Type III Interferon-Mediated Signaling Is Critical for Controlling Live Attenuated Yellow Fever Virus Infection In Vivo.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>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.<h4>Importance</h4>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: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 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:Positive-sense RNA viruses pose increasing health and economic concerns worldwide. Our limited understanding of how these viruses interact with their host and how these processes lead to virulence and disease seriously hampers the development of anti-viral strategies. Here, we demonstrate the tracking of (+) and (-) sense viral RNA at single-cell resolution within complex subsets of the human and murine immune system in different mouse models. Our results provide insights into how a prototypic flavivirus, yellow fever virus (YFV-17D), differentially interacts with murine and human hematopoietic cells in these mouse models and how these dynamics influence distinct outcomes of infection. We detect (-) YFV-17D RNA in specific secondary lymphoid compartments and cell subsets not previously recognized as permissive for YFV replication, and we highlight potential virus-host interaction events that could be pivotal in regulating flavivirus virulence and attenuation.
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: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:Immune response to infection involves the regulation of numerouse genes in numerous cell types. The number and type of genes that become differentially expressed in response to infection can result in very different pathophysiologic presentations and disease course. Wild type YFV and 17D despite having very few genetic differences result in very different disease outcomes in human and monkey hosts. We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression of Rhesus macaque immune cells responding to both wild type and 17D strains of YFV. We identified distinct classes of gene expression as well as marked differences in differential gene expression between responses to 17D and wild type strains of YFV. Rhesus PBMC were isolated before and on day 3 of either vaccination with 17D or infection with wild type YFV with an n of 3 per group. Total RNA was extracted and hybridized on Affymetrix microarrays.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To be transmitted to vertebrate hosts via the saliva of their vectors, arthropod-borne viruses have to cross several barriers in the mosquito body, including the midgut infection and escape barriers. Yellow fever virus (YFV) belongs to the genus Flavivirus, which includes human viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, such as dengue and Zika viruses. The live-attenuated YFV-17D vaccine has been used safely and efficiently on a large scale since the end of World War II. Early studies have shown, using viral titration from salivary glands of infected mosquitoes, that YFV-17D can infect Aedes aegypti midgut, but does not disseminate to other tissues. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Here, we re-visited this issue using a panel of techniques, such as RT-qPCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence and titration assays. We showed that YFV-17D replication was not efficient in Aedes aegypti midgut, as compared to the clinical isolate YFV-Dakar. Viruses that replicated in the midgut failed to disseminate to secondary organs. When injected into the thorax of mosquitoes, viruses succeeded in replicating into midgut-associated tissues, suggesting that, during natural infection, the block for YFV-17D replication occurs at the basal membrane of the midgut. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:The two barriers associated with Ae. aegypti midgut prevent YFV-17D replication. Our study contributes to our basic understanding of vector-pathogen interactions and may also aid in the development of non-transmissible live virus vaccines.