Publications by authors named "Richard G Jarman"

175 Publications

A comparative recombination analysis of human coronaviruses and implications for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Sci Rep 2021 08 30;11(1):17365. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic prompts evaluation of recombination in human coronavirus (hCoV) evolution. We undertook recombination analyses of 158,118 public seasonal hCoV, SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV genome sequences using the RDP4 software. We found moderate evidence for 8 SARS-CoV-2 recombination events, two of which involved the spike gene, and low evidence for one SARS-CoV-1 recombination event. Within MERS-CoV, 229E, OC43, NL63 and HKU1 datasets, we noted 7, 1, 9, 14, and 1 high-confidence recombination events, respectively. There was propensity for recombination breakpoints in the non-ORF1 region of the genome containing structural genes, and recombination severely skewed the temporal structure of these data, especially for NL63 and OC43. Bayesian time-scaled analyses on recombinant-free data indicated the sampled diversity of seasonal CoVs emerged in the last 70 years, with 229E displaying continuous lineage replacements. These findings emphasize the importance of genomic based surveillance to detect recombination in SARS-CoV-2, particularly if recombination may lead to immune evasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-96626-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405798PMC
August 2021

Metagenomic analysis reveals Culex mosquito virome diversity and Japanese encephalitis genotype V in the Republic of Korea.

Mol Ecol 2021 Aug 21. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

Recent outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging viruses have shown that timely detection of novel arboviruses with epidemic potential is essential to mitigate human health risks. There are rising concerns that emergent JEV genotype V (GV) is circulating in Asia, against which current vaccines may not be efficacious. To ascertain if JEV GV and other arboviruses are circulating in East Asia, we conducted next-generation sequencing on 260 pools of Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Culex bitaeniorhynchus mosquitoes (6540 specimens) collected at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea (ROK) in 2018. Interrogation of our data revealed a highly abundant and diverse virosphere that contained sequences from 122 distinct virus species. Our statistical and hierarchical analysis uncovered correlates of potential health, virological, and ecological relevance. Furthermore, we obtained evidence that JEV GV was circulating in Pyeongtaek and, retrospectively, in Seoul in 2016 and placed these findings within the context of human and fowl reservoir activity. Sequence-based analysis of JEV GV showed a divergent genotype that is the most distant from the GIII-derived live attenuated SA14-14-2 vaccine strain and indicated regions probably responsible for reduced antibody affinity. These results emphasize recent concerns of shifting JEV genotype in East Asia and highlight the critical need for a vaccine proven efficacious against this re-emergent virus. Together, our one-health approach to Culex viral metagenomics uncovered novel insights into virus ecology and human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.16133DOI Listing
August 2021

Evaluation of the extended efficacy of the Dengvaxia vaccine against symptomatic and subclinical dengue infection.

Nat Med 2021 08 24;27(8):1395-1400. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Institute for Immunology and Informatics, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI, USA.

More than half of the world's population lives in areas at risk for dengue virus infection. A vaccine will be pivotal to controlling spread, however, the only licensed vaccine, Dengvaxia, has been shown to increase the risk of severe disease in a subset of individuals. Vaccine efforts are hampered by a poor understanding of antibody responses, including those generated by vaccines, and whether antibody titers can be used as a marker of protection from infection or disease. Here we present the results of an ancillary study to a phase III vaccine study (n = 611). All participants received three doses of either Dengvaxia or placebo and were followed for 6 years. We performed neutralization tests on annual samples and during confirmed dengue episodes (n = 16,508 total measurements). We use mathematical models to reconstruct long-term antibody responses to vaccination and natural infection, and to identify subclinical infections. There were 87 symptomatic infections reported, and we estimated that there were a further 351 subclinical infections. Cumulative vaccine efficacy was positive for both subclinical and symptomatic infection, although the protective effect of the vaccine was concentrated in the first 3 years following vaccination. Among individuals with the same antibody titer, we found no difference between the risk of subsequent infection or disease between placebo and vaccine recipients, suggesting that antibody titers are a good predictor of both protection and disease risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01392-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8364868PMC
August 2021

Correlation between reported dengue illness history and seropositivity in rural Thailand.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 Jun 15;15(6):e0009459. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States of America.

In the latest World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for Dengvaxia implementation, either serological testing or a person's history of prior dengue illness may be used as supporting evidence to identify dengue virus (DENV)-immune individuals eligible for vaccination, in areas with limited capacity for laboratory confirmation. This analysis aimed to estimate the concordance between self-reported dengue illness histories and seropositivity in a prospective cohort study for dengue virus infection in Kamphaeng Phet province, a dengue-endemic area in northern Thailand. The study enrolled 2,076 subjects from 516 multigenerational families, with a median age of 30.6 years (range 0-90 years). Individual and family member dengue illness histories were obtained by questionnaire. Seropositivity was defined based on hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assays. Overall seropositivity for DENV was 86.5% among those aged 9-45 years, which increased with age. 18.5% of participants reported a history of dengue illness prior to enrollment; 30.1% reported a previous DENV infection in the family, and 40.1% reported DENV infection in either themselves or a family member. Relative to seropositivity by HAI in the vaccine candidate group, the sensitivity and specificity of individual prior dengue illness history were 18.5% and 81.6%, respectively; sensitivity and specificity of reported dengue illness in a family member were 29.8% and 68.0%, and of either the individual or a family member were 40.1% and 60.5%. Notably, 13.4% of individuals reporting prior dengue illness were seronegative. Given the high occurrence of asymptomatic and mild DENV infection, self-reported dengue illness history is poorly sensitive for prior exposure and may misclassify individuals as 'exposed' when they were not. This analysis highlights that a simple, highly sensitive, and highly specific test for determining serostatus prior to Dengvaxia vaccination is urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0009459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8232416PMC
June 2021

Enhanced dengue vaccine virus replication and neutralizing antibody responses in immune primed rhesus macaques.

