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J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;204 Suppl 3:S991-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir336.

Host response dynamics following lethal infection of rhesus macaques with Zaire ebolavirus.

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Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Veterinary Branch, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana 59840, USA.


To gain further insight into the interdependent pathogenic processes in Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), we have examined the dynamics of host responses in individual rhesus macaques infected with Zaire ebolavirus over the entire disease course. Examination of coagulation parameters revealed that decreased coagulation inhibitor activity triggered severe coagulopathy as indicated by prolonged coagulation times and decreased fibrinogen levels. This has been proposed as one of the significant mechanisms underlying disseminated intravascular coagulation in EHF patients. Furthermore, monitoring of expression levels for cytokines/chemokines suggested a mixed anti-inflammatory response syndrome (MARS), which indicates that a catastrophic uncontrolled immunological status contributes to the development of fatal hemorrhagic fever. These results highlight the pathological analogies between EHF and severe sepsis and not only contribute to our understanding of the pathogenic process, but will also help to establish novel postexposure treatment modalities.

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