Research

Scroll through the 4 publications from CERID labs, PIs, and lab technicians publications that have hit the PubMed stands since the end of May! The scope of the publications is wide, covering a number of important pathogens and viruses from Mycobacterium tuberculosis to malaria. Read on for highlights from the abstract and the diseases studied in this month’s publication roundup by following the links! Publications are listed by the date published. All descriptions of the work have been paraphrased from the publications' respective abstracts and are cited as such.

 

Van Voorhis & Ojo Lab Publication

Transmission of human malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) by Anopheles mosquitoes is a continuous process that presents a formidable challenge for effective control of the disease. Infectious gametocytes continue to circulate in humans for up to four weeks after antimalarial drug treatment, permitting prolonged transmission to mosquitoes even after clinical cure. Almost all reported malaria cases are transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, and therefore decreasing the rate of Plasmodium transmission from humans to mosquitoes with novel transmission-blocking remedies would be an important complement to other interventions in reducing malaria incidence. Read the full article here!

 

Hawn Lab Publication

HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants in endemic settings are at high risk of tuberculosis (TB). For infants, progression from primary M. tuberculosis infection to TB disease can be rapid. We assessed whether isoniazid (INH) prevents primary Mtb infection. We conducted a randomized non-blinded controlled trial enrolling HEU infants 6 weeks of age without known TB exposure in Kenya. Participants were randomized (1:1) to 12 months daily INH (10 mg/kg) vs. no INH. Primary endpoint was Mtb infection at end of 12 months, assessed by interferon-gamma release assay QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) and/or tuberculin skin test (TST, added 6 months after first participant exit). Between August 15, 2016 and June 6, 2018, 416 infants were screened, with 300 (72%) randomized to INH or no INH (150 per arm); 2 were excluded due to HIV infection. Among 298 randomized HEU infants, 12-month retention was 96.3% (287/298) and 88.9% (265/298) had primary outcome data. Mtb infection prevalence at 12-months follow-up was 10.6% (28/265); 7.6% (10/132) in INH and 13.5% (18/133) in no INH arms (7.0 vs. 13.4 per 100PY, HR 0.53 [95%CI 0.24-1.14], p=0.11]), and driven primarily by TST positivity (8.6% [8/93] in INH and 18.1% [17/94] in no INH arms; RR 0.48 [95%CI 0.22-1.05], p=0.07). Frequency of severe adverse events was similar between arms (INH 14.0% [21/150] vs. no INH 10.7% [16/150], p=0.38), with no INH-related adverse events. Further studies evaluating TB preventive therapy to prevent or delay primary Mtb infection in HEU and other high-risk infants are warranted. Read the full article here!
 
Gale Lab Publication
RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2 comprise the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs). RIG-I and MDA5 are essential pathogen recognition receptors sensing viral infections while LGP2 has been described as both RLR cofactor and negative regulator. After sensing and binding to viral RNA, including double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), RIG-I and MDA5 undergo cytosol-to-membrane relocalization to bind and signal through the MAVS adaptor protein on intracellular membranes, thus directing downstream activation of IRF3 and innate immunity. Here, we report examination of the dynamic subcellular localization of all three RLRs within the intracellular response to dsRNA and RNA virus infection. Observations from high resolution biochemical fractionation and electron microscopy, coupled with analysis of protein interactions and IRF3 activation, show that, in resting cells, microsome but not mitochondrial fractions harbor the central components to initiate innate immune signaling. LGP2 interacts with MAVS in microsomes, blocking the RIG-I/MAVS interaction. Remarkably, in response to dsRNA treatment or RNA virus infection, LGP2 is rapidly released from MAVS and redistributed to mitochondria, temporally correlating with IRF3 activation. We reveal that IRF3 activation does not take place on mitochondria but instead occurs at endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived membranes. Our observations suggest ER-derived membranes as key RLR signaling platforms controlled through inhibitory actions of LGP2 binding to MAVS wherein LGP2 translocation to mitochondria releases MAVS inhibition to facilitate RLR-mediated signaling of innate immunity. Read the full article here
 
Profile of publication including the title, CERID Authors, CERID lab, journal, and PMID. Pictured with image of the pathogen under a microscope
DNA vectors have been widely used as a priming of poxvirus vaccine in prime/boost regimens. Whether the number of DNA impacts qualitatively or quantitatively the immune response is not fully explored. With the aim to reinforce T-cell responses by optimizing the prime-boost regimen, the multicentric EV03/ANRS VAC20 phase I/II trial, randomized 147 HIV-negative volunteers to either 3xDNA plus 1xNYVAC (weeks 0, 4, 8 plus 24; n = 74) or to 2xDNA plus 2xNYVAC (weeks 0, 4 plus 20, 24; n = 73) groups. T-cell responses (IFN-γ ELISPOT) to at least one peptide pool were higher in the 3xDNA than the 2xDNA groups (91% and 80% of vaccinees) (P = 0.049). In the 3xDNA arm, 26 (37%) recipients developed a broader T-cell response (Env plus at least to one of the Gag, Pol, Nef pools) than in the 2xDNA (15; 22%) arms (primary endpoint; P = 0.047) with a higher magnitude against Env (at week 26) (P<0.001). In both groups, vaccine regimens induced HIV-specific polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells and the production of Th1, Th2 and Th17/IL-21 cytokines. Antibody responses were also elicited in up to 81% of vaccines. A higher percentage of IgG responders was noted in the 2xDNA arm compared to the 3xDNA arm, while the 3xDNA group tended to elicit a higher magnitude of IgG3 response against specific Env antigens. We show here that the modulation of the prime strategy, without modifying the route or the dose of administration, or the combination of vectors, may influence the quality of the responses. Read the full article here!