Pathogenesis of experimental Ebola virus infection in guinea pigs

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179 Suppl 1:S203-17. doi: 10.1086/514305.


The subtype Zaire of Ebola (EBO) virus (Mayinga strain) was adapted to produce lethal infections in guinea pigs. In many ways, the disease was similar to EBO infections in nonhuman primates and humans. The guinea pig model was used to investigate the pathologic events in EBO infection that lead to death. Analytical methods included immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy. Cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system, primarily macrophages, were identified as the early and sustained targets of EBO virus. During later stages of infection, interstitial fibroblasts in various tissues were infected, and there was evidence of endothelial cell infection and fibrin deposition. The distribution of lesions, hematologic profiles, and increases in serum biochemical enzymes associated with EBO virus infection in guinea pigs was similar to reported findings in experimentally infected nonhuman primates and naturally infected humans.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / pathology
  • Adrenal Glands / virology
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / metabolism
  • Digestive System / pathology
  • Digestive System / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ebolavirus / genetics
  • Ebolavirus / immunology
  • Ebolavirus / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Genitalia / pathology
  • Genitalia / virology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / blood
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / etiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / virology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / virology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Tract / pathology
  • Urinary Tract / virology
  • Viremia / virology
  • Virulence


  • Antigens, Viral
  • RNA, Viral