Enterovirus A71 Infection Activates Human Immune Responses and Induces Pathological Changes in Humanized Mice.
ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) half a century ago, it has been recognized as the cause of large-scale outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease worldwide, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, causing great concern for public health and economic burdens. Detailed mechanisms on the modulation of immune responses after EV-A71 infection have not been fully known, and the lack of appropriate models hinders the development of promising vaccines and drugs. In the present study, NOD-scid IL2R?-/- (NSG) mice with a human immune system (humanized mice) at the age of 4 weeks were found to be susceptible to a human isolate of EV-A71 infection. After infection, humanized mice displayed limb weakness, which is similar to the clinical features found in some of the EV-A71-infected patients. Histopathological examination indicated the presence of vacuolation, gliosis, or meningomyelitis in brain stem and spinal cord, which were accompanied by high viral loads detected in these organs. The numbers of activated human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were upregulated after EV-A71 infection, and EV-A71-specific human T cell responses were found. Furthermore, the secretion of several proinflammatory cytokines, such as human gamma interferon (IFN-?), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and IL-17A, was elevated in the EV-A71-infected humanized mice. Taken together, our results suggested that the humanized mouse model permits insights into the human immune responses and the pathogenesis of EV-A71 infection, which may provide a platform for the evaluation of anti-EV-A71 drug candidates in the future.IMPORTANCE Despite causing self-limited hand-food-and-mouth disease in younger children, EV-A71 is consistently associated with severe forms of neurological complications and pulmonary edema. Nevertheless, only limited vaccines and drugs have been developed over the years, which is possibly due to a lack of models that can more accurately recapitulate human specificity, since human is the only natural host for wild-type EV-A71 infection. Our humanized mouse model not only mimics histological symptoms in patients but also allows us to investigate the function of the human immune system during infection. It was found that human T cell responses were activated, accompanied by an increase in the production of proinflammatory cytokines in EV-A71-infected humanized mice, which might contribute to the exacerbation of disease pathogenesis. Collectively, this model allows us to delineate the modulation of human immune responses during EV-A71 infection and may provide a platform to evaluate anti-EV-A71 drug candidates in the future.
Project description:Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) is responsible for the majority of severe cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease, but little evidence is available on the severity profile of EV-A71 infections. We formulated a hierarchical Bayesian model that synthesized data on diseases/events associated with EV-A71 and EV-A71 antibody responses to infection among unvaccinated children from large clinical trials of EV-A71 vaccination, which were conducted in Jiangsu and Beijing during 2012 and 2013, to reconstruct the severity profile in a unified framework. On average, 15.1% of the children aged 6-35 months were infected by EV-A71 during 1-year follow-up in a mild epidemic season. We estimated that 9.7%, 2.2%, and 0.6% of children infected with EV-A71 were diagnosed with EV-A71-associated diseases, were hospitalized, and showed severe complications, respectively. We estimated on average 1 death per 10,000 EV-A71 infections for children aged 6-35 months. Approximately 70% of children had ?4-fold rises in antibody titers after infection. Most EV-A71 infections in young children are mild, and overall 2.2% of the infected patients were hospitalized in the 2 trials. There remain several uncertainties about the immune response after infection and the duration of immunity against EV-A71 reinfection.
Project description:Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) is a major etiological agent of human hand, foot and mouth disease, and it can cause severe neurological complications. Although several genotypes of EV-A71 strains are prevalent in different regions of the world, the genotype C4 has circulated in mainland China for more than 20 years. The pathogenicity of different EV-A71 clinical isolates varies and needs to be explored. In this study, hSCARB2 knock-in mice (N?=?181) with a wide range of ages were tested for their susceptibility to two EV-A71 strains with the subgenotypes C4 and C2, and two infection routes (intracranial and venous) were compared. The clinical manifestations and pathology and their relationship to the measured viral loads in different tissues were monitored. We observed that 3 weeks is a crucial age, as mice younger than 3-week-old that were infected became extremely ill. However, mice older than 3 weeks displayed diverse clinical symptoms. Significant differences were observed in the pathogenicity of the two strains with respect to clinical signs, disease incidence, survival rate, and body weight change. We concluded that hSCARB2 knock-in mice are a sensitive model for investigating the clinical outcomes resulting from infection by different EV-A71 strains. The intracranial infection model appears to be suitable for evaluating EV-A71 neurovirulence, whereas the venous infection model is appropriate for studying the pathogenicity of EV-A71.
