Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major threat to children worldwide. Children infected with EV71 could develop subclinical infection and hand-foot-and -mouth disease (HFMD). In severe cases, patients could develop encephalitis, paralysis, pulmonary edema, and death. A more user-friendly and robust animal model is essential to investigating EV71 pathogenesis. Here, we established a hybrid (hSCARB2+/+/stat-1−/−) mouse strain from crossbreeding SCARB2 transgenic and stat-1 KO mice, and compared the susceptibilities to EV71 infection and pathogenesis between parental and hybrid mice. Virus-encoded VP1 protein can be detected in the streaking nerve fibers in brain and spinal cord. This hybrid mouse strain at 2-week-old age can still be infected with different genotypes of EV71 at 1000-fold lower titer via an ip route. Infected hybrid mice developed earlier onset of CNS disease, paralysis, and death at a higher incidence. These advantages of this novel model meet the urgent need from the scientific community in basic and preclinical research in therapeutics and pathogenesis.