Temporal Analysis of Andes Virus and Sin Nombre Virus Infection of Syrian Hamsters

Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Deseases, Fort Detrick, MD 21702, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 08/2007; 81(14):7449-62. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00238-07
Source: PubMed


Andes virus (ANDV) and Sin Nombre virus (SNV) are rodent-borne hantaviruses that cause a highly lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). There are no vaccines or specific drugs to prevent or treat HPS, and the pathogenesis is not understood. Syrian hamsters infected with ANDV, but not SNV, develop a highly lethal disease that closely resembles HPS in humans. Here, we performed a temporal pathogenesis study comparing ANDV and SNV infections in hamsters. SNV was nonpathogenic and viremia was not detected despite the fact that all animals were infected. ANDV was uniformly lethal with a mean time to death of 11 days. The first pathology detected was lymphocyte apoptosis starting on day 4. Animals were viremic and viral antigen was first observed in multiple organs by days 6 and 8, respectively. Levels of infectious virus in the blood increased 4 to 5 logs between days 6 and 8. Pulmonary edema was first detected ultrastructurally on day 6. Ultrastructural analysis of lung tissues revealed the presence of large inclusion bodies and substantial numbers of vacuoles within infected endothelial cells. Paraendothelial gaps were not observed, suggesting that fluid leakage was transcellular and directly attributable to infecting virus. Taken together, these data imply that HPS treatment strategies aimed at preventing virus replication and dissemination will have the greatest probability of success if administered before the viremic phase; however, because vascular leakage is associated with infected endothelial cells, a therapeutic strategy targeting viral replication might be effective even at later times (e.g., after disease onset).

