A longitudinal systems immunologic investigation of acute Zika virus infection in an individual infected while traveling to Caracas, Venezuela

by Aaron F. Carlin, Jinsheng Wen, Edward A. Vizcarra, Melanie McCauley, Antoine Chaillon, Kevan Akrami, Cheryl Kim, Annie Elong Ngono, Maria Luz Lara-Marquez, Davey M. Smith, Christopher K. Glass, Robert T. Schooley, Christopher Benner, Sujan Shresta

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus linked to devastating neurologic diseases. Immune responses to flaviviruses may be pathogenic or protective. Our understanding of human immune responses to ZIKV in vivo remains limited. Therefore, we performed a longitudinal molecular and phenotypic characterization of innate and adaptive immune responses during an acute ZIKV infection. We found that innate immune transcriptional and genomic responses were both cell type- and time-dependent. While interferon stimulated gene induction was common to all innate immune cells, the upregulation of important inflammatory cytokine genes was primarily limited to monocyte subsets. Additionally, genomic analysis revealed substantial chromatin remodeling at sites containing cell-type specific transcription factor binding motifs that may explain the observed changes in gene expression. In this dengue virus-experienced individual, adaptive immune responses were rapidly mobilized with T cell transcriptional activity and ZIKV neutralizing antibody responses peaking 6 days after the onset of symptoms. Collectively this study characterizes the development and resolution of an in vivo human immune response to acute ZIKV infection in an individual with pre-existing flavivirus immunity.

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