Natural history of Asian lineage Zika virus infection in macaques

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Dawn M. DudleyJorge E. Osorio


Infection with Asian lineage Zika virus has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome and fetal microcephaly 1-4. Here we show that rhesus macaques are susceptible to infection by an Asian lineage Zika virus isolate that shares more than 99% nucleotide identity with strains currently circulating in the Americas. Following subcutaneous inoculation, Zika virus RNA was detected in plasma one-day post infection (dpi) in all animals (N = 3). Plasma viral loads peaked above 1 x 106 viral RNA copies/mL in two of three animals. Viral RNA was also present in saliva, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), consistent with case reports from infected humans. Zika virus RNA persisted in both plasma and urine at low levels for more than two weeks. Infection was associated with transient increases in proliferating natural killer cells, CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, and plasmablasts, suggesting pathogen sensing by the immune system. These data establish that Asian lineage Zika virus infection in rhesus macaques provides a relevant animal model for human infection. Furthermore, because fetal development is well characterized in rhesus macaques, infections in pregnant macaques will enable important studies of fetal defects associated with Zika virus.

Related Concepts

Neutralising Antibodies Analysis
Pathogenic Aspects
Virus Replication
Saliva - SpecimenType
Natural Killer Cell Count
Plasmablast (Cell)

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