[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intraocular varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and HSV type 1 (HSV-1) infections cause sight-threatening uveitis. The disease is characterized by an intraocular inflammatory response involving herpesvirus-specific T cells. T cell reactivity to the noncausative human alphaherpesvirus (αHHV) is commonly detected in the affected eyes of herpetic uveitis patients, suggesting the role of cross-reactive T cells in the disease. This study aimed to identify and functionally characterize intraocular human alphaherpesvirus cross-reactive T cells. VZV protein immediate early 62 (IE62), which shares extensive homology with HSV ICP4, is a previously identified T cell target in VZV uveitis. Two VZV-specific CD4 T cell clones (TCC), recovered from the eye of a VZV uveitis patient, recognized the same IE62918-927 peptide using different TCR and HLA-DR alleles. The IE62918-927 peptide bound with high affinity to multiple HLA-DR alleles and was recognized by blood-derived T cells of 5 of 17 HSV-1/VZV-seropositive healthy adults but not in cord blood donors (n = 5). Despite complete conservation of the IE62 epitope in the orthologous protein ICP4 of HSV-1 and HSV-2, the TCC recognized VZV and HSV-1- but not HSV-2-infected B cells. This was not attributed to proximal epitope-flanking amino acid polymorphisms in HSV-2 ICP4. Notably, VZV/HSV-1 cross-reactive CD4 T cells controlled VZV but not HSV-1 infection of human primary retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. In conclusion, we report on the first VZV/HSV-1 cross-reactive CD4 T cell epitope, which is HLA-DR promiscuous and immunoprevalent in coinfected individuals. Moreover, ocular-derived peptide-specific CD4 TCC controlled VZV but not HSV-1 infection of RPE cells, suggesting that HSV-1 actively inhibits CD4 T cell activation by infected human RPE cells.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2014; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) replicates in cells of different species using dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) as a functional receptor. Here we show resistance of ferrets to MERS-CoV infection and inability of ferret DDP4 to bind MERS-CoV. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids variable in ferret DPP4 thus revealed the functional human DPP4 virus binding site. Adenosine deaminase (ADA), a DPP4 binding protein, competed for virus binding, acting as a natural antagonist for MERS-CoV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes varicella, establishes a life-long latent infection of ganglia and reactivates to cause herpes zoster. The cell types that transport VZV from the respiratory tract to skin and ganglia during primary infection are unknown. Clinical, pathological, virological and immunological features of simian varicella virus (SVV) infection of non-human primates parallel those of primary VZV infection in humans. To identify the host cell types involved in virus dissemination and pathology, we infected African green monkeys intratracheally with recombinant SVV expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (SVV-EGFP) and with wild-type SVV (SVV-wt) as a control. The SVV-infected cell types and virus kinetics were determined by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, and virus culture and SVV-specific real-time PCR, respectively. All monkeys developed fever and skin rash. Except for pneumonitis, pathology produced by SVV-EGFP was less compared to SVV-wt. In lungs, SVV infected alveolar myeloid cells and T-cells. During viremia the virus preferentially infected memory T-cells, initially central memory T-cells and subsequently effector memory T-cells. In early non-vesicular stages of varicella, SVV was seen mainly in perivascular skin infiltrates composed of macrophages, dendritic cells, dendrocytes and memory T-cells, implicating hematogenous spread. In ganglia, SVV was found primarily in neurons and occasionally in memory T-cells adjacent to neurons. In conclusion, the data suggest the role of memory T-cells in disseminating SVV to its target organs during primary infection of its natural and immunocompetent host.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the etiological agent of chickenpox and shingles. Due to the virus' restricted host- and cell-type tropism, and the lack of tools for VZV proteomics, it is one of the least characterized human herpesviruses. We generated 251 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against 59 of the 71 (83%) currently known unique VZV proteins to characterize VZV protein expression in vitro and in situ. Using this new set of mAbs, 44 viral proteins were detected by Western blot (WB) and indirect immunofluorescence (IF); 13 by WB only and 2 by IF only. A large proportion of viral proteins was analysed for the first time in the context of virus infection. Our study revealed the sub-cellular localisation of 46 proteins, 14 of which were analysed