Characterization of Yellow Fever Virus Infection of Human and Non-human Primate Antigen Presenting Cells and Their Interaction with CD4+ T Cells.
ABSTRACT: 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:The live attenuated yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine 17D stands as a "gold standard" for a successful vaccine. 17D was developed empirically by passaging the wild-type Asibi strain in mouse and chicken embryo tissues. Despite its immense success, the molecular determinants for virulence attenuation and immunogenicity of the 17D vaccine are poorly understood. 17D evolved several mutations in its genome, most of which lie within the envelope (E) protein. Given the major role played by the YFV E protein during virus entry, it has been hypothesized that the residues that diverge between the Asibi and 17D E proteins may be key determinants of attenuation. In this study, we define the process of YFV entry into target cells and investigate its implication in the activation of the antiviral cytokine response. We found that Asibi infects host cells exclusively via the classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis, while 17D exploits a clathrin-independent pathway for infectious entry. We demonstrate that the mutations in the 17D E protein acquired during the attenuation process are sufficient to explain the differential entry of Asibi versus 17D. Interestingly, we show that 17D binds to and infects host cells more efficiently than Asibi, which culminates in increased delivery of viral RNA into the cytosol and robust activation of the cytokine-mediated antiviral response. Overall, our study reveals that 17D vaccine and Asibi enter target cells through distinct mechanisms and highlights a link between 17D attenuation, virus entry, and immune activation.The yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine 17D is one of the safest and most effective live virus vaccines ever developed. The molecular determinants for virulence attenuation and immunogenicity of 17D are poorly understood. 17D was generated by serially passaging the virulent Asibi strain in vertebrate tissues. Here we examined the entry mechanisms engaged by YFV Asibi and the 17D vaccine. We found the two viruses use different entry pathways. We show that the mutations differentiating the Asibi envelope (E) protein from the 17D E protein, which arose during attenuation, are key determinants for the use of these distinct entry routes. Finally, we demonstrate that 17D binds and enters host cells more efficiently than Asibi. This results in a higher uptake of viral RNA into the cytoplasm and consequently a greater cytokine-mediated antiviral response. Overall, our data provide new insights into the biology of YFV infection and the mechanisms of viral attenuation.
Project description:One paradigm to explain the complexity of viral RNA populations is that the low fidelity of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) drives high mutation rates and consequently genetic diversity. Like most RNA viruses, wild-type yellow fever virus (YFV) replication is error-prone due to the lack of proofreading by the virus-encoded RdRp. However, there is evidence that replication of the live attenuated YF vaccine virus 17D, derived from wild-type strain Asibi, is less error-prone than wild-type RNA viruses. Recent studies comparing the genetic diversity of wild-type Asibi and 17D vaccine virus found that wild-type Asibi has the typical heterogeneous population of an RNA virus, while there is limited intra- and interpopulation variability of 17D vaccine virus. Utilizing chimeric and mutant infectious clone-derived viruses, we show that high and low genetic diversity profiles of wild-type Asibi virus and vaccine virus 17D, respectively, are multigenic. Introduction of either structural (pre-membrane and envelope) genes or NS2B or NS4B substitutions into the Asibi and 17D backbone resulted in altered variant population, nucleotide diversity, and mutation frequency compared to the parental viruses. Additionally, changes in genetic diversity of the chimeric and mutant viruses correlated with the phenotype of multiplication kinetics in human alveolar A549 cells. Overall, the paradigm that only the error-prone RdRp controls genetic diversity needs to be expanded to address the role of other genes in genetic diversity, and we hypothesize that it is the replication complex as a whole and not the RdRp alone that controls genetic diversity.IMPORTANCE With the advent of advanced sequencing technology, studies of RNA viruses have shown that genetic diversity can contribute to both attenuation and virulence and the paradigm is that this is controlled by the error-prone RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Since wild-type yellow fever virus (YFV) strain Asibi has genetic diversity typical of a wild-type RNA virus, while 17D virus vaccine has limited diversity, it provides a unique opportunity to investigate RNA population theory in the context of a well-characterized live attenuated vaccine. Utilizing infectious clone-derived viruses, we show that genetic diversity of RNA viruses is complex and that multiple genes, including structural genes and NS2B and NS4B genes also contribute to genetic diversity. We suggest that the replication complex as a whole, rather than only RdRp, drives genetic diversity, at least for YFV.
