Zika virus infection during pregnancy protects against secondary infection in the absence of CD8 + cells

Virology. 2021 Jul;559:100-110. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2021.03.019. Epub 2021 Apr 9.


While T cell immunity is an important component of the immune response to Zika virus (ZIKV) infection generally, the efficacy of these responses during pregnancy remains unknown. Here, we tested the capacity of CD8 lymphocytes to protect from secondary challenge in four macaques, two of which were depleted of CD8+ cells prior to rechallenge with a heterologous ZIKV isolate. The initial challenge during pregnancy produced transcriptional signatures suggesting complex patterns of immune modulation as well as neutralizing antibodies that persisted until rechallenge, which all animals efficiently controlled, demonstrating that the primary infection conferred adequate protection. The secondary challenge promoted activation of innate and adaptive immune cells, possibly suggesting a brief period of infection prior to clearance. These data confirm that ZIKV infection during pregnancy induces sufficient immunity to protect from a secondary challenge and suggest that this protection is not dependent on CD8 T cells.

Keywords: CD8(+) T cells; Macaques; Nonhuman primates; Pregnancy; Zika virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / blood
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coinfection / immunology*
  • Coinfection / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Kinetics
  • Macaca
  • Pregnancy
  • Vero Cells
  • Zika Virus / genetics*
  • Zika Virus / immunology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / immunology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / virology


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing