Enhancement of Zika virus pathogenesis by preexisting antiflavivirus immunity.
ABSTRACT: Zika virus (ZIKV) is spreading rapidly into regions around the world where other flaviviruses, such as dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV), are endemic. Antibody-dependent enhancement has been implicated in more severe forms of flavivirus disease, but whether this also applies to ZIKV infection is unclear. Using convalescent plasma from DENV- and WNV-infected individuals, we found substantial enhancement of ZIKV infection in vitro that was mediated through immunoglobulin G engagement of Fc? receptors. Administration of DENV- or WNV-convalescent plasma into ZIKV-susceptible mice resulted in increased morbidity-including fever, viremia, and viral loads in spinal cord and testes-and increased mortality. Antibody-dependent enhancement may explain the severe disease manifestations associated with recent ZIKV outbreaks and highlights the need to exert great caution when designing flavivirus vaccines.
Project description:The recent outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV) in flavivirus-endemic regions highlight the need for sensitive and specific serological tests. Previously we and others reported key fusion loop (FL) residues and/or BC loop (BCL) residues on dengue virus (DENV) envelope protein recognized by flavivirus cross-reactive human monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera. To improve ZIKV serodiagnosis, we employed wild type (WT) and FL or FL/BCL mutant virus-like particles (VLP) of ZIKV, DENV1 and West Nile virus (WNV) in enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and tested convalescent-phase serum or plasma samples from reverse-transcription PCR-confirmed cases with different ZIKV, DENV and WNV infections. For IgG ELISA, ZIKV WT-VLP had a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 52.9%, which was improved to 83.3% by FL/BCL mutant VLP and 92.2% by the ratio of relative optical density of mutant to WT VLP. Similarly, DENV1 and WNV WT-VLP had a sensitivity/specificity of 100%/70.0% and 100%/56.3%, respectively; the specificity was improved to 93.3% and 83.0% by FL mutant VLP. For IgM ELISA, ZIKV, DENV1 and WNV WT-VLP had a specificity of 96.4%, 92.3% and 91.4%, respectively, for primary infection; the specificity was improved to 93.7-99.3% by FL or FL/BCL mutant VLP. An algorithm based on a combination of mutant and WT-VLP IgG ELISA is proposed to discriminate primary ZIKV, DENV and WNV infections as well as secondary DENV and ZIKV infection with previous DENV infections; this could be a powerful tool to better understand the seroprevalence and pathogenesis of ZIKV in regions where multiple flaviviruses co-circulate.
Project description:West Nile virus (WNV) has caused multiple global outbreaks with increased frequency of neuroinvasive disease in recent years. Despite many years of research, there are no licensed therapeutics or vaccines available for human use. One of the major impediments of vaccine development against WNV is the potential enhancement of infection by related flaviviruses in vaccinated subjects through the mechanism of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE). For instance, the recent finding of enhancement of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection by pre-exposure to WNV further complicates the development of WNV vaccines. Epidemics of WNV and the potential risk of ADE by current vaccine candidates demand the development of effective and safe vaccines. We have previously reported that the domain III (DIII) of the WNV envelope protein can be readily expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, purified to homogeneity, and promote antigen-specific antibody response in mice. Herein, we further investigated the in vivo potency of a plant-made DIII (plant-DIII) in providing protective immunity against WNV infection. Furthermore, we examined if vaccination with plant-DIII would enhance the risk of a subsequent infection by ZIKV and Dengue virus (DENV). Plant-DIII vaccination evoked antigen-specific cellular immune responses as well as humoral responses. DIII-specific antibodies were neutralizing and the neutralization titers met the threshold correlated with protective immunity by vaccines against multiple flaviviruses. Furthermore, passive administration of anti-plant DIII mouse serum provided full protection against a lethal challenge of WNV infection in mice. Notably, plant DIII-induced antibodies did not enhance ZIKV and DENV infection in Fc gamma receptor-expressing cells, addressing the concern of WNV vaccines in inducing cross-reactive antibodies and sensitizing subjects to subsequent infection by heterologous flavivirus. This study provides the first report of a WNV subunit vaccine that induces protective immunity, while circumventing induction of antibodies with enhancing activity for ZIKV and DENV infection.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infections occur in areas where dengue virus (DENV), West Nile virus (WNV), yellow fever virus (YFV), and other viruses of the genus Flavivirus cocirculate. The envelope (E) proteins of these closely related flaviviruses induce specific long-term immunity, yet subsequent infections are associated with cross-reactive antibody responses that may enhance disease susceptibility and severity. To gain a better understanding of ZIKV infections against a background of similar viral diseases, we examined serological immune responses to ZIKV, WNV, DENV, and YFV infections of humans and nonhuman primates (NHPs). Using printed microarrays, we detected very specific antibody responses to primary infections with probes of recombinant E proteins from 15 species and lineages of flaviviruses pathogenic to humans, while high cross-reactivity between ZIKV and DENV was observed with 11 printed native viruses. Notably, antibodies from human primary ZIKV or secondary DENV infections that occurred in areas where flavivirus is endemic broadly recognized E proteins from many flaviviruses, especially DENV, indicating a strong influence of infection history on immune responses. A predictive algorithm was used to tentatively identify previous encounters with specific flaviviruses based on serum antibody interactions with the multispecies panel of E proteins. These results illustrate the potential impact of exposure to related viruses on the outcome of ZIKV infection and offer considerations for development of vaccines and diagnostics.
