2018 Vol. 39, No. 1
Due to their inability to generate a complete immune response, mice knockout for type I interferon (IFN) receptors (Ifnar–/–) are more susceptible to viral infections, and are thus commonly used for pathogenesis studies. This mouse model has been used to study many diseases caused by highly pathogenic viruses from many families, including the Flaviviridae, Filoviridae, Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Henipaviridae, and Togaviridae. In this review, we summarize the findings from these animal studies, and discuss the pros and cons of using this model versus other known methods for studying pathogenesis in animals.
The family Filoviridae, which includes the genera Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus, contains some of the most pathogenic viruses in humans and non-human primates (NHPs), causing severe hemorrhagic fevers with high fatality rates. Small animal models against filoviruses using mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets have been developed with the goal of screening candidate vaccines and antivirals, before testing in the gold standard NHP models. In this review, we summarize the different animal models used to understand filovirus pathogenesis, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each model with respect to filovirus disease research.
2018, 39(1): 25-31. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.013
Even with an effective vaccine, an estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide. Current antiviral therapies, including interferon and nucleot(s)ide analogues, rarely cure chronic hepatitis B. Animal models are very crucial for understanding the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis B and developing new therapeutic drugs or strategies. HBV can only infect humans and chimpanzees, with the use of chimpanzees in HBV research strongly restricted. Thus, most advances in HBV research have been gained using mouse models with HBV replication or infection or models with HBV-related hepadnaviral infection. This review summarizes the animal models currently available for the study of HBV infection.
The Angolan strain of Marburg virus (MARV/Ang) can cause lethal disease in humans with a case fatality rate of up to 90%, but infection of immunocompetent rodents do not result in any observable symptoms. Our previous work includes the development and characterization of a MARV/Ang variant that can cause lethal disease in mice (MARV/Ang-MA), with the aim of using this tool to screen for promising prophylactic and therapeutic candidates. An intermediate animal model is needed to confirm any findings from mice studies before testing in the gold-standard non-human primate (NHP) model. In this study, we serially passaged the clinical isolate of MARV/Ang in the livers and spleens of guinea pigs until a variant emerged that causes 100% lethality in guinea pigs (MARV/Ang-GA). Animals infected with MARV/Ang-GA showed signs of filovirus infection including lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and high viremia leading to spread to major organs, including the liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. The MARV/Ang-GA guinea pigs died between 7–9 days after infection, and the LD50 was calculated to be 1.1×10–1 TCID50 (median tissue culture infective dose). Mutations in MARV/Ang-GA were identified and compared to sequences of known rodent-adapted MARV/Ang variants, which may benefit future studies characterizing important host adaptation sites in the MARV/Ang viral genome.
Parasites can increase infection rates andpathogenicity in immunocompromised humanimmunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. However, invitro studies and epidemiological investigationsalso suggest that parasites might escapeimmunocompromised hosts during HIV infection.Due to the lack of direct evidence from animalexperiments, the effects of parasitic infections onimmunocompromised hosts remain unclear. Here,we detected 14 different parasites in six northernpig-tailed macaques (NPMs) before or during the50th week of post-simian immunodeficiency virus(SIV) infection by ELISA. The NPMs all carriedparasites before viral injection. At the 50th week afterviral injection, the individuals with negative resultsin parasitic detection (i.e., 08247 and 08287) werecharacterized as the Parasites Exit (PE) group, withthe other individuals (i.e., 09203, 09211, 10205, and10225) characterized as the Parasites Remain (PR)group. Compared with the PR group, the NPMs in thePE group showed higher viral loads, lower CD4+ Tcells counts, and lower CD4/CD8 rates. Additionally,the PE group had higher immune activation andimmune exhaustion of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.Pathological observation showed greater injury tothe liver, cecum, colon, spleen, and mesentericlymph nodes in the PE group. This study showedmore seriously compromised immunity in the PEgroup, strongly indicating that parasites might exit animmunocompromised host.
Globally, coxsackievirus B4 (CV-B4) has been continuously isolated and evidence suggests an association with the development of pancreatitis and type I diabetes. In addition, CV-B4 is also associated with myocarditis and severe central nervous system (CNS) complications, which remain poorly studied and understood. In the present study, we established an ICR mouse model of CV-B4 infection and examined whether CV-B4 infection resulted in a predisposition to myocarditis and CNS infection. We found high survival in both the treatment and control group, with no significant differences in clinical outcomes observed. However, pathological lesions were evident in both brain and heart tissue of the CV-B4-infected mice. In addition, high viral loads were found in the neural and cardiac tissues as early as 2 d postinfection. Expressions of IFN-γ and IL-6 in sera were significantly higher in CV-B4-infected mice compared to uninfected negative controls, suggesting the involvement of these cytokines in the development of histopathological lesions. Our murine model successfully reproduced the acute myocarditis and cerebral cortical neuron edema induced by CV-B4, and may be useful for the evaluation of vaccine candidates and potential antivirals against CV-B4 infection.