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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major human pathogen that infects the majority of children by two years of age. The RSV fusion (F) protein is a primary target of human antibodies, and it has several antigenic regions capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies. Antigenic site IV is preserved in both the pre-fusion and post-fusion conformations of RSV F. Antibodies to antigenic site IV have been described that bind and neutralize both RSV and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). To explore the diversity of binding modes at antigenic site IV, we generated a panel of four new human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and competition-binding suggested the mAbs bind at antigenic site IV. Mutagenesis experiments revealed that binding and neutralization of two mAbs (3M3 and 6F18) depended on arginine (R) residue R429. We discovered two R429-independent mAbs (17E10 and 2N6) at this site that neutralized an RSV R429A mutant strain, and one of these mAbs (17E10) neutralized both RSV and hMPV. To determine the mechanism of cross-reactivity, we performed competition-binding, recombinant protein mutagenesis, peptide binding, and electron microscopy experiments. It was determined that the human cross-reactive mAb 17E10 binds to RSV F with a binding pose similar to 101F, which may be indicative of cross-reactivity with hMPV F. The data presented provide new concepts in RSV immune recognition and vaccine design, as we describe the novel idea that binding pose may influence mAb cross-reactivity between RSV and hMPV. Characterization of the site IV epitope bound by human antibodies may inform the design of a pan-Pneumovirus vaccine.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are two closely related viruses that cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and the elderly, with a significant health burden. There are no licensed vaccines or small-molecule antiviral treatments specific to these two viruses at present. A humanized murine monoclonal antibody (palivizumab) is approved to treat high-risk infants for RSV infection, but other treatments, as well as vaccines, for both viruses are still in development. Recent epidemiological modelling suggests that cross-immunity between RSV, HMPV and human parainfluenzaviruses may contribute to their periodic outbreaks, suggesting that a deeper understanding of host immunity to these viruses may lead to enhanced strategies for their control. Cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies to the RSV and HMPV fusion (F) proteins have been identified. Here, we examine the structural basis for cross-reactive antibody binding to RSV and HMPV F protein by two related, independently isolated antibodies, MPE8 and 25P13. We solved the structure of the MPE8 antibody bound to RSV F protein and identified the 25P13 antibody from an independent blood donor. Our results indicate that both antibodies use germline residues to interact with a conserved surface on F protein that could guide the emergence of cross-reactivity. The induction of similar cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies using structural vaccinology approaches could enhance intrinsic cross-immunity to these paramyxoviruses and approaches to controlling recurring outbreaks.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are paramyxoviruses that are responsible for substantial human health burden, particularly in children and the elderly. The fusion (F) glycoproteins are major targets of the neutralizing antibody response and studies have mapped dominant antigenic sites in F. Here we grafted a major neutralizing site of RSV F, recognized by the prophylactic monoclonal antibody palivizumab, onto HMPV F, generating a chimeric protein displaying epitopes of both viruses. We demonstrate that the resulting chimeric protein (RPM-1) is recognized by both anti-RSV and anti-HMPV F neutralizing antibodies indicating that it can be used to map the epitope specificity of antibodies raised against both viruses. Mice immunized with the RPM-1 chimeric antigen generate robust neutralizing antibody responses to MPV but weak or no cross-reactive recognition of RSV F, suggesting that grafting of the single palivizumab epitope stimulates a comparatively limited antibody response. The RPM-1 protein provides a new tool for characterizing the immune responses resulting from RSV and HMPV infections and provides insights into the requirements for developing a chimeric subunit vaccine that could induce robust and balanced immunity to both virus infections.
