Viruses 2017 05 109(5) pii 10.3390/v9050104
Data from EV-D68-infected patients demonstrate that pathological changes in the lower respiratory tract are principally characterized by severe respiratory illness in children and acute flaccid myelitis. However, lack of a suitable animal model for EV-D68 infection has limited the study on the pathogenesis of this critical pathogen, and the development of a vaccine. Ferrets have been widely used to evaluate respiratory virus infections. In the current study, we used EV-D68-infected ferrets as a potential animal to identify impersonal indices, involving clinical features and histopathological changes in the upper and lower respiratory tract (URT and LRT). The research results demonstrate that the EV-D68 virus leads to minimal clinical symptoms in ferrets. According to the viral load detection in the feces, nasal, and respiratory tracts, the infection and shedding of EV-D68 in the ferret model was confirmed, and these results were supported by the EV-D68 VP1 immunofluorescence confocal imaging with α2,6-linked sialic acid (SA) in lung tissues. Furthermore, we detected the inflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression level, which implied high expression levels of interleukin (IL)-1