Investigating the virulence of coxsackievirus B6 strains and antiviral treatments in a neonatal murine model

Antiviral Res. 2024 Jan:221:105781. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2023.105781. Epub 2023 Dec 12.


Coxsackievirus B6 (CVB6), a member of the human enterovirus family, is associated with severe diseases such as myocarditis in children. However, to date, only a limited number of CVB6 strains have been identified, and their characterization in animal models has been lacking. To address this gap, in this study, a neonatal murine model of CVB6 infection was established to compare the replication and virulence of three infectious-clone-derived CVB6 strains in vivo. The results showed that following challenge with a lethal dose of CVB6 strains, the neonatal mice rapidly exhibited a series of clinical signs, such as weight loss, limb paralysis, and death. For the two high-virulence CVB6 strains, histological examination revealed myocyte necrosis in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and immunohistochemistry confirmed the expression of CVB6 viral protein in these tissues. Real-time PCR assay also revealed higher viral loads in the skeletal and cardiac muscle than in other tissues at different time points post infection. Furthermore, the protective effect of passive immunization with antisera and a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against CVB6 infection was evaluated in the neonatal mouse model. This study should provide insights into the pathogenesis of CVB6 and facilitate further research in the development of vaccines and antivirals against CVBs.

Keywords: Antisera protection; Antiviral evaluation; Coxsackievirus B6; Enterovirus; Infectious clone; Neonatal murine model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Coxsackievirus Infections*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterovirus B, Human
  • Enterovirus*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Virulence


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antiviral Agents