Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus infection of spiny rats

Anne Sophie Carrara, Marta Gonzales, Cristina Ferro, Margarita Tamayo, Judith Aronson, Slobodan Paessler, Michael Anishchenko, Jorge Boshell, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enzootic strains of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) circulate in forested habitats of Mexico, Central, and South America, and spiny rats (Proechimys spp.) are believed to be the principal reservoir hosts in several foci. To better understand the host-pathogen interactions and resistance to disease characteristic of many reservoir hosts, we performed experimental infections of F1 progeny from Proechimys chrysaeolus collected at a Colombian enzootic VEEV focus using sympatric and allopatric virus strains. All animals became viremic with a mean peak titer of 3.3 log10 PFU/mL, and all seroconverted with antibody titers from 1:20 to 1:640, which persisted up to 15 months. No signs of disease were observed, including after intracerebral injections. The lack of detectable disease and limited histopathologic lesions in these animals contrast dramatically with the severe disease and histopathologic findings observed in other laboratory rodents and humans, and support their role as reservoir hosts with a long-term coevolutionary relationship to VEEV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-669
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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