CNS disease following dissemination of SSPE measles virus from intraperitoneal inoculation of suckling hamsters

Donald R. Carrigan, Robert R. McKendall, Kenneth P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Acute encephalitis was observed in suckling Golden Syrian hamsters following intraperitoneal inoculation of a hamster brain adapted strain of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis measles virus. Virus was isolated from the brains of all encephalitic animals by cocultivation of tissue with Vero cells. The histopathology of the encephalitis was characterized by perivascular mononuclear infiltrates, necrosis, eosinophilic inclusion bodies, and rare giant cells. Association of encephalitis with systemic viral infection was observed with virus present in lung and a kidney-spleen pool in addition to brain. Viral dissemination in asymptomatic animals was documented with virus being isolated from multiple non-neural tissues (spleen, lung, liver) of animals having no recoverable virus in their brains and no signs of encephalitis. Treatment of animals with cyclophosphamide prior to ip virus inoculation did not increase dissemination to brain. Absence of encephalitis in asymptomatic animals with proven viral dissemination to parenchymal organs indicates that neither viremia alone, nor viremia in conjunction with dissemination are sufficient conditions to establish central nervous system disease. The association of encephalitis with systemic viral infection and the dissemination to brain establish this model's potential value for the study of the pathogenesis of measles encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • SSPE virus
  • measles encephalitis
  • splenic infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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