Live, attenuated Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus vaccine (TC83) causes persistent brain infection in mice with non-functional αβ T-cells

Katherine Taylor, Olga Kolokoltsova, Shannon E. Ronca, Mark Estes, Slobodan Paessler

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Intranasal infection with vaccine strain of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (TC83) caused persistent viral infection in the brains of mice without functional αβ T-cells (αβ-TCR -/-). Remarkably, viral kinetics, host response gene transcripts and symptomatic disease are similar between αβ-TCR -/- and wild-type C57BL/6 (WT) mice during acute phase of infection [0-13 days post-infection (dpi)]. While WT mice clear infectious virus in the brain by 13 dpi, αβ-TCR -/- maintain infectious virus in the brain to 92 dpi. Persistent brain infection in αβ-TCR -/- correlated with inflammatory infiltrates and elevated cytokine protein levels in the brain at later time points. Persistent brain infection of αβ-TCR -/- mice provides a novel model to study prolonged alphaviral infection as well as the effects and biomarkers of long-term viral inflammation in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - Jan 26 2017



  • Alphavirus
  • Immunology
  • Persistent infection
  • TC83
  • VEEV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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