Gamma-interferon exerts a critical early restriction on replication and dissemination of yellow fever virus vaccine strain 17D-204.
ABSTRACT: 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: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 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: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: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.
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:Live-attenuated viral vaccines have been successfully used to combat infectious disease for decades but due to their empirical derivation, little is known about their mechanisms of attenuation. This lack of understanding makes the development of next generation live attenuated vaccines difficult. The success of the 17D vaccine and availability of the parent virus, Asibi, makes it an excellent model to understand the molecular basis of attenuation of a live attenuated vaccine and the effects of viral diversity on vaccine function. Due to the differences in genetic diversity between WT Asibi virus and its 17D vaccine derivative, we investigated the changes in genetic diversity of 17D and Asibi viruses following treatment with ribavirin.
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:The highly efficacious live-attenuated 17D yellow fever (YF) vaccine is occasionally associated with rare life-threatening adverse events. Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), a non-replicating poxvirus, has been used as a vaccine platform to safely deliver various antigens. A MVA-based YF vaccine (MVA-BN-YF) was tested with and without a non-mineral oil adjuvant in a hamster model of lethal YF disease and protective efficacy of this vaccine was compared with the 17D vaccine. The vaccine candidate MVA-BN-YF generated a protective response in hamsters infected with YFV that was comparable to protection by the live 17D vaccine. Similar levels of neutralizing antibody were observed in animals vaccinated with either vaccine alone or vaccine with adjuvant. Significant improvement in survival, weight change, and serum alanine aminotransferase levels were observed in vaccinated hamsters when administered 42 and 14?days prior to challenge with Jimenez YF virus (YFV). Neutralizing antibodies induced by MVA-BN-YF were transferred to naïve hamsters prior to virus challenge. Passive administration of neutralizing antibody 24?h prior to virus infection resulted in significantly improved survival and weight change. A trend toward reduced liver enzyme levels was also observed. MVA-BN-YF, therefore, represents a safe alternative to vaccination with live-attenuated YFV.
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.