Development of an efficient method for recovery of Puumala and Puumala-related viruses by inoculation of Mongolian gerbils

Nandadeva Lokugamage, Hiroaki Kariwa, Kumari Lokugamage, Tomohiro Hagiya, Hironobu Miyamoto, Masahiro A. Iwasa, Koichi Araki, Kumiko Yoshimatsu, Jiro Arikawa, Tetsuya Mizutani, Ikuo Takashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Puumala (PUU) virus and PUU-related viruses are difficult to isolate in cell culture. To determine whether animal inoculation would be a better alternative for virus recovery, the Sotkamo strain of PUU virus was inoculated into several animal species. Newborn Mongolian gerbils (MGs), mice, and rats were infected with the Sotkamo strain by intracerebral (ic), intraperitoneal (ip), and subcutaneous (sc) inoculation. Antibodies to PUU appeared in MGs at 30 days post-infection (dpi), and in mice and rats at 15 dpi. Interestingly, virus appeared at 7 dpi in lung and brain of MGs inoculated via ic and ip routes. Virus was detected in all tested tissues of MGs at 15 dpi, with a peak level of 1.36 × 105 focus forming units (FFU)/g in brain tissue. The virus titer declined with the onset of the antibody response and became undetectable by 75 dpi, when the antibody titer reached the maximum level. The appearance of the virus in mice and rats was delayed as compared to MGs, and the virus titer was apparently lower, at approximately 4 to 8 × 10 3 FFU/g, at 15 dpi. In addition, lung homogenates of antibody-positive Clethrionomys (C.) rufocanus (captured in Tobetsu, Hokkaido, Japan) were inoculated into MGs by the ic route. PUU-related viral RNA was detected at 16 dpi in the brains of MG inoculated with the lung homogenate, and antibodies were detected at 45 dpi. These findings indicate that newborn MG inoculation is an efficient method to recover PUU and PUU-related viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1194
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Clethrionomys rufocanus
  • Hantavirus
  • Mongolian gerbil
  • Puumala virus
  • Rodent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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