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality from acute lower respiratory tract illness, with most individuals seropositive by age five. Despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies, secondary infections are common and can be severe in young, elderly, and immunocompromised persons. Preclinical vaccine studies for HMPV have suggested a need for a balanced antibody and T cell immune response to enhance protection and avoid lung immunopathology. We infected transgenic mice expressing human HLA-A*0201 with HMPV and used ELISPOT to screen overlapping and predicted epitope peptides. We identified six novel HLA-A2 restricted CD8(+) T cell (TCD8) epitopes, with M39-47 (M39) immunodominant. Tetramer staining detected M39-specific TCD8 in lungs and spleen of HMPV-immune mice. Immunization with adjuvant-formulated M39 peptide reduced lung virus titers upon challenge. Finally, we show that TCD8 from HLA-A*0201 positive humans recognize M39 by IFNγ ELISPOT and tetramer staining. These results will facilitate HMPV vaccine development and human studies.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) are major causes of illness among children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. No vaccine has been licensed for protection against either of these viruses. We tested the ability of two Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus-based viral replicon particle (VEE-VRP) vaccines that express the hRSV or hMPV fusion (F) protein to confer protection against hRSV or hMPV in African green monkeys. Animals immunized with VEE-VRP vaccines developed RSV or MPV F-specific antibodies and serum neutralizing activity. Compared to control animals, immunized animals were better able to control viral load in the respiratory mucosa following challenge and had lower levels of viral genome in nasopharyngeal and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids. The high level of immunogenicity and protective efficacy induced by these vaccine candidates in nonhuman primates suggest that they hold promise for further development.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), a member of the Paramyxoviridae family, is a leading cause of lower respiratory illness. Although receptor binding is thought to initiate fusion at the plasma membrane for paramyxoviruses, the entry mechanism for HMPV is largely uncharacterized. Here we sought to determine whether HMPV initiates fusion at the plasma membrane or following internalization. To study the HMPV entry process in human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells, we used fluorescence microscopy, an R18-dequenching fusion assay, and developed a quantitative, fluorescence microscopy assay to follow virus binding, internalization, membrane fusion, and visualize the cellular site of HMPV fusion. We found that HMPV particles are internalized into human bronchial epithelial cells before fusing with endosomes. Using chemical inhibitors and RNA interference, we determined that HMPV particles are internalized via clathrin-mediated endocytosis in a dynamin-dependent manner. HMPV fusion and productive infection are promoted by RGD-binding integrin engagement, internalization, actin polymerization, and dynamin. Further, HMPV fusion is pH-independent, although infection with rare strains is modestly inhibited by RNA interference or chemical inhibition of endosomal acidification. Thus, HMPV can enter via endocytosis, but the viral fusion machinery is not triggered by low pH. Together, our results indicate that HMPV is capable of entering host cells by multiple pathways, including membrane fusion from endosomal compartments.
Acute viral infections typically generate functional effector CD8(+) T cells (TCD8) that aid in pathogen clearance. However, during acute viral lower respiratory infection, lung TCD8 are functionally impaired and do not optimally control viral replication. T cells also become unresponsive to Ag during chronic infections and cancer via signaling by inhibitory receptors such as programmed cell death-1 (PD-1). PD-1 also contributes to TCD8 impairment during viral lower respiratory infection, but how it regulates TCD8 impairment and the connection between this state and T cell exhaustion during chronic infections are unknown. In this study, we show that PD-1 operates in a cell-intrinsic manner to impair lung TCD8. In light of this, we compared global gene expression profiles of impaired epitope-specific lung TCD8 to functional spleen TCD8 in the same human metapneumovirus-infected mice. These two populations differentially regulate hundreds of genes, including the upregulation of numerous inhibitory receptors by lung TCD8. We then compared the gene expression of TCD8 during human metapneumovirus infection to those in acute or chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. We find that the immunophenotype of lung TCD8 more closely resembles T cell exhaustion late into chronic infection than do functional effector T cells arising early in acute infection. Finally, we demonstrate that trafficking to the infected lung alone is insufficient for TCD8 impairment or inhibitory receptor upregulation, but that viral Ag-induced TCR signaling is also required. Our results indicate that viral Ag in infected lungs rapidly induces an exhaustion-like state in lung TCD8 characterized by progressive functional impairment and upregulation of numerous inhibitory receptors.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
INTRODUCTION - The disease burden and risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (MPV) infections among children living in remote, rural areas remain unclear.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We conducted a prospective, household-based cohort study of children aged <3 years living in remote rural highland communities in San Marcos, Cajamarca, Peru. Acute respiratory illnesses (ARI), including lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), were monitored through weekly household visits from March 2009 through September 2011. Nasal swabs collected during ARI/LRTI were tested for RSV, MPV, and other respiratory viruses using real-time RT-PCR. Incidence rates and rate ratios were calculated using mixed effects Poisson regression.
RESULTS - Among 892 enrolled children, incidence rates of RSV and MPV ARI were 30 and 17 episodes per 100 child-years, respectively. The proportions of RSV and MPV ARI that presented as LRTI were 12.5% and 8.9%, respectively. Clinic visits for ARI and hospitalizations were significantly more frequent (all p values <0.05) among children with RSV (clinic 41% and hospital 5.3%) and MPV ARI (38% and 3.5%) when compared with other viral infections (23% and 0.7%) and infections without virus detected (24% and 0.6%). In multivariable analysis, risk factors for RSV detection included younger age (RR 1.02, 95% CI: 1.00-1.03), the presence of a smoker in the house (RR 1.63, 95% CI: 1.12-2.38), residing at higher altitudes (RR 1.93, 95% CI: 1.25-3.00 for 2nd compared to 1st quartile residents; RR 1.98, 95% CI: 1.26-3.13 for 3rd compared to 1st quartile residents). Having an unemployed household head was significantly associated with MPV risk (RR 2.11, 95% CI: 1.12-4.01).
