The pathogenesis of two rodent adapted strains of measles virus was studied in 1 to 2 day old suckling and 4 week old weanling BALB/c mice. Both the mouse adapted Edmonston (MAEd) strain and the hamster neurotropic (HNT) strain caused necrotizing giant cell encephalitis with a 90 to 100% mortality after intracerebral inoculation into suckling mice. After intracerebral inoculation into weanling mice, MAEd virus caused fatal disease in 20% of the mice; HNT virus caused fatal disease in 30%, but an additional 35% of these mice developed disease and then recovered. Even when mice were moribund there was little histological evidence of disease in weanling mice inoculated intracerebrally with either strain of virus. Fluorescent antibody staining showed extensive measles virus antigen in the suckling mouse brain and focal areas of measles virus antigen in the weanling mouse brain. Infectious virus was recovered easily from the brains of suckling mice by plaquing on Vero cells, but no infectious virus could be recovered similarly from weanling mice. However, virus could be recovered by intracerebral inoculation of weanling mouse tissue homogenates into suckling animals. The immune response appeared to play no role in the recovery from infection or in these age related differences in disease. It appears that maturation of the cells of the mouse central nervous system converted the production of measles virus from the infectious form in the suckling mouse to a primarily defective infection in the weanling mouse.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Infection and immunity|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1974|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases