Immune Responses and Lassa Virus Infection

Unité de Biologie des Infections Virales Emergentes, Institut Pasteur, 21 avenue Tony Garnier, 69365 Lyon, France. .
Viruses (Impact Factor: 3.35). 12/2012; 4(11):2766-85. DOI: 10.3390/v4112766
Source: PubMed


Lassa fever is a hemorrhagic fever endemic to West Africa and caused by Lassa virus, an Old World arenavirus. It may be fatal, but most patients recover from acute disease and some experience asymptomatic infection. The immune mechanisms associated with these different outcomes have not yet been fully elucidated, but considerable progress has recently been made, through the use of in vitro human models and nonhuman primates, the only relevant animal model that mimics the pathophysiology and immune responses induced in patients. We discuss here the roles of the various components of the innate and adaptive immune systems in Lassa virus infection and in the control of viral replication and pathogenesis.

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    ABSTRACT: Arenaviruses are rodent-borne emerging human pathogens. Diseases caused by these viruses, e.g., Lassa fever (LF) in West Africa and South American hemorrhagic fevers (HFs), are serious public health problems in endemic areas. We have employed replication-competent and replication-deficient strategies to design vaccine candidates potentially targeting different groups "at risk". Our leader LF vaccine candidate, the live reassortant vaccine ML29, is safe and efficacious in all tested animal models including non-human primates. In this study we showed that treatment of fatally infected animals with ML29 two days after Lassa virus (LASV) challenge protected 80% of the treated animals. In endemic areas, where most of the target population is poor and many live far from health care facilities, a single-dose vaccination with ML29 would be ideal solution. Once there is an outbreak, a fast-acting vaccine or post-exposure prophylaxis would be best. The 2(nd) vaccine technology is based on Yellow Fever (YF) 17D vaccine. We designed YF17D-based recombinant viruses expressing LASV glycoproteins (GP) and showed protective efficacy of these recombinants. In the current study we developed a novel technology to clone LASV nucleocapsid within YF17D C gene. Low immunogenicity and stability of foreign inserts must be addressed to design successful LASV/YFV bivalent vaccines to control LF and YF in overlapping endemic areas of West Africa. The 3(rd) platform is based on the new generation of alphavirus replicon virus-like-particle vectors (VLPV). Using this technology we designed VLPV expressing LASV GP with enhanced immunogenicity and bivalent VLPV expressing cross-reactive GP of Junin virus (JUNV) and Machupo virus (MACV), causative agents of Argentinian and Bolivian HF, respectively. A prime-boost regimen required for VLPV immunization might be practical for medical providers, military, lab personnel, and visitors in endemic areas.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Vaccines and Vaccination
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    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The outcome of a viral infection reflects the balance between virus virulence and host susceptibility. The clone 13 (Cl13) variant of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus-a prototype of Old World arenaviruses closely related to Lassa fever virus-elicits in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice abundant negative immunoregulatory molecules, associated with T-cell exhaustion, negligible T-cell-mediated injury, and high virus titers that persist. Conversely, here we report that in NZB mice, despite the efficient induction of immunoregulatory molecules and high viremia, Cl13 generated a robust cytotoxic T-cell response, resulting in thrombocytopenia, pulmonary endothelial cell loss, vascular leakage, and death within 6-8 d. These pathogenic events required type I IFN (IFN-I) signaling on nonhematopoietic cells and were completely abrogated by IFN-I receptor blockade. Thus, IFN-I may play a prominent role in hemorrhagic fevers and other acute virus infections associated with severe vascular pathology, and targeting IFN-I or downstream effector molecules may be an effective therapeutic approach.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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