Vaccination with live attenuated classical swine fever virus (CSFV) vaccines can rapidly confer protection in the absence of neutralizing antibodies. With an aim of providing information on the cellular mechanisms that may mediate this protection, we explored the interaction of porcine natural killer (NK) cells and ?? T cells with CSFV. Both NK and ?? T cells were refractory to infection with attenuated or virulent CSFV, and no stimulatory effects, as assessed by the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II (MHC-II), perforin, and gamma interferon (IFN-?), were observed when the cells were cultured in the presence of CSFV. Coculture with CSFV and myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) or plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) showed that pDCs led to a partial activation of both NK and ?? T cells, with upregulation of MHC-II being observed. An analysis of cytokine expression by infected DC subsets suggested that this effect was due to IFN-? secreted by infected pDCs. These results were supported by ex vivo analyses of NK and ?? T cells in the tonsils and retropharyngeal lymph nodes from pigs that had been vaccinated with live attenuated CSFV and/or virulent CSFV. At 5 days postchallenge, there was evidence of significant upregulation of MHC-II but not perforin on NK and ?? T cells, which was observed only following a challenge of the unvaccinated pigs and correlated with increased CSFV replication and IFN-? expression in both the tonsils and serum. Together, these data suggest that it is unlikely that NK or ?? T cells contribute to the cellular effector mechanisms induced by live attenuated CSFV.
Vaccination with live attenuated classical swine fever virus (CSFV) induces solid protection after only 5 days, which has been associated with virus-specific T cell gamma interferon (IFN-?) responses. In this study, we employed flow cytometry to characterize T cell responses following vaccination and subsequent challenge infections with virulent CSFV. The CD3(+) CD4(-) CD8(hi) T cell population was the first and major source of CSFV-specific IFN-?. A proportion of these cells showed evidence for cytotoxicity, as evidenced by CD107a mobilization, and coexpressed tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?). To assess the durability and recall of these responses, a second experiment was conducted where vaccinated animals were challenged with virulent CSFV after 5 days and again after a further 28 days. While virus-specific CD4 T cell (CD3(+) CD4(+) CD8?(+)) responses were detected, the dominant response was again from the CD8 T cell population, with the highest numbers of these cells being detected 14 and 7 days after the primary and secondary challenges, respectively. These CD8 T cells were further characterized as CD44(hi) CD62L(-) and expressed variable levels of CD25 and CD27, indicative of a mixed effector and effector memory phenotype. The majority of virus-specific IFN-?(+) CD8 T cells isolated at the peaks of the response after each challenge displayed CD107a on their surface, and subpopulations that coexpressed TNF-? and interleukin 2 (IL-2) were identified. While it is hoped that these data will aid the rational design and/or evaluation of next-generation marker CSFV vaccines, the novel flow cytometric panels developed should also be of value in the study of porcine T cell responses to other pathogens/vaccines.
Salicylidene acylhydrazides identified as inhibitors of virulence-mediating type III secretion systems (T3SSs) potentially target their inner membrane export apparatus. They also lead to inhibition of flagellar T3SS-mediated swimming motility in Salmonella enterica serovar. Typhimurium. We show that INP0404 and INP0405 act by reducing the number of flagella/cell. These molecules still inhibit motility of a Salmonella ?fliH-fliI-fliJ/flhB((P28T)) strain, which lacks three soluble components of the flagellar T3S apparatus, suggesting that they are not the target of this drug family. We implemented a genetic screen to search for the inhibitors molecular target(s) using motility assays in the ?fliH-fliI/flhB((P28T)) background. Both mutants identified were more motile than the background strain in the absence of the drugs, although HM18 was considerably more so. HM18 was more motile than its parent strain in the presence of both drugs while DI15 was only insensitive to INP0405. HM18 was hypermotile due to hyperflagellation, whereas DI15 was not hyperflagellated. HM18 was also resistant to a growth defect induced by high concentrations of the drugs. Whole-genome resequencing of HM18 indicated two alterations within protein coding regions, including one within atpB, which encodes the inner membrane a-subunit of the F(O)F(1)-ATP synthase. Reverse genetics indicated that the alteration in atpB was responsible for all of HM18s phenotypes. Genome sequencing of DI15 uncovered a single A562P mutation within a gene encoding the flagellar inner membrane protein FlhA, the direct role of which in mediating drug insensitivity could not be confirmed. We discuss the implications of these findings in terms of T3SS export apparatus function and drug target identification.