NPJ Vaccines 2021 May 21;6(1):77. Epub 2021 May 21.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MA, USA.

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is suspected to influence dengue virus (DENV) infection, but the role ADE plays in vaccination strategies incorporating live attenuated virus components is less clear. Using a heterologous prime-boost strategy in rhesus macaques, we examine the effect of priming with DENV purified inactivated vaccines (PIVs) on a tetravalent live attenuated vaccine (LAV). Sera exhibited low-level neutralizing antibodies (NAb) post PIV priming, yet moderate to high in vitro ADE activity. Following LAV administration, the PIV primed groups exhibited DENV-2 LAV peak viremias up to 1,176-fold higher than the mock primed group, and peak viremia correlated with in vitro ADE. Furthermore, PIV primed groups had more balanced and higher DENV-1-4 NAb seroconversion and titers than the mock primed group following LAV administration. These results have implications for the development of effective DENV vaccine prime-boost strategies and for our understanding of the role played by ADE in modulating DENV replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-021-00339-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140083PMC
May 2021

Precision Tracing of Household Dengue Spread Using Inter- and Intra-Host Viral Variation Data, Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 06;27(6):1637-1644

Dengue control approaches are best informed by granular spatial epidemiology of these viruses, yet reconstruction of inter- and intra-household transmissions is limited when analyzing case count, serologic, or genomic consensus sequence data. To determine viral spread on a finer spatial scale, we extended phylogenomic discrete trait analyses to reconstructions of house-to-house transmissions within a prospective cluster study in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand. For additional resolution and transmission confirmation, we mapped dengue intra-host single nucleotide variants on the taxa of these time-scaled phylogenies. This approach confirmed 19 household transmissions and revealed that dengue disperses an average of 70 m per day between households in these communities. We describe an evolutionary biology framework for the resolution of dengue transmissions that cannot be differentiated based on epidemiologic and consensus genome data alone. This framework can be used as a public health tool to inform control approaches and enable precise tracing of dengue transmissions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2706.204323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8153871PMC
June 2021

Reconstructing unseen transmission events to infer dengue dynamics from viral sequences.

Nat Commun 2021 03 22;12(1):1810. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

For most pathogens, transmission is driven by interactions between the behaviours of infectious individuals, the behaviours of the wider population, the local environment, and immunity. Phylogeographic approaches are currently unable to disentangle the relative effects of these competing factors. We develop a spatiotemporally structured phylogenetic framework that addresses these limitations by considering individual transmission events, reconstructed across spatial scales. We apply it to geocoded dengue virus sequences from Thailand (N = 726 over 18 years). We find infected individuals spend 96% of their time in their home community compared to 76% for the susceptible population (mainly children) and 42% for adults. Dynamic pockets of local immunity make transmission more likely in places with high heterotypic immunity and less likely where high homotypic immunity exists. Age-dependent mixing of individuals and vector distributions are not important in determining spread. This approach provides previously unknown insights into one of the most complex disease systems known and will be applicable to other pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21888-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985522PMC
March 2021

Pre-existing Immunity to Japanese Encephalitis Virus Alters CD4 T Cell Responses to Zika Virus Inactivated Vaccine.

Front Immunol 2021 24;12:640190. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Cellular Immunology Section, US Military HIV Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, United States.

The epidemic spread of Zika virus (ZIKV), associated with devastating neurologic syndromes, has driven the development of multiple ZIKV vaccines candidates. An effective vaccine should induce ZIKV-specific T cell responses, which are shown to improve the establishment of humoral immunity and contribute to viral clearance. Here we investigated how previous immunization against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and yellow fever virus (YFV) influences T cell responses elicited by a Zika purified-inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine. We demonstrate that three doses of ZPIV vaccine elicited robust CD4 T cell responses to ZIKV structural proteins, while ZIKV-specific CD4 T cells in pre-immunized individuals with JEV vaccine, but not YFV vaccine, were more durable and directed predominantly toward conserved epitopes, which elicited Th1 and Th2 cytokine production. In addition, T cell receptor repertoire analysis revealed preferential expansion of cross-reactive clonotypes between JEV and ZIKV, suggesting that pre-existing immunity against JEV may prime the establishment of stronger CD4 T cell responses to ZPIV vaccination. These CD4 T cell responses correlated with titers of ZIKV-neutralizing antibodies in the JEV pre-vaccinated group, but not in flavivirus-naïve or YFV pre-vaccinated individuals, suggesting a stronger contribution of CD4 T cells in the generation of neutralizing antibodies in the context of JEV-ZIKV cross-reactivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.640190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943459PMC
September 2021

Effect of low-passage number on dengue consensus genomes and intra-host variant frequencies.

