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See detailDevelopment of a transmission model of Murid herpesvirus 4
François, Sylvie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetype of persistent viruses that have been identified in a series of animals ranging from mice to man. To date the study of transmission of these viruses in natural ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetype of persistent viruses that have been identified in a series of animals ranging from mice to man. To date the study of transmission of these viruses in natural condition has been limited by the fact that no experimental transmission model exists. Establishment and characterization of a model of transmission are therefore critical points to evaluate strategies of interference with the epidemiological cycle of gammaherpesviruses. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) which has originally been isolated from naturally infected bank voles (Myodes glareolus). Although serological data indicate that closely related strains are present in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and domestic mice (Mus musculus), no experimental transmission of MuHV-4 has been demonstrated in laboratory mice, the classically used in vivo model. The objective of this work was therefore to fill this gap. In a first study, we performed a comparative characterization of the infection by MuHV-4 in mice and bank voles. Our results showed that the infectious process, the pathology and the latency establishment are similar in the two species, even if replication is quantitatively lower in bank voles than in mice. It therefore appeared that, Mus musculus represents a suitable host for studying gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis with MuHV-4. These results have been published in Journal of General Virology (J Gen Virol. 2010 Oct;91(Pt 10):2553-63). In a second study, thanks to in vivo imaging, we have been able to observe, for the first time, transmission of MuHV-4 in mice. We firstly showed that MuHV-4 reexcretion occurs in the genital tract of female mice at a period by which latency is considered as established. Ex vivo imaging, histology and PCR allowed us to demonstrate the presence of viral genomes in vaginal tissues and to localize viral replication at the external border of the vagina. We also demonstrated the transient and repetitive presence of infectious viruses in the vaginal cavity. Secondly, we demonstrated the implication of sexual steroid hormones in this re-excretion process. Indeed, we analyzed the infection of untreated mice, ovariectomized mice and ovariectomized mice complemented with estrogens and/or progesterone. These analyses revealed a positive role of estrogens in the observed re-excretion. Finally, based on these results, we tested MuHV-4 transmission in mice by creating different epidemiological conditions. In the conditions tested, vertical transmission did not occur, nor did horizontal transmission between individuals of the same gender. In contrast, we were able to observe sexual transmission to naïve males by serology, in vivo imaging and quantitative PCR. In conclusion, this work has on one hand demonstrated the quality of mice as an in vivo model for MuHV-4 studies and, on the other, it has shown for the first time the existence of re-excretion and sexual transmission of MuHV-4 amongst laboratory mice. The results of this work should therefore have implications for the study of gammaherpesviruses, but also more generally for the study of sexually transmissible infections. [less ▲]

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See detailGenital re-excretion of Murid gammaherpesvirus 4 following intranasal infection
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

in Proceedings of the 1st Scientific Meeting of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (2011, December 09)

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. As the human gammaviruses have no well-established in vivo infection model ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. As the human gammaviruses have no well-established in vivo infection model, related animal gammaherpesviruses are an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) in inbred laboratory mouse strains which are commonly accepted as a good model for studying gammaherpesviruses in vivo. To date, it has however never been possible to monitor viral reexcretion and virus transmission in this species. In order to identify potential re-excretion sites, intranasally infected mice were followed through global luciferase imaging for up to six months after infection. Surprisingly, we detected transient viral replication in mice genital tract at various times after latency establishment. Ex vivo imaging, quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that virus genomes were present in high quantity in the vaginal tissue and that viral replication occurred mainly at the vaginal external border. Moreover, we highlighted the presence of free infectious viruses in the vaginal cavity at the moment of the observation of viral replication. As this ephemeral viral reexcretion could reveal a link with reproductive cycle, we compared reexcretion in normal and ovariectomized mice. Interestingly, no viral reactivation was observed in absence of hormonal cycle. In conclusion, we experimentally indentified for the first time a reexcretion site for MuHV-4 in mice that had been intranasaly infected. In the future, these results could help us to better understand the biology of gammaherpesviruses but should also allow us to develop strategies that could prevent the spread of these viruses in natural populations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 36 (15 ULg)
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See detailGenital re-excretion of Murid gammaherpesvirus 4 following intranasal infection
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

Poster (2011, November 16)

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. As the human gammaviruses have no well-established in vivo infection model ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. As the human gammaviruses have no well-established in vivo infection model, related animal gammaherpesviruses are an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) in inbred laboratory mouse strains which are commonly accepted as a good model for studying gammaherpesviruses in vivo. To date, it has however never been possible to monitor viral reexcretion and virus transmission in this species. In order to identify potential re-excretion sites, intranasally infected mice were followed through global luciferase imaging for up to six months after infection. Surprisingly, we detected transient viral replication in mice genital tract at various times after latency establishment. Ex vivo imaging, quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that virus genomes were present in high quantity in the vaginal tissue and that viral replication occurred mainly at the vaginal external border. Moreover, we highlighted the presence of free infectious viruses in the vaginal cavity at the moment of the observation of viral replication. As this ephemeral viral reexcretion could reveal a link with reproductive cycle, we compared reexcretion in normal and ovariectomized mice. Interestingly, no viral reactivation was observed in absence of hormonal cycle. In conclusion, we experimentally indentified for the first time a reexcretion site for MuHV-4 in mice that had been intranasaly infected. In the future, these results could help us to better understand the biology of gammaherpesviruses but should also allow us to develop strategies that could prevent the spread of these viruses in natural populations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 39 (22 ULg)
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See detailGenital re-excretion of Murid gammaherpesvirus 4 following intranasal infection
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

