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Long-term protection of rhesus macaques from Zika virus reinfection

By Gage Kahl Moreno, Christina M. Newman, Michelle R. Koenig, Mariel S. Mohns, Andrea M Weiler, Sierra Rybarczyk, Logan J Vosler, Nicholas Pomplun, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Eva Rakasz, Dawn M Dudley, Thomas C Friedrich, David H O'Connor

Posted 23 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/712281 (published DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01881-19)

By the end of the 2016 Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak, it is estimated that there were up to 100 million infections in the Americas. In approximately one in seven infants born to mothers infected during pregnancy, ZIKV has been linked to microcephaly, developmental delays, or other congenital disorders collectively known as congenital Zika syndrome (CZS). Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in ZIKV infected adults. It is a global health priority to develop a vaccine against ZIKV that elicits long-lasting immunity, however, the durability of immunity to ZIKV is unknown. Previous studies in mice and nonhuman primates have been crucial in vaccine development but have not defined the duration of immunity generated by ZIKV infection. In this study, we rechallenged five rhesus macaques with ZIKV two years after a primary ZIKV infection. We show that primary ZIKV infection generates high titers of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) that protect from detectable plasma viremia following rechallenge and persist for at least 27 months. While additional longitudinal studies are necessary with longer time frames, this study establishes a new experimentally defined minimal length of protective ZIKV immunity.

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