Abnormal Development - Lassa Virus

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Introduction

Lassa virus

Lassa virus is a member of the virus family Arenaviridae, a single-stranded RNA virus. The virus is the causative agent of a hemorrhagic fever and can be transmitted between species (zoonotic). Discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in Nigeria and today still occurs mainly in West Africa.

Death rates are high for women in the third trimester of pregnancy. Fetal death (95%) occurs in uterus of infected pregnant mothers.


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Historic Embryology - Viral 
1941 Rubella Cataracts | 1944 Rubella Defects


Some Recent Findings

  • Emerging trends in Lassa Fever: redefining the role of immunoglobulin M and inflammation in diagnosing acute infection[1] "Only Lassa virus (LASV) viremia assessed by Ag-capture immunoassay, nucleic acid detection or virus isolation should be used to diagnose acute LASV infection in West Africans. LASV-specific IgM serostatus cannot be considered a diagnostic marker of acute Lassa fever (LF) in suspected cases living in endemic areas of West Africa. By applying these criteria, we identified a dysregulated metabolic and pro-inflammatory response profile conferring a poor prognosis in acute LF. In addition to suggesting that the current diagnostic paradigm for acute LF should be reconsidered, these studies present new opportunities for therapeutic interventions based on potential prognostic markers in LF."
  • Lassa hemorrhagic fever in a late term pregnancy from northern Sierra Leone with a positive maternal outcome: case report[2] "Herein we present the first comprehensive rapid diagnosis and real time characterization of an acute hemorrhagic LF case at KGH LFW. This case report focuses on a third trimester pregnant Sierra Leonean woman from the historically non-endemic Northern district of Tonkolili who survived the illness despite fetal demise. Employed in this study were newly developed recombinant LASV Antigen Rapid Test cassettes and dipstick lateral flow immunoassays (LFI) that enabled the diagnosis of LF within twenty minutes of sample collection. Deregulation of overall homeostasis, significant hepatic and renal system involvement, and immunity profiles were extensively characterized during the course of hospitalization. Rapid diagnosis, prompt treatment with a full course of intravenous (IV) ribavirin, IV fluids management, and real time monitoring of clinical parameters resulted in a positive maternal outcome despite admission to the LFW seven days post onset of symptoms, fetal demise, and a natural still birth delivery."

Pathology

Pathogenesis of Lassa fever in cynomolgus macaques

Virol J. 2011 May 6;8:205.

Hensley LE, Smith MA, Geisbert JB, Fritz EA, Daddario-DiCaprio KM, Larsen T, Geisbert TW. Source Virology, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lassa virus (LASV) infection causes an acute and sometimes fatal hemorrhagic disease in humans and nonhuman primates; however, little is known about the development of Lassa fever. Here, we performed a pilot study to begin to understand the progression of LASV infection in nonhuman primates.

METHODS: Six cynomolgus monkeys were experimentally infected with LASV. Tissues from three animals were examined at an early- to mid-stage of disease and compared with tissues from three animals collected at terminal stages of disease.

RESULTS: Dendritic cells were identified as a prominent target of LASV infection in a variety of tissues in all animals at day 7 while Kupffer cells, hepatocytes, adrenal cortical cells, and endothelial cells were more frequently infected with LASV in tissues of terminal animals (days 13.5-17). Meningoencephalitis and neuronal necrosis were noteworthy findings in terminal animals. Evidence of coagulopathy was noted; however, the degree of fibrin deposition in tissues was less prominent than has been reported in other viral hemorrhagic fevers.

CONCLUSION: The sequence of pathogenic events identified in this study begins to shed light on the development of disease processes during Lassa fever and also may provide new targets for rational prophylactic and chemotherapeutic interventions.

PMID 21548931

http://www.virologyj.com/content/8/1/205


References

  1. <pubmed>22023795</pubmed>
  2. <pubmed>21843352</pubmed>

Reviews

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Articles

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June 2010

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, August 17) Embryology Abnormal Development - Lassa Virus. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Abnormal_Development_-_Lassa_Virus

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