTRACT: Hantaviruses are the causative agents of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia and of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in the Americas. The case fatality rate varies between different hantaviruses and can be up to 40%. At present, there is no specific treatment available. The hantavirus pathogenesis is not well understood, but most likely, both virus-mediated and host-mediated mechanisms are involved. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association among Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) viral RNA load, humoral immune response and disease severity in patients with HFRS. We performed a study of 105 PUUV-infected patients that were followed during the acute phase of disease and for up to 1-3 months later. Fifteen of the 105 patients (14%) were classified as having moderate/severe disease. A low PUUV-specific IgG response (p <0.05) and also a higher white blood cell count (p <0.001) were significantly associated with more severe disease. The PUUV RNA was detected in a majority of patient plasma samples up to 9 days after disease onset; however, PUUV RNA load or longevity of viraemia were not significantly associated with disease severity. We conclude that a low specific IgG response was associated with disease severity in patients with HFRS, whereas PUUV RNA load did not seem to affect the severity of HFRS. Our results raise the possibility of passive immunotherapy as a useful treatment for hantavirus-infected patients.
Project description:Hantaviruses cause 2 zoonotic diseases, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. Infection is usually initiated after inhalation of virus-contaminated rodent excreta. In addition to the zoonotic infection route, growing evidence suggests person-to-person transmission of Andes virus. For this reason, we studied whether saliva from HFRS patients contained hantavirus. During an outbreak in northern Sweden of nephropathia epidemica (NE), a milder form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, we collected saliva and plasma from 14 hospitalized NE patients with verified Puumala virus (PUUV) infection. PUUV RNA was detected in saliva from 10 patients (range 1,530-121,323 PUUV RNA copies/mL) by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. The PUUV S-segment sequences from saliva and plasma of the same patients were identical. Our data show that hantavirus RNA could be detected in human saliva several days after onset of disease symptoms and raise the question whether interhuman transmission of hantavirus may occur through saliva.
Project description:Rodent-borne hantaviruses cause two severe acute diseases: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia, and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS; also called hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome [HCPS]) in the Americas. Puumala virus (PUUV) is the most common causative agent of HFRS in Europe. Current routine diagnostic methods are based on serological analyses and can yield inconclusive results. Hantavirus-infected patients are viremic during the early phase of disease; therefore, detection of viral RNA genomes can be a valuable complement to existing serological methods. However, the high genomic sequence diversity of PUUV has hampered the development of molecular diagnostics, and currently no real-time reverse transcription-quantitative (RT)-PCR assay is available for routine diagnosis of HFRS. Here, we present a novel PUUV RT-PCR assay. The assay was validated for routine diagnosis of HFRS on samples collected in Sweden during the winter season from 2013 to 2014. The assay allowed detection of PUUV RNA in 98.7% of confirmed clinical HFRS samples collected within 8 days after symptomatic onset. In summary, this study shows that real-time RT-PCR can be a reliable alternative to serological tests during the early phase of HFRS.
Project description:Puumala virus (PUUV) is a causative agent of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Although PUUV-associated HFRS does not result in high case-fatality rates, the social and economic impact is considerable. There is no licensed vaccine or specific therapeutic to prevent or treat HFRS. Here we report the synthesis of a codon-optimized, full-length M segment open reading frame and its cloning into a DNA vaccine vector to produce the plasmid pWRG/PUU-M(s2). pWRG/PUU-M(s2) delivered by gene gun produced high-titer neutralizing antibodies in hamsters and nonhuman primates. Vaccination with pWRG/PUU-M(s2) protected hamsters against infection with PUUV but not against infection by related HFRS-associated hantaviruses. Unexpectedly, vaccination protected hamsters in a lethal disease model of Andes virus (ANDV) in the absence of ANDV cross-neutralizing antibodies. This is the first evidence that an experimental DNA vaccine for HFRS can provide protection in a hantavirus lethal disease model.
