Host genetic variation in susceptibility to Punta Toro virus.

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Publication Date



Disease-Models-Animal, Genetic-Predisposition-to-Disease, Genetic-Variation, Liver, Male, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Phenotype, Phlebovirus, Reverse-Transcriptase-Polymerase-Chain-Reaction, Viral-Load

JAX Source

Virus Res 2011 Apr; 157(1):71-5.


Infection of small laboratory animals by Punta Toro virus (PTV), family Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus, is a model for the study of the human pathogen Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). We have identified inbred mouse strains with significant differences in host response to the Adames strain of PTV. Nine inbred strains of mice representing major branches in the Mus musculus phylogeny were inoculated subcutaneously with a high dose of PTV in survival experiments. Two inbred strains of mice, NZW/LacJ and 129S1/SvImJ, died ~4 days after PTV infection, whereas 7 other strains survived the challenge and showed no clinical signs of disease. Histologically, 129S1/SvImJ mice showed massive hepatocellular necrosis and had additional lesions in lung, brain, and spleen, whereas NZW/LacJ mice had mild piecemeal hepatocellular necrosis. PTV viral loads in the livers of infected mice were determined by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR. Inbred mice from strains that showed clinical signs and succumbed to PTV infection had higher liver viral loads than did mice of resistant strains. Hybrid F mice were generated by crossing susceptible 129S1 and resistant FVB/N mice and tested for susceptibility. The hybrid F mice showed significantly higher viral loads in the liver than the resistant parental FVB/N mice, suggesting that susceptibility is dominant. These findings will enable an unbiased genetic approach to identify host genes mediating susceptibility to PTV.