Subclinical Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus in Experimentally Infected Apodemus agrarius

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Abstract

Objectives: In this study, we investigated the dose dependence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) infection in one of the reservoirs, i.e. Apodemus agrarius, a small rodent species. Methods: The animals were challenged with TBEV per os and intramuscularly with infectious doses ranging from 1 to 1,500 plaque-forming units (pfu). Clinical signs were recorded and clinical and pathological features were evaluated by histological, immunohistochemical, and serological methods. Results: High perorally administered infectious doses resulted in virus replication in the brain, which is the first sign of subclinical viral encephalitis in the Apodemus genus. The animals seroconverted at infectious doses greater than 100 pfu, and all animals remained asymptomatic. Conclusion: Our work shows the first evidence that subclinical TBEV encephalitis may occur in Apodemus species, depending on the virus load of the inoculum. The antiviral response of the local innate immune system may influence the resistance of Apodemus individuals to lower infectious doses. Per oral/nasal infection seems to be more dangerous for the host than other routes of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalIntervirology
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • Apodemus agrarius
  • Experimental infection
  • Subclinical encephalitis
  • Tick-borne encephalitis virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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