Poster (2010, November 18)

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. They are host-range specific and establish persistent, productive infections ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. They are host-range specific and establish persistent, productive infections of immunocompetent hosts. Thus, infected individuals simultaneously both elicit antiviral protective immune response and secrete infectious virions. The best studied gammaherpesviruses are Human herpesvirus 4 and Human herpesvirus 8. As these viruses have no well-established in vivo infection model, related animal gammaherpesviruses are an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4), a virus that has originally been isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus). Although MuHV-4 has not been isolated from house mice (Mus musculus), infection of inbred laboratory mouse strains is commonly accepted as a good model for studying gammaherpesviruses in vivo. To date, it has however never been possible to monitor viral reexcretion and virus transmission in this species suggesting that this model could be imperfect. In order to identify potential re-excretion sites, intranasally infected mice were followed through global luciferase imaging for up to six months after infection. By this technique, we were able to detect appearance of viral replication in mice genital tract at various times post-infection. Typically, it firstly occurred between days 20 to 30 after infection, a period at which it is admitted that latency is established. Ex vivo imaging, quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry helped us to determine that virus genomes were present in high quantity in the vaginal tissue and that viral replication occurred mainly at the vaginal external border. Finally, we highlighted the presence of free infectious viruses in the vaginal cavity at the moment of the observation of viral replication. In conclusion, we experimentally indentified for the first time a reexcretion site for MuHV-4 in mice that had been intranasaly infected. It therefore suggests potential genital transmission, either horizontal or vertical, of this virus in mice populations. In the future, these results could help us to better understand the biology of gammaherpesviruses but should also allow us to develop vaccinal strategies that could prevent the spread of these viruses in natural populations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 42 (24 ULg)
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See detailComparative study of Murid gamma-herpesvirus 4 infection in mice and in a natural host, the bank voles.
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010)

Gamma-herpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses. The known human gamma-herpesviruses (Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus) are host-specific and therefore lack ... [more ▼]

Gamma-herpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses. The known human gamma-herpesviruses (Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus) are host-specific and therefore lack a convenient in vivo infection model. This makes related animal gamma-herpesviruses an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4), a virus originally isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus). MuHV-4 infection of inbred laboratory mouse strains (Mus musculus) is commonly used as a general model of gamma-herpesvirus pathogenesis. However, MuHV-4 has not been isolated from house mice, and no systematic comparison has been made between experimental MuHV-4 infections of mice and bank voles. We have therefore characterized MuHV-4 (strain MHV-68) infection of bank voles, both through global luciferase imaging and through classical virological methods. As in mice, intranasal virus inoculation led to productive replication in bank vole lungs, accompanied by massive cellular infiltrates. However, the extent of lytic virus replication was ~1000 fold lower in bank voles than in mice. Peak latency titers in lymphoid tissue were also lower, although latency was still established. Finally, we tested viral transmission between animals maintained in captivity. However, as observed in mice, MuHV-4 did not transmit between voles in these conditions. In conclusion, this study revealed that despite quantitative differences, replication and latency sites of MuHV-4 are comparable in bank voles and in mice. It appears therefore so far that Mus musculus represents a suitable host for studying gamma-herpesvirus pathogenesis with MuHV-4. Establishing transmission conditions in captivity will be a vital step for further research in that field. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 81 (33 ULg)
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See detailComparative study of Murid gammaherpesvirus 4 infection in mice and in its natural host, the bank voles.
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Koteja, Pawel et al

Poster (2009, December 11)

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. They are host-range specific and establish persistent, productive infections ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. They are host-range specific and establish persistent, productive infections of immunocompetent hosts. Thus, infected individuals simultaneously both elicit antiviral protective immune response and secrete infectious virions. The best studied gammaherpesviruses are Human herpesvirus 4 and Human herpesvirus 8. As these viruses have no well-established in vivo infection model, related animal gammaherpesviruses are an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4), a virus that has originally been isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus). Although MuHV-4 has not been isolated from house mice (Mus musculus), infection of inbred laboratory mouse strains is commonly accepted as a good model for studying gammaherpesviruses in vivo. It has however never been possible to monitor viral reexcretion and virus transmission in this species suggesting that this model could be imperfect. In this study, we therefore characterized MuHV-4 infection in its natural host, the bank voles, through classical virological methods but also through global luciferase imaging for an anatomical complete view of the infection. Results obtained show that, after intra-nasal infection, the natural route of infection is similar in mice and voles. Following nasal productive infection, the virus spreads to the lung where the infection is accompanied by massive cellular infiltrates. By opposition to extensive viral replication observed in mice, the different analyses indicated that the viral replication was ~1000 fold lower in bank voles. This lower replication did however not affect colonization of latency sites in superficial cervical lymph nodes and spleen as measured by real-time PCR quantification of viral genomes in these organs. In conclusion, this study revealed that MuHV-4 can experimentally infect bank voles, the supposed natural host, but with a lower replicative power. As, gammaherpesvirus epidemiology indicates that transmission correlates with the latent load, our results suggest that gammaherpesviruses may have evolved to infect their hosts without extensive lytic spread. In the future, establishment of experimental transmission in a population of Myodes glareolus should help us to better understand mechanisms used by gammaherpesviruses to evade immune response. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 11 (5 ULg)