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Arch Virol. 1990;114(1-2):91-107.

An animal model for therapeutic intervention studies of CMV infection in the immunocompromised host.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


An experimental rat model to study acute cytomegalovirus infections is described. Eight-week old male Brown Norway rats, immunosuppressed by total body irradiation, were infected with rat cytomegalovirus (RCMV). The effects of infection were determined by survival rates and the presence of virus or viral components in different organs was assayed by plaque test, immunoperoxidase staining, dot-blot DNA hybridization and in situ DNA hybridization. At days 10-post infection nearly 90% of the animals had died. Spleen, liver and bone marrow were heavily infected. Interstitial pneumonia was observed. Pathological findings strongly resembled the full scale of lesions in human CMV infections. Anti-RCMV hyperimmune serum was effective against mortality from RCMV infection and viral spread to lungs and liver was prevented. This model is appropriate for studies on the pathogenesis and antiviral therapy of CMV infections in the immunocompromised host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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