Dengue (DENV) and Zika viruses (ZIKV) are closely related mosquito-borne flaviviruses that co-circulate in tropical regions and constitute major threats to global human health. Whether preexisting immunity to one virus affects disease caused by the other during primary or secondary infections is unknown but is critical in preparing for future outbreaks and predicting vaccine safety. Using a human skin explant model, we show that DENV-3 immune sera increased recruitment and infection of Langerhans cells, macrophages and dermal dendritic cells following inoculation with DENV-2 or ZIKV. Similarly, ZIKV immune sera enhanced infection with DENV-2. Immune sera increased migration of infected Langerhans cells to dermis and emigration of infected cells out of skin. Heterotypic immune sera increased viral RNA in dermis almost tenfold and reduced the amount of virus required to infect a majority of myeloid cells by 100 to 1,000 fold. Enhancement was associated with cross-reactive IgG and induction of IL-10 expression and was mediated by both CD32 and CD64 Fcγ receptors. These findings reveal that preexisting heterotypic immunity greatly enhances DENV and ZIKV infection, replication and spread in human skin. This relevant tissue model will be valuable in assessing the efficacy and risk of dengue and Zika vaccines in humans.
Priscila M.S. Castanha, Geza Erdos, Simon C. Watkins, Louis D. Falo, Jr., Ernesto T.A. Marques, Simon M. Barratt-Boyes
To investigate the nationwide severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) infection status, we isolated SFTSVs from severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS)-suspected patients in 207 hospitals throughout South Korea between 2013 and April of 2017. A total of 116 SFTSVs were isolated from 3,137 SFTS-suspected patients with an overall 21.6% case fatality rate. Genetic characterization revealed that at least six genotypes of SFTSVs are co-circulating in South Korea with multiple reassortments among them. Of these, the genotype B-2 strains were the most prevalent (n = 48, 36.1%) followed by the A and F genotypes. Clinical and epidemiologic investigations revealed that genotype B strains were associated with the highest case-fatality rate (34.8%, 32/92), while genotype A caused only one fatality out of ten patients. Further, ferret infection studies demonstrated varied clinical manifestations and case mortality rates of different strains of SFTSV, which suggests this virus could exhibit genotype-dependent pathogenicity.Keywords: severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), clinical manifestations, genotypes, pathogenesis
Seok-Min Yun, Su-Jin Park, Young-Il Kim, Sun-Whan Park, Min-Ah Yu, Hyeok-Il Kwon, Eun-Ha Kim, Kwang-Min Yu, Hye Won Jeong, Jungsang Ryou, Won-Ja Lee, Youngmee Jee, Joo-Yeon Lee, Young Ki Choi
Despite an unprecedented 2 decades of success, the combat against malaria — the mosquito-transmitted disease caused by Plasmodium parasites — is no longer progressing. Efforts toward eradication are threatened by the lack of an effective vaccine and a rise in antiparasite drug resistance. Alternative approaches are urgently needed. Repurposing of available, approved drugs with distinct modes of action are being considered as viable and immediate adjuncts to standard antimicrobial treatment. Such strategies may be well suited to the obligatory and clinically silent first phase of Plasmodium infection, where massive parasite replication occurs within hepatocytes in the liver. Here, we report that the widely used antidiabetic drug, metformin, impairs parasite liver stage development of both rodent-infecting Plasmodium berghei and human-infecting P. falciparum parasites. Prophylactic treatment with metformin curtails parasite intracellular growth in vitro. An additional effect was observed in mice with a decrease in the numbers of infected hepatocytes. Moreover, metformin provided in combination with conventional liver- or blood-acting antimalarial drugs further reduced the total burden of P. berghei infection and substantially lessened disease severity in mice. Together, our findings indicate that repurposing of metformin in a prophylactic regimen could be considered for malaria chemoprevention.
Iset Medina Vera, Margarida T. Grilo Ruivo, Leonardo F. Lemos Rocha, Sofia Marques, Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Maria M. Mota, Liliana Mancio-Silva
Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is a pathogen recognition molecule associated with viral infection with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as its ligand. We evaluated the role of TLR3 in bacterial pneumonia using Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP). WT and TLR3–/– mice were subjected to a lethal model of KP. Alveolar macrophage polarization, bactericidal activity, and phagocytic capacity were compared. RNA-sequencing was performed on alveolar macrophages from the WT and TLR3–/– mice. Adoptive transfers of alveolar macrophages from TLR3–/– mice to WT mice with KP were evaluated for survival. Expression of TLR3 in postmortem human lung samples from patients who died from gram-negative pneumonia and pathological grading of pneumonitis was determined. Mortality was significantly lower in TLR3–/–, and survival improved in WT mice following antibody neutralization of TLR3 and with TLR3/dsRNA complex inhibitor. Alveolar macrophages from TLR3–/– mice demonstrated increased bactericidal and phagocytic capacity. RNA-sequencing showed an increased production of chemokines in TLR3–/– mice. Adoptive transfer of alveolar macrophages from the TLR3–/– mice restored the survival in WT mice. Human lung samples demonstrated a good correlation between the grade of pneumonitis and TLR3 expression. These data represent a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanistic role of TLR3 in bacterial pneumonia.
Madathilparambil V. Suresh, Vladislav A. Dolgachev, Boya Zhang, Sanjay Balijepalli, Samantha Swamy, Jashitha Mooliyil, Georgia Kralovich, Bivin Thomas, David Machado-Aranda, Monita Karmakar, Sanjeev Lalwani, Arulselvi Subramanian, Arun Anantharam, Bethany B. Moore, Krishnan Raghavendran
Influenza is a highly contagious viral pathogen with more than 200,000 cases reported in the U.S. during the 2017-2018 season. Annual vaccination is recommended by the World Health Organization with the goal to reduce influenza severity and transmission. Currently available vaccines are ~60% effective and vaccine effectiveness varies from season to season, as well as between different influenza subtypes within a single season. Immunological imprinting from early life influenza infection can prominently shape the immune response to subsequent infections. Here, the impact of pre-existing B cell memory in the response to quadrivalent influenza vaccine was assessed using blood samples collected from healthy subjects (18 to 85 years old) prior to and 21-28 days following influenza vaccination. Influenza vaccination increased both HA-specific antibodies and memory B cells frequency. Despite no apparent differences in antigenicity between vaccine components, most individuals were biased towards one of the vaccine strains. Specifically, responses to H3N2 were reduced in magnitude relative to the other vaccine components. Overall, this study unveils a new mechanism underlying differential vaccine effectiveness against distinct influenza subtypes.
Rodrigo B. Abreu, Greg A. Kirchenbaum, Emily F. Clutter, Giuseppe A. Sautto, Ted M. Ross
Background: Serological tools for the accurate detection of recent malaria exposure are needed to guide and monitor malaria control efforts. IgG responses against P. vivax and P. falciparum merozoite surface protein-10 (MSP10) were measured as a potential way to identify recent malaria exposure in the Peruvian Amazon. Methods: A field-based study included 470 participants in a longitudinal cohort who completed a comprehensive evaluation: light microscopy and PCR on enrollment; at least one monthly follow-up by light microscopy; a second PCR; and serum and dried blood spots for serological analysis at the end of the follow-up. IgG titers against novel mammalian cell-produced recombinant PvMSP10 and PfMSP10 were determined by ELISA. Results: During the follow-up period, 205 participants were infected, including 171 with P. vivax, 26 with P. falciparum, 6 with infections by both species but at different times, and 2 with mixed infections. Exposure to P. vivax was more accurately identified when serological responses to PvMSP10 were obtained from serum (sensitivity, 58.1%; specificity, 81.8%; AUC: 0.76) than from dried blood spots (sensitivity, 35.2; specificity, 83.5%; AUC: 0.64) (PAUC < 0.001). Sensitivity was highest (serum, 82.9%; dried blood spot, 45.7%) with confirmed P. vivax infections occurring 7-30 days before sample collection; sensitivity decreased significantly in relation to time since last documented infection. PvMSP10 serological data did not show evidence of inter-species cross-reactivity. Anti-PfMSP10 responses poorly discriminated between P. falciparum exposed- and non-exposed individuals (AUC = 0.59, P > 0.05). Conclusions: Anti-PvMSP10 IgG indicates recent exposure to P. vivax at the population level in the Amazon region. Serum, not dried blood spots, should be used for such serological tests.
