Susceptibility and Lethality of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus in Balb/c Mice When Infected by the Aerosol Route
AbstractWestern equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) naturally cycles between mosquitos and birds or rodents, with a case fatality rate of up to 15% in humans during epizootic outbreaks. There are no medical countermeasures to treat WEEV infection, and accidental aerosol exposure increases the case fatality rate up to 40%. Understanding the pathogenesis of infection is required to develop and assess medical countermeasures. This study describes the clinical and pathological findings of mice infected with WEEV by the aerosol route, and use as a model for WEEV infection in humans. Balb/c mice were infected by the aerosol route with a dose range of high-virulence WEEV strain Fleming to establish the median lethal dose (MLD). The disease course was acute, culminating in severe clinical signs, neuroinvasion, and dose-dependent mortality. Further groups of mice were exposed by the aerosol route, periodically sacrificed, and tissues excised for histopathological examination and virology. Viral titres peaked four days post-challenge in the brain and lungs, corresponding with severe bilateral lesions in rostroventral regions of the encephalon, especially in the olfactory bulb and piriform cortex. Recapitulation of the most serious clinical presentations of human WEEV disease in mice may prove a useful tool in the evaluation of medical countermeasures. View Full-Text
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Phelps, A.L.; O’Brien, L.M.; Eastaugh, L.S.; Davies, C.; Lever, M.S.; Ennis, J.; Zeitlin, L.; Nunez, A.; Ulaeto, D.O. Susceptibility and Lethality of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus in Balb/c Mice When Infected by the Aerosol Route. Viruses 2017, 9, 163.
Phelps AL, O’Brien LM, Eastaugh LS, Davies C, Lever MS, Ennis J, Zeitlin L, Nunez A, Ulaeto DO. Susceptibility and Lethality of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus in Balb/c Mice When Infected by the Aerosol Route. Viruses. 2017; 9(7):163.Chicago/Turabian Style
Phelps, Amanda L.; O’Brien, Lyn M.; Eastaugh, Lin S.; Davies, Carwyn; Lever, Mark S.; Ennis, Jane; Zeitlin, Larry; Nunez, Alejandro; Ulaeto, David O. 2017. "Susceptibility and Lethality of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus in Balb/c Mice When Infected by the Aerosol Route." Viruses 9, no. 7: 163.
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