Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted flavivirus that is associated with fetal CNS-damaging malformations during pregnancy in humans. This study documents the viral kinetics and immune responses in rhesus macaques infected with a clinical ZIKV Brazilian isolate. We evaluated the viral kinetics and immune responses induced after an i.v. infection with a Brazilian ZIKV clinical isolate (HS-2015-BA-01) in rhesus macaques for up to 142 d. ZIKV-specific Ab-secreting cells, germinal center reactions, and monocyte, dendritic cell, NK, and T cell frequencies were monitored. ZIKV loads were readily detected in plasma (until day 5 or 7), semen and urine (until days 7 and 14), and saliva (until day 42), but the viremia was rapidly controlled. No detectable clinical manifestations were observed. However, lymph node hyperplasia was clearly visible postviremia but was associated with low frequencies of ZIKV-specific Ab-secreting cells in lymph nodes and bone marrow, correlating with low Ab titers. CD14+/CD16- monocytes and myeloid CD11chi dendritic cells decreased in blood, whereas NK and T cell numbers were only marginally altered during the course of the study. ZIKV infection caused a significant lymphoid tissue activation but limited induction of ZIKV-specific B cells, suggesting that these parameters need to be considered for ZIKV vaccine design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy