Development of a model for marburgvirus based on severe-combined immunodeficiency mice

Kelly L. Warfield, Derron A. Alves, Steven B. Bradfute, Daniel K. Reed, Sean VanTongeren, Warren V. Kalina, Gene G. Olinger, Sina Bavari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The filoviruses, Ebola (EBOV) and Marburg (MARV), cause a lethal hemorrhagic fever. Human isolates of MARV are not lethal to immmunocompetent adult mice and, to date, there are no reports of a mouse-adapted MARV model. Previously, a uniformly lethal EBOV-Zaire mouse-adapted virus was developed by performing 9 sequential passages in progressively older mice (suckling to adult). Evaluation of this model identified many similarities between infection in mice and nonhuman primates, including viral tropism for antigen-presenting cells, high viral titers in the spleen and liver, and an equivalent mean time to death. Existence of the EBOV mouse model has increased our understanding of host responses to filovirus infections and likely has accelerated the development of countermeasures, as it is one of the only hemorrhagic fever viruses that has multiple candidate vaccines and therapeutics. Here, we demonstrate that serially passaging liver homogenates from MARV-infected severe combined immunodeficient (scid) mice was highly successful in reducing the time to death in scid mice from 50-70 days to 7-10 days after MARV-Ci67, -Musoke, or -Ravn challenge. We performed serial sampling studies to characterize the pathology of these scid mouse-adapted MARV strains. These scid mouse-adapted MARV models appear to have many similar properties as the MARV models previously developed in guinea pigs and nonhuman primates. Also, as shown here, the scid-adapted MARV mouse models can be used to evaluate the efficacy of candidate antiviral therapeutic molecules, such as phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers or antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108
JournalVirology journal
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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