Zoological Research ›› 2012, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (1): 7-13.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2012.01007

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Experimental studies on infant Tupaia belangeri chineses with EV71 infection

WANG Wen-Guang, HUANG Xiao-Yan, XU Juan, SUN Xiao-Mei, DAI Jie-Jie, LI Qi-Han   

  1. The Medical Primate Research Center of China, Institute of Medical Biology, the Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Kunming 650118, China
  • Received:2011-10-27 Revised:2012-01-10 Online:2012-02-22 Published:2012-02-22


Tupaia belangeri are small mammals with a squirrel-like appearance; they were formerly classified under the primates order despite the lack of derived features characteristic of primates. Given that T. belangeri are easy to raise, cheap to maintain, and have a small body size, a high reproductive rate, and close affinity to primates, these animals would be used as an alternative to primates in biomedical research. Three-month old T. belangeri chineses were infected with enterovirus 71 (EV71) via three different routes, namely, oral administration, nasal dripping, and tail intravenous injection, to study the infection in infant T. belangeri and find a feasible scheme to make them an ideal animal model of EV71 in place of primates. Daily activities were regularly observed, body temperatures were measured, and blood tests were conducted. Blood and fecal samples were regularly collected. The infection was examined via the neutralizing antibody test, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Real-Time PCR, and pathological analysis. The temperature, as well as the white blood cell count and the number of lymphocytes, increased four days after infection. Virus loads were determined in all three groups, and the peak appeared on, before, or after the tenth day, respectively. Thus, oral administration proved to be the best route. The highest serum antibody titer obtained was 1:16. Acute paralysis with urinary retention manifested after about two weeks, and pathological changes were observed in the brain, heart, lung, spleen, kidney, and other tissues. In conclusion, T. belangeri chineses can infected with EV71 via oral administration, nasal dripping, and tail intravenous injection. Therefore, T. belangeri are potential EV71 animal models for further studies on the mechanism of pathogenesis or vaccine evaluation.

CLC Number: 

  • Q95-33

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