"Analysis of Peripheral Immune Responses
for the Development of an NHP Animal Model
for Encephalitic Alphaviruses EEEV, VEEV, and WEEV"
Abstract: The New World Alphaviruses Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV), Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus (VEEV), and Western Equine Encephalitis virus (WEEV) are all mosquito-borne pathogens originating in North and South America. All three viruses are capable of causing severe illness in animals and humans, with extreme cases leading to encephalitis. Given the lack of commercially available vaccines or treatments, and previous research into these pathogens as potential bioterrorism weapons, the aim of our laboratory was to develop a cynomolgus macaque model to study the unique neuropathology of each virus when delivered via an aerosol route. To assess pathogenesis, PBMCs were isolated from whole blood and analyzed by flow cytometry. Inflammation in the CNS was also evaluated using a LEGENDplex bead based immunological array. Results indicate a substantial increase in the number of CCR2+ myeloid cells in circulation, a receptor important for brain homing and migration. In addition, inflammatory cytokines MCP-1, IP-10, IL-6, and IL-8 were substantially upregulated in the CNS tissues and CSF of lethally infected animals.