Ebola virus infection in guinea pigs: presumable role of granulomatous inflammation in pathogenesis

Arch Virol. 1996;141(5):909-21. doi: 10.1007/BF01718165.


An approach combining virology with light and electron microscopy was used to study the organs of guinea pigs during nine serial passages of Ebola virus, strain Zaire. It was observed that the wild type of Ebola virus causes severe granulomatous inflammation in the liver and reproduces in the cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS). Based on morphological characterization, two types of virus-cell interactions were demonstrated. The obtained data evidenced for heterogeneity of the population of wild type of Ebola virus. The virus accumulated in the liver of the infected animals, and the lesions became more pronounced with passage. Degenerative changes appeared, and their severity was increased with passage in the other organs as well. The set of target cells diversified and, as a result, not only the MPS cells, but also hepatocytes, spongiocytes, endotheliocytes and fibroblasts became involved in the reproduction of Ebola virus. The possible role of granulomatous inflammation in the development of the adaptive mechanism of Ebola virus to guinea pigs is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Ebolavirus / pathogenicity
  • Granuloma / pathology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / pathology*
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Vero Cells