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Meningitis Caused by Toscana Virus Is Associated with Strong Antiviral Response in the CNS and Altered Frequency of Blood Antigen-Presenting Cells.

Abstract

Toscana virus (TOSV) is a Phlebotomus-transmitted RNA virus and a frequent cause of human meningitis and meningoencephalitis in Southern Europe during the summer season. While evidence for TOSV-related central nervous system (CNS) cases is increasing, little is known about the host defenses against TOSV. We evaluated innate immune response to TOSV by analyzing frequency and activation of blood antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and cytokine levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with TOSV neuroinvasive infection and controls. An altered frequency of different blood APC subsets was observed in TOSV-infected patients, with signs of monocytic deactivation. Nevertheless, a proper or even increased responsiveness of toll-like receptor 3 and 7/8 was observed in blood APCs of these patients as compared to healthy controls. Systemic levels of cytokines remained low in TOSV-infected patients, while levels of anti-inflammatory and antiviral mediators were significantly higher in CSF from TOSV-infected patients as compared to patients with other infectious and noninfectious neurological diseases. Thus, the early host response to TOSV appears effective for viral clearance, by proper response to TLR3 and TLR7/8 agonists in peripheral blood and by a strong and selective antiviral and anti-inflammatory response in the CNS.

Authors: Varani S, Gelsomino F, Bartoletti M, Viale P, Mastroianni A, Briganti E, Ortolani P, Albertini F, Calzetti C, Prati F, Cenni P, Castellani G, Morini S, Rossini G, Landini MP, Sambri V.
Journal: Viruses.;7:5831-43.
Year: 2015
PubMed: Find in PubMed