Antibodies to viral surface glycoproteins play a crucial role in immunity to measles by blocking both virus attachment and subsequent fusion with the host cell membrane. Here, we demonstrate that certain immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies can also enhance the entry of measles virus (MV) into monocytes and macrophages. Antibody-dependent enhancement of infectivity was observed in mouse and human macrophages using virions opsonized by a murine monoclonal antibody against the MV hemagglutinin (H) glycoprotein, polyclonal mouse anti-MV IgG, or diluted measles-immune human sera. Neither H-specific Fab fragments nor H-specific IgM could enhance MV entry in monocytes or macrophages, indicating involvement of a Fc γ receptor (FcγR)-mediated mechanism. Preincubation with an anti-fusion protein (anti-F) monoclonal antibody or a fusion-inhibitory peptide blocked infection, indicating that a functional F protein was required for viral internalization. Classical complement pathway activation did not promote infection through complement receptors and inhibited anti-H IgG-mediated enhancement. In vivo, antibody-enhanced infection allowed MV to overcome a highly protective systemic immune response in preimmunized IfnarKo-Ge46 transgenic mice. These data demonstrate a previously unidentified mechanism that may contribute to morbillivirus pathogenesis where H-specific IgG antibodies promote the spread of MV infection among FcγR-expressing host cells. The findings point to a new model for the pathogenesis of atypical MV infection observed after immunization with formalin-inactivated MV vaccine and underscore the importance of the anti-F response after vaccination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science