Experimental model of viral hepatitis E in rabbits
Arabey A.A., Zhavoronok S.V., Makarevich Z.A., Marchuk S.I., Malashko V.V.
1 Belarusian State Medical University (Minsk, Belarus)
2 Grodno State Agrarian University (Grodno, Belarus)
This study focused on investigation the pathogenesis seen in rabbits following infection with a rabbit HEV isolate.
All animals inoculated with the homologous rabbit HEV became infected, exhibiting clinical symptoms, an intermittent viremia, increase of liver function biomarkers alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and persistent fecal and urine virus shedding throughout the 12 weeks of study. In addition, liver histopathology showed both chronic inflammation and destruction of hepatocytes. HEV RNA was detected in bile, liver, duodenum, spleen and kidney from the necropsied rabbits. Inflammation of spleen and kidney was also observed. These results suggest that rabbit HEV infection may cause more severe hepatitis and prolong the course of the disease, with a possible chronic trend of hepatitis in rabbits. These data indicate that rabbits are an appropriate model for HEV infection which may help to study HEV pathogenesis.