Impact of prior dengue virus infection on Zika virus infection during pregnancy in marmosets

In Jeong Kim, Michael P. Tighe, Madeline J. Clark, Gregory D. Gromowski, Paula A. Lanthier, Kelsey L. Travis, Derek T. Bernacki, Tres S. Cookenham, Kathleen G. Lanzer, Frank M. Szaba, Manasi A. Tamhankar, Corrina N. Ross, Suzette D. Tardif, Donna Layne-Colon, Edward J. Dick, Olga Gonzalez, Maria I. Giraldo Giraldo, Jean L. Patterson, Marcia A. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy causes severe developmental defects in newborns, termed congenital Zika syndrome (CZS). Factors contributing to a surge in ZIKV-associated CZS are poorly understood. One possibility is that ZIKV may exploit the antibody-dependent enhancement of infection mechanism, mediated by cross-reactive antibodies from prior dengue virus (DENV) infection, which may exacerbate ZIKV infection during pregnancy. In this study, we investigated the impact of prior DENV infection or no DENV infection on ZIKV pathogenesis during pregnancy in a total of four female common marmosets with five or six fetuses per group. The results showed that negative-sense viral RNA copies increased in the placental and fetal tissues of DENV-immune dams but not in DENV-naïve dams. In addition, viral proteins were prevalent in endothelial cells, macrophages, and neonatal Fc receptor–expressing cells in the placental trabeculae and in neuronal cells in the brains of fetuses from DENV-immune dams. DENV-immune marmosets maintained high titers of cross-reactive ZIKV-binding antibodies that were poorly neutralizing, raising the possibility that these antibodies might be involved in the exacerbation of ZIKV infection. These findings need to be verified in a larger study, and the mechanism involved in the exacerbation of ZIKV infection in DENV-immune marmosets needs further investigation. However, the results suggest a potential negative impact of preexisting DENV immunity on subsequent ZIKV infection during pregnancy in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabq6517
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number699
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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