Histopathologic and immunohistochemical characterization of nipah virus infection in the guinea pig

F. J. Torres-Velez, W. J. Shieh, P. E. Rollin, T. Morken, C. Brown, T. G. Ksiazek, S. R. Zaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Mortality rate in humans infected with Nipah virus (NiV) has been reported as high as 92%. Humans infected with NiV show a widespread multisystemic vasculitis with most severe clinical and pathologic manifestations in the brain, lungs, and spleen. The purpose of this study was to study pathologic and immunohistochemical findings in guinea pigs infected with NiV. Of 28 animals inoculated intraperitoneally, only 2 survived the infection, and most died between 4 and 8 days postinoculation (dpi). Viral antigen with minimal pathologic changes was first detected 2 dpi in lymph nodes and spleen. More severe changes were noted in these organs 4-8 dpi, where pathologic damage had a vasocentric distribution and viral antigen was abundant in vascular endothelium, tunica media, adventitia, as well as in macrophages lining sinuses. The urinary bladder, uterus, and ovaries were also affected with necrosis and acute inflammation. In these organs, immunohistochemical positive staining was intense in blood vessels, epithelial cells, and ovarian follicles. Approximately 50% of the animals that died or were euthanized in extremis had evidence of viral antigen and histopathologic changes in brain, especially involving meninges and ependymal cells, with lesser changes in the neural parenchyma. A unifying feature of the damage for all affected tissues was necrosis and inflammation of the vasculature, chiefly in arterioles, capillaries, and venules. Inoculation of guinea pigs intraperitoneally with NiV produces a disease with considerable resemblance to the disease in humans, but with reduced pulmonary involvement and marked infection of urinary bladder and the female reproductive tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-585
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Guinea pigs
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nipah virus
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Histopathologic and immunohistochemical characterization of nipah virus infection in the guinea pig'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this