Project description:The first comparison of a live RNA viral vaccine strain to its wild-type parental strain by deep sequencing is presented using as a model the yellow fever virus (YFV) live vaccine strain 17D-204 and its wild-type parental strain, Asibi.The YFV 17D-204 vaccine genome was compared to that of the parental strain Asibi by massively parallel methods. Variability was compared on multiple scales of the viral genomes. A modeled exploration of small-frequency variants was performed to reconstruct plausible regions of mutational plasticity.Overt quasispecies diversity is a feature of the parental strain, whereas the live vaccine strain lacks diversity according to multiple independent measurements. A lack of attenuating mutations in the Asibi population relative to that of 17D-204 was observed, demonstrating that the vaccine strain was derived by discrete mutation of Asibi and not by selection of genomes in the wild-type population.Relative quasispecies structure is a plausible correlate of attenuation for live viral vaccines. Analyses such as these of attenuated viruses improve our understanding of the molecular basis of vaccine attenuation and provide critical information on the stability of live vaccines and the risk of reversion to virulence.
Project description: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:The molecular basis of attenuation for live-attenuated vaccines is poorly understood. The yellow fever (YF) 17D vaccine virus was derived from the wild-type, parental strain Asibi virus by serial passage in chicken tissue and has proven to be a very safe and efficacious vaccine. We have previously shown that wild-type Asibi is a typical RNA virus with high genetic diversity, while the 17D vaccine virus has very little genetic diversity. To investigate this further, we treated Asibi and 17D viruses with ribavirin, a GTP analog with strong antiviral activity that increases levels of mutations in the viral genome. As expected, ribavirin treatment introduced mutations into the Asibi virus genome at a very high frequency and decreased viral infectivity while, in contrast, the 17D vaccine virus was resistant to ribavirin, as treatment with the antiviral introduced very few mutations into the genome, and viral infectivity was not lost. The results were confirmed for another YF wild-type parental and vaccine pair, a wild-type French viscerotropic virus and French neurotropic vaccine. Using recombinant Asibi and 17D viruses, ribavirin sensitivity was located to viral nonstructural genes. Thus, two live-attenuated YF vaccine viruses are genetically stable even under intense mutagenic pressure, suggesting that attenuation of live-attenuated YF vaccines is due, at least in part, to fidelity of the replication complex resulting in high genetic stability.IMPORTANCE Live-attenuated viral vaccines are highly safe and efficacious but represent complex and often multigenic attenuation mechanisms. Most of these vaccines have been generated empirically by serial passaging of a wild-type (WT) virus in cell culture. One of the safest and most effective live-attenuated vaccines is yellow fever (YF) virus strain 17D, which has been used for over 80?years to control YF disease. The availability of the WT parental strain of 17D, Asibi virus, and large quantities of clinical data showing the effectiveness of the 17D vaccine make this WT parent/vaccine pair an excellent model for investigating RNA virus attenuation. Here, we investigate a mechanism of 17D attenuation and show that the vaccine virus is resistant to the antiviral compound ribavirin. The findings suggest that attenuation is in part due to a low probability of reversion or mutation of the vaccine virus genome to WT, thus maintaining a stable genotype despite external pressures.
Project description:With the advent of advanced sequencing technology, studies of RNA viruses have shown that genetic diversity contribute to both attenuation and virulence. The differences in genetic diversity of wild-type Asibi virus and 17D-204 vaccine provides an unique opportunity to investigate RNA population theory in the context of a well described live attenuated vaccine. Utilizing infectious clone-derived viruses containing some of the amino acid substitutions that differentiate yellow fever wild-type Asibi strain from 17D vaccine and recovered in a controlled experiment, establishes that the genetic diversity differences that exist between wild-type Asibi and 17D-204 vaccine viruses are not influenced by either different passage history or source of samples, but rather resulted from the attenuation of wild-type Asibi virus to yield the 17D vaccine sub-strains.
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: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) 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:BACKGROUND: Currently existing yellow fever (YF) vaccines are based on the live attenuated yellow fever virus 17D strain (YFV-17D). Although, a good safety profile was historically attributed to the 17D vaccine, serious adverse events have been reported, making the development of a safer, more modern vaccine desirable. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A gene encoding the precursor of the membrane and envelope (prME) protein of the YFV-17D strain was inserted into the non-replicating modified vaccinia virus Ankara and into the D4R-defective vaccinia virus. Candidate vaccines based on the recombinant vaccinia viruses were assessed for immunogenicity and protection in a mouse model and compared to the commercial YFV-17D vaccine. The recombinant live vaccines induced γ-interferon-secreting CD4- and functionally active CD8-T cells, and conferred full protection against lethal challenge already after a single low immunization dose of 10(5) TCID(50). Surprisingly, pre-existing immunity against wild-type vaccinia virus did not negatively influence protection. Unlike the classical 17D vaccine, the vaccinia virus-based vaccines did not cause mortality following intracerebral administration in mice, demonstrating better safety profiles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The non-replicating recombinant YF candidate live vaccines induced a broad immune response after single dose administration, were effective even in the presence of a pre-existing immunity against vaccinia virus and demonstrated an excellent safety profile in mice.