Although hantaviruses have been previously considered as rodent-borne pathogens, recent studies demonstrate genetically distinct hantaviruses in evolutionarily distant non-rodent reservoirs, including shrews, moles and bats. The immunological responses to these newfound hantaviruses in humans are unknown. We compared the innate immune responses to Imjin virus (MJNV) and Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), two shrew-borne hantaviruses, with that toward two rodent-borne hantaviruses, pathogenic Hantann virus (HTNV) and nonpathogenic Prospect Hill virus (PHV). Infection of human macrophages and endothelial cells with either HTNV or MJNV triggered productive viral replication and up-regulation of anti-viral responsive gene expression from day 1 to day 3 postinfection, compared with PHV and TPMV. Furthermore, HTNV, MJNV and TPMV infection led to prolonged increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines from days 3 to 7 postinfection. By contrast, PHV infection failed to induce pro-inflammatory responses. Distinct patterns of innate immune activation caused by MJNV suggest that it might be pathogenic to humans.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.