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Neurovirulence of murine coronavirus JHM temperature-sensitive mutants in rats

Neurovirulence of murine coronavirus JHM temperature-sensitive mutants in rats

Infection and Immunity 39(3): 1316-1324

The murine coronavirus strain JHM is highly neurotropic in rats and has a marked tendency to cause demyelinating central nervous system diseases after intracerebral inoculation. The clinical diseases observed range from an acute encephalomyelitis occurring within 2 weeks postinfection to a subacute demyelinating encephalomyelitis developing several weeks or months postinfection. Uncloned wild-type virus induced both acute and subacute diseases, whereas cloned JHM virus grown in tissue culture caused only acute disease without the pronounced lesions of primary demyelination. In contrast, temperature-sensitive mutants selected from that clone were capable of inducing subacute demyelinating encephalomyelitis after prolonged incubation times. Viruses recovered from diseased animals were still temperature sensitive. Inoculation of temperature-sensitive mutants into suckling rats (age, 10 to 15 days) produced high rates of subacute demyelinating diseases running a more chronic course; these diseases often were not fatal. Those rats which did not show clinical signs frequently revealed inflammatory demyelinating lesions. These findings indicate that the rate and type of clinical disease are dependent on the neurovirulence of the virus mutant used for inoculation and the age of the animals at the time of infection.

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Accession: 043736580

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PMID: 6301992

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