In-depth characterization of congenital Zika syndrome in immunocompetent mice: Antibody-dependent enhancement and an antiviral peptide therapy

Vidyleison N. Camargos, Giselle Foureaux, Daniel C. Medeiros, Vivian T. da Silveira, Celso M. Queiroz-Junior, Ana Luisa B. Matosinhos, André F.A. Figueiredo, Carla D.F. Sousa, Thaiane P. Moreira, Victória F. Queiroz, Ana Carolina F. Dias, Karina T.O. Santana, Ingredy Passos, Ana Luíza C.V. Real, Ludmila C. Silva, Flávio A.G. Mourão, Natália T. Wnuk, Milton A.P. Oliveira, Soraia Macari, Tarcília SilvaGustavo P. Garlet, Joshua A. Jackman, Frederico M. Soriani, Márcio F.D. Moraes, Eduardo M.A.M. Mendes, Fabíola M. Ribeiro, Guilherme M.J. Costa, Antônio L. Teixeira, Nam Joon Cho, Antônio C.P. Oliveira, Mauro M. Teixeira, Vivian V. Costa, Danielle G. Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy may cause major congenital defects, including microcephaly, ocular, articular and muscle abnormalities, which are collectively defined as Congenital Zika Syndrome. Here, we performed an in-depth characterization of the effects of congenital ZIKV infection (CZI) in immunocompetent mice. Methods: Pregnant dams were inoculated with ZIKV on embryonic day 5.5 in the presence or absence of a sub-neutralizing dose of a pan-flavivirus monoclonal antibody (4G2) to evaluate the potential role of antibody-dependent enhancement phenomenon (ADE) during short and long outcomes of CZI. Findings: ZIKV infection induced maternal immune activation (MIA), which was associated with occurrence of foetal abnormalities and death. Therapeutic administration of AH-D antiviral peptide during the early stages of pregnancy prevented ZIKV replication and death of offspring. In the post-natal period, CZI was associated with a decrease in whole brain volume, ophthalmologic abnormalities, changes in testicular morphology, and disruption in bone microarchitecture. Some alterations were enhanced in the presence of 4G2 antibody. Interpretation: Our results reveal that early maternal ZIKV infection causes several birth defects in immunocompetent mice, which can be potentiated by ADE phenomenon and are associated with MIA. Additionally, antiviral treatment with AH-D peptide may be beneficial during early maternal ZIKV infection. Fund: This work was supported by the Brazilian National Science Council (CNPq, Brazil), Minas Gerais Foundation for Science (FAPEMIG), Funding Authority for Studies and Projects (FINEP), Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement (CAPES), National Research Foundation of Singapore and Centre for Precision Biology at Nanyang Technological University.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-529
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)
  • Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS)
  • Congenital Zika virus infection (CZI)
  • Maternal immune activation (MIA)
  • Short and long-term outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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