Session topic

Title: Characterization of the Nipah virus in well-differentiated porcine bronchial epithelial cells cultured at the air-liquid interface 
ID: P 227
Type: ePoster self study
Session: ePoster self study
Zoonoses and emerging viruses

Speaker: Martin Müller (Greifswald/DE)

Abstract - Text

Abstract text (incl. references and figure legends)

The Nipah virus is a highly pathogenic BSL-4 pathogen, which have caused several outbreaks in the past decades. Pigs can serve as an intermediate host for Nipah virus (NiV) transmission from its bat reservoir to humans. To understand why the virus constitute high-risk pathogens for livestock and humans, investigations of virus replication and host responses in relevant cells and tissues are crucial. Most in vitro studies, however, have been performed in conventional cell lines or non-differentiated lung cells and only a few examples exist where henipavirus infections have been investigated in fully-differentiated lung epithelial cell models. Here, we characterize NiV infections in porcine primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBECs) cultivated at the air-liquid interface (ALI), generating a polarized and differentiated respiratory epithelium with in vivo-like properties. Immunofluorescence microscopy analyses were used to visualize host factors and NiV-infected cells. In contrast to the bona fide lung pathogen influenza A virus, abundance and spread of infection after high MOI infection with NiV were rather limited within the first three days. This suggests that that specific infectivity of NiV on differentiated primary bronchial epithelial cells may be lower than in standard cell cultures. Further analysis of cross-sections from NiV infected porcine ALI-cultures indicate that all cell types can be infected. However, ciliated cells appear to be less involved in the initial phase of infection. Subsequently, we observe a strong lateral spread resulting in a high cytopathic effect, but leaving the integrity of the surface cell layer partially intact. The early steps of NiV infection are further characterized by the visualization of structural and host response markers in porcine ALI cultures.