An animal model for the tickborne flavivirus - Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus

Michael R. Holbrook, Judith F. Aronson, Gerald A. Campbell, Steven Jones, Heinz Feldmann, Alan D.T. Barren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The tickborne encephalitis (TBE) serocomplex of flaviviruses consists primarily of viruses that cause neurologic disease; these viruses include Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus (OHFV), a virus that is genetically related to other TBE serocomplex viruses but that circulates in an ecologically distinct niche and causes markedly different human disease. The objective of this study was to examine a potential small-animal model for OHFV and to compare the pathology of infection with that of the neurotropic tickborne flavivirus, Powassan virus (POWV). POWV-infected BALB/c mice demonstrated typical arboviral encephalitis, characterized by paresis and paralysis before death, and viral infection of the cerebrum, characterized by inflammation and necrosis. In contrast, lethal OHFV infection did not cause paralysis or significant infection of the cerebrum but showed marked involvement of the cerebellum. Distinct pathological results in the spleens suggest that the immune response in OHFV-infected mice is different from that in POWV-infected mice. This study demonstrates a clear pathological difference between OHFV-infected mice and POWV-infected mice and supports the use of the BALB/c mouse as a disease model for OHFV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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