Nipah virus (NiV) P gene encodes P protein and three accessory proteins (V, C and W). It has been reported that all four P gene products have IFN antagonist activity when the proteins were transiently expressed. However, the role of those accessory proteins in natural infection with NiV remains unknown. We generated recombinant NiVs lacking V, C or W protein, rNiV(V-), rNiV(C-), and rNiV(W-), respectively, to analyze the functions of these proteins in infected cells and the implications in in vivo pathogenicity. All the recombinants grew well in cell culture, although the maximum titers of rNiV(V-) and rNiV(C-) were lower than the other recombinants. The rNiV(V-), rNiV(C-) and rNiV(W-) suppressed the IFN response as well as the parental rNiV, thereby indicating that the lack of each accessory protein does not significantly affect the inhibition of IFN signaling in infected cells. In experimentally infected golden hamsters, rNiV(V-) and rNiV(C-) but not the rNiV(W-) virus showed a significant reduction in virulence. These results suggest that V and C proteins play key roles in NiV pathogenicity, and the roles are independent of their IFN-antagonist activity. This is the first report that identifies the molecular determinants of NiV in pathogenicity in vivo.
We infected squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) with Nipah virus to determine the monkeys suitability for use as primate models in preclinical testing of preventive and therapeutic treatments. Infection of squirrel monkeys through intravenous injection was followed by high death rates associated with acute neurologic and respiratory illness and viral RNA and antigen production.
Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are recently-emerged, closely related and highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses. We have analysed here the pathogenesis of the acute HeV infection using the new animal model, golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), which is highly susceptible to HeV infection. HeV-specific RNA and viral antigens were found in multiple organs and virus was isolated from different tissues. Dual pathogenic mechanism was observed: parenchymal infection in various organs, including the brain, with vasculitis and multinucleated syncytia in many blood vessels. Furthermore, monoclonal antibodies specific for the NiV fusion protein neutralized HeV in vitro and efficiently protected hamsters from HeV if given before infection. These results reveal the similarities between HeV and NiV pathogenesis, particularly in affecting both respiratory and neuronal system. They demonstrate that hamster presents a convenient novel animal model to study HeV infection, opening new perspectives to evaluate vaccine and therapeutic approaches against this emergent infectious disease.
Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are closely related, recently emerged paramyxoviruses that are capable of causing considerable morbidity and mortality in several mammalian species, including humans. Henipavirus-specific vaccines are still commercially unavailable, and development of novel antiviral strategies to prevent lethal infections due to henipaviruses is highly desirable. Here we describe the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vaccines expressing the NiV G protein. Characterization of these vaccines in mice demonstrated that a single intramuscular AAV injection was sufficient to induce a potent and long-lasting antibody response. Translational studies in hamsters further demonstrated that all vaccinated animals were protected against lethal challenge with NiV. In addition, this vaccine induced a cross-protective immune response that was able to protect 50% of the animals against a challenge by HeV. This study presents a new efficient vaccination strategy against henipaviruses and opens novel perspectives on the use of AAV vectors as vaccines against emergent diseases.
Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic, negative-strand RNA paramyxovirus that has recently emerged from flying foxes to cause serious human disease. We have analyzed the role of the nonstructural NiV C protein in viral immunopathogenesis using recombinant virus lacking the expression of NiV C (NiV?C). While wild-type NiV was highly pathogenic in the hamster animal model, NiV?C was strongly attenuated. Replication of NiV?C was followed by the production of NiV-specific antibodies and associated with higher recruitment of inflammatory cells and less intensive histopathological lesions in different organs than in wild-type-NiV-infected animals. To analyze the molecular basis of NiV?C attenuation, we studied early changes in gene expression in infected primary human endothelial cells, a major cellular target of NiV infection. The transcriptomic approach revealed the striking difference between wild-type and mutant NiV in the expression of genes involved in immunity, with the particularly interesting differential patterns of proinflammatory cytokines. Compared to wild-type virus, NiV?C induced increased expression of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1?), IL-8, CXCL2, CXCL3, CXCL6, CCL20, and beta interferon. Furthermore, the expression of NiV C in stably transfected cells decreased the production of the same panel of cytokines, revealing a role of the C protein in the regulation of cytokine balance. Together, these results suggest that NiV C regulates expression of proinflammatory cytokines, therefore providing a signal responsible for the coordination of leukocyte recruitment and the chemokine-induced immune response and controlling the lethal outcome of the infection.
Nipah virus (NiV) is a recently emerged zoonotic Paramyxovirus that causes regular outbreaks in East Asia with mortality rate exceeding 75%. Major cellular targets of NiV infection are endothelial cells and neurons. To better understand virus-host interaction, we analyzed the transcriptome profile of NiV infection in primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We further assessed some of the obtained results by in vitro and in vivo methods in a hamster model and in brain samples from NiV-infected patients. We found that NiV infection strongly induces genes involved in interferon response in endothelial cells. Among the top ten upregulated genes, we identified the chemokine CXCL10 (interferon-induced protein 10, IP-10), an important chemoattractant involved in the generation of inflammatory immune response and neurotoxicity. In NiV-infected hamsters, which develop pathology similar to what is seen in humans, expression of CXCL10 mRNA was induced in different organs with kinetics that followed NiV replication. Finally, we showed intense staining for CXCL10 in the brain of patients who succumbed to lethal NiV infection during the outbreak in Malaysia, confirming induction of this chemokine in fatal human infections. This study sheds new light on NiV pathogenesis, indicating the role of CXCL10 during the course of infection and suggests that this chemokine may serve as a potential new marker for lethal NiV encephalitis.
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