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Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis: Isolation of a Virus Encephalitogenic for Ferrets

Michael Katz, Lucy Balian Rorke, William S. Masland, Giuseppe Barbanti Brodano and Hilary Koprowski
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 121, No. 2 (Feb., 1970), pp. 188-195
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30102460
Page Count: 8
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Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis: Isolation of a Virus Encephalitogenic for Ferrets
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Abstract

Ferrets were injected intracerebrally with cell suspensions of cultures established from human brain tissue obtained at biopsy of 2 patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). The animals developed clinical signs of encephalitis accompanied by distinctive electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormalities within 2 weeks after inoculation. Histologic lesions observed in the brain tissue of these animals were similar to those seen in human SSPE and resembled lesions observed in ferrets inoculated with the human SSPE brain itself. Intracerebral inoculation of African green monkey kidney cells infected with the SSPE agent isolated from human brain cell cultures also caused encephalitis in ferrets. Neither cell-free extracts of these cultures nor HeLa cells infected with the Edmonston strain of measles virus induced clinical or histologic abnormalities when inoculated into ferrets, but these animals developed hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody to measles virus. This paper confirms the fact that ferrets are susceptible to the SSPE agent contained in human brain tissue or culture material derived from this tissue. The disease in these ferrets is characterized by abnormal EEG patterns and histologically by diffuse encephalitis.

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