Project description:Three species of Myodes voles known to harbor hantaviruses include the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which serves as the reservoir host of Puumala virus (PUUV), the prototype arvicolid rodent-borne hantavirus causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Europe, and the grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus) and royal vole (Myodes regulus) which carry two PUUV-like hantaviruses, designated Hokkaido virus (HOKV) and Muju virus (MUJV), respectively. To ascertain the hantavirus harbored by the northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus), we initially screened sera from 233 M. rutilus, as well as from 90 M. rufocanus and 110 M. glareolus, captured in western and eastern Siberia during June 2007 to October 2009, for anti-hantaviral antibodies. Thereafter, lung tissues from 44 seropositive voles were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Partial L-, M- and S-segment sequences, detected in M. rutilus and M. rufocanus, were closely related to HOKV, differing from previously published L-, M- and S-segment sequences of HOKV by 17.8-20.2%, 15.9-23.4% and 15.0-17.0% at the nucleotide level and 2.6-7.9%, 1.3-6.3% and 1.2-4.0% at the amino acid level, respectively. Alignment and comparison of hantavirus sequences from M. glareolus trapped in Tyumen Oblast showed very high sequence similarity to the Omsk lineage of PUUV. Phylogenetic analysis, using neighbor-joining, maximal likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that HOKV strains shared a common ancestry with PUUV and exhibited geographic-specific clustering. This report provides the first molecular evidence that both M. rutilus and M. rufocanus harbor HOKV, which might represent a genetic variant of PUUV.
Project description:Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is common in Northern Europe; this infection is usually self-limited and severe complications are uncommon. PUUV and other hantaviruses, however, can rarely cause encephalitis. The pathogenesis of these rare and severe events is unknown. In this study, we explored the possibility that genetic defects in innate anti-viral immunity, as analogous to Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) mutations seen in HSV-1 encephalitis, may explain PUUV encephalitis. We completed exome sequencing of seven adult patients with encephalitis or encephalomyelitis during acute PUUV infection. We found heterozygosity for the TLR3 p.L742F novel variant in two of the seven unrelated patients (29%, p?=?0.0195). TLR3-deficient P2.1 fibrosarcoma cell line and SV40-immortalized fibroblasts (SV40-fibroblasts) from patient skin expressing mutant or wild-type TLR3 were tested functionally. The TLR3 p.L742F allele displayed low poly(I:C)-stimulated cytokine induction when expressed in P2.1 cells. SV40-fibroblasts from three healthy controls produced increasing levels of IFN-? and IL-6 after 24 h of stimulation with increasing concentrations of poly(I:C), whereas the production of the cytokines was impaired in TLR3 L742F/WT patient SV40-fibroblasts. Heterozygous TLR3 mutation may underlie not only HSV-1 encephalitis but also PUUV hantavirus encephalitis. Such possibility should be further explored in encephalitis caused by these and other hantaviruses.
Project description:Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is characterized by endothelial dysfunction with capillary leakage without obvious cytopathology in the capillary endothelium. The aim of the study was to analyze the kinetics of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its soluble receptor (sVEGFR-2) in HFRS patients infected with Dobrava (DOBV) or Puumala virus (PUUV). VEGF and sVEGFR-2 levels were measured in daily plasma and urine samples of 73 patients with HFRS (58 with PUUV, 15 with DOBV) and evaluated in relation to clinical and laboratory variables. In comparison with the healthy controls, initial samples (obtained in the first week of illness) from patients with HFRS had higher plasma and urine VEGF levels, whereas sVEGFR-2 levels were lower in plasma but higher in urine. VEGF levels did not differ in relation to hantavirus species, viral load, or the severity of HFRS. The comparison of VEGF dynamics in plasma and urine showed the pronounced secretion of VEGF in urine. Significant correlations were found between daily VEGF/sVEGFR-2 levels and platelet counts, as well as with diuresis: the correlations were positive for plasma VEGF/sVEGFR-2 levels and negative for urine levels. In addition, patients with hemorrhagic manifestations had very high plasma and urine VEGF, together with high urine sVEGFR-2. Measuring the local secretion of sVEGFR-2 in urine might be a useful biomarker for identifying HFRS patients who will progress to severe disease.
