Transcriptomic Profiling Reveals Intense Host-Pathogen Dispute Compromising Homeostasis during Acute Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection

Erick Bermúdez-Méndez, Paolo Angelino, Lucien van Keulen, Sandra van de Water, Barry Rockx, Gorben P. Pijlman, Angela Ciuffi, Jeroen Kortekaas, Paul J. Wichgers Schreur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) (family Phenuiviridae) can cause severe disease, and outbreaks of this mosquito-borne pathogen pose a significant threat to public and animal health. Yet many molecular aspects of RVFV pathogenesis remain incompletely understood. Natural RVFV infections are acute, characterized by a rapid onset of peak viremia during the first days post-infection, followed by a rapid decline. Although in vitro studies identified a major role of interferon (IFN) responses in counteracting the infection, a comprehensive overview of the specific host factors that play a role in RVFV pathogenesis in vivo is still lacking. Here, the host in vivo transcriptional profiles in the liver and spleen tissues of lambs exposed to RVFV are studied using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technology. We validate that IFN-mediated pathways are robustly activated in response to infection. We also link the observed hepatocellular necrosis with severely compromised organ function, which is reflected as a marked downregulation of multiple metabolic enzymes essential for homeostasis. Furthermore, we associate the elevated basal expression of LRP1 in the liver with RVFV tissue tropism. Collectively, the results of this study deepen the knowledge of the in vivo host response during RVFV infection and reveal new insights into the gene regulation networks underlying pathogenesis in a natural host
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00415-23
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume97
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023

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