Many mouse models of human enterovirus disease have been pro- posed, concerning both acute and persistent infection. However, rather paradoxically since the usual way of contamination is fecal-oral, most of them used a systemic route of infection. The aim of the present work was to follow the development of an experimental enterovirus infection and to study the viral persistence at the organ level. Twenty-eight female 3-week old BALB/c mice were infected with 5 x 10(4) TCID(50) of coxsackievirus B3 (CV-B3), Nancy strain, by oral route using a rigid cannula introduced into the stomach. The kinetics of infection was studied by sacrificing 2 animals at different times post infection (from 1 hour to 90 days). The presence of the virus in various organs (small intestine, heart, pancreas, lung, spleen, kidney, liver) was studied by cell culture and RT-PCR. As soon as one hour post infection, the virus was detected in the small intestine. In the heart, the virus was present at 24 and 48 hours post infection by RT-PCR and culture, respectively. At 5 days post infection, all the organs but the liver were found infected. The virus was detected up to 15 days in kidney, 21 days in pancreas, 30 days in lung and spleen, and 45 days in intestine, by both culture and PCR. The heart was still found infected 90 days post infection by both techniques. These results show the dramatic cardiotropism of CV-B3 inoculated by oral route, with a detection of the virus very soon in the course of infection (24 hours) and a persistence of the virus for more than 3 months. The intestine, the initial target of enterovirus infection, can also be considered as a site of viral persistence.
Copyright John Libbey Eurotext 20003.