Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus are members of the filovirus family and induce a fatal hemorrhagic disease in humans and nonhuman primates with 90% case fatality. To develop a small nonhuman primate model for filovirus disease, common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were intramuscularly inoculated with wild type Marburgvirus Musoke or Ebolavirus Zaire. The infection resulted in a systemic fatal disease with clinical and morphological features closely resembling human infection. Animals experienced weight loss, fever, high virus titers in tissue, thrombocytopenia, neutrophilia, high liver transaminases and phosphatases and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Evidence of a severe disseminated viral infection characterized principally by multifocal to coalescing hepatic necrosis was seen in EBOV animals. MARV-infected animals displayed only moderate fibrin deposition in the spleen. Lymphoid necrosis and lymphocytic depletion observed in spleen. These findings provide support for the use of the common marmoset as a small nonhuman primate model for filovirus induced hemorrhagic fever.
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