West Nile virus: epidemiology and clinical features of an emerging epidemic in the United States.
ABSTRACT West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in North America in 1999 during an outbreak of encephalitis in New York City. Since then the virus has spread across North America and into Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The largest epidemics of neuroinvasive WNV disease ever reported occurred in the United States in 2002 and 2003. This paper reviews new information on the epidemiology and clinical aspects of WNV disease derived from greatly expanded surveillance and research on WNV during the past six years.
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ABSTRACT: gammadelta T cells respond rapidly following West Nile virus (WNV) infection, limiting viremia and invasion of the central nervous system and thereby protecting the host from lethal encephalitis. Here, we investigated the role of two major subpopulations of peripheral gammadelta T cells, Vgamma1(+) and Vgamma4(+) cells, in host immunity against WNV infection. We found initially that aged mice were more susceptible to WNV infection than young mice. Following WNV challenge, Vgamma1(+) cells in young mice expanded significantly whereas Vgamma4(+) cells expanded modestly. In contrast, aged mice exhibited a slower and reduced response of Vgamma1(+) cells but maintained a higher content of Vgamma4(+) cells. Vgamma1(+) cells were the major gammadelta subset producing IFN-gamma during WNV infection. Mice depleted of Vgamma1(+) cells had an enhanced viremia and higher mortality to WNV encephalitis. Vgamma4(+) cells had a higher potential for producing tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a cytokine known to be involved in blood-brain barrier compromise and WNV entry into the brain. Depletion of Vgamma4(+) cells reduced TNF-alpha level in the periphery, accompanied by a decreased viral load in the brain and a lower mortality to WN encephalitis. These results suggest that Vgamma1(+) and Vgamma4(+) cells play distinct roles in protection and pathogenesis during WNV infection.FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 08/2008; 53(2):275-83. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-695X.2008.00430.x · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate differential evolutionary rates and selective forces of WNV in hosts and vectors, we measured the genetic diversity that arose during alternating passage in mosquitoes and birds. Within-host genetic diversity was monitored in each of three experimentally passed replicates, and the complete genome sequence of each WNV strain was determined after passage. The intrahost genetic diversity that arose during alternating passage was significantly greater than the diversity generated during chicken-only passage and similar to mosquito-only passage. dN/dS ratios suggested purifying selection similar to chick-passed virus, but not to mosquito-passed virus. Thus, the abundant genetic variation contributed to WNV populations through infection of mosquitoes and the strong purifying selection contributed by infection of birds may be maintained despite frequent host switching.Virology 06/2008; 374(2):256-60. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2008.02.032 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The measles vaccine is one of the best vaccines currently available. Over the last 30 years, it has been administered to hundreds of millions of children and has proved to be both effective and safe. This attenuated live virus induces life-long immunity after only one or two injections. It is produced on a large scale, with ease, in many countries and is distributed at low cost. These excellent characteristics led us to consider its use as a pediatric live vector, to simultaneously immunize children or adolescents against measles and other viral infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or flavivirus infections. For this purpose, we have developed a vector derived from the live attenuated Schwarz strain of the measles virus (MV). We have demonstrated the capacity of this vector to strongly and stably express genes encoding proteins from HIV and to induce specific humoral and cellular immune responses in vivo. Importantly, we observed that, at least in animal models, the vector can bypass measles vaccine pre-existing immunity when two doses of recombinant vaccine are administered. Clinical trials are in progress to confirm this observation in immunized adults. We also produced MV vectors expressing proteins from West Nile virus and other flaviviruses, which in the case of West Nile virus, protected against experimental challenge. Recombinant live attenuated MV might be used as bivalent vaccination vector to mass immunize children and adolescents against both measles and flaviviral diseases such as Dengue or Japanese Encephalitis in the developing world.Comparative Immunology Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 04/2008; 31(2-3):271-91. DOI:10.1016/j.cimid.2007.07.012 · 2.11 Impact Factor