Project description:Recent reports in the scientific literature have suggested that anti-dengue virus (DENV) and anti-West Nile virus (WNV) immunity exacerbates Zika virus (ZIKV) pathogenesis in vitro and in vivo in mouse models. Large populations of immune individuals exist for a related flavivirus (tick-borne encephalitis virus [TBEV]), due to large-scale vaccination campaigns and endemic circulation throughout most of northern Europe and the southern Russian Federation. As a result, the question of whether anti-TBEV immunity can affect Zika virus pathogenesis is a pertinent one. For this study, we obtained 50 serum samples from individuals vaccinated with the TBEV vaccine FSME-IMMUN (Central European/Neudörfl strain) and evaluated their enhancement capacity in vitro using K562 human myeloid cells expressing CD32 and in vivo using a mouse model of ZIKV pathogenesis. Among the 50 TBEV vaccinee samples evaluated, 29 had detectable reactivity against ZIKV envelope (E) protein by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and 36 showed enhancement of ZIKV infection in vitro. A pool of the most highly reacting and enhanced samples resulted in no significant change in the morbidity/mortality of ZIKV disease in immunocompromised Stat2-/- mice. Our results suggest that humoral immunity against TBEV is unlikely to enhance Zika virus pathogenesis in humans. No clinical reports indicating that TBEV vaccinees experiencing enhanced ZIKV disease have been published so far, and though the epidemiological data are sparse, our findings suggest that there is little reason for concern. This study also displays a clear relationship between the phylogenetic distance between two flaviviruses and their capacity for pathogenic enhancement. IMPORTANCE The relationship between serial infections of two different serotypes of dengue virus and more severe disease courses is well-documented in the literature, driven by so-called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Recently, studies have shown the possibility of ADE in cells exposed to anti-DENV human plasma and then infected with ZIKV and also in mouse models of ZIKV pathogenesis after passive transfer of anti-DENV human plasma. In this study, we evaluated the extent to which this phenomenon occurs using sera from individuals immunized against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). This is highly relevant, since large proportions of the European population are vaccinated against TBEV or otherwise seropositive.
