A mouse model for evaluation of prophylaxis and therapy of Ebola hemorrhagic fever

J Infect Dis. 1998 Sep;178(3):651-61. doi: 10.1086/515386.


The Zaire subtype of Ebola virus (EBO-Z) is lethal for newborn mice, but adult mice are resistant to the virus, which prevents their use as an animal model of lethal Ebola infection. We serially passed EBO-Z virus in progressively older suckling mice, eventually obtaining a plaque-purified virus that was lethal for mature, immunocompetent BALB/c and C57BL/6 inbred and ICR (CD-1) outbred mice. Pathologic changes in the liver and spleen of infected mice resembled those in EBO-Z-infected primates. Virus titers in these tissues reached 10(9) pfu/g. The LD50 of mouse-adapted EBO-Z virus inoculated into the peritoneal cavity was approximately 1 virion. Mice were resistant to large doses of the same virus inoculated subcutaneously, intradermally, or intramuscularly. Mice injected peripherally with mouse-adapted or intraperitoneally with non-adapted EBO-Z virus resisted subsequent challenge with mouse-adapted virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ebolavirus / immunology
  • Ebolavirus / pathogenicity
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology
  • Immunization
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Liver / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • envelope glycoprotein, Ebola virus