High-throughput neutralization assay for multiple flaviviruses based on single-round infectious particles using dengue virus type 1 reporter replicon.
ABSTRACT: Diseases caused by the genus Flavivirus, including dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV), have a serious impact on public health worldwide. Due to serological cross-reactivity among flaviviruses, current enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IgM/G cannot reliably distinguish between infection by different flaviviruses. In this study, we developed a reporter-based neutralization assay using single-round infectious particles (SRIPs) derived from representative flaviviruses. SRIPs were generated by transfection of human embryonic kidney 293?T cells with a plasmid encoding premembrane and envelope (prME) proteins from DENV1-4, ZIKV, Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, yellow fever virus, Usutu virus, and tick-borne encephalitis virus, along with a plasmid carrying DENV1 replicon containing the luciferase gene and plasmid for expression of DENV1 capsid. Luciferase activity of SRIPs-infected cells was well correlated with number of infected cells, and each reporter SRIP was specifically neutralized by sera from mice immunized with each flavivirus antigen. Our high-throughput reporter SRIP-based neutralization assay for multiple flaviviruses is a faster, safer, and less laborious diagnostic method than the conventional plaque reduction neutralization test to screen the cause of primary flavivirus infection. The assay may also contribute to the evaluation of vaccine efficacy and assist in routine surveillance and outbreak response to flaviviruses.
Project description:Background:The 4 dengue virus serotypes (DENV1-4) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are related mosquito-borne flaviviruses of major importance globally. While monoclonal antibodies and plasma from DENV-immune donors can neutralize or enhance ZIKV in vitro and in small-animal models, and vice versa, the extent, duration, and significance of cross-reactivity in humans remains unknown, particularly in flavivirus-endemic regions. Methods:We studied neutralizing antibodies to ZIKV and DENV1-4 in longitudinal serologic specimens collected through 3 years after infection from people in Latin America and Asia with laboratory-confirmed DENV infections. We also evaluated neutralizing antibodies to ZIKV and DENV1-4 in patients with Zika through 6 months after infection. Results:In patients with Zika, the highest neutralizing antibody titers were to ZIKV, with low-level cross-reactivity to DENV1-4 that was greater in DENV-immune individuals. We found that, in primary and secondary DENV infections, neutralizing antibody titers to ZIKV were markedly lower than to the infecting DENV and heterologous DENV serotypes. Cross-neutralization was greatest in early convalescence, then ZIKV neutralization decreased, remaining at low levels over time. Conclusions:Patterns of antibody cross-neutralization suggest that ZIKV lies outside the DENV serocomplex. Neutralizing antibody titers can distinguish ZIKV from DENV infections when all viruses are analyzed simultaneously. These findings have implications for understanding natural immunity and vaccines.
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:Many flaviviruses, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), Dengue virus (DENV1-4) and yellow fever virus (YFV), are significant human pathogens. Infection with ZIKV, an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus, is associated with increased risk of microcephaly in newborns and Guillain-Barré syndrome and other complications in adults. Currently, specific therapy does not exist for any flavivirus infections. In this study, we found that erythrosin B, an FDA-approved food additive, is a potent inhibitor for flaviviruses, including ZIKV and DENV2. Erythrosin B was found to inhibit the DENV2 and ZIKV NS2B-NS3 proteases with IC50 in low micromolar range, via a non-competitive mechanism. Erythrosin B can significantly reduce titers of representative flaviviruses, DENV2, ZIKV, YFV, JEV, and WNV, with micromolar potency and with excellent cytotoxicity profile. Erythrosin B can also inhibit ZIKV replication in ZIKV-relevant human placental and neural progenitor cells. As a pregnancy category B food additive, erythrosin B may represent a promising and easily developed therapy for management of infections by ZIKV and other flaviviruses.
Project description:New Caledonia and French Polynesia are areas in which arboviruses circulate extensively. A large serological survey among horses from New Caledonia and French Polynesia was carried out to investigate the seroprevalence of flaviviruses in the horse population. Here, 293 equine sera samples were screened for flaviviruses using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). The positive sera were then confirmed using a flavivirus-specific microsphere immunoassay (MIA) and seroneutralization tests. This serosurvey showed that 16.6% (27/163) and 30.8% (40/130) of horses were positive for cELISA tests in New Caledonia and French Polynesia, respectively, but the MIA technique, targeting only flaviviruses causing neuro-invasive infections in humans and horses (i.e. West Nile virus [WNV], Japanese encephalitis virus [JEV] and tick-borne encephalitis virus [TBEV]), showed negative results for more than 85% (57/67) of the cELISA-positive animals. Seroneutralization tests with the main flaviviruses circulating in the South Pacific revealed that 6.1% (10/163; confidence interval [95% CI] 3.0%-11.0%) of sera in New Caledonia and 7.7% (10/130; 95% CI 3.8%-13.7%) in French Polynesia were positive for dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV1) and 4.3% (7/163; 95% CI 1.7%-8.6%) in New Caledonia and 15.4% (20/130, 95% CI 9.7%-22.8%) in French Polynesia were found positive for Zika virus (ZIKV). Seroprevalence of the JEV and WNV flaviviruses on the 293 samples from both island groups were comparatively much lower (less than 2%). This seroprevalence study in the horse population shows that horses can be infected with dengue and Zika viruses and that these infections lead to seroconversions in horses. The consequences of these infections in horses and their role in ZIKV and DENV epidemiological cycles are two issues that deserve further investigation.
