Doctor of Philosophy, National University Of Singapore (2015)
Bachelor of Science, National University Of Singapore (2010)
Diploma, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (2003)
O'nyong-nyong virus (ONNV) is an arthritogenic alphavirus that caused two large epidemics in 1959 and 1996, affecting millions of people in Africa. More recently, sero-surveillance of healthy blood donors conducted in 2019 revealed high rates of unreported ONNV infection in Uganda. Due to similar clinical symptoms with other endemic mosquito-borne pathogens in the region, including chikungunya virus, dengue virus and malaria, ONNV infections are often un- or misdiagnosed. Elucidating the immunopathogenic factors of this re-emerging arbovirus is critical with the expanding geographic distribution of competent vectors. This study reports the establishment of an immune competent C57BL6/J mouse model to mechanistically characterize ONNV infection and assess potential treatment efficacy. This mouse model successfully recapitulated arthralgia and viremia profiles seen in ONNV patients. Furthermore, longitudinal in-vivo PET imaging with [18F]FB-IL-2 (CD25+CD4+ binding probe) and histopathological assessment in this model demonstrated the pathogenic role of CD4+ T cells in driving joint pathology. Concordantly, in vivo CD4+ T cell depletion, or suppression with fingolimod, an FDA-approved immunomodulating drug, abrogated CD4+ T cell-mediated disease. This study demonstrates the importance of this immune competent ONNV model for future studies on factors influencing disease pathogenesis, which could shape the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies for arthritogenic alphaviruses.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00894
View details for Web of Science ID 000537071500001
View details for PubMedID 32477364
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7235449
The reduced development of COVID-19 for children compared to adults provides some tantalizing clues on the pathogenesis and transmissibility of this pandemic virus. First, ACE2, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor, is reduced in the respiratory tract in children. Second, coronavirus associated with common colds in children may offer some protection, due to cross-reactive humoral immunity and T cell immunity between common coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2. Third, T helper 2 immune responses are protective in children. Fourth, surprisingly, eosinophilia, associated with T helper 2, may be protective. Fifth, children generally produce lower levels of inflammatory cytokines. Finally, the influence of the downturn in the global economy, the impact of living in quarters among families who are the most at risk, and factors including the openings of some schools, are considered. Those most disadvantaged socioeconomically may suffer disproportionately with COVID-19.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2012358117
View details for PubMedID 32883878