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Viruses 2017, 9(8), 203;

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
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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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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