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J Med Virol. 1984;14(4):295-303.

Effect of environmental factors on aerosol-induced Lassa virus infection.


Previous studies suggested that the most frequent means of transmission of Lassa virus was by either direct or indirect contact with infectious material. Aerosol stability and respiratory infectivity of the Josiah strain of Lassa virus were assessed to determine the effect of environmental factors on aerosol-induced infection. The stability of the virus in aerosol, particularly at low relative humidity (30% RH), plus the ability of the virus to infect guinea pigs and monkeys via the respiratory route emphasize the potential for aerosol transmission of Lassa virus. Biological half-lives at both 24 and 32 degrees C ranged from 10.1 to 54.6 min, and were sufficient for aerosol dispersion of virus to considerable distances in natural situations. Infectivity of Lassa virus in small particle aerosol was demonstrated in outbred guinea pigs and cynomolgus monkeys using dynamic aerosol equipment. Monkeys exposed to inhaled doses to 465 PFU were infected and died. The median infectious dose (ID50) for guinea pigs was 15 PFU, yet a definitive median lethal aerosol dose (LD50) could not be established. Organ tropism of aerosol-induced Lassa virus infections in outbred guinea pigs was similar to that previously reported for inbred guinea pigs infected by subcutaneous inoculation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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