Dengue is an acute viral disease caused by dengue virus (DENV), which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms of DENV infection range from inapparent to severe and can be life-threatening. DENV replicates in primary immune cells such as dendritic cells and macrophages, which contribute to the dissemination of the virus. Susceptibility of other immune cells such as B cells to direct infection by DENV and their subsequent response to infection is not well defined. In a cohort of 60 Cambodian children, we showed that B cells are susceptible to DENV infection. Moreover, we show that B cells can support viral replication of laboratory adapted and patient-derived DENV strains. B cells were permissive to DENV infection albeit low titers of infectious virions were released in cell supernatants CD300a, a phosphatidylserine receptor, was identified as a potential attachment factor or receptor for entry of DENV into B cells. In spite of expressing Fcγ-receptors, antibody-mediated enhancement of DENV infection was not observed in B cells in an in vitro model. Direct infection by DENV induced proliferation of B cells in dengue patients in vivo and plasmablast/plasma cell formation in vitro. To summarize, our results show that B cells are susceptible to direct infection by DENV via CD300a and the subsequent B cell responses could contribute to dengue pathogenesis.
Keywords: B cell response; DENV entry mechanism; dengue viral infection; infectious diseases; plasma cell development.
Copyright © 2021 Upasani, Vo, Auerswald, Laurent, Heng, Duong, Rodenhuis-Zybert, Dussart and Cantaert.