J Gen Virol 2021 03 16;102(3). Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

Intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) have been increasingly used in genomic epidemiology to increase phylogenetic resolution and reconstruct fine-scale outbreak dynamics. These analyses are preferably done on sequence data from direct clinical samples, but in many cases due to low viral loads, there might not be enough genetic material for deep sequencing and iSNV determination. Isolation of the virus from clinical samples with low-passage number increases viral load, but few studies have investigated how dengue virus (DENV) culture isolation from a clinical sample impacts the consensus sequence and the intra-host virus population frequencies. In this study, we investigate consensus and iSNV frequency differences between DENV sequenced directly from clinical samples and their corresponding low-passage isolates. Twenty five DENV1 and DENV2 positive sera and their corresponding viral isolates ( inoculation and C6/36 passage) were obtained from a prospective cohort study in the Philippines. These were sequenced on MiSeq with minimum nucleotide depth of coverage of 500×, and iSNVs were detected using LoFreq. For both DENV1 and DENV2, we found a maximum of one consensus nucleotide difference between clinical sample and isolate. Interestingly, we found that iSNVs with frequencies ≥5 % were often preserved between the samples, and that the number of iSNV positions, and sample diversity, at this frequency cutoff did not differ significantly between the sample pairs (clinical sample and isolate) in either DENV1 or DENV2 data. Our results show that low-passage DENV isolate consensus genomes are largely representative of their direct sample parental viruses, and that low-passage isolates often mirror high frequency within-host variants from direct samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001553DOI Listing
March 2021

Recent African strains of Zika virus display higher transmissibility and fetal pathogenicity than Asian strains.

Nat Commun 2021 02 10;12(1):916. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Insect-Virus Interactions Unit, Institut Pasteur, UMR2000, CNRS, Paris, France.

The global emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) revealed the unprecedented ability for a mosquito-borne virus to cause congenital birth defects. A puzzling aspect of ZIKV emergence is that all human outbreaks and birth defects to date have been exclusively associated with the Asian ZIKV lineage, despite a growing body of laboratory evidence pointing towards higher transmissibility and pathogenicity of the African ZIKV lineage. Whether this apparent paradox reflects the use of relatively old African ZIKV strains in most laboratory studies is unclear. Here, we experimentally compare seven low-passage ZIKV strains representing the recently circulating viral genetic diversity. We find that recent African ZIKV strains display higher transmissibility in mosquitoes and higher lethality in both adult and fetal mice than their Asian counterparts. We emphasize the high epidemic potential of African ZIKV strains and suggest that they could more easily go unnoticed by public health surveillance systems than Asian strains due to their propensity to cause fetal loss rather than birth defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21199-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876148PMC
February 2021

Complete Genome Sequences of Two Human Adenovirus Type 55 Isolates from South Korea and the United States.

Microbiol Resour Announc 2021 Feb 4;10(5). Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Here, we report two complete genome sequences of human adenovirus 55 (HAdV-55) isolates, from a patient in Pennsylvania in 2006 and a U.S. military member in South Korea in 2019. The findings demonstrate the continued global transmission of HAdV-55 viruses in both military and civilian populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.01347-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7862955PMC
February 2021

Temporally integrated single cell RNA sequencing analysis of PBMC from experimental and natural primary human DENV-1 infections.

PLoS Pathog 2021 01 29;17(1):e1009240. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America.

Dengue human infection studies present an opportunity to address many longstanding questions in the field of flavivirus biology. However, limited data are available on how the immunological and transcriptional response elicited by an attenuated challenge virus compares to that associated with a wild-type DENV infection. To determine the kinetic transcriptional signature associated with experimental primary DENV-1 infection and to assess how closely this profile correlates with the transcriptional signature accompanying natural primary DENV-1 infection, we utilized scRNAseq to analyze PBMC from individuals enrolled in a DENV-1 human challenge study and from individuals experiencing a natural primary DENV-1 infection. While both experimental and natural primary DENV-1 infection resulted in overlapping patterns of inflammatory gene upregulation, natural primary DENV-1 infection was accompanied with a more pronounced suppression in gene products associated with protein translation and mitochondrial function, principally in monocytes. This suggests that the immune response elicited by experimental and natural primary DENV infection are similar, but that natural primary DENV-1 infection has a more pronounced impact on basic cellular processes to induce a multi-layered anti-viral state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009240DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875406PMC
January 2021

Enhanced Zika virus susceptibility of globally invasive populations.

Science 2020 11;370(6519):991-996

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

The drivers and patterns of zoonotic virus emergence in the human population are poorly understood. The mosquito is a major arbovirus vector native to Africa that invaded most of the world's tropical belt over the past four centuries, after the evolution of a "domestic" form that specialized in biting humans and breeding in water storage containers. Here, we show that human specialization and subsequent spread of out of Africa were accompanied by an increase in its intrinsic ability to acquire and transmit the emerging human pathogen Zika virus. Thus, the recent evolution and global expansion of promoted arbovirus emergence not solely through increased vector-host contact but also as a result of enhanced vector susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abd3663DOI Listing
November 2020

The evolution of dengue-2 viruses in Malindi, Kenya and greater East Africa: Epidemiological and immunological implications.

Infect Genet Evol 2021 06 6;90:104617. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Basic Science Laboratory, US Army Medical Research Directorate - Africa (USAMRD-A), Kisumu, Kenya.

