The Human Upper Respiratory Tract Epithelium Is Susceptible to Flaviviruses
In this study, we exposed apically well-differentiated human NECs cultured at the ALI to the related flaviviruses ZIKV, JEV, WNV, and Usutu virus (USUV). We selected these viruses due to the recent increasing evidences of potential threat to humans (Cadar et al., 2017; Simonin et al., 2018). We show that NECs are particularly susceptible to JEV and WNV infection and to other flaviviruses included in this study. Infection with each virus led to shedding of infectious virus particles through the apical and basolateral surfaces and triggered host mechanisms at the level of inflammatory and antiviral mediators. Given the evidences of contact transmission in humans and detection of flaviviruses RNA in upper respiratory tract samples, our data suggest that the human respiratory epithelium could represent a target for the replication of flaviviruses. Materials and Methods Virus Propagation JEV (G1; CNS769_Laos_2009, GenBank accession number KC196115.1) was kindly provided by R. Charrel Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France. WNV (NY99–35, GenBank accession number DQ211652.1) and USUV (SAAR-1776, GenBank accession number AY453412) were kindly provided by R. Hoop, Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. The low passage clinical isolate of Asian lineage ZIKV (PRVABC59) was obtained at PHE (Public Health England). All flaviviruses were passaged on Vero cells cultured in DMEM (Gibco) supplemented with 10% FBS (Bio...
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