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This data is courtesy of Josh Eudailey, Tony Moody, and Sallie Permar from the Human Vaccine Institute and Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center:
Three rhesus macaques (M. mulatta) of Indian origin were inoculated with varying doses of a Zika virus isolated in 2013 from an infected individual in French Polynesia. Subsequently PBMCs from these NHPs were isolated at 4 timepoints post-infection (days 3, 7, 11, 14) to study the kinetics of the primary humoral immune response during acute infection, focusing specifically on the expansion of the antibody-synthesizing plasmablast population. This population was defined by excluding lineage cells (NK cells, T Cells, B Cells, monocytes, plasmacytoid, and dendritic cells) and selecting for HLA-DR+/CD80+ expression, markers known to be expressed on macaque plasmablasts and their human counterparts (Silveira et al. 2015; Wrammert et al. 2008). This population has been shown to contain antibody-secreting cells but may also contain other cell populations, and so the frequency of these cells observed by flow cytometry may be an overestimate of the circulating plasmablast population (Silveira et al. 2015). NHP 826228 was administered the highest dose (10E6 PFU) of Zika virus and had the highest frequency of circulating plasmablasts at Day 7, whereas NHP 912116 received the lowest dose (10E4) and that animal had its highest frequency of circulating plasmablasts at Day 11. These preliminary findings may prove useful in the context of vaccine development to determine if the early plasmablast response is capable of eliciting protective Abs against emerging strains of Zika virus. Due to a recently observed association between Zika infected mothers giving birth to infants with microcephaly and other potential viral-associated neurologic effects, it will be critically important to understand Zika virus immunity in mothers infected prior to or during pregnancy to determine whether a vaccine or other intervention may be able to prevent adverse fetal outcomes.
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