Host genetic diversity enables Ebola hemorrhagic fever pathogenesis and resistance

Science. 2014 Nov 21;346(6212):987-91. doi: 10.1126/science.1259595. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


Existing mouse models of lethal Ebola virus infection do not reproduce hallmark symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, neither delayed blood coagulation and disseminated intravascular coagulation nor death from shock, thus restricting pathogenesis studies to nonhuman primates. Here we show that mice from the Collaborative Cross panel of recombinant inbred mice exhibit distinct disease phenotypes after mouse-adapted Ebola virus infection. Phenotypes range from complete resistance to lethal disease to severe hemorrhagic fever characterized by prolonged coagulation times and 100% mortality. Inflammatory signaling was associated with vascular permeability and endothelial activation, and resistance to lethal infection arose by induction of lymphocyte differentiation and cellular adhesion, probably mediated by the susceptibility allele Tek. These data indicate that genetic background determines susceptibility to Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation / genetics
  • Capillary Permeability / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / blood
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / genetics*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics*
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics
  • Receptor, TIE-2 / genetics*


  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • Tek protein, mouse

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE57214