The objective of this study was to investigate a role of a recently discovered marsupial nidovirus in the development of a neurological disease, termed wobbly possum disease (WPD), in the Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Four possums received 1 mL of a standard inoculum that had been prepared from tissues of WPD-affected possums, 4 possums received 1.8 mL (1×106 TCID50) of a cell lysate from inoculated cultures, and 4 possums received 1 mL (×107 TCID50) of a purified WPD isolate. All but one possum that received infectious inocula developed neurological disease and histopathological lesions characteristic for WPD. High levels of viral RNA were detected in livers from all possums that received infectious inocula, but not from control possums. Altogether, our data provide strong experimental evidence for the causative involvement of WPD virus in development of a neurological disease in infected animals.
Giles, J., Perrott, M., Roe, W., & Dunowska, M. (2016). The aetiology of wobbly possum disease: Reproduction of the disease with purified nidovirus. Virology, 491, 20–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2016.01.005