Primary infection with dengue or Zika virus does not affect the severity of heterologous secondary infection in macaques

Meghan E. Breitbach, Christina M. Newman, Dawn M. Dudley, Laurel M. Stewart, Matthew T. Aliota, Michelle R. Koenig, Phoenix M. Shepherd, Keisuke Yamamoto, Chelsea M. Crooks, Ginger Young, Matthew R. Semler, Andrea M. Weiler, Gabrielle L. Barry, Holly Heimsath, Emma L. Mohr, Jens Eichkoff, Wendy Newton, Eric Peterson, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Sallie R. PermarHansi Dean, Saverio Capuano, Jorge E. Osorio, Thomas C. Friedrich, David H. O'Connor

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33 Scopus citations


Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are genetically and antigenically related flaviviruses that now co-circulate in much of the tropical and subtropical world. The rapid emergence of ZIKV in the Americas in 2015 and 2016, and its recent associations with Guillain-Barrésyndrome, birth defects, and fetal loss have led to the hypothesis that DENV infection induces cross-reactive antibodies that influence the severity of secondary ZIKV infections. It has also been proposed that pre-existing ZIKV immunity could affect DENV pathogenesis. We examined outcomes of secondary ZIKV infections in three rhesus and fifteen cynomolgus macaques, as well as secondary DENV-2 infections in three additional rhesus macaques up to a year post-primary ZIKV infection. Although cross-binding antibodies were detected prior to secondary infection for all animals and cross-neutralizing antibodies were detected for some animals, previous DENV or ZIKV infection had no apparent effect on the clinical course of heterotypic secondary infections in these animals. All animals had asymptomatic infections and, when compared to controls, did not have significantly perturbed hematological parameters. Rhesus macaques infected with DENV-2 approximately one year after primary ZIKV infection had higher vRNA loads in plasma when compared with serum vRNA loads from ZIKV-naive animals infected with DENV-2, but a differential effect of sample type could not be ruled out. In cynomolgus macaques, the serotype of primary DENV infection did not affect the outcome of secondary ZIKV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1007766
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2019

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© 2019 Breitbach et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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