Project description:Antibodies to Zika virus (ZIKV) can be protective. To examine the antibody response in individuals who develop high titers of anti-ZIKV antibodies, we screened cohorts in Brazil and Mexico for ZIKV envelope domain III (ZEDIII) binding and neutralization. We find that serologic reactivity to dengue 1 virus (DENV1) EDIII before ZIKV exposure is associated with increased ZIKV neutralizing titers after exposure. Antibody cloning shows that donors with high ZIKV neutralizing antibody titers have expanded clones of memory B cells that express the same immunoglobulin VH3-23/VK1-5 genes. These recurring antibodies cross-react with DENV1, but not other flaviviruses, neutralize both DENV1 and ZIKV, and protect mice against ZIKV challenge. Structural analyses reveal the mechanism of recognition of the ZEDIII lateral ridge by VH3-23/VK1-5 antibodies. Serologic testing shows that antibodies to this region correlate with serum neutralizing activity to ZIKV. Thus, high neutralizing responses to ZIKV are associated with pre-existing reactivity to DENV1 in humans.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Many flaviviruses are significant human pathogens that cause global public health threats. Developing research tools for studying and diagnosing these pathogens is a top priority. Reporter flaviviruses are useful tools for studying viral pathogenesis, diagnosing disease, and screening antiviral compounds. However, the stability of reporter flaviviruses has been challenged by viral RNA recombination, leading to deletion of the engineered reporter gene during viral replication. The instability of reporter viruses has limited their application to research and countermeasure development. Thus, new approaches to overcome the instability of reporter flaviviruses are critically needed to advance the flavivirus field.<h4>Methods</h4>To create a stable flavivirus bearing a reporter gene, we engineered mutations in the viral capsid gene that are rendered virus-lethal upon recombination. Thus, only non-recombined reporter virus propagates. We tested this strategy using Zika virus (ZIKV) bearing a nano-luciferase (NanoLuc) gene and passaged both virus with capsid mutations and virus without mutations.<h4>Findings</h4>The recombination-dependent lethal mutations succeeded in stabilizing the NanoLuc ZIKV through ten passages, while WT reporter virus showed instability as early as five passages. The stability of NanoLuc ZIKV was supported by RT-PCR, sequencing, focus forming assay, and luciferase assay. The success of this method was reconfirmed by also establishing a stable NanoLuc Yellow Fever 17D virus, indicating that the recombination-dependent lethal approach can be applied to other flaviviruses. To demonstrate the utility of the stable reporter viruses, we showed that NanoLuc ZIKV and YFV17D could be used to measure neutralizing antibody titers with a turnaround time as short as four hours. Importantly, the neutralizing antibody titers derived from the reporter virus assay were equivalent to those derived from the conventional plaque assay, indicating the new assay maintains the gold standard of serology testing. Furthermore, using a known inhibitor, we showed that the reporter viruses could be reliably used for antiviral evaluation.<h4>Interpretation</h4>The study has developed a recombination-dependent lethal approach to produce stable reporter flaviviruses that may be used for rapid serodiagnosis, trans-gene delivery, vaccine evaluation, and antiviral discovery.<h4>Funding</h4>National Institute of Health, Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation; John S. Dunn Foundation; Amon G. Carter Foundation; Gillson Longenbaugh Foundation; Summerfield G. Roberts Foundation.
Project description:Flavivirus nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) contains an N-terminal methyltransferase (MTase) domain and a C-terminal polymerase (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase [RdRp]) domain fused through a 9-amino-acid linker. While the individual NS5 domains are structurally conserved, in the full-length protein, their relative orientations fall into two classes: the NS5 proteins from Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) adopt one conformation, while the NS5 protein from dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV3) adopts another. Here, we report a crystallographic structure of NS5 from DENV2 in a conformation similar to the extended one seen in JEV and ZIKV NS5 crystal structures. Replacement of the DENV2 NS5 linker with DENV1, DENV3, DENV4, JEV, and ZIKV NS5 linkers had modest or minimal effects on in vitro DENV2 MTase and RdRp activities. Heterotypic DENV NS5 linkers attenuated DENV2 replicon growth in cells, while the JEV and ZIKV NS5 linkers abolished replication. Thus, the JEV and ZIKV linkers likely hindered essential DENV2 NS5 interactions with other viral or host proteins within the virus replicative complex. Overall, this work sheds light on the dynamics of the multifunctional flavivirus NS5 protein and its interdomain linker. Targeting the NS5 linker is a possible strategy for producing attenuated flavivirus strains for vaccine design.IMPORTANCE Flaviviruses include important human pathogens, such as dengue virus and Zika virus. NS5 is a nonstructural protein essential for flavivirus RNA replication with dual MTase and RdRp enzyme activities and thus constitutes a major drug target. Insights into NS5 structure, dynamics, and evolution should inform the development of antiviral inhibitors and vaccine design. We found that NS5 from DENV2 can adopt a conformation resembling that of NS5 from JEV and ZIKV. Replacement of the DENV2 NS5 linker with the JEV and ZIKV NS5 linkers abolished DENV2 replication in cells, without significantly impacting in vitro DENV2 NS5 enzymatic activities. We propose that heterotypic flavivirus NS5 linkers impede DENV2 NS5 protein-protein interactions that are essential for virus replication.
Project description:The recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas has challenged diagnostic laboratory testing strategies. At the Wadsworth Center, ZIKV serological testing was performed for over 10,000 specimens, using a combination of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IgM antibodies (Abs) to ZIKV, a polyvalent microsphere immunoassay (MIA) to detect Abs broadly reactive with flaviviruses, and a plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for further testing. Overall, 42% of patients showed serological evidence of flavivirus infection (primarily past dengue virus [DENV] infection), while 7% possessed IgM Abs to ZIKV and/or DENV. ZIKV IgM Abs typically arose within 3 to 4 days, with only one instance of duration beyond 100 days after reported symptoms. PRNT analysis of 826 IgM-positive specimens showed 7% positive neutralization to ZIKV alone, 9% to DENV alone, and 85% to both ZIKV and DENV. Thus, the extensive Ab cross-reactivity among flaviviruses significantly reduced the value of performing PRNT analysis, especially when a traditional paired serum algorithm with viral neutralization titering was used. Nevertheless, the finding of a negative ZIKV result by PRNT was invaluable for reassuring both physicians and patients. The MIA detected both IgM and IgG, which enabled us to identify patients who presented without IgM anti-ZIKV Abs but still had ZIKV-specific neutralizing Abs. On the basis of these results, a new algorithm, which included an IgM Ab capture (MAC)-ELISA to detect recent infection, a flavivirus MIA to identify patients no longer producing IgM, and a single-dilution PRNT for ZIKV exclusion and occasional discrimination of ZIKV and DENV, was implemented.
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:Dengue viruses (DENV) infect 50 to 100 million people each year. The spread of DENV-associated infections is one of the most serious public health problems worldwide, as there is no widely available vaccine or specific therapeutic for DENV infections. To address this, we developed a novel tetravalent dengue vaccine by utilizing virus-like particles (VLPs). We created recombinant DENV1 to -4 (DENV1-4) VLPs by coexpressing precursor membrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins, with an F108A mutation in the fusion loop structure of E to increase the production of VLPs in mammalian cells. Immunization with DENV1-4 VLPs as individual, monovalent vaccines elicited strong neutralization activity against each DENV serotype in mice. For use as a tetravalent vaccine, DENV1-4 VLPs elicited high levels of neutralization activity against all four serotypes simultaneously. The neutralization antibody responses induced by the VLPs were significantly higher than those with DNA or recombinant E protein immunization. Moreover, antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) was not observed against any serotype at a 1:10 serum dilution. We also demonstrated that the Zika virus (ZIKV) VLP production level was enhanced by introducing the same F108A mutation into the ZIKV envelope protein. Taken together, these results suggest that our strategy for DENV VLP production is applicable to other flavivirus VLP vaccine development, due to the similarity in viral structures, and they describe the promising development of an effective tetravalent vaccine against the prevalent flavivirus.IMPORTANCE Dengue virus poses one of the most serious public health problems worldwide, and the incidence of diseases caused by the virus has increased dramatically. Despite decades of effort, there is no effective treatment against dengue. A safe and potent vaccine against dengue is still needed. We developed a novel tetravalent dengue vaccine by using virus-like particles (VLPs), which are noninfectious because they lack the viral genome. Previous attempts of other groups to use dengue VLPs resulted in generally poor yields. We found that a critical amino acid mutation in the envelope protein enhances the production of VLPs. Our tetravalent vaccine elicited potent neutralizing antibody responses against all four DENV serotypes. Our findings can also be applied to vaccine development against other flaviviruses, such as Zika virus or West Nile virus.