Kenya experiences a substantial burden of dengue, yet there are very few DENV-2 sequence data available from this country and indeed the entire continent of Africa. We therefore undertook whole genome sequencing and evolutionary analysis of fourteen dengue virus (DENV)-2 strains sampled from Malindi sub-County Hospital during the 2017 DENV-2 outbreak in the Kenyan coast. We further performed an extended East African phylogenetic analysis, which leveraged 26 complete African env genes. Maximum likelihood analysis showed that the 2017 outbreak was due to the Cosmopolitan genotype, indicating that this has been the only confirmed human DENV-2 genotype circulating in Africa to date. Phylogeographic analyses indicated transmission of DENV-2 viruses between East Africa and South/South-West Asia. Time-scaled genealogies show that DENV-2 viruses shows spatial structure at the country level in Kenya, with a time-to-most-common-recent ancestor analysis indicating that these DENV-2 strains were circulating for up to 5.38 years in Kenya before detection in the 2017 Malindi outbreak. Selection pressure analyses indicated sampled Kenyan DENV strains uniquely being under positive selection at 6 sites, predominantly across the non-structural genes, and epitope prediction analyses showed that one of these sites corresponds to a putative predicted MHC-I CD8+ DENV-2 Cosmopolitan virus epitope only evident in a sampled Kenyan virus. Taken together, our findings indicate that the 2017 Malindi DENV-2 outbreak arose from a strain which had circulated for several years in Kenya before recent detection, has experienced diversifying selection pressure, and may contain new putative immunogens relevant to vaccine design. These findings prompt further genomic epidemiology studies in this and other Kenyan locations to further elucidate the transmission dynamics of DENV in this region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2020.104617DOI Listing
June 2021

Emergence of a novel chikungunya virus strain bearing the E1:V80A substitution, out of the Mombasa, Kenya 2017-2018 outbreak.

PLoS One 2020 6;15(11):e0241754. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Emerging Infectious Diseases, United States Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.

Between late 2017 and mid-2018, a chikungunya fever outbreak occurred in Mombasa, Kenya that followed an earlier outbreak in mid-2016 in Mandera County on the border with Somalia. Using targeted Next Generation Sequencing, we obtained genomes from clinical samples collected during the 2017/2018 Mombasa outbreak. We compared data from the 2016 Mandera outbreak with the 2017/2018 Mombasa outbreak, and found that both had the Aedes aegypti adapting mutations, E1:K211E and E2:V264A. Further to the above two mutations, 11 of 15 CHIKV genomes from the Mombasa outbreak showed a novel triple mutation signature of E1:V80A, E1:T82I and E1:V84D. These novel mutations are estimated to have arisen in Mombasa by mid-2017 (2017.58, 95% HPD: 2017.23, 2017.84). The MRCA for the Mombasa outbreak genomes is estimated to have been present in early 2017 (2017.22, 95% HPD: 2016.68, 2017.63). Interestingly some of the earliest genomes from the Mombasa outbreak lacked the E1:V80A, E1:T82I and E1:V84D substitutions. Previous laboratory experiments have indicated that a substitution at position E1:80 in the CHIKV genome may lead to increased CHIKV transmissibility by Ae. albopictus. Genbank investigation of all available CHIKV genomes revealed that E1:V80A was not present; therefore, our data constitutes the first report of the E1:V80A mutation occurring in nature. To date, chikungunya outbreaks in the Northern and Western Hemispheres have occurred in Ae. aegypti inhabited tropical regions. Notwithstanding, it has been suggested that an Ae. albopictus adaptable ECSA or IOL strain could easily be introduced in these regions leading to a new wave of outbreaks. Our data on the recent Mombasa CHIKV outbreak has shown that a potential Ae. albopictus adapting mutation may be evolving within the East African region. It is even more worrisome that there exists potential for emergence of a CHIKV strain more adapted to efficient transmission by both Ae. albopictus and Ae.aegypti simultaneously. In view of the present data and history of chikungunya outbreaks, pandemic potential for such a strain is now a likely possibility in the future. Thus, continued surveillance of chikungunya backed by molecular epidemiologic capacity should be sustained to understand the evolving public health threat and inform prevention and control measures including the ongoing vaccine development efforts.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241754PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647060PMC
January 2021

A Department of Defense Laboratory Consortium Approach to Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics Training for Infectious Disease Surveillance in Kenya.

Front Genet 2020 25;11:577563. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, United States.

Epidemics of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are a danger to civilian and military populations worldwide. Health security and mitigation of infectious disease threats is a priority of the United States Government and the Department of Defense (DoD). Next generation sequencing (NGS) and Bioinformatics (BI) enhances traditional biosurveillance by providing additional data to understand transmission, identify resistance and virulence factors, make predictions, and update risk assessments. As more and more laboratories adopt NGS and BI technologies they encounter challenges in building local capacity. In addition to choosing the right sequencing platform and approach, considerations must also be made for the complexity of bioinformatics analyses, data storage, as well as personnel and computational requirements. To address these needs, a comprehensive training program was developed covering wet lab and bioinformatics approaches to NGS. The program is meant to be modular and adaptive to meet both common and individualized needs of medical research and public health laboratories across the DoD. The training program was first deployed internationally to the Basic Science Laboratory of the US Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa in Kisumu, Kenya, which is an overseas Lab of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). A week-long workshop with intensive focus on targeted sequencing and the bioinformatics of genome assembly ( = 24 participants) was held. Post-workshop self-assessment (completed by 21 participants) noted significant median gains in knowledge domains related to NGS targeted sequencing, bioinformatics for genome assembly, and sequence quality assessment. The participants also reported that the information on study design, sample preparation, sequencing quality control, data quality assessment, reporting, and basic and advanced bioinformatics analysis were the most useful information presented in the training. While longer-term evaluations are planned, the training resulted in significant short-term improvement of a laboratory's self-reported wet lab and bioinformatics capabilities. This framework can be used for future DoD laboratory development in the area of NGS and BI for infectious disease surveillance, ultimately enhancing this global DoD capability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.577563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7546821PMC
September 2020

