Interferon Response Factors 3 and 7 Protect against Chikungunya Virus Hemorrhagic Fever and Shock
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Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections can produce severe disease and mortality. Here we show that CHIKV infection of adult mice deficient in interferon response factors 3 and 7 (IRF3/7−/−) is lethal. Mortality was associated with undetectable levels of alpha/beta interferon (IFN-α/β) in serum, ∼50- and ∼10-fold increases in levels of IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), respectively, increased virus replication, edema, vasculitis, hemorrhage, fever followed by hypothermia, oliguria, thrombocytopenia, and raised hematocrits. These features are consistent with hemorrhagic shock and were also evident in infected IFN-α/β receptor-deficient mice. In situ hybridization suggested CHIKV infection of endothelium, fibroblasts, skeletal muscle, mononuclear cells, chondrocytes, and keratinocytes in IRF3/7−/− mice; all but the latter two stained positive in wild-type mice. Vaccination protected IRF3/7−/− mice, suggesting that defective antibody responses were not responsible for mortality. IPS-1- and TRIF-dependent pathways were primarily responsible for IFN-α/β induction, with IRF7 being upregulated >100-fold in infected wild-type mice. These studies suggest that inadequate IFN-α/β responses following virus infection can be sufficient to induce hemorrhagic fever and shock, a finding with implications for understanding severe CHIKV disease and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome.
Journal of Virology
© 2012 American Society for Microbiology. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.