Project description:Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) has emerged as a major pathogen causing hand, foot, and mouth disease, as well as neurological disorders. The host immune response affects the outcomes of EV-A71 infection, leading to either resolution or disease progression. However, the mechanisms of how the mammalian innate immune system detects EV-A71 infection to elicit antiviral immunity remain elusive. Here, we report that the Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is a key viral RNA sensor for sensing EV-A71 infection to trigger antiviral immunity. Expression of TLR3 in HEK293 cells enabled the cells to sense EV-A71 infection, leading to type I, IFN-mediated antiviral immunity. Viral double-stranded RNA derived from EV-A71 infection was a key ligand for TLR3 detection. Silencing of TLR3 in mouse and human primary immune cells impaired the activation of IFN-β upon EV-A71 infection, thus reinforcing the importance of the TLR3 pathway in defending against EV-A71 infection. Our results further demonstrated that TLR3 was a target of EV-A71 infection. EV-A71 protease 2A was implicated in the downregulation of TLR3. Together, our results not only demonstrate the importance of the TLR3 pathway in response to EV-A71 infection, but also reveal the involvement of EV-A71 protease 2A in subverting TLR3-mediated antiviral defenses.
Project description:Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) infection is primarily responsible for fatal hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) cases. Infants and younger children are more likely to suffer central nervous system damage as a result of EV-A71 infection, but this virus mostly does not affect older children and adults. This study investigated the possible mechanism underlying the age-dependent lethal effect of EV-A71 infection by comparing neonatal and adult mouse models of EV-A71 infection. Although viral proliferation is absent in both neonatal and adult mice, we observed that EV-A71, as a stimulus for astrocytes, elevates the levels of cytokines and monoamine neurotransmitters in neonatal mice. Then, we selected IL-6 and adrenaline as targets in a pharmacological approach to further validate the roles of these factors in mediating the mortality of neonatal mice after EV-A71 infection. Intracerebral injection of IL-6 and adrenaline enhanced the severity of EV-A71 infection, while treatment with an anti-IL-6-neutralizing antibody or the adrenergic-antagonist phenoxybenzamine reversed the lethal effect of EV-A71 in neonatal mice. These results suggest that the central nervous system (CNS) damage in neonatal cases of EV-A71 infection might be caused by an activated fetal cerebral immune response to the virus, including the disruption of brainstem function through increased levels of cytokines and neurotransmitters, rather than the typical cytopathic effect (CPE) of viral infection.
Project description:Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), the pathogen responsible for the seasonal hand-foot-and-mouth epidemics, can cause significant mortality in infants and young children. The vaccine against EV-A71 could potentially prevent virus-induced neurological complications and mortalities occurring due to the high risk of poliomyelitis-like paralysis and fatal encephalitis. It is known that polysaccharide purified from Ganoderma lucidum (PS-G) can effectively modulate immune function. Here, we used PS-G as an adjuvant with the EV-A71 mucosal vaccine and studied its effects. Our data showed that PS-G-adjuvanted EV-A71 generated significantly better IgA and IgG in the serum, saliva, nasal wash, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and feces. More importantly, these antibodies could neutralize the infectivity of EV-A71 (C2 genotype) and cross-neutralize the B4, B5, and C4 genotypes of EV-A71. In addition, more EV-A71-specific IgA- and IgG- secreting cells were observed with the used of a combination of EV-A71 and PS-G. Furthermore, T-cell proliferative responses and IFN-? and IL-17 secretions levels were notably increased in splenocytes when the EV-A71 vaccine contained PS-G. We also found that levels of IFN-? and IL-17 released in Peyer's patch cells were significantly increased in EV-A71, after it was combined with PS-G. We further demonstrated that both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were able to generate IFN-? and IL-17 in the spleen. An easy-accessed model of hybrid hSCARB2+/+/stat-1-/- mice was used for EV-A71 infection and pathogenesis. We infected the mouse model with EV-A71, which was premixed with mouse sera immunized with the EV-A71 vaccine with or without PS-G. Indeed, in the EV-A71 + PS-G group, the levels of VP1-specific RNA sequences in the brain, spinal cord, and muscle decreased significantly. Finally, hSCARB2-Tg mice immunized via the intranasal route with the PS-G-adjuvanted EV-A71 vaccine resisted a subsequent lethal oral EV-A71 challenge. Taken together, these results demonstrated that PS-G could potentially be used as an adjuvant for the EV-A71 mucosal vaccine.
Project description:Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) has been recognized as an important global public health issue, which is predominantly caused by enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16). There is no available vaccine against HFMD. An ideal HFMD vaccine should be bivalent against both EV-A71 and CVA16. Here, a novel strategy to produce bivalent HFMD vaccine based on chimeric EV-A71 virus-like particles (ChiEV-A71 VLPs) was proposed and illustrated. The neutralizing epitope SP70 within the capsid protein VP1 of EV-A71 was replaced with that of CVA16 in ChiEV-A71 VLPs. Structural modeling revealed that the replaced CVA16-SP70 epitope is well exposed on the surface of ChiEV-A71 VLPs. These VLPs produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibited similarity in both protein composition and morphology as naive EV-A71 VLPs. Immunization with ChiEV-A71 VLPs in mice elicited robust Th1/Th2 dependent immune responses against EV-A71 and CVA16. Furthermore, passive immunization with anti-ChiEV-A71 VLPs sera conferred full protection against lethal challenge of both EV-A71 and CVA16 infection in neonatal mice. These results suggested that this chimeric vaccine, ChiEV-A71 might have the potential to be further developed as a bivalent HFMD vaccine in the near future. Such chimeric enterovirus VLPs provide an alternative platform for bivalent HFMD vaccine development.
