Characterization of Ebola Virus Mucosal Challenge Routes in Cynomolgus Macaques

Dylan M. Johnson, Trevor Brasel, Shane Massey, Jeanon Smith, Tania Garron, Shannon Wallace, Xiaoying Yu, David W. Beasley, Jason E. Comer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Zaïre ebolavirus (EBOV) causes Ebola virus disease (EVD), a devastating viral hemorrhagic fever in humans. Nonhuman primate (NHP) models of EVD traditionally use intramuscular infection with higher case fatality rates and reduced mean time-to-death compared to contact transmission typical of human cases of EVD. A cynomolgus macaque model of oral and conjunctival EBOV was used to further characterize the more clinically relevant contact transmission of EVD. NHPs challenged via the oral route had an overall 50% survival rate. NHPs challenged with a target dose of 1 × 102 PFU or 1 × 104 PFU of EBOV via the conjunctival route had 40% and 100% mortality, respectively. Classic signs of lethal EVD-like disease were observed in all NHPs that succumbed to EBOV infection including viremia, hematological abnormalities, clinical chemistries indicative of hepatic and renal disease, and histopathological findings. Evidence of EBOV viral persistence in the eye was observed in NHPs challenged via the conjunctival route.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Ebola virus
  • Ebola virus disease models
  • animal models
  • conjunctival Ebola virus infection
  • filovirus
  • filovirus animal models
  • oral Ebolavirus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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