Serological Responses in Patients Infected with Mayaro Virus and Evaluation of Cross-Protective Responses against Chikungunya Virus

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  • 1 Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas;
  • | 2 School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas;
  • | 3 U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, Lima, Peru;
  • | 4 Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas;
  • | 5 Institute for Human Infection and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Mayaro virus (MAYV) is an alphavirus endemic to both Latin America and the Caribbean. Recent reports have questioned the ability of MAYV and its close relative, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), to generate cross-reactive, neutralizing antibodies to one another. Since CHIKV was introduced to South America in 2013, discerning whether individuals have cross-reactive antibodies or whether they have had exposures to both viruses previously has been difficult. Using samples obtained from people infected with MAYV prior to the introduction of CHIKV in the Americas, we performed neutralizing assays and observed no discernable neutralization of CHIKV by sera from patients previously infected with MAYV. These data suggest that a positive CHIKV neutralization test cannot be attributed to prior exposure to MAYV and that previous exposure to MAYV may not be protective against a subsequent CHIKV infection.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Patricia V. Aguilar, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-0609. E-mail: pvaguila@utmb.edu

Financial support: This study was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (grant no. R24 AI120942) and by the U.S. Department of Defense Health Agency, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Branch: Work Unit No. 800000.82000.25GB.B0016. ProMIS ID: P0144_20_N6 2011–2012.

Disclosure: C. S., C. G., S. V., E. S. H., and J. S. A. are employees of the U.S. government. This work was prepared as part of their official duties. Title 17, U.S.C., §105 provides that copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the U.S. government. Title 17, U.S.C., §101 defines a U.S. government work as a work prepared by an employee of the U.S. government as part of that person’s official duties. The study protocol was approved by the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 Institutional Review Board (protocol NMRCD.2010.0010) in compliance with all applicable federal regulations governing the protection of human subjects.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article reflect the results of research conducted by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Authors’ addresses: Nathen E. Bopp, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: nebopp@utmb.edu. Kara J. Jencks, School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: kajencks@med.umich.edu. Crystyan Siles, Carolina Guevara, Stalin Vilcarromero, Eric S. Halsey, and Julia S. Ampuero, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, Lima, Peru, E-mails: crystyansiles@gmail.com, carolina.l.guevara2.ln@mail.mil, stalinvil@gmail.com, ycw8@cdc.gov, and julia.s.ampuero.ln@mail.mil. Diana Fernandez, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, and Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: dpfernan@utmb.edu. Patricia V. Aguilar, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, and Institute for Human Infection and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: pvaguila@utmb.edu.

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