Angel Rosas-Aguirre, Kailash P. Patra, Maritza Calderón, Katherine Torres, Dionicia Gamboa, Edith Arocutipa, Edith Málaga, Katherine Garro, Carlos Fernández, Grace Trompeter, Yossef Alnasser, Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, Robert H. Gilman, Joseph M. Vinetz
Background: Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is protective in children but its efficacy wanes with age. Consequently, determining if BCG revaccination augments anti-TB immunity in young adults in TB endemic regions is vital. Methods: 200 healthy adults, BCG vaccinated at birth were tested for their IGRA status. Of these, 28 IGRA+ and 30 IGRA- were BCG revaccinated and 24 IGRA+ and 23 IGRA- subjects served as unvaccinated controls. T and innate cell responses to mycobacterial antigens were analyzed by 14-colour flow cytometry over 34 weeks. Results: IFN-γ and/or IL-2 Ag85A and BCG-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were boosted by revacciantion at 4 and 34 weeks respectively and were >2-fold higher in IGRA+ compared to IGRA- vaccinees. Polyfunctional Ag85A, BCG and Mtb latency Ag (LTAg)-specific CD4+ T-cells expressing up to 8 cytokines were also significantly enhanced in both IGRA+ and IGRA- vaccinees relative to unvaccinated controls, most markedly in IGRA+ vaccinees. A focussed analysis of Th17 responses revealed expansion of Ag85A, BCG and LTAg-specific total IL-17A+IL-17F+IL-22+ and IL-10+ CD4+ T-cell effectors in both IGRA+ and IGRA- subjects. Also, innate IFN-γ+ NK/γδ/NKT responses were higher in both IGRA+ and IGRA- vaccinees compared to controls. This is the first evidence that BCG revaccination significantly boosts anti-mycobacterial Th1/Th17 responses in IGRA+ and IGRA- subjects. Summary: These data show that BCG revaccination is immunogenic in IGRA- and IGRA+ subjects implying that Mtb pre-infection in IGRA+ subjects does not impact immunogenicity. This has implications for public health and vaccine development strategies. Funding: This work was funded principally by DBT-NIH (BT/MB/Indo-US/HIPC/2013).
Srabanti Rakshit, Asma Ahmed, Vasista Adiga, Bharath K. Sundararaj, Pravat Nalini Sahoo, John Kenneth, George D'Souza, Wesley Bonam, Christina Johnson, Kees L.M.C. Franken, Tom H.M. Ottenhoff, Greg Finak, Raphael Gottardo, Kenneth D. Stuart, Stephen C. De Rosa, M. Juliana McElrath, Annapurna Vyakarnam
Broadly neutralizing Abs targeting the HA stem can provide broad protection against different influenza subtypes, raising the question of how best to elicit such Abs. We have previously demonstrated that vaccination with pandemic live-attenuated influenza vaccine (pLAIV) establishes immune memory for HA head-specific Abs. Here, we determine the extent to which matched versus mismatched LAIV-inactivated subunit vaccine (IIV) prime-boost vaccination elicits stem-specific memory B cells and Abs. We vaccinated African green monkeys with H5N1 pLAIV-pIIV or H5N1 pLAIV followed by seasonal IIV (sIIV) or with H5N1 pLAIV alone and measured Abs and HA-specific B cell responses. While we observed an increase in stem-specific memory B cells, head-specific memory B cell responses were substantially higher than stem-specific responses and were dominant even following boost with mismatched IIV. Neutralizing Abs against heterologous influenza viruses were undetectable. Head-specific B cells from draining lymph nodes exhibited germinal center markers, while stem-specific B cells found in the spleen and peripheral blood did not. Thus, although mismatched prime-boost generated a pool of stem-specific memory B cells, head-specific B cells and serum Abs substantially dominated the immune response. These findings have implications for including full-length native HA in prime-boost strategies intended to induce stem-specific Abs for universal influenza vaccination.
