Human Schwann cells are susceptible to infection with Zika and yellow fever viruses, but not dengue virus.
ABSTRACT: Zika virus (ZIKV) is a re-emerged flavivirus transmitted by Aedes spp mosquitoes that has caused outbreaks of fever and rash on islands in the Pacific and in the Americas. These outbreaks have been associated with neurologic complications that include congenital abnormalities and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The pathogenesis of ZIKV-associated GBS, a potentially life-threatening peripheral nerve disease, remains unclear. Because Schwann cells (SCs) play a central role in peripheral nerve function and can be the target for damage in GBS, we characterized the interactions of ZIKV isolates from Africa, Asia and Brazil with human SCs in comparison with the related mosquito-transmitted flaviviruses yellow fever virus 17D (YFV) and dengue virus type 2 (DENV2). SCs supported sustained replication of ZIKV and YFV, but not DENV. ZIKV infection induced increased SC expression of IL-6, interferon (IFN)?1, IFN-?, IFIT-1, TNF? and IL-23A mRNAs as well as IFN-? receptors and negative regulators of IFN signaling. SCs expressed baseline mRNAs for multiple potential flavivirus receptors and levels did not change after ZIKV infection. SCs did not express detectable levels of cell surface Fc? receptors. This study demonstrates the susceptibility and biological responses of SCs to ZIKV infection of potential importance for the pathogenesis of ZIKV-associated GBS.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus associated with severe neonatal birth defects, but the causative mechanism is incompletely understood. ZIKV shares sequence homology and early clinical manifestations with yellow fever virus (YFV) and dengue virus (DENV) and are all transmitted in urban cycles by the same species of mosquitoes. However, YFV and DENV have been rarely reported to cause congenital diseases. Here, we compared infection with a contemporary ZIKV strain (FSS13025) to YFV17D and DENV-4 in human monocytic cells (THP-1) and first-trimester trophoblasts (HTR-8). Our results suggest that all three viruses have similar tropisms for both cells. Nevertheless, ZIKV induced strong type 1 IFN and inflammatory cytokine and chemokine production in monocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Furthermore, ZIKV infection in trophoblasts induced lower IFN and higher inflammatory immune responses. Placental inflammation is known to contribute to the risk of brain damage in preterm newborns. Inhibition of toll-like receptor (TLR)3 and TLR8 each abrogated the inflammatory cytokine responses in ZIKV-infected trophoblasts. Our findings identify a potential link between maternal immune activation and ZIKV-induced congenital diseases, and a potential therapeutic strategy that targets TLR-mediated inflammatory responses in the placenta.
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: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:Zika virus (ZIKV) has spread widely in the Pacific and recently throughout the Americas. Unless detected by RT-PCR, confirming an acute ZIKV infection can be challenging. We developed and validated a multiplexed flavivirus immunoglobulin M (IgM) microsphere immunoassay (flaviMIA) which can differentiate ZIKV-specific IgM from that due to other flavivirus infections in humans. The flaviMIA bound 12 inactivated flavivirus antigens, including those from ZIKV and yellow fever virus (YFV), to distinct anti-flavivirus antibody coupled beads. These beads were used to interrogate sera from patients with suspected ZIKV infection following travel to relevant countries. FlaviMIA results were validated by comparison to the ZIKV plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The results highlight the complexity of serological ZIKV diagnosis, particularly in patients previously exposed to or vaccinated against other flaviviruses. We confirmed 99 patients with ZIKV infection by a combination of RT-PCR and serology. Importantly, ZIKV antibodies could be discriminated from those ascribed to other flavivirus infections. Serological results were sometimes confounded by the presence of pre-existing antibodies attributed to previous flavivirus infection or vaccination. Where RT-PCR results were negative, testing of appropriately timed paired sera was necessary to demonstrate seroconversion or differentiation of recent from past infection with or exposure to ZIKV.
Project description:Recent outbreaks of yellow fever virus (YFV) in West Africa and Brazil resulted in rapid depletion of global vaccine emergency stockpiles and raised concerns about being unprepared against future YFV epidemics. Here we report that a live attenuated virus similar to the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vaccine JE-CVax/Imojev that consists of YFV-17D vaccine from which the structural (prM/E) genes have been replaced with those of the JEV SA14-14-2 vaccine strain confers full protection in mice against lethal YFV challenge. In contrast to the YFV-17D-mediated protection against YFV, this protection is not mediated by neutralizing antibodies but correlates with YFV-specific nonneutralizing antibodies and T cell responses against cell-associated YFV NS1 and other YFV nonstructural (NS) proteins. Our findings reveal the potential of YFV NS proteins to mediate protection and demonstrate that chimeric flavivirus vaccines, such as Imojev, could confer protection against two flaviviruses. This dual protection may have implications for the possible off-label use of JE-CVax in case of emergency and vaccine shortage during YFV outbreaks. In addition, populations in Asia that have been vaccinated with Imojev may already be protected against YFV should outbreaks ever occur on that continent, as several countries/regions in the Asia-Pacific are vulnerable to international spread of the YFV.IMPORTANCE Efficient and safe vaccines against yellow fever (e.g., YFV-17D) that provide long-lasting protection by rapidly inducing neutralizing antibody responses exist. However, the vaccine supply cannot cope with an increasing demand posed by urban outbreaks in recent years. Here we report that JE-CVax/Imojev, a YFV-17D-based chimeric Japanese encephalitis vaccine, also efficiently protects against YFV infection in mice. In case of shortage of the YFV vaccine during yellow fever outbreaks, (off-label) use of JE-CVax/Imojev may be considered. Moreover, wider use of JE-CVax/Imojev in Asia may lower the risk of the much-feared YFV spillover to the continent. More generally, chimeric vaccines that combine surface antigens and replication machineries of two distinct flaviviruses may be considered dual vaccines for the latter pathogen without induction of surface-specific antibodies. Following this rationale, novel flavivirus vaccines that do not hold a risk for antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection (inherent to current dengue vaccines and dengue vaccine candidates) could be designed.
