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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lassa virus infection of rhesus monkeys: pathogenesis and treatment with ribavirin.

Rhesus monkeys were experimentally infected with Lassa virus to establish their suitability as a nonhuman primate model for the human disease and to test the protective efficacy of ribavirin, an antiviral drug. Six of 10 untreated control monkeys died after subcutaneous inoculation of 10(6.1) plaque-forming units of Lassa virus (strain Josiah). Infectivity titrations of tissue homogenates from the six dead monkeys indicated significant replication in all tissues tested except the central nervous system. This distribution of virus was confirmed by direct immunofluorescence examination of cryostat-sectioned tissues. Ribavirin was beneficial in the treatment of two groups of infected monkeys. Four monkeys first treated on the day of viral inoculation experienced only mild clinical disease; four monkeys first treated five days later experienced a more severe illness. None of the eight monkeys treated with ribavirin died. Viremia titers and elevations of levels of serum transaminases in treated monkeys were significantly lower than in controls. Ribavirin may be beneficial in the treatment of humans exposed to this life-threatening virus.[1]


  1. Lassa virus infection of rhesus monkeys: pathogenesis and treatment with ribavirin. Jahrling, P.B., Hesse, R.A., Eddy, G.A., Johnson, K.M., Callis, R.T., Stephen, E.L. J. Infect. Dis. (1980) [Pubmed]
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