CONCLUSION - In rural high altitude communities in Peru, childhood ARI due to RSV or MPV were common and associated with higher morbidity than ARI due to other viruses or with no viral detections. The risk factors identified in this study may be considered for interventional studies to control infections by these viruses among young children from developing countries.
UNLABELLED - Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a major cause of respiratory disease in infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals worldwide. There is currently no licensed HMPV vaccine. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are an attractive vaccine candidate because they are noninfectious and elicit a neutralizing antibody response. However, studies show that serum neutralizing antibodies are insufficient for complete protection against reinfection and that adaptive T cell immunity is important for viral clearance. HMPV and other respiratory viruses induce lung CD8(+) T cell (TCD8) impairment, mediated by programmed death 1 (PD-1). In this study, we generated HMPV VLPs by expressing the fusion and matrix proteins in mammalian cells and tested whether VLP immunization induces functional HMPV-specific TCD8 responses in mice. C57BL/6 mice vaccinated twice with VLPs and subsequently challenged with HMPV were protected from lung viral replication for at least 20 weeks postimmunization. A single VLP dose elicited F- and M-specific lung TCD8s with higher function and lower expression of PD-1 and other inhibitory receptors than TCD8s from HMPV-infected mice. However, after HMPV challenge, lung TCD8s from VLP-vaccinated mice exhibited inhibitory receptor expression and functional impairment similar to those of mice experiencing secondary infection. HMPV challenge of VLP-immunized μMT mice also elicited a large percentage of impaired lung TCD8s, similar to mice experiencing secondary infection. Together, these results indicate that VLPs are a promising vaccine candidate but do not prevent lung TCD8 impairment upon HMPV challenge.
IMPORTANCE - Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a leading cause of acute respiratory disease for which there is no licensed vaccine. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are an attractive vaccine candidate and induce antibodies, but T cell responses are less defined. Moreover, HMPV and other respiratory viruses induce lung CD8(+) T cell (TCD8) impairment mediated by programmed death 1 (PD-1). In this study, HMPV VLPs containing viral fusion and matrix proteins elicited epitope-specific TCD8s that were functional with low PD-1 expression. Two VLP doses conferred sterilizing immunity in C57BL/6 mice and facilitated HMPV clearance in antibody-deficient μMT mice without enhancing lung pathology. However, regardless of whether responding lung TCD8s had previously encountered HMPV antigens in the context of VLPs or virus, similar proportions were impaired and expressed comparable levels of PD-1 upon viral challenge. These results suggest that VLPs are a promising vaccine candidate but do not prevent lung TCD8 impairment upon HMPV challenge.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
BACKGROUND - Incidence estimates of hospitalizations for community-acquired pneumonia among children in the United States that are based on prospective data collection are limited. Updated estimates of pneumonia that has been confirmed radiographically and with the use of current laboratory diagnostic tests are needed.
METHODS - We conducted active population-based surveillance for community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization among children younger than 18 years of age in three hospitals in Memphis, Nashville, and Salt Lake City. We excluded children with recent hospitalization or severe immunosuppression. Blood and respiratory specimens were systematically collected for pathogen detection with the use of multiple methods. Chest radiographs were reviewed independently by study radiologists.
RESULTS - From January 2010 through June 2012, we enrolled 2638 of 3803 eligible children (69%), 2358 of whom (89%) had radiographic evidence of pneumonia. The median age of the children was 2 years (interquartile range, 1 to 6); 497 of 2358 children (21%) required intensive care, and 3 (<1%) died. Among 2222 children with radiographic evidence of pneumonia and with specimens available for bacterial and viral testing, a viral or bacterial pathogen was detected in 1802 (81%), one or more viruses in 1472 (66%), bacteria in 175 (8%), and both bacterial and viral pathogens in 155 (7%). The annual incidence of pneumonia was 15.7 cases per 10,000 children (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.9 to 16.5), with the highest rate among children younger than 2 years of age (62.2 cases per 10,000 children; 95% CI, 57.6 to 67.1). Respiratory syncytial virus was more common among children younger than 5 years of age than among older children (37% vs. 8%), as were adenovirus (15% vs. 3%) and human metapneumovirus (15% vs. 8%). Mycoplasma pneumoniae was more common among children 5 years of age or older than among younger children (19% vs. 3%).
CONCLUSIONS - The burden of hospitalization for children with community-acquired pneumonia was highest among the very young, with respiratory viruses the most commonly detected causes of pneumonia. (Funded by the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.).