Immunogenicity of a Live-Attenuated Dengue Vaccine Using a Heterologous Prime-Boost Strategy in a Phase 1 Randomized Clinical Trial.

J Infect Dis 2021 May;223(10):1707-1716

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.

Background: Dengue is a global health problem and the development of a tetravalent dengue vaccine with durable protection is a high priority. A heterologous prime-boost strategy has the advantage of eliciting immune responses through different mechanisms and therefore may be superior to homologous prime-boost strategies for generating durable tetravalent immunity.

Methods: In this phase 1 first-in-human heterologous prime-boost study, 80 volunteers were assigned to 4 groups and received a tetravalent dengue virus (DENV-1-4) purified inactivated vaccine (TDENV-PIV) with alum adjuvant and a tetravalent dengue virus (DENV-1-4) live attenuated vaccine (TDENV-LAV) in different orders and dosing schedules (28 or 180 days apart).

Results: All vaccination regimens had acceptable safety profiles and there were no vaccine-related serious adverse events. TDEN-PIV followed by TDEN-LAV induced higher neutralizing antibody titers and a higher rate of tetravalent seroconversions compared to TDEN-LAV followed by TDEN-PIV. Both TDEN-PIV followed by TDEN-LAV groups demonstrated 100% tetravalent seroconversion 28 days following the booster dose, which was maintained for most of these subjects through the day 180 measurement.

Conclusions: A heterologous prime-boost vaccination strategy for dengue merits additional evaluation for safety, immunogenicity, and potential for clinical benefit.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02239614.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa603DOI Listing
May 2021

Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Chain-Related A and B (MICA and MICB) Gene, Allele, and Haplotype Associations With Dengue Infections in Ethnic Thais.

J Infect Dis 2020 08;222(5):840-846

Department of Transfusion Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Background: Major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related (MIC) A and B (MICA and MICB) are polymorphic stress molecules recognized by natural killer cells. This study was performed to analyze MIC gene profiles in hospitalized Thai children with acute dengue illness.

Methods: MIC allele profiles were determined in a discovery cohort of patients with dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) (n = 166) and controls (n = 149). A replication cohort of patients with dengue (n = 222) was used to confirm specific MICB associations with disease.

Results: MICA*045 and MICB*004 associated with susceptibility to DHF in secondary dengue virus (DENV) infections (odds ratio [OR], 3.22; [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.18-8.84] and 1.99 [1.07-2.13], respectively), and MICB*002 with protection from DHF in secondary DENV infections (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, .21-.68). The protective effect of MICB*002 against secondary DHF was confirmed in the replication cohort (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, .22-.82) and was stronger when MICB*002 is present in individuals also carrying HLA-B*18, B*40, and B*44 alleles which form the B44 supertype of functionally related alleles (0.29, 95% CI, .14-.60).

Conclusions: Given that MICB*002 is a low expresser of soluble proteins, these data indicate that surface expression of MICB*002 with B44 supertype alleles on DENV-infected cells confer a protective advantage in controlling DENV infection using natural killer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399699PMC
August 2020

Live Oral Adenovirus Type 4 and Type 7 Vaccine Induces Durable Antibody Response.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 Jul 23;8(3). Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.

Human adenoviruses (AdV) are mostly associated with minimal pathology. However, more severe respiratory tract infections and acute respiratory diseases, most often caused by AdV-4 and AdV-7, have been reported. The only licensed vaccine in the United States, live oral AdV-4 and AdV-7 vaccine, is indicated for use in the military, nearly exclusively in recruit populations. The excellent safety profile and prominent antibody response of the vaccine is well established by placebo-controlled clinical trials, while, long-term immunity of vaccination has not been studied. Serum samples collected over 6 years from subjects co-administered live oral AdV-4 and AdV-7 vaccine in 2011 were evaluated to determine the duration of the antibody response. Group geometric mean titers (GMT) at 6 years post vaccination compared to previous years evaluated were not significantly different for either AdV-4 or AdV-7 vaccine components. There were no subjects that demonstrated waning neutralization antibody (NAb) titers against AdV-4 and less than 5% of subjects against AdV-7. Interestingly, there were subjects that had a four-fold increase in NAb titers against either AdV-4 or AdV-7, at various time points post vaccination, suggesting either homotypic or heterotypic re-exposure. This investigation provided strong evidence that the live oral AdV-4 and AdV-7 vaccine induced long-term immunity to protect from AdV-4 and AdV-7 infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8030411DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564809PMC
July 2020

A Phase 1, Open-Label Assessment of a Dengue Virus-1 Live Virus Human Challenge Strain.

J Infect Dis 2021 02;223(2):258-267

Institute for Global Health and Translational Science, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, USA.

