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Influenza A Virus Studies in a Mouse Model of Infection

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  • Influenza A Virus Studies in a Mouse Model of Infection

    J Vis Exp. 2017 Sep 7;(127). doi: 10.3791/55898.
    Influenza A Virus Studies in a Mouse Model of Infection.

    Rodriguez L1, Nogales A1, Martínez-Sobrido L2.
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    Influenza viruses cause over 500,000 deaths worldwide1 and are associated with an annual cost of 12 - 14 billion USD in the United States alone considering direct medical and hospitalization expenses and work absenteeism2. Animal models are crucial in Influenza A virus (IAV) studies to evaluate viral pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, immune responses, and the efficacy of current and/or novel vaccine approaches as well as antivirals. Mice are an advantageous small animal model because their immune system is evolutionarily similar to that found in humans, they are available from commercial vendors as genetically identical subjects, there are multiple strains that can be exploited to evaluate the genetic basis of infections, and they are relatively inexpensive and easy to manipulate. To recapitulate IAV infection in humans via the airways, mice are first anesthetized prior to intranasal inoculation with infectious IAVs under proper biosafety containment. After infection, the pathogenesis of IAVs is determined by monitoring daily the morbidity (body weight loss) and mortality (survival) rate. In addition, viral pathogenesis can also be evaluated by assessing virus replication in the upper (nasal mucosa) or lower (lungs) respiratory tract of infected mice. Humoral responses upon IAV infection can be rapidly evaluated by non-invasive bleeding and secondary antibody detection assays aimed at detecting the presence of total or neutralizing antibodies. Here, we describe the common methods used to infect mice intranasally (i.n) with IAV and evaluate pathogenesis, humoral immune responses and protection efficacy.

    PMID: 28930978 DOI: 10.3791/55898