Human metapneumovirus infection of organoid-derived human bronchial epithelium represents cell tropism and cytopathology as observed in in vivo models

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Abstract

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), a member of the Pneumoviridae family, causes upper and lower respiratory tract infections in humans. In vitro studies with HMPV have mostly been performed in monolayers of undifferentiated epithelial cells. In vivo studies in cynomolgus macaques and cotton rats have shown that ciliated epithelial cells are the main target of HMPV infection, but these observations cannot be studied in monolayer systems. Here, we established an organoid-derived bronchial culture model that allows physiologically relevant studies on HMPV. Inoculation with multiple prototype HMPV viruses and recent clinical virus isolates led to differences in replication among HMPV isolates. Prolific HMPV replication in this model caused damage to the ciliary layer, including cilia loss at advanced stages post-infection. These cytopathic effects correlated with those observed in previous in vivo studies with cynomolgus macaques. The assessment of the innate immune responses in three donors upon HMPV and RSV inoculation highlighted the importance of incorporating multiple donors to account for donor-dependent variation. In conclusion, these data indicate that the organoid-derived bronchial cell culture model resembles in vivo findings and is therefore a suitable and robust model for future HMPV studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0074323
Number of pages13
JournalmSphere
Volume9
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 Ribó-Molina et al.

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