Background: Dengue human infection models (DHIM) have been used as a safe means to test the viability of prophylaxis and therapeutics.

Methods: A phase 1 study of 12 healthy adult volunteers using a challenge virus, DENV-1-LVHC strain 45AZ5, was performed. A dose escalating design was used to determine the safety and performance profile of the challenge virus. Subjects were evaluated extensively until 28 days and then out to 6 months.

Results: Twelve subjects received the challenge virus: 6 with 0.5 mL of 6.5 × 103 plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL (low-dose group) and 6 with 0.5 mL of 6.5 × 104 PFU/mL (mid-dose group). All except 1 in the low-dose group developed detectable viremia. For all subjects the mean incubation period was 5.9 days (range 5-9 days) and mean time of viremia was 6.8 days (range 3-9 days). Mean peak for all subjects was 1.6 × 107 genome equivalents (GE)/mL (range 4.6 × 103 to 5 × 107 GE/mL). There were no serious adverse events or long-term safety signals noted.

Conclusions: We conclude that DENV-1-LVHC was well-tolerated, resulted in an uncomplicated dengue illness, and may be a suitable DHIM for therapeutic and prophylactic product testing.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02372175.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa351DOI Listing
February 2021

Human Adenovirus Type 55 Distribution, Regional Persistence, and Genetic Variability.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 07;26(7):1497-1505

Human adenovirus type 55 (HAdV-55) causes acute respiratory disease of variable severity and has become an emergent threat in both civilian and military populations. HAdV-55 infection is endemic to China and South Korea, but data from other regions and time periods are needed for comprehensive assessment of HAdV-55 prevalence from a global perspective. In this study, we subjected HAdV-55 isolates from various countries collected during 1969-2018 to whole-genome sequencing, genomic and proteomic comparison, and phylogenetic analyses. The results show worldwide distribution of HAdV-55; recent strains share a high degree of genomic homogeneity. Distinct strains circulated regionally for several years, suggesting persistent local transmission. Several cases of sporadic introduction of certain strains to other countries were documented. Among the identified amino acid mutations distinguishing HAdV-55 strains, some have potential impact on essential viral functions and may affect infectivity and transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2607.191707DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323512PMC
July 2020

Analysis of cell-associated DENV RNA by oligo(dT) primed 5' capture scRNAseq.

Sci Rep 2020 06 3;10(1):9047. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

Dengue is one of the most widespread vector-borne viral diseases in the world. However, the size, heterogeneity, and temporal dynamics of the cell-associated viral reservoir during acute dengue virus (DENV) infection remains unclear. In this study, we analyzed cells infected in vitro with DENV and PBMC from an individual experiencing a natural DENV infection utilizing 5' capture single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq). Both positive- and negative-sense DENV RNA was detected in reactions containing either an oligo(dT) primer alone, or in reactions supplemented with a DENV-specific primer. The addition of a DENV-specific primer did not increase the total amount of DENV RNA captured or the fraction of cells identified as containing DENV RNA. However, inclusion of a DENV-specific cDNA primer did increase the viral genome coverage immediately 5' to the primer binding site. Furthermore, while the majority of intracellular DENV sequence captured in this analysis mapped to the 5' end of the viral genome, distinct patterns of enhanced coverage within the DENV polyprotein coding region were observed. The 5' capture scRNAseq analysis of PBMC not only recapitulated previously published reports by detecting virally infected memory and naïve B cells, but also identified cell-associated genomic variants not observed in contemporaneous serum samples. These results demonstrate that oligo(dT) primed 5' capture scRNAseq can detect DENV RNA and quantify virus-infected cells in physiologically relevant conditions, and provides insight into viral sequence variability within infected cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65939-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7270085PMC
June 2020

Safety and Immunogenicity of an AS03-Adjuvanted Inactivated Tetravalent Dengue Virus Vaccine Administered on Varying Schedules to Healthy U.S. Adults: A Phase 1/2 Randomized Study.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020 07 23;103(1):132-141. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

GSK, Rockville, Maryland.

Dengue disease and its causative agents, the dengue viruses (DENV-1-4), cause high morbidity in tropical and subtropical regions. We evaluated three dosing regimens of the investigational tetravalent AS03-adjuvanted dengue-purified inactivated vaccine (DPIV+AS03). In this phase 1/2, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study (NCT02421367), 140 healthy adults were randomized 1:1:2 to receive DPIV+AS03 according to the following regimens: 0-1 month (M), 0-1-6 M, or 0-3 M. Participants received DPIV+AS03 or placebo at M0, M1, M3, and M6 according to their dosing schedule. Primary objectives were 1) to evaluate the safety of DPIV+AS03 for 28 days (D) after each dose; 2) to demonstrate the added value of a booster dose (0-1-6 M versus 0-1 M) based on neutralizing antibody titers to each DENV type (DENV-1-4) at 28 D after the last dose; and, if this objective was met, 3) to demonstrate the benefit of a longer interval between the first and second doses (0-1 M versus 0-3 M). Adverse events (AEs) within 7 D after vaccination tended to be more frequent after DPIV+AS03 doses than placebo; the number of grade 3 AEs was low (≤ 4.5% after DPIV+AS03; ≤ 2.9% after placebo), with no obvious differences across groups. Within 28 D following each dose, the frequency of unsolicited AEs after DPIV+AS03 appeared higher for three-dose (0-1-6 M) than two-dose (0-1 M and 0-3 M) regimens. No serious AEs were considered related to vaccination, and no potential immune-mediated diseases were reported during the study. All three schedules were well tolerated. Both primary immunogenicity objectives were demonstrated. The 0-3 M and 0-1-6 M regimens were more immunogenic than the 0-1 M regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.19-0738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7356407PMC
July 2020

Transcriptional and clonal characterization of B cell plasmablast diversity following primary and secondary natural DENV infection.

