Dr. Shih, Chiaho 施嘉和 博士

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Enterovirus 71 targets the cardiopulmonary system in a robust oral infection mouse model

Scientific Reports, Jul 31, 2019

Severe infection with the re-emerging enterovirus 71 (EV71 or EV-A71) can cause cardiopulmonary failure. However, in patients’ heart and lung, viral protein has not been detected. In mouse models, heart disease has not been reported. EV71-infected brainstem is generally believed to be responsible for the cardiopulmonary collapse. One major limitation in EV71 research is the lack of an efficient oral infection system using non-mouse-adapted clinical isolates. In a robust oral infection NOD/SCID mouse model, we detected EV71 protein at multiple organs, including heart and lung, in 100% of moribund mice with limb paralysis. Infiltrating leukocytes were always detected in heart and muscle, and VP1-positive M2 macrophages were abundant in the lung. Functional dissection on the pathogenesis mechanism revealed severe apoptosis, inflammatory cytokines, and abnormal electrocardiogram (EKG) in orally infected hearts. Therefore, cardiopulmonary disease could be one plausible cause of death in this mouse model. Inoculation of EV71 through an oral route resulted in viral infection in the intestine, viremia, and EV71 appeared to spread to peripheral tissues via blood circulation. Infectious virus was no longer detected in the blood on day 5 post-infection by the plaque formation assay. We demonstrated that both EV71 clinical isolate and cloned virus can target the cardiopulmonary system via a natural infection-like oral route.

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