Kinetics, tissue specificity and pathological changes in murine rotavirus infection of mice

J Gen Virol. 1986 Dec;67 ( Pt 12):2625-34. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-67-12-2625.


Mice that did not contain antibodies to rotavirus were orally infected with murine rotavirus (EDIM strain) and observed over 7 days. As judged by ELISA, only the small intestine was infected, not the colon. The infection was biphasic, viral antigen peaks being observed at 48 h and approximately 120 h post-infection. Clinically evident diarrhoea was maximal at 72 h. Virus in the upper, middle and lower regions of the small intestine was mainly tissue-associated; most virus was found in the middle small intestine. Two peaks (48 h and 120 h post-infection) of virus antigen were observed in the colon, but these corresponded to luminal, not tissue-associated viral antigen. Only enterocytes in the upper two-thirds of villus epithelia were infected as judged by fluorescent-antibody analysis and transmission electron microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy revealed morphological appearances not hitherto correlated with the progress of the infection: villus tips were convoluted, corresponding to the shedding of virus-infected cells but the lower regions of infected villi were shrunken and considerably narrowed compared to tips.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology
  • Intestine, Small / ultrastructure*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Intestines / ultrastructure
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Rotavirus / immunology
  • Rotavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Rotavirus Infections / microbiology
  • Rotavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Vacuoles / ultrastructure


  • Antigens, Viral