Project description:Hantaviruses, the causative agents of two emerging diseases, are negative-stranded RNA viruses with a tripartite genome. We isolated two substrains from a parental strain of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV-Pa), PUUV-small (PUUV-Sm) and PUUV-large (PUUV-La), named after their focus size when titrated. The two isolates were sequenced; this revealed differences at two positions in the nucleocapsid protein and two positions in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, but the glycoproteins were identical. We also detected a 43-nucleotide deletion in the PUUV-La S-segment 5' noncoding region covering a predicted hairpin loop structure that was found to be conserved among all hantaviruses with members of the rodent subfamily Arvicolinae as their hosts. Stocks of PUUV-La showed a lower ratio of viral RNA to infectious particles than stocks of PUUV-Sm and PUUV-Pa, indicating that PUUV-La replicated more efficiently in alpha/beta interferon (IFN-?/?)-defective Vero E6 cells. In Vero E6 cells, PUUV-La replicated to higher titers and PUUV-Sm replicated to lower titers than PUUV-Pa. In contrast, in IFN-competent MRC-5 cells, PUUV-La and PUUV-Sm replicated to similar levels, while PUUV-Pa progeny virus production was strongly inhibited. The different isolates clearly differed in their potential to induce innate immune responses in MRC-5 cells. PUUV-Pa caused stronger induction of IFN-?, ISG56, and MxA than PUUV-La and PUUV-Sm, while PUUV-Sm caused stronger MxA and ISG56 induction than PUUV-La. These data demonstrate that the phenotypes of isolated hantavirus substrains can have substantial differences compared to each other and to the parental strain. Importantly, this implies that the reported differences in phenotypes for hantaviruses might depend more on chance due to spontaneous mutations during passage than inherited true differences between hantaviruses.
Project description:Over 1,000 cases of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) were recorded in the Republic of Tatarstan (RT) in 2015. HFRS is a zoonotic disease caused by several different Old World hantaviruses. In RT, Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV) is a prevalent etiological agent of HFRS. We looked for the genetic link between the PUUV strains isolated from the bank voles and from the infected humans. In addition, possible correlation between the genetic makeup of the PUUV strain involved and different clinical picture of HFRS was investigated. Partial PUUV small (S) genome segment sequences were retrieved from 37 small animals captured in the northwestern region of RT in 2015. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 34 PUUV sequences clustered with strains of the previously identified "Russia" (RUS) genetic lineage, while 3 remaining PUUV sequences clustered with the known lineage from Finland (FIN). Sequence comparisons showed that the majority of the S-segment sequences isolated in the current study displayed 98.2-100.0% sequence identity when compared with the strains isolated earlier from the HFRS patients hospitalized in Kazan city. HFRS patients infected with PUUV strains of either RUS or FIN genetic lineages were observed to have consistent differences in clinical presentation of the disease and laboratory findings. These findings indicated a strong genetic link between the infected bank voles and human HFRS cases from the same localities. Thus, S-segment sequences of the PUUV strains isolated from HFRS patients could serve as a molecular marker for determining the likely geographic area where infection occurred.
Project description:Hantaviruses (HVs) are rodent-transmitted viruses that can cause hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in the Americas and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia. Together, these viruses have annually caused approximately 200,000 human infections worldwide in recent years, with a case fatality rate of 5-15% for HFRS and up to 40% for HCPS. There is currently no effective treatment available for either HFRS or HCPS. Only whole virus inactivated vaccines against HTNV or SEOV are licensed for use in the Republic of Korea and China, but the protective efficacies of these vaccines are uncertain. To a large extent, the immune correlates of protection against hantavirus are not known. In this review, we summarized the epidemiology, virology, and pathogenesis of four HFRS-causing viruses, HTNV, SEOV, PUUV, and DOBV, and two HCPS-causing viruses, ANDV and SNV, and then discussed the existing knowledge on vaccines and therapeutics against these diseases. We think that this information will shed light on the rational development of new vaccines and treatments.
Project description:Cell-free DNA (cf-DNA) in blood represents a promising DNA damage response triggered by virus infection or trauma, tumor, etc. Hantavirus primarily causes two diseases: haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), depending on different Hantavirus species. The aim of this study was to evaluate plasma cf-DNA levels in acute phase of HFRS, and to correlate plasma cf-DNA with disease severity and plasma Hanttan virus (HTNV) load. We observed the appearance of cf-DNA in 166 plasma samples from 76 HFRS patients: the plasma cf-DNA levels peaked at the hypotensive stage of HFRS, and then decreased gradually. Until the diuretic stage, there was no significant difference in plasma cf-DNA level between patients and the healthy control. Exclusively in the febrile/hypotensive stage, the plasma cf-DNA levels of severe/critical patients were higher than those of the mild/moderate group. Moreover, the plasma cf-DNA value in the early stage of HFRS was correlated with HTNV load and disease severity. In most of the patients, plasma cf-DNA displayed a low-molecular weight appearance, corresponding to the size of apoptotic DNA. In conclusion, the plasma cf-DNA levels were dynamically elevated during HFRS, and correlated with disease severity, which suggests that plasma cf-DNA may be a potential biomarker for the pathogenesis and prognosis of HFRS.