Co-localization of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 in the respiratory tract and lymphoid tissues of pigs and llamas

Nigeer Te, Júlia Vergara-Alert, Annika Lehmbecker, Mónica Pérez, Bart L. Haagmans, Wolfgang Baumgärtner, Albert Bensaid, Joaquim Segalés*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the co-localization of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and its receptor dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) by immunohistochemistry (IHC) across respiratory and lymphoid organs of experimentally MERS-CoV infected pigs and llamas. Also, scanning electron microscopy was performed to assess the ciliary integrity of respiratory epithelial cells in both species. In pigs, on day 2 post-inoculation (p.i.), DPP4-MERS-CoV co-localization was detected in medial turbinate epithelium. On day 4 p.i., the virus/receptor co-localized in frontal and medial turbinate epithelial cells in pigs, and epithelial cells distributed unevenly through the whole nasal cavity and in the cervical lymph node in llamas. MERS-CoV viral nucleocapsid was mainly detected in upper respiratory tract sites on days 2 and 4 p.i. in pigs and day 4 p.i. in llamas. No MERS-CoV was detected on day 24 p.i. in any tissue by IHC. While pigs showed severe ciliary loss in the nasal mucosa both on days 2 and 4 p.i. and moderate loss in the trachea on days 4 and 24 p.i., ciliation of respiratory organs in llamas was not significantly affected. Obtained data confirm the role of DPP4 for MERS-CoV entry in respiratory epithelial cells of llamas. Notably, several nasal epithelial cells in pigs were found to express viral antigen but not DPP4, suggesting the possible existence of other molecule/s facilitating virus entry or down regulation of DPP4 upon infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-841
Number of pages11
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Xavier Abad, David Solanes and all animal caretakers from the IRTA‐ CReSA biosecurity level 3 laboratories and animal facilities are greatly acknowledged for their support. The authors also thank Ker-stin Rohn for excellent technical assistance with the scanning electron microscopic work. This research was performed as part of the Zoonoses Anticipation and Preparedness Initiative (ZAPI project; IMI Grant Agreement no. 115760), with the assistance and financial support of IMI and the European Commission, and in‐kind contributions from EFPIA partners. The funding from CERCA Programme/Generali-tat de Catalunya to IRTA is also acknowledged. Nigeer Te is a recipient of a Chinese Scholarship Council grant (CSC NO. 201608150108).

Funding Information:
Xavier Abad, David Solanes and all animal caretakers from the IRTA-CReSA biosecurity level 3 laboratories and animal facilities are greatly acknowledged for their support. The authors also thank Kerstin Rohn for excellent technical assistance with the scanning electron microscopic work. This research was performed as part of the Zoonoses Anticipation and Preparedness Initiative (ZAPI project; IMI Grant Agreement no. 115760), with the assistance and financial support of IMI and the European Commission, and in-kind contributions from EFPIA partners. The funding from CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya to IRTA is also acknowledged. Nigeer Te is a recipient of a Chinese Scholarship Council grant (CSC NO. 201608150108).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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