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:The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in the Americas, followed by the yellow fever virus (YFV) outbreaks in Angola and Brazil highlight the urgent need for safe and efficient vaccines against the ZIKV as well as much greater production capacity for the YFV-17D vaccine. Given that the ZIKV and the YFV are largely prevalent in the same geographical areas, vaccines that would provide dual protection against both pathogens may obviously offer a significant benefit. We have recently engineered a chimeric vaccine candidate (YF-ZIKprM/E) by swapping the sequences encoding the YFV-17D surface glycoproteins prM/E by the corresponding sequences of the ZIKV. A single vaccine dose of YF-ZIKprM/E conferred complete protection against a lethal challenge with wild-type ZIKV strains. Surprisingly, this vaccine candidate also efficiently protected against lethal YFV challenge in various mouse models. We demonstrate that CD8+ but not CD4+ T cells, nor ZIKV neutralizing antibodies are required to confer protection against YFV. The chimeric YF-ZIKprM/E vaccine may thus be considered as a dual vaccine candidate efficiently protecting mice against both the ZIKV and the YFV, and this following a single dose immunization. Our finding may be particularly important in the rational design of vaccination strategies against flaviviruses, in particular in areas where YFV and ZIKV co-circulate.
Project description:Even in countries that are currently not facing a flavivirus epidemic, the spread of mosquito-borne flaviviruses presents an increasing public threat, owing to climate change, international travel, and other factors. Many of these countries lack the resources (viral strains, clinical specimens, etc.) needed for the research that could help cope with the threat imposed by flaviviruses, and therefore, an alternative approach is needed. Using an in silico approach to global databases, we aimed to design and develop flavivirus NS1 recombinant proteins with due consideration towards antigenic variation. NS1 genes analyzed in this study included a total of 6,823 sequences, from Dengue virus (DENV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), West Nile virus (WNV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and Yellow fever virus (YKV). We extracted and analyzed 316 DENV NS1 sequence types (STs), 59 JEV STs, 75 WNV STs, 30 YFV STs, and 43 ZIKV STs using a simple algorithm based on phylogenetic analysis. STs were reclassified according to the variation of the major epitope by MHC II binding. 78 DENV epitope type (EpT), 29 JEV EpTs, 29 WNV EpTs, 12 YFV EpTs, and 5 ZIKV EpTs were extracted according to their major epitopes. Also, frequency results showed that there were dominant EpTs in all flavivirus. Fifteen STs were selected and purified for the expression of recombinant antigen in Escherichia coli by sodium dodecyl sulfate extraction. Our study details a novel in silico approach for the development of flavivirus diagnostics, including a simple way to screen the important peptide regions.
Project description:A live-attenuated, human vaccine against mosquito-borne yellow fever virus has been available since the 1930s. The vaccine provides long-lasting immunity and consistent mass vaccination campaigns counter viral spread. However, traditional egg-based vaccine manufacturing requires about 12 months and vaccine supplies are chronically close to shortages. In particular, for urban outbreaks, vaccine demand can be covered rarely by global stockpiling. Thus, there is an urgent need for an improved vaccine production platform, ideally transferable to other flaviviruses including Zika virus. Here, we present a proof-of-concept study regarding cell culture-based yellow fever virus 17D (YFV) and wild-type Zika virus (ZIKV) production using duck embryo-derived EB66® cells. Based on comprehensive studies in shake flasks, 1-L bioreactor systems were operated with scalable hollow fiber-based tangential flow filtration (TFF) and alternating tangential flow filtration (ATF) perfusion systems for process intensification. EB66® cells grew in chemically defined medium to cell concentrations of 1.6?×?108 cells/mL. Infection studies with EB66®-adapted virus led to maximum YFV titers of 7.3?×?108 PFU/mL, which corresponds to about 10 million vaccine doses for the bioreactor harvest. For ZIKV, titers of 1.0?×?1010 PFU/mL were achieved. Processes were automated successfully using a capacitance probe to control perfusion rates based on on-line measured cell concentrations. The use of cryo-bags for direct inoculation of production bioreactors facilitates pre-culture preparation contributing to improved process robustness. In conclusion, this platform is a powerful option for next generation cell culture-based flavivirus vaccine manufacturing.
Project description:Mosquito-borne flaviviruses, including yellow fever virus (YFV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and West Nile virus (WNV), profoundly affect human health. The successful transmission of these viruses to a human host depends on the pathogen's ability to overcome a potentially sterilizing immune response in the vector mosquito. Similar to other invertebrate animals and plants, the mosquito's RNA silencing pathway comprises its primary antiviral defense. Although a diverse range of plant and insect viruses has been found to encode suppressors of RNA silencing, the mechanisms by which flaviviruses antagonize antiviral small RNA pathways in disease vectors are unknown. Here we describe a viral suppressor of RNA silencing (VSR) encoded by the prototype flavivirus, YFV. We show that the YFV capsid (YFC) protein inhibits RNA silencing in the mosquito Aedes aegypti by interfering with Dicer. This VSR activity appears to be broadly conserved in the C proteins of other medically important flaviviruses, including that of ZIKV. These results suggest that a molecular "arms race" between vector and pathogen underlies the continued existence of flaviviruses in nature.