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Available from: Jay W Hooper, Oct 23, 2014
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    • "SNV infects hamsters as measured by seroconversion to the N protein as determined with N-specific ELISA, but does not cause disease. In contrast, ANDV not only infects hamsters but also causes an endothelium-leak disease that resembles human HPS [17, 20]. The mean day-to-death following a 200 PFU challenge with ANDV is 11 days. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sin Nombre virus (SNV) and Andes virus (ANDV) cause most of the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases in North and South America, respectively. The chances of a patient surviving HPS are only two in three. Previously, we demonstrated that SNV and ANDV DNA vaccines encoding the virus envelope glycoproteins elicit high-titer neutralizing antibodies in laboratory animals, and (for ANDV) in nonhuman primates (NHPs). In those studies, the vaccines were delivered by gene gun or muscle electroporation. Here, we tested whether a combined SNV/ANDV DNA vaccine (HPS DNA vaccine) could be delivered effectively using a disposable syringe jet injection (DSJI) system (PharmaJet, Inc). PharmaJet intramuscular (IM) and intradermal (ID) needle-free devices are FDA 510(k)-cleared, simple to use, and do not require electricity or pressurized gas. First, we tested the SNV DNA vaccine delivered by PharmaJet IM or ID devices in rabbits and NHPs. Both IM and ID devices produced high-titer anti-SNV neutralizing antibody responses in rabbits and NHPs. However, the ID device required at least two vaccinations in NHP to detect neutralizing antibodies in most animals, whereas all animals vaccinated once with the IM device seroconverted. Because the IM device was more effective in NHP, the Stratis® (PharmaJet IM device) was selected for follow-up studies. We evaluated the HPS DNA vaccine delivered using Stratis® and found that it produced high-titer anti-SNV and anti-ANDV neutralizing antibodies in rabbits (n=8/group) as measured by a classic plaque reduction neutralization test and a new pseudovirion neutralization assay. We were interested in determining if the differences between DSJI delivery (e.g., high-velocity liquid penetration through tissue) and other methods of vaccine injection, such as needle/syringe, might result in a more immunogenic DNA vaccine. To accomplish this, we compared the HPS DNA vaccine delivered by DSJI versus needle/syringe in NHPs (n=8/group). We found that both the anti-SNV and anti-ANDV neutralizing antibody titers were significantly higher (p-value 0.0115) in the DSJI-vaccinated groups than the needle/syringe group. For example, the anti-SNV and anti-ANDV PRNT50 geometric mean titers (GMTs) were 1,974 and 349 in the DSJI-vaccinated group versus 87 and 42 in the needle/syringe group. These data demonstrate, for the first time, that a spring-powered DSJI device is capable of effectively delivering a DNA vaccine to NHPs. Whether this HPS DNA vaccine, or any DNA vaccine, delivered by spring-powered DSJI will elicit a strong immune response in humans will require clinical trials.
    Current Gene Therapy 05/2014; 14(3). DOI:10.2174/1566523214666140522122633 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    • "ANDV causes a fatal infection of Syrian hamsters with an LD50 of 8 plaque-forming units. The disease is characterized by large pleural effusions, congested lungs, and interstitial pneumonitis in the absence of disrupted endothelium [19, 160, 161]. The onset of pulmonary edema coincides with a rapid increase in viremia on day 6, and large inclusion bodies and vacuoles in ultrastructural studies of infected pulmonary ECs [160, 161]. "
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    ABSTRACT: American hantaviruses cause a highly lethal acute pulmonary edema termed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Hantaviruses nonlytically infect endothelial cells and cause dramatic changes in barrier functions of the endothelium without disrupting the endothelium. Instead hantaviruses cause changes in the function of infected endothelial cells that normally regulate fluid barrier functions of capillaries. The endothelium of arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels is unique and central to the function of vast pulmonary capillary beds, which regulate pulmonary fluid accumulation. The endothelium maintains vascular barrier functions through a complex series of redundant receptors and signaling pathways that serve to both permit fluid and immune cell efflux into tissues and restrict tissue edema. Infection of the endothelium provides several mechanisms for hantaviruses to alter capillary permeability but also defines potential therapeutic targets for regulating acute pulmonary edema and HPS disease. Here we discuss interactions of HPS causing hantaviruses with the endothelium, potential endothelial cell-directed permeability mechanisms, and therapeutic targeting of the endothelium as a means of reducing the severity of HPS disease.
    Advances in Virology 06/2012; 2012(3):467059. DOI:10.1155/2012/467059
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    • "Two attempts have been made to assess the value of ribavirin therapy in patients with HPS in North America and although hampered by low enrollment rates, the results of these studies showed no effect of ribavirin therapy when treatment was initiated during the symptomatic phase of infection [17], [18]. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antiviral activity of ribavirin against ANDV, both in vitro and in vivo using a lethal hamster model of HPS [19], [20]. Our results show that ribavirin has an inhibitory effect on ANDV replication and post-exposure treatment of hamsters with as little as 5 mg ribavirin kg−1 day−1 was effective at preventing lethal HPS disease. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pathogenic hantaviruses are a closely related group of rodent-borne viruses which are responsible for two distinct diseases in humans, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS, otherwise known as hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome, HCPS). The antiviral effect of ribavirin against Old World hantaviruses, most notably Hantaan virus, is well documented; however, only a few studies have addressed its inhibitory effect on New World hantaviruses. In the present study, we demonstrate that ribavirin is highly active against Andes virus (ANDV), an important etiological agent of HPS, both in vitro and in vivo using a lethal hamster model of HPS. Treatment of ANDV infected Vero E6 cells with ribavirin resulted in dose-dependent reductions in viral RNA and protein as well as virus yields with a half maximal inhibitory concentration between 5 and 12.5 µg ml(-1). In hamsters, treatment with as little as 5 mg kg(-1) day(-1) was 100% effective at preventing lethal HPS disease when therapy was administered by intraperitoneal injection from day 1 through day 10 post-infection. Significant reductions were observed in ANDV RNA and antigen positive cells in lung and liver tissues. Ribavirin remained completely protective when administered by intraperitoneal injections up to three days post-infection. In addition, we show that daily oral ribavirin therapy initiated 1 day post-infection and continuing for ten days is also protective against lethal ANDV disease, even at doses of 5 mg kg(-1) day(-1). Our results suggest ribavirin treatment is beneficial for postexposure prophylaxis against HPS-causing hantaviruses and should be considered in scenarios where exposure to the virus is probable. The similarities between the results obtained in this study and those from previous clinical evaluations of ribavirin against HPS, further validate the hamster model of lethal HPS and demonstrate its usefulness in screening antiviral agents against this disease.
    PLoS ONE 08/2011; 6(8):e23560. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0023560 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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