EBioMedicine 2020 Apr 18;54:102733. Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, United States.

Antibody-mediated humoral immunity is thought to play a central role in mediating the immunopathogenesis of acute DENV infection, but limited data are available on the diversity, specificity, and functionality of the antibody response at the molecular level elicited by primary or secondary DENV infection. In order to close this functional gap in our understanding of DENV-specific humoral immunity, we utilized high-throughput single cell RNA sequencing to investigate B cells circulating in both primary and secondary natural DENV infections. We captured full-length paired immunoglobulin receptor sequence data from 9,027 B cells from a total of 6 subjects, including 2,717 plasmablasts. In addition to IgG and IgM class-switched cells, we unexpectedly found a high proportion of the DENV-elicited plasmablasts expressing IgA, principally in individuals with primary DENV infections. These IgA class-switched cells were extensively hypermutated even in individuals with a serologically confirmed primary DENV infection. Utilizing a combination of conventional biochemical assays and high-throughput shotgun mutagenesis, we determined that DENV-reactive IgA class-switched antibodies represent a significant fraction of DENV-reactive Igs generated in response to DENV infection, and that they exhibit a comparable epitope specificity to DENV-reactive IgG antibodies. These results provide insight into the molecular-level diversity of DENV-elicited humoral immunity and identify a heretofore unappreciated IgA plasmablast response to DENV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7170960PMC
April 2020

Route of inoculation and mosquito vector exposure modulate dengue virus replication kinetics and immune responses in rhesus macaques.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 04 8;14(4):e0008191. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

GSK Vaccines, Rixensart, Belgium.

Dengue virus (DENV) is transmitted by infectious mosquitoes during blood-feeding via saliva containing biologically-active proteins. Here, we examined the effect of varying DENV infection modality in rhesus macaques in order to improve the DENV nonhuman primate (NHP) challenge model. NHPs were exposed to DENV-1 via subcutaneous or intradermal inoculation of virus only, intradermal inoculation of virus and salivary gland extract, or infectious mosquito feeding. The infectious mosquito feeding group exhibited delayed onset of viremia, greater viral loads, and altered clinical and immune responses compared to other groups. After 15 months, NHPs in the subcutaneous and infectious mosquito feeding groups were re-exposed to either DENV-1 or DENV-2. Viral replication and neutralizing antibody following homologous challenge were suggestive of sterilizing immunity, whereas heterologous challenge resulted in productive, yet reduced, DENV-2 replication and boosted neutralizing antibody. These results show that a more transmission-relevant exposure modality resulted in viral replication closer to that observed in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7141610PMC
April 2020

Safety and Immunogenicity of Different Formulations of a Tetravalent Dengue Purified Inactivated Vaccine in Healthy Adults from Puerto Rico: Final Results after 3 Years of Follow-Up from a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Phase I Study.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020 05;102(5):951-954

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Four formulations of an investigational tetravalent dengue purified inactivated vaccine, administered as two doses one month (M) apart, were previously shown to be immunogenic and well-tolerated up to M13 of the phase I study NCT01702857. Here, we report results of the follow-up from M14 to year (Y) 3. One hundred healthy Puerto Rican adults, predominantly dengue virus (DENV)-primed, were randomized 1:1:1:1:1 to receive placebo or vaccine formulations: 1 μg/serotype/dose adjuvanted with aluminum, AS01 or AS03, or aluminum-adjuvanted 4 μg/serotype/dose. No serious adverse events occurred. Two medically-attended potential immune-mediated disease cases, vaccination unrelated, were reported (groups 1 µg+Alum and 1 µg+AS03). Of 14 instances of suspected dengue, none were laboratory confirmed. Geometric mean neutralizing antibody titers against DENV 1-4 waned from M14, but remained above pre-vaccination levels for DENV 1-3, with the highest values for group 1 µg+AS03: 1220.1, 920.5, 819.4, and 940.5 (Y2), and 1329.3, 1169.2, 1219.8, and 718.9 (Y3). All formulations appeared to be safe and immunogenic during the 3-year follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.19-0461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204593PMC
May 2020

Key Findings and Comparisons From Analogous Case-Cluster Studies for Dengue Virus Infection Conducted in Machala, Ecuador, and Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand.

Front Public Health 2020 12;8. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Department of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, United States.

