Abnormal Development - Lassa Virus
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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.
Some Recent Findings
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.
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.
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, December 5) Embryology Abnormal Development - Lassa Virus. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Abnormal_Development_-_Lassa_Virus
- © Dr Mark Hill 2020, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G