Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a zoonotic agent that causes fatal encephalitis in humans. 2’-5’-oligoadenylate synthetase 1b ( Oas1b ) has been identified as a flavivirus resistance gene, but most inbred laboratory mice do not possess a functional Oas1b gene. In this study, a congenic strain carrying a functional Oas1b gene, B6.MSM- Oas , was used to evaluate the pathogenicity of Far-Eastern TBEV. Although intracerebral infection of B6.MSM- Oas mice by Oshima 5-10 resulted in limited signs of illness, infection by Sofjin-HO resulted in death with severe neurologic signs. While Oshima 5-10 was cleared from the brain, Sofjin-HO was not cleared despite a similar level of expression of the intact Oas1b gene. Necrotic neurons with viral antigens and inflammatory reactions were observed in the brain infected with Sofjin-HO. These data indicate that the different susceptibility to the antiviral activity of Oas1b resulted in a difference in neurovirulence in the two TBEV strains.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2013
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