Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) as a nonhuman primate model to assess the virulence of eastern equine encephalitis virus strains

A. Paige Adams, Judith Aronson, Suzette D. Tardif, Jean L. Patterson, Kathleen M. Brasky, Robert Geiger, Melissa De La Garza, Ricardo Carrion, Scott Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) produces the most severe human arboviral disease in North America (NA) and is a potential biological weapon. However, genetically and antigenically distinct strains from South America (SA) have seldom been associated with human disease or mortality despite serological evidence of infection. Because mice and other small rodents do not respond differently to the NA versus SA viruses like humans, we tested common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) by using intranasal infection and monitoring for weight loss, fever, anorexia, depression, and neurologic signs. The NA EEEV-infected animals either died or were euthanized on day 4 or 5 after infection due to anorexia and neurologic signs, but the SA EEEV-infected animals remained healthy and survived. The SA EEEV-infected animals developed peak viremia titers of 2.8 to 3.1 log10 PFU/ml on day 2 or 4 after infection, but there was no detectable viremia in the NA EEEV-infected animals. In contrast, virus was detected in the brain, liver, and muscle of the NA EEEV-infected animals at the time of euthanasia or death. Similar to the brain lesions described for human EEE, the NA EEEV-infected animals developed meningoencephalitis in the cerebral cortex with some perivascular hemorrhages. The findings of this study identify the common marmoset as a useful model of human EEE for testing antiviral drugs and vaccine candidates and highlight their potential for corroborating epidemiological evidence that some, if not all, SA EEEV strains are attenuated for humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9035-9042
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume82
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

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Eastern equine encephalitis virus
Callithrix
Callithrix jacchus
Primates
Virulence
virulence
North America
animal models
South America
animals
Viremia
viremia
Anorexia
Neurologic Manifestations
Infection
anorexia
human diseases
nervous system
infection
Biological Warfare Agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) as a nonhuman primate model to assess the virulence of eastern equine encephalitis virus strains. / Adams, A. Paige; Aronson, Judith; Tardif, Suzette D.; Patterson, Jean L.; Brasky, Kathleen M.; Geiger, Robert; De La Garza, Melissa; Carrion, Ricardo; Weaver, Scott.

In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 82, No. 18, 09.2008, p. 9035-9042.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adams, A. Paige ; Aronson, Judith ; Tardif, Suzette D. ; Patterson, Jean L. ; Brasky, Kathleen M. ; Geiger, Robert ; De La Garza, Melissa ; Carrion, Ricardo ; Weaver, Scott. / Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) as a nonhuman primate model to assess the virulence of eastern equine encephalitis virus strains. In: Journal of Virology. 2008 ; Vol. 82, No. 18. pp. 9035-9042.
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