in detail by confocal microscopy. Seven viral proteins were analysed in time course experiments and showed a cascade-like temporal gene expression pattern similar to other herpesviruses. Furthermore, selected mAbs were tested positive on human skin lesions using immunohistochemistry, demonstrating the wide applicability of the mAb collection. Finally, a significant portion of the VZV specific antibodies reacted with orthologs of simian varicella virus (SVV), thus enabling the systematic analysis of varicella in a non-human primate model system. In summary, this study provides insight into the potential function of numerous VZV proteins and novel tools to systematically study VZV and SVV pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ganglia of monkeys with reactivated simian varicella virus (SVV) contained more CD8 than CD4 T-cells around neurons. The abundance of CD8 T cells were greater less than 2 months after reactivation compared to later times and correlated with CXCL10 RNA but not with SVV protein or ORF61 anti-sense RNA. CXCL10 RNA co-localized with T-cell clusters. After SVV reactivation, transient T-cell infiltration, possibly mediated by CXCL10, parallels VZV reactivation in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) transcriptome in 43 latently infected human trigeminal ganglia (TG) with postmortem intervals (PMIs) ranging from 3.7 to 24 h. Multiplex reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) revealed no VZV transcripts with a PMI of <9 h. Real-time PCR indicated a significant increase (P = 0.02) in VZV ORF63 transcript levels but not the virus DNA burden with longer PMI. Overall, both the breadth of the VZV transcriptome and the VZV ORF63 transcript levels in human cadaver TG increased with longer PMI.
Journal of Virology 06/2012; 86(18):10203-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox, establishes latency in trigeminal (TG) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and can lead to herpes zoster upon reactivation. The VZV proteome expressed during latency remains ill-defined, and previous studies have shown discordant data on the spectrum and expression pattern of VZV proteins and transcripts in latently infected human ganglia. Recently, Zerboni and colleagues have provided new insight into this discrepancy (Zerboni et al. in J Virol 86:578-583, 2012). They showed that VZV-specific ascites-derived monoclonal antibody (mAb) preparations contain endogenous antibodies directed against blood group A1 proteins, resulting in false-positive intra-neuronal VZV staining in formalin-fixed human DRG. The aim of the present study was to confirm and extend this phenomenon to snap-frozen TG (n=30) and DRG (n=9) specimens of blood group genotyped donors (n=30). The number of immunohistochemically stained neurons was higher with mAb directed to immediate early protein 62 (IE62) compared with IE63. The IE63 mAb-positive neurons always co-stained for IE62 but not vice versa. The mAb staining was confined to distinct large intra-neuronal vacuoles and restricted to A1(POS) donors. Anti-VZV mAb staining in neurons, but not in VZV-infected cell monolayers, was obliterated after mAb adsorption against blood group A1 erythrocytes. The data presented demonstrate that neuronal VZV protein expression detected by ascites-derived mAb in snap-frozen TG and DRG of blood group A1(POS) donors can be misinterpreted due to the presence of endogenous antibodies directed against blood group A1-associated antigens present in ascites-derived VZV-specific mAb preparations.
Journal of NeuroVirology 04/2012; 18(3):172-80. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes varicella (chickenpox), becomes latent in ganglia along the entire neuraxis, and may reactivate to cause herpes zoster (shingles). VZV may infect ganglia via retrograde axonal transport from infected skin or through hematogenous spread. Simian varicella virus (SVV) infection of rhesus macaques provides a useful model system to study the pathogenesis of human VZV infection. To dissect the virus and host immune factors during acute SVV infection, we analyzed four SVV-seronegative Chinese rhesus macaques infected intratracheally with cell-associated 5 × 10³ plaque-forming units (pfu) of SVV-expressing green fluorescent protein (n = 2) or 5 × 10⁴ pfu of wild-type SVV (n = 2). All monkeys developed viremia and SVV-specific adaptive B- and T-cell immune responses, but none developed skin rash. At necropsy 21 days postinfection, SVV DNA was found in ganglia along the entire neuraxis and in viscera, and SVV RNA was found in ganglia, but not in viscera. The amount of SVV inoculum was associated with the extent of viremia and the immune response to virus. Our findings demonstrate that acute SVV infection of Chinese rhesus macaques leads to ganglionic infection by the hematogenous route and the induction of a virus-specific adaptive memory response in the absence of skin rash.
Journal of NeuroVirology 03/2012; 18(2):91-9. · 2.85 Impact Factor