Immune Responses in MERS-CoV Infected Mice and Humans
Jincun Zhao1, Abeer N Alshukairi2, Abdulaziz N Alagaili3, Stanley Perlman4
1State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China; 2Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, KSA; 3Zoology Department, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA; 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
Two zoonotic coronaviruses (CoV), SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV have crossed species to cause severe human respiratory disease in the past 15 years. We developed several novel mouse models for MERS, and examine the roles of the innate and adaptive immune responses in the development of the respiratory disease observed in these mice. We developed the first MERS patient originated antibody that efficiently protected mice from MERS-CoV infection. We also dissected the critical role of respiratory coronaviruses specific airway memory CD4 T cells and provided a novel strategy to develop long lasting, broadly protective vaccines against several CoVs. Recently, we analyzed T cell responses in MERS patients and camel workers from Saudi Aribia and demonstrated the correlation between T cell responses and disease severity and prevalence.