Project description:Circulating enterovirus 71 (EV-A71)-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease is on the rise in the Asian-Pacific region. Although animal models have been developed using mouse-adapted EV-A71 strains, mouse models using primary EV-A71 isolates are scarce. Lethal animal models with circulating EV-A71 infection would contribute to studies of pathogenesis as well as vaccine development and evaluation.In this study, we established a lethal mouse model using primary EV-A71 isolates from patients infected with serotypes that are currently circulating in humans. We also characterized the dose-dependent virulence and pathologic changes of circulating EV-A71 in this mouse model. Most importantly, we have established this mouse model as a suitable system for EV-A71 vaccine evaluation. An inactivated EV-A71 vaccine candidate offered complete protection from death induced by various circulating EV-A71 viruses to neonatal mice that were born to immunized female mice. The sera of the immunized dams and their pups showed higher neutralization titers against multiple circulating EV-A71 viruses.Thus, our newly established animal model using primary EV-A71 isolates is helpful for future studies on viral pathogenesis and vaccine and drug development.
Project description:Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an emerging infection with pandemic potential. Knowledge of neutralizing antibody responses among its pathogens is essential to inform vaccine development and epidemiologic research. We used 120 paired-plasma samples collected at enrollment and >7 days after the onset of illness from HFMD patients infected with enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), coxsackievirus A (CVA) 6, CVA10, and CVA16 to study cross neutralization. For homotypic viruses, seropositivity increased from <60% at enrollment to 97%-100% at follow-up, corresponding to seroconversion rates of 57%-93%. Seroconversion for heterotypic viruses was recorded in only 3%-23% of patients. All plasma samples from patients infected with EV-A71 subgenogroup B5 could neutralize the emerging EV-A71 subgenogroup C4. Collectively, our results support previous reports about the potential benefit of EV-A71 vaccine but highlight the necessity of multivalent vaccines to control HFMD.
Project description:Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) is one of the main causative agents of hand-foot-and-mouth disease and is occasionally associated with severe neurological complications. EV-A71 pathophysiology is poorly understood due to the lack of small animal models that robustly support viral replication in relevant organs/tissues. Here, we show that adult severe combined immune-deficient (SCID) mice can serve as an EV-A71 infection model to study neurotropic determinants and viral tropism. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with an EV-A71 clinical isolate had an initial infection of the lung compartment, followed by neuroinvasion and infection of (motor)neurons, resulting in slowly progressing paralysis of the limbs. We identified a substitution (V135I) in the capsid protein VP2 as a key requirement for neurotropism. This substitution was also present in a mouse-adapted variant, obtained by passaging the clinical isolate in the brain of one-day-old mice, and induced exclusive neuropathology and rapid paralysis, confirming its role in neurotropism. Finally, we showed that this residue enhances the capacity of EV-A71 to use mouse PSGL1 for viral entry. Our data reveal that EV-A71 initially disseminates to the lung and identify viral and host determinants that define the neurotropic character of EV-A71, pointing to a hitherto understudied role of PSGL1 in EV-A71 tropism and neuropathology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Enterovirus 71 (EV71 or EV-A71) was first identified in California about half a century ago. In recent years, outbreaks of EV-A71 were prevalent worldwide, including Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and China. Between 2008 and 2011, China alone reported 1894 deaths associated with EV-A71 infection. In mild cases, EV-A71 can cause herpangina and hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD). However, in severe cases, it could cause neurological disorders, including meningitis and encephalitis. Cardiopulmonary failure is common among hospitalized children with EV-A71 infection. No effective FDA-approved therapeutics against EV-A71 are clinically available. METHODS:We report the establishment of an immunocompetent wild type strain 129 (wt-129) mouse model, which can be cross-species infected with human EV-A71 clinical isolates via an intraperitoneal route. RESULTS:One intriguing disease phenotype of this new model is the development of characteristic "White-Jade" patches in the muscle, which lost sporadically the normal pink color of uninfected muscle. Viral VP1 protein and massive leukocyte infiltration were detected in muscles with or without white-jades. We demonstrated further that hypoxia is a general phenomenon associated with white-jades in both immunocompetent and immunodeficient mouse models. Therefore, hypoxia appears to be a feature intrinsic to EV-A71 infection, irrespective of its host's immunogenetic background. To date, no effective treatment for EV-A71 is available. Here, using this new wt-129 mouse model, we showed that timely treatment with compound R837 (a TLR7 immune modulator) via oral or intraperitoneal routes, rescued the hypoxia, limb paralysis, and death at a high therapeutic efficacy. CONCLUSIONS:In this new immunocompetent mouse 129 model, we observed an unexpected white-jade phenotype and its associated hypoxia. The successful treatment with TLR7 immune modulators via an oral route, provide us a new research direction for EV-A71 basic science and translational research. It remains an open issue whether R837 or its related compounds, will be a promising drug candidate in clinical trials in EV-A71 endemic or epidemic areas in the future.