No announcement yet.

J Virol . SARS-CoV-2 rapidly adapts in aged BALB/c mice and induces typical pneumonia

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • J Virol . SARS-CoV-2 rapidly adapts in aged BALB/c mice and induces typical pneumonia

    J Virol

    . 2021 Mar 10;JVI.02477-20.
    doi: 10.1128/JVI.02477-20. Online ahead of print.
    SARS-CoV-2 rapidly adapts in aged BALB/c mice and induces typical pneumonia

    Yufei Zhang 1 2 3 , Kun Huang 1 2 3 , Ting Wang 1 2 3 , Fei Deng 4 , Wenxiao Gong 1 2 3 , Xianfeng Hui 1 2 3 , Ya Zhao 1 2 3 , Xinlin He 1 2 3 , Chengfei Li 1 2 3 , Qiang Zhang 1 2 3 , Xi Chen 2 , Changjie Lv 1 2 3 , Xian Lin 5 , Ying Yang 1 2 3 , Xiaomei Sun 1 2 3 , Zhengli Shi 5 , Huanchun Chen 1 2 , Zhong Zou 6 2 3 , Meilin Jin 6 2 3



    Age is a risk factor for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) associated morbidity and mortality in humans; hence, in this study, we compared the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in young and aged BALB/c mice. We found that SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated in the respiratory tracts of 12-month-old (aged) mice and caused pathological features of pneumonia upon intranasal infection. In contrast, rapid viral clearance was observed 5 days following infection in 2-month-old (young) mice with no evidence of pathological changes in the lungs. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 elicited significantly upregulated production of cytokines, especially interleukin 6 and interferon gamma, in aged mice; whereas this response was much weaker in young mice. Subsequent challenge of infected aged BALB/c mice with SARS-CoV-2 resulted in neutralized antibody responses, a significantly reduced viral burden in the lungs, and inflammation mitigation. Deep sequencing showed a panel of mutations potentially associated with the enhanced infection in aged BALB/c mice, such as the Q498H mutations which are located at the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein. We further found that the isolates can not only multiply in the respiratory tract of mice but also cause disease in aged mice. Overall, viral replication and rapid adaption in aged BALB/c mice were associated with pneumonia, confirming that the age-related susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in mice resembled that in humans.ImportanceAged BALB/c model are in use as a model of disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Our research demonstrated SARS-CoV-2 can rapidly adapt in aged BALB/c mice through causing mutations at the RBD of the S protein. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2-infected aged BALB/c mice indicated that alveolar damage, interstitial pneumonia, and inflammatory immune responses were similar to the clinical manifestations of human infections. Therefore, our aged BALB/c challenge model will be useful for further understanding the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and for testing vaccines and antiviral agents.