Vaccination with live attenuated classical swine fever virus (CSFV) vaccines induces a rapid onset of protection which has been associated with virus-specific CD8 T cell IFN-? responses. In this study, we assessed the specificity of this response, by screening a peptide library spanning the CSFV C-strain vaccine polyprotein to identify and characterise CD8 T cell epitopes. Synthetic peptides were pooled to represent each of the 12 CSFV proteins and used to stimulate PBMC from four pigs rendered immune to CSFV by C-strain vaccination and subsequently challenged with the virulent Brescia strain. Significant IFN-? expression by CD8 T cells, assessed by flow cytometry, was induced by peptide pools representing the core, E2, NS2, NS3 and NS5A proteins. Dissection of these antigenic peptide pools indicated that, in each instance, a single discrete antigenic peptide or pair of overlapping peptides was responsible for the IFN-? induction. Screening and titration of antigenic peptides or truncated derivatives identified the following antigenic regions: core241-255 PESRKKLEKALLAWA and NS31902-1912 VEYSFIFLDEY, or minimal length antigenic peptides: E2996-1003 YEPRDSYF, NS21223-1230 STVTGIFL and NS5A3070-3078 RVDNALLKF. The epitopes are highly conserved across CSFV strains and variable sequence divergence was observed with related pestiviruses. Characterisation of epitope-specific CD8 T cells revealed evidence of cytotoxicity, as determined by CD107a mobilisation, and a significant proportion expressed TNF-? in addition to IFN-?. Finally, the variability in the antigen-specificity of these immunodominant CD8 T cell responses was confirmed to be associated with expression of distinct MHC class I haplotypes. Moreover, recognition of NS21223-1230 STVTGIFL and NS31902-1912 VEYSFIFLDEY by a larger group of C-strain vaccinated animals showed that these peptides could be restricted by additional haplotypes. Thus the antigenic regions and epitopes identified represent attractive targets for evaluation of their vaccine potential against CSFV.
Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the causative agent of a major disease of livestock (bluetongue). For over two decades, it has been widely accepted that the 10 segments of the dsRNA genome of BTV encode for 7 structural and 3 non-structural proteins. The non-structural proteins (NS1, NS2, NS3/NS3a) play different key roles during the viral replication cycle. In this study we show that BTV expresses a fourth non-structural protein (that we designated NS4) encoded by an open reading frame in segment 9 overlapping the open reading frame encoding VP6. NS4 is 77-79 amino acid residues in length and highly conserved among several BTV serotypes/strains. NS4 was expressed early post-infection and localized in the nucleoli of BTV infected cells. By reverse genetics, we showed that NS4 is dispensable for BTV replication in vitro, both in mammalian and insect cells, and does not affect viral virulence in murine models of bluetongue infection. Interestingly, NS4 conferred a replication advantage to BTV-8, but not to BTV-1, in cells in an interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral state. However, the BTV-1 NS4 conferred a replication advantage both to a BTV-8 reassortant containing the entire segment 9 of BTV-1 and to a BTV-8 mutant with the NS4 identical to the homologous BTV-1 protein. Collectively, this study suggests that NS4 plays an important role in virus-host interaction and is one of the mechanisms played, at least by BTV-8, to counteract the antiviral response of the host. In addition, the distinct nucleolar localization of NS4, being expressed by a virus that replicates exclusively in the cytoplasm, offers new avenues to investigate the multiple roles played by the nucleolus in the biology of the cell.
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