Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a global health threat. Children infected with EV71 could develop hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD), encephalitis, paralysis, pulmonary edema, and death. At present, no effective treatment for EV71 is available. We reviewed here various mouse models for EV71 pathogenesis and therapy. Earlier studies relied on the use of mouse-adapted EV71 strains. To avoid artificial mutations arising de novo during the serial passages, recent studies used EV71 clinical isolates without adaptation. Several human receptors for EV71 were shown to facilitate viral entry in cell culture. However, in vivo infection with human SCARB2 receptor transgenic mice appeared to be more limited to certain strains and genotypes of EV71. Efficacy of oral infection in these transgenic models is extremely low. Intriguingly, despite the lack of human receptors, immunodeficient neonatal mouse models can still be infected with EV71 clinical isolates via oral or intraperitoneal routes. Crossbreeding between SCARB2 transgenic and stat1 knockout mice generated a more sensitive and user-friendly hybrid mouse model. Infected hybrid mice developed a higher incidence and earlier onset of CNS disease and death. Different pathogenesis profiles were observed in models deficient in various arms of innate or humoral immunity. These models are being actively used for antiviral research.
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