Project description:The explosive spread of Zika virus (ZIKV) and associated complications in flavivirus-endemic regions underscore the need for sensitive and specific serodiagnostic tests to distinguish ZIKV, dengue virus (DENV) and other flavivirus infections. Compared with traditional envelope protein-based assays, several nonstructural protein 1 (NS1)-based assays showed improved specificity, however, none can detect and discriminate three flaviviruses in a single assay. Moreover, secondary DENV infection and ZIKV infection with previous DENV infection, both common in endemic regions, cannot be discriminated. In this study, we developed a high-throughput and multiplex IgG microsphere immunoassay (MIA) using the NS1 proteins of DENV1-DENV4, ZIKV and West Nile virus (WNV) to test samples from reverse-transcription-polymerase-chain reaction-confirmed cases, including primary DENV1, DENV2, DENV3, WNV and ZIKV infections, secondary DENV infection, and ZIKV infection with previous DENV infection. Combination of four DENV NS1 IgG MIAs revealed a sensitivity of 94.3% and specificity of 97.2% to detect DENV infection. The ZIKV and WNV NS1 IgG MIAs had a sensitivity/specificity of 100%/87.9% and 86.1%/78.4%, respectively. A positive correlation was found between the readouts of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and MIA for different NS1 tested. Based on the ratio of relative median fluorescence intensity of ZIKV NS1 to DENV1 NS1, the IgG MIA can distinguish ZIKV infection with previous DENV infection and secondary DENV infection with a sensitivity of 88.9-90.0% and specificity of 91.7-100.0%. The multiplex and high-throughput assay could be applied to serodiagnosis and serosurveillance of DENV, ZIKV and WNV infections in endemic regions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Recent outbreaks of Zika Virus (ZIKV) infection and associated microcephaly has raised multiple scientific questions. The close antigenic relatedness between flaviviruses makes diagnosis of specific infection difficult. This relatedness also raises the potential of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) via cross reactive antibodies to flaviviruses like West Nile Virus (WNV) and Dengue Virus (DENV). Asymptomatic WNV infections are endemic throughout the US creating a large proportion of the population that is seropositive for WNV antibodies. Whether these sero-positive individuals potentially carry ZIKV enhancing antibodies remains unknown.<h4>Results</h4>Serum samples obtained from human subjects with symptomatic or asymptomatic WNV infection from a WNV endemic region in Texas were tested for their ability to enhance or neutralize ZIKV infection. Sero-surveillance data demonstrated a?~?7% prevalence for WNV antibodies in the population. Sera from both symptomatic and asymptomatic WNV seropositive donors effectively neutralized WNV and to some extent DENV infection. Interestingly, WNV+ sera failed to inhibit ZIKV while significantly enhancing infection. Conversely, ZIKV specific sera effectively neutralized ZIKV, with ADE only evident at lower concentrations. The enhancement of ZIKV via WNV antibody positive sera was likely due to non-neutralizing Envelope (E) antibodies as seen with monoclonal ZIKV E antibodies.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Overall, our findings suggest that WNV antibodies in the sera significantly enhance ZIKV infection in Fc receptor positive cells with limited neutralization activity. Further studies in more relevant models of ADE will be needed to confirm the relevance of these findings in vivo.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a newly-identified infectious cause of congenital disease. Transplacental transfer of maternal IgG to the fetus plays an important role in preventing many neonatal infections. However, antibody transfer may also have negative consequences, such as mediating enhancement of flavivirus infections in early life, or trafficking of virus immune complexes to the fetal compartment. ZIKV infection produces placental pathology which could lead to impaired IgG transfer efficiency as occurs in other maternal infections, such as HIV-1 and malaria. In this study, we asked whether ZIKV infection during pregnancy impairs transplacental transfer of IgG. We enrolled pregnant women with fever or rash in a prospective cohort in Vitoria, Brazil during the recent ZIKV epidemic. ZIKV and dengue virus (DENV)-specific IgG, ZIKV and DENV neutralizing antibodies, and routine vaccine antigen-specific IgG were measured in maternal samples collected around delivery and 20 paired cord blood samples. We concluded that 8 of these mothers were infected with ZIKV during pregnancy and 12 were ZIKV-uninfected. The magnitude of flavivirus-specific IgG, neutralizing antibody, and vaccine-elicited IgG were highly correlated between maternal plasma and infant cord blood in both ZIKV-infected and -uninfected mother-infant pairs. Moreover, there was no difference in the magnitude of plasma flavivirus-specific IgG levels between mothers and infants regardless of ZIKV infection status. Our data suggests that maternal ZIKV infection during pregnancy does not impair the efficiency of placental transfer of flavivirus-specific, functional, and vaccine-elicited IgG. These findings have implications for the neonatal outomes of maternal ZIKV infection and optimal administration of antibody-based ZIKV vaccines and therapeutics.