Autoantibodies neutralizing type I IFNs underlie West Nile virus encephalitis in ∼40% of patients

Adrian Gervais, Francesca Rovida, Maria Antonietta Avanzini, Stefania Croce, Astrid Marchal, Shih Ching Lin, Alessandro Ferrari, Christian W. Thorball, Orianne Constant, Tom Le Voyer, Quentin Philippot, Jérémie Rosain, Micol Angelini, Malena Pérez Lorenzo, Lucy Bizien, Cristian Achille, Francesca Trespidi, Elisa Burdino, Irene Cassaniti, Daniele LilleriChiara Fornara, José Camilla Sammartino, Danilo Cereda, Chiara Marrocu, Antonio Piralla, Chiara Valsecchi, Stefano Ricagno, Paola Cogo, Olaf Neth, Inés Marín-Cruz, Monia Pacenti, Alessandro Sinigaglia, Marta Trevisan, Andrea Volpe, Antonio Marzollo, Francesca Conti, Tiziana Lazzarotto, Andrea Pession, Pierluigi Viale, Jacques Fellay, Stefano Ghirardello, Mélodie Aubart, Valeria Ghisetti, Alessandro Aiuti, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Paul Bastard, Elena Percivalle, Fausto Baldanti, Anne Puel, Margaret R. MacDonald, Charles M. Rice, Giada Rossini, Kristy O. Murray, Yannick Simonin, Anna Nagy, Luisa Barzon, Laurent Abel, Michael S. Diamond, Aurélie Cobat, Shen Ying Zhang, Jean Laurent Casanova, Alessandro Borghesi

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17 Scopus citations


Mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) infection is benign in most individuals but can cause encephalitis in <1% of infected individuals. We show that ∼35% of patients hospitalized for WNV disease (WNVD) in six independent cohorts from the EU and USA carry auto-Abs neutralizing IFN-α and/or -ω. The prevalence of these antibodies is highest in patients with encephalitis (∼40%), and that in individuals with silent WNV infection is as low as that in the general population. The odds ratios for WNVD in individuals with these auto-Abs relative to those without them in the general population range from 19.0 (95% CI 15.0-24.0, P value <10-15) for auto-Abs neutralizing only 100 pg/ml IFN-α and/or IFN-ω to 127.4 (CI 87.1-186.4, P value <10-15) for auto-Abs neutralizing both IFN-α and IFN-ω at a concentration of 10 ng/ml. These antibodies block the protective effect of IFN-α in Vero cells infected with WNV in vitro. Auto-Abs neutralizing IFN-α and/or IFN-ω underlie ∼40% of cases of WNV encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of experimental medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 4 2023


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