Dengue viruses (DENV) pose a significant and increasing threat to human health across broad regions of the globe. Currently, prevention, control, and treatment strategies are limited. Promising interventions are on the horizon, including multiple vaccine candidates under development and a renewed and innovative focus on controlling the vector, . However, significant gaps persist in our understanding of the similarities and differences in DENV epidemiology across regions of potential implementation and evaluation. In this manuscript, we highlight and compare findings from two analogous cluster-based studies for DENV transmission and pathogenesis conducted in Thailand and Ecuador to identify key features and questions for further pursuit. Despite a remarkably similar incidence of DENV infection among enrolled neighborhood contacts at the two sites, we note a higher occurrence of secondary infection and severe illness in Thailand compared to Ecuador. A higher force of infection in Thailand, defined as the incidence of infection among susceptible individuals, is suggested by the higher number of captured mosquitoes per household, the increasing proportion of asymptomatic infections with advancing age, and the high proportion of infections identified as secondary-type infections by serology. These observations should be confirmed in long-term, parallel prospective cohort studies conducted across regions, which would advantageously permit characterization of baseline immune status (susceptibility) and contemporaneous assessment of risks and risk factors for dengue illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7028768PMC
May 2021

The origins of dengue and chikungunya viruses in Ecuador following increased migration from Venezuela and Colombia.

BMC Evol Biol 2020 02 19;20(1):31. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Viral Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

Background: In recent years, Ecuador and other South American countries have experienced an increase in arboviral diseases. A rise in dengue infections was followed by introductions of chikungunya and Zika, two viruses never before seen in many of these areas. Furthermore, the latest socioeconomic and political instability in Venezuela and the mass migration of its population into the neighboring countries has given rise to concerns of infectious disease spillover and escalation of arboviral spread in the region.

Results: We performed phylogeographic analyses of dengue (DENV) and chikungunya (CHIKV) virus genomes sampled from a surveillance site in Ecuador in 2014-2015, along with genomes from the surrounding countries. Our results revealed at least two introductions of DENV, in 2011 and late 2013, that initially originated from Venezuela and/or Colombia. The introductions were subsequent to increases in the influx of Venezuelan and Colombian citizens into Ecuador, which in 2013 were 343% and 214% higher than in 2009, respectively. However, we show that Venezuela has historically been an important source of DENV dispersal in this region, even before the massive exodus of its population, suggesting already established paths of viral distribution. Like DENV, CHIKV was introduced into Ecuador at multiple time points in 2013-2014, but unlike DENV, these introductions were associated with the Caribbean. Our findings indicated no direct CHIKV connection between Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela as of 2015, suggesting that CHIKV was, at this point, not following the paths of DENV spread.

Conclusion: Our results reveal that Ecuador is vulnerable to arbovirus import from many geographic locations, emphasizing the need of continued surveillance and more diversified prevention strategies. Importantly, increase in human movement along established paths of viral dissemination, combined with regional outbreaks and epidemics, may facilitate viral spread and lead to novel virus introductions. Thus, strengthening infectious disease surveillance and control along migration routes and improving access to healthcare for the vulnerable populations is of utmost importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12862-020-1596-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031975PMC
February 2020

Potent Zika and dengue cross-neutralizing antibodies induced by Zika vaccination in a dengue-experienced donor.

Nat Med 2020 02 3;26(2):228-235. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.

Zika virus (ZIKV) has caused significant disease, with widespread cases of neurological pathology and congenital neurologic defects. Rapid vaccine development has led to a number of candidates capable of eliciting potent ZIKV-neutralizing antibodies (reviewed in refs. ). Despite advances in vaccine development, it remains unclear how ZIKV vaccination affects immune responses in humans with prior flavivirus immunity. Here we show that a single-dose immunization of ZIKV purified inactivated vaccine (ZPIV) in a dengue virus (DENV)-experienced human elicited potent cross-neutralizing antibodies to both ZIKV and DENV. Using a unique ZIKV virion-based sorting strategy, we isolated and characterized multiple antibodies, including one termed MZ4, which targets a novel site of vulnerability centered on the Envelope (E) domain I/III linker region and protects mice from viremia and viral dissemination following ZIKV or DENV-2 challenge. These data demonstrate that Zika vaccination in a DENV-experienced individual can boost pre-existing flavivirus immunity and elicit protective responses against both ZIKV and DENV. ZPIV vaccination in Puerto Rican individuals with prior flavivirus experience yielded similar cross-neutralizing potency after a single vaccination, highlighting the potential benefit of ZIKV vaccination in flavivirus-endemic areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0746-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7018608PMC
February 2020

An Innovative, Prospective, Hybrid Cohort-Cluster Study Design to Characterize Dengue Virus Transmission in Multigenerational Households in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand.

Am J Epidemiol 2020 07;189(7):648-659

Difficulties inherent in the identification of immune correlates of protection or severe disease have challenged the development and evaluation of dengue vaccines. There persist substantial gaps in knowledge about the complex effects of age and sequential dengue virus (DENV) exposures on these correlations. To address these gaps, we were conducting a novel family-based cohort-cluster study for DENV transmission in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand. The study began in 2015 and is funded until at least 2023. As of May 2019, 2,870 individuals in 485 families were actively enrolled. The families comprise at least 1 child born into the study as a newborn, 1 other child, a parent, and a grandparent. The median age of enrolled participants is 21 years (range 0-93 years). Active surveillance is performed to detect acute dengue illnesses, and annual blood testing identifies subclinical seroconversions. Extended follow-up of this cohort will detect sequential infections and correlate antibody kinetics and sequence of infections with disease outcomes. The central goal of this prospective study is to characterize how different DENV exposure histories within multigenerational family units, from DENV-naive infants to grandparents with multiple prior DENV exposures, affect transmission, disease, and protection at the level of the individual, household, and community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393304PMC
July 2020
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