Zika virus infection elicits auto-antibodies to C1q

Takaaki Koma, Veljko Veljkovic, Danielle E. Anderson, Lin Fa Wang, Shannan L. Rossi, Chao Shan, Pei Yong Shi, David W. Beasley, Natalya Bukreyeva, Jeanon N. Smith, Steven Hallam, Cheng Huang, Veronika Von Messling, Slobodan Paessler

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18 Scopus citations


Zika virus (ZIKV) causes mostly asymptomatic infection or mild febrile illness. However, with an increasing number of patients, various clinical features such as microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome and thrombocytopenia have also been reported. To determine which host factors are related to pathogenesis, the E protein of ZIKV was analyzed with the Informational Spectrum Method, which identifies common information encoded by primary structures of the virus and the respective host protein. The data showed that the ZIKV E protein and the complement component C1q cross-spectra are characterized by a single dominant peak at the frequency F = 0.338, suggesting similar biological properties. Indeed, C1q-specific antibodies were detected in sera obtained from mice and monkeys infected with ZIKV. As C1q has been known to be involved not only in immunity, but also in synaptic organization and different autoimmune diseases, a ZIKV-induced anti-C1q antibody response may contribute to the neurological complications. These findings might also be exploited for the design of safe and efficacious vaccines in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1882
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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