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus that has emerged as a global health threat due in part to its association with congenital abnormalities. Other globally relevant flaviviruses include dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV). High-resolution structures of ZIKV reveal many similarities to DENV and suggest some differences, including an extended glycan loop (D. Sirohi, Z. Chen, L. Sun, T. Klose, T. C. Pierson, et al., 352:467-470, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf5316) and unique interactions among envelope (E) protein residues that were proposed to confer increased virion stability and contribute mechanistically to the distinctive pathobiology of ZIKV (V. A. Kostyuchenko, E. X. Lim, S. Zhang, G. Fibriansah, T. S. Ng, et al., Nature 533:425-428, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature17994). However, in the latter study, virus stability was inferred by measuring the loss of infectivity following a short incubation period. Here, we rigorously assessed the relative stability of ZIKV, DENV, and WNV by measuring changes in infectivity following prolonged incubation at physiological temperatures. At 37°C, the half-life of ZIKV was approximately twice as long as the half-life of DENV (11.8 and 5.2 h, respectively) but shorter than that of WNV (17.7 h). Incubation at 40°C accelerated the loss of ZIKV infectivity. Increasing virion maturation efficiency modestly increased ZIKV stability, as observed previously with WNV and DENV. Finally, mutations at E residues predicted to confer increased stability to ZIKV did not affect virion half-life. Our results demonstrate that ZIKV is not uniquely stable relative to other flaviviruses, suggesting that its unique pathobiology is explained by an alternative mechanism. IMPORTANCE:Zika virus (ZIKV) belongs to the Flavivirus genus, which includes other clinically relevant mosquito-borne pathogens such as dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV). Historically, ZIKV infection was characterized by a self-limiting, mild disease, but recent outbreaks have been associated with severe clinical complications, including Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly, which are atypical of other flavivirus infections. Moreover, ZIKV has been detected in saliva, urine, and semen, and it may be sexually transmitted. Analysis of a high-resolution cryo-electron microscopic reconstruction of ZIKV hypothesized that the unusual stability of this virus contributes to its distinctive pathobiology. Here, we directly compared the stability of ZIKV to that of other flaviviruses following prolonged incubation in solution at physiological temperatures. We found that the stability of multiple ZIKV strains, including those from recent outbreaks, is intermediate between that of DENV and WNV, suggesting an alternative explanation for the unique clinical manifestations of ZIKV infection.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that shares a considerable degree of homology with dengue virus (DENV). Here, we examined longitudinal antibody response against ZIKV during natural infection in 2 convalescent individuals. By decomposing the antibody recognition into DI/DII and DIII of the E glycoprotein, we showed their development in humans followed a spatiotemporal hierarchy. Plasma binding to DI/DII appeared to peak and wane during early infection with extensive cross-reactivity with DI/DII of DENV. Binding to DIII, however, peaked early but persisted months into the infection without detectable cross-reactivity with DIII of DENV. A clear trend of increase in DIII-specific neutralizing activity was observed over the course of infection. mAbs isolated during early infection are largely DI/DII specific, weakly neutralizing, and highly cross-reactive with DENV, while those from later infection are more diverse in recognition, potently neutralizing, and ZIKV specific. The most potent neutralizing mAb targeting the DIII provided 100% protection in mice from lethal ZIKV infection and could therefore serve as a promising candidate for antibody-based therapy and prevention. The dynamic features unveiled here will assist us to better understand the pathogenesis of ZIKV infection and inform rational design of vaccines.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that has recently been responsible for a serious outbreak of disease in South and Central America. Infection with ZIKV has been associated with severe neurological symptoms and the development of microcephaly in unborn fetuses. Many of the regions involved in the current outbreak are known to be endemic for another flavivirus, dengue virus (DENV), which indicates that a large percentage of the population may have pre-existing DENV immunity. Thus, it is vital to investigate what impact pre-existing DENV immunity has on ZIKV infection. Here, we use primary human myeloid cells as a model for ZIKV enhancement in the presence of DENV antibodies. We show that sera containing DENV antibodies from individuals living in a DENV-endemic area are able to enhance ZIKV infection in a human macrophage-derived cell line and primary human macrophages. We also demonstrate altered pro-inflammatory cytokine production in macrophages with enhanced ZIKV infection. Our study indicates an important role for pre-existing DENV immunity on ZIKV infection in primary human immune cells and establishes a relevant in vitro model to study ZIKV antibody-dependent enhancement.