Sinthujan Jegaskanda, Sarah F. Andrews, Adam K. Wheatley, Jonathan W. Yewdell, Adrian B. McDermott, Kanta Subbarao
X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder (XLPDR, Mendelian Inheritance in Man #301220) is a rare syndrome characterized by recurrent infections and sterile multiorgan inflammation. The syndrome is caused by an intronic mutation in POLA1, the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase-α (Pol-α), which is responsible for Okazaki fragment synthesis during DNA replication. Reduced POLA1 expression in this condition triggers spontaneous type I interferon expression, which can be linked to the autoinflammatory manifestations of the disease. However, the history of recurrent infections in this syndrome is as yet unexplained. Here we report that patients with XLPDR have reduced NK cell cytotoxic activity and decreased numbers of NK cells, particularly differentiated, stage V, cells (CD3–CD56dim). This phenotype is reminiscent of hypomorphic mutations in MCM4, which encodes a component of the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) helicase complex that is functionally linked to Pol-α during the DNA replication process. We find that POLA1 deficiency leads to MCM4 depletion and that both can impair NK cell natural cytotoxicity and show that this is due to a defect in lytic granule polarization. Altogether, our study provides mechanistic connections between Pol-α and the MCM complex and demonstrates their relevance in NK cell function.
Petro Starokadomskyy, Katelynn M. Wilton, Konrad Krzewski, Adam Lopez, Luis Sifuentes-Dominguez, Brittany Overlee, Qing Chen, Ann Ray, Aleksandra Gil-Krzewska, Mary Peterson, Lisa N. Kinch, Luis Rohena, Eyal Grunebaum, Andrew R. Zinn, Nick V. Grishin, Daniel D. Billadeau, Ezra Burstein
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection with 87 million new cases per year globally. Increasing antibiotic resistance has severely limited treatment options. A mechanism that Neisseria gonorrhoeae uses to evade complement attack is binding of the complement inhibitor C4b-binding protein (C4BP). We screened 107 PorB1a and 83 PorB1b clinical isolates randomly selected from a Swedish strain collection over the last 10 years and noted that 96/107 (89.7%) PorB1a and 16/83 (19.3%) PorB1b bound C4BP; C4BP binding significantly correlated with the ability to evade complement-dependent killing (r = 0.78; p<0.0001). We designed two chimeric proteins that fused C4BP domains to the backbone of immunoglobulins IgG or IgM (C4BP-IgG; C4BP-IgM) with the aim of enhancing complement activation and killing of gonococci. Both proteins bound gonococci (Kd C4BP-IgM = 2.4 nM; Kd C4BP-IgG 981 nM), but only hexameric C4BP-IgM efficiently out-competed heptameric C4BP from bacterial surface resulting in enhanced complement deposition and bacterial killing. Furthermore, C4BP-IgM significantly attenuated the duration and burden of colonization of two C4BP-binding gonococcal isolates, but not a C4BP non-binding strain in the mouse vaginal colonization model using human factor H/C4BP transgenic mice. Our pre-clinical data present C4BP-IgM as an adjunctive to conventional antimicrobials for the treatment of gonorrhea.
Serena Bettoni, Jutamas Shaughnessy, Karolina Maziarz, David Ermert, Sunita Gulati, Bo Zheng, Matthias Mörgelin, Susanne Jacobsson, Kristian Riesbeck, Magnus Unemo, Sanjay Ram, Anna M. Blom
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