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Abstract

Mice (ddY strain, 4 weeks old) were infected intranasally with the H5N1 influenza viruses A/Hong Kong/156/97 (HK156) and A/Hong Kong/483/97 (HK483) isolated from humans. HK156 and HK483 required 200 and 5 p.f.u. of virus, respectively, to give a 50% lethal dose to the mice when the volume of inoculum was set at 10 μl. Both viruses caused encephalitis and severe bronchopneumonia in infected mice. The severity of lung lesions caused by the viruses was essentially similar, whereas HK483 caused more extensive lesions in the brain than did HK156. This was supported by the results of virus titration of organ homogenates, which showed that the virus titres in brains of HK483-infected mice were more than 100-fold higher than those of HK156-infected mice, while those in lungs were almost equivalent. Both viruses were detected in homogenates of the heart, liver, spleen and kidney and blood of the infected mice. Virus antigen was detected by immunohistology in the heart and liver, albeit sporadically, but caused no degenerative change in these organs. The antigen was not detected in the thymus, spleen, pancreas, kidney or gastrointestinal tract. In contrast, virus antigen was found frequently in adipose tissues attached to those organs. The adipose tissues showed severe degenerative change and the virus titres in the tissues were high and comparable to those in lungs. Thus, infection of HK156 and HK483 in our mouse model was pneumo-, neuro- and adipotropic, but not pantropic. Furthermore, HK483 showed higher neurotropism than HK156, which may account for its higher lethality.

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2000-10-01
2020-01-22
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