Comparison of Monkeypox Virus Clade Kinetics and Pathology within the Prairie Dog Animal Model Using a Serial Sacrifice Study Design

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Abstract

Monkeypox virus (MPXV) infection of the prairie dog is valuable to studying systemic orthopoxvirus disease. To further characterize differences in MPXV clade pathogenesis, groups of prairie dogs were intranasally infected (8×103 p.f.u.) with Congo Basin (CB) or West African (WA) MPXV, and 28 tissues were harvested on days 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 17, and 24 postinfection. Samples were evaluated for the presence of virus and gross and microscopic lesions. Virus was recovered from nasal mucosa, oropharyngeal lymph nodes, and spleen earlier in CB challenged animals (day 4) than WA challenged animals (day 6). For both groups, primary viremia (indicated by viral DNA) was seen on days 6-9 through day 17. CB MPXV spread more rapidly, accumulated to greater levels, and caused greater morbidity in animals compared to WA MPXV. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) findings, however, were similar. Two animals that succumbed to disease demonstrated abundant viral antigen in all organs tested, except for brain. Dual-IHC staining of select liver and spleen sections showed that apoptotic cells (identified by TUNEL) tended to colocalize with poxvirus antigen. Interestingly splenocytes were labelled positive for apoptosis more often than hepatocytes in both MPXV groups. These findings allow for further characterization of differences between MPXV clade pathogenesis, including identifying sites that are important during early viral replication and cellular response to viral infection.

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Hutson, C. L., Carroll, D. S., Gallardo-Romero, N., Drew, C., Zaki, S. R., Nagy, T., … Damon, I. K. (2015). Comparison of Monkeypox Virus Clade Kinetics and Pathology within the Prairie Dog Animal Model Using a Serial Sacrifice Study Design. BioMed Research International, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/965710

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