Measles virus (MV) is a highly contagious virus that is transmitted by aerosols. During systemic infection, CD150+T and B lymphocytes in blood and lymphoid tissues are the main cells infected by pathogenic MV. However, it is unclear which cell types are the primary targets for MV in the lungs and how the virus reaches the lymphoid tissues. In vitro studies have shown that dendritic cell (DC) C-type lectin DC-SIGN captures MV, leading to infection of DCs as well as transmission to lymphocytes. However, evidence of DC-SIGN-mediated transmission in vivo has not been established. Here we identified DC-SIGNhiDCs as first target cells in vivo and demonstrate that macaque DC-SIGN functions as an attachment receptor for MV. Notably, DC-SIGNhicells from macaque broncho-alveolar lavage and lymph nodes transmit MV to B lymphocytes, providing in vivo support for an important role for DCs in both initiation and dissemination of MV infection.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Mesman, A.W, de Vries, R.D, McQuaid, S, Duprex, W.P, de Swart, R.L, & Geijtenbeek, T.B.H. (2012). A Prominent Role for DC-SIGN+ Dendritic Cells in Initiation and Dissemination of Measles Virus Infection in Non-Human Primates. PLoS ONE, 7(12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049573