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J Virol. 2014 Aug;88(15):8319-31. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00004-14. Epub 2014 May 14.

Differential lymphocyte and antibody responses in deer mice infected with Sin Nombre hantavirus or Andes hantavirus.

Author information

  • 1Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA tony.schountz@colostate.edu.
  • 2Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
  • 3Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana, USA.
  • 4Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

Abstract

Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) is a rodent-borne disease with a high case-fatality rate that is caused by several New World hantaviruses. Each pathogenic hantavirus is naturally hosted by a principal rodent species without conspicuous disease and infection is persistent, perhaps for life. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are the natural reservoirs of Sin Nombre virus (SNV), the etiologic agent of most HCPS cases in North America. Deer mice remain infected despite a helper T cell response that leads to high-titer neutralizing antibodies. Deer mice are also susceptible to Andes hantavirus (ANDV), which causes most HCPS cases in South America; however, deer mice clear ANDV. We infected deer mice with SNV or ANDV to identify differences in host responses that might account for this differential outcome. SNV RNA levels were higher in the lungs but not different in the heart, spleen, or kidneys. Most ANDV-infected deer mice had seroconverted 14 days after inoculation, but none of the SNV-infected deer mice had. Examination of lymph node cell antigen recall responses identified elevated immune gene expression in deer mice infected with ANDV and suggested maturation toward a Th2 or T follicular helper phenotype in some ANDV-infected deer mice, including activation of the interleukin 4 (IL-4) pathway in T cells and B cells. These data suggest that the rate of maturation of the immune response is substantially higher and of greater magnitude during ANDV infection, and these differences may account for clearance of ANDV and persistence of SNV.

IMPORTANCE:

Hantaviruses persistently infect their reservoir rodent hosts without pathology. It is unknown how these viruses evade sterilizing immune responses in the reservoirs. We have determined that infection of the deer mouse with its homologous hantavirus, Sin Nombre virus, results in low levels of immune gene expression in antigen-stimulated lymph node cells and a poor antibody response. However, infection of deer mice with a heterologous hantavirus, Andes virus, results in a robust lymph node cell response, signatures of T and B cell maturation, and production of antibodies. These findings suggest that an early and aggressive immune response to hantaviruses may lead to clearance in a reservoir host and suggest that a modest immune response may be a component of hantavirus ecology.

Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

PMID:
24829335
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4135943
Free PMC Article
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