Lymphocytic chorimeningitis virus (LCMV), the prototype arenavirus, and Lassa virus (LASV), causative agent of Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), belong to the Old World group of the family Arenaviridae . Both viruses have extensive strain diversity and significant variations in lethality and pathogenicity for man and experimental animals. We have shown that the LHF-like infection of rhesus macaques with the WE strain of LCMV affects liver functions, induces hepatocyte proliferation, and causes a rise in IL-6 and soluble TNF receptors (sTNFR) concomitant with a rise in viremia. The levels of IL-6 and sTNFR can serve as an additional diagnostic tool for liver involvement in pathogenesis of arenavirus infection. Mucosal inoculation of rhesus macaques with LCMV-WE can result in attenuated infection with a transient viremia and liver enzyme abnormalities. The ARM strain of LCMV shares 88% amino acid homology with WE. In contrast to LCMV-WE, ARM strain does not induce manifested disease in monkeys, does not affect liver functions, and does not induce hepatocyte proliferation. Previously we demonstrated that LCMV-ARM infection protected rhesus macaques challenged with LCMV-WE. Here we have shown that the protected animals have no signs of hepatitis and hepatocyte proliferation.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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