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Viruses 2017, 9(8), 203; doi:10.3390/v9080203

Evaluation of Taterapox Virus in Small Animals

Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1100 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA
Deceased.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hermann Meyer, Jônatas Abrahão and Erna Geessien Kroon
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smallpox and Emerging Zoonotic Orthopoxviruses: What Is Coming Next?)
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Abstract

Taterapox virus (TATV), which was isolated from an African gerbil (Tatera kempi) in 1975, is the most closely related virus to variola; however, only the original report has examined its virology. We have evaluated the tropism of TATV in vivo in small animals. We found that TATV does not infect Graphiurus kelleni, a species of African dormouse, but does induce seroconversion in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) and in mice; however, in wild-type mice and gerbils, the virus produces an unapparent infection. Following intranasal and footpad inoculations with 1 × 106 plaque forming units (PFU) of TATV, immunocompromised stat1−/− mice showed signs of disease but did not die; however, SCID mice were susceptible to intranasal and footpad infections with 100% mortality observed by Day 35 and Day 54, respectively. We show that death is unlikely to be a result of the virus mutating to have increased virulence and that SCID mice are capable of transmitting TATV to C57BL/6 and C57BL/6 stat1−/− animals; however, transmission did not occur from TATV inoculated wild-type or stat1−/− mice. Comparisons with ectromelia (the etiological agent of mousepox) suggest that TATV behaves differently both at the site of inoculation and in the immune response that it triggers. View Full-Text
Keywords: smallpox; variola; taterapox; monkeypox; orthopoxvirus; SCID; footpad; intranasal smallpox; variola; taterapox; monkeypox; orthopoxvirus; SCID; footpad; intranasal
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Parker, S.; Crump, R.; Hartzler, H.; Buller, R.M. Evaluation of Taterapox Virus in Small Animals. Viruses 2017, 9, 203.

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