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Comparison of West African and Congo Basin monkeypox viruses in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice


Comparison of West African and Congo Basin monkeypox viruses in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice



Plos one 5(1): E8912



ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203

PMID: 20111702

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008912

Although monkeypox virus (MPXV) studies in wild rodents and non-human primates have generated important knowledge regarding MPXV pathogenesis and inferences about disease transmission, it might be easier to dissect the importance of virulence factors and correlates of protection to MPXV in an inbred mouse model. Herein, we compared the two clades of MPXV via two routes of infection in the BALB/c and C57BL/6 inbred mice strains. Our studies show that similar to previous animal studies, the Congo Basin strain of MPXV was more virulent than West African MPXV in both mouse strains as evidenced by clinical signs. Although animals did not develop lesions as seen in human MPX infections, localized signs were apparent with the foot pad route of inoculation, primarily in the form of edema at the site of inoculation; while the Congo Basin intranasal route of infection led to generalized symptoms, primarily weight loss. We have determined that future studies with MPXV and laboratory mice would be very beneficial in understanding the pathogenesis of MPXV, in particular if used in in vivo imaging studies. Although this mouse model may not suffice as a model of human MPX disease, with an appropriate inbred mouse model, we can unravel many unknown aspects of MPX pathogenesis, including virulence factors, disease progression in rodent hosts, and viral shedding from infected animals. In addition, such a model can be utilized to test antivirals and the next generation of orthopoxvirus vaccines for their ability to alter the course of disease.

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Accession: 052227740

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