Development and characterization of a guinea pig model for Marburg virus|
Wong, Gary; Cao, Wen-Guang; He, Shi-Hua; Zhang, Zi-Rui; Zhu, Wen-Jun; Moffat, Estella; Ebihara, Hideki; Embury-Hyatt, Carissa & Qiu, Xiang-Guo
The Angolan strain of Marburg virus (MARV/Ang) can cause lethal disease in humans with a case fatality rate of up to 90%, but infection of immunocompetent rodents do not result in any observable symptoms. Our previous work includes the development and characterization of a MARV/Ang variant that can cause lethal disease in mice (MARV/Ang-MA), with the aim of using this tool to screen for promising prophylactic and therapeutic candidates. An intermediate animal model is needed to confirm any findings from mice studies before testing in the gold-standard non-human primate (NHP) model. In this study, we serially passaged the clinical isolate of MARV/Ang in the livers and spleens of guinea pigs until a variant emerged that causes 100% lethality in guinea pigs (MARV/Ang-GA). Animals infected with MARV/Ang-GA showed signs of filovirus infection including lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and high viremia leading to spread to major organs, including the liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. The MARV/Ang-GA guinea pigs died between 7–9 days after infection, and the LD50 was calculated to be 1.1×10–1 TCID50 (median tissue culture infective dose). Mutations in MARV/Ang-GA were identified and compared to sequences of known rodent-adapted MARV/Ang variants, which may benefit future studies characterizing important host adaptation sites in the MARV/Ang viral genome.
Marburg virus; Guinea pig; Animal model; Pathogenesis; Host adaptation