The white-throated woodrat is a principal host of Whitewater Arroyo (WWA) virus, an arenavirus, in the western United States. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the pathology of WWA infection in this species. Twenty-one animals (eight newborn, seven juvenile, and six adult) were inoculated with WWA virus and killed at varying intervals after inoculation. The most striking histological findings were lymphocytic meningitis and perivascular lymphocytic cuffing in the brains of the animals killed on day 85, 113 or 121. Arenaviral antigen was detected inimunohistochemically in the brain of each affected animal, suggesting that the inflammatory lesions in the brain were caused by WWA virus. Comparisons of the results of tests for infectious virus and antigen in brain and other solid tissues indicated that immunohistochemistry may be a useful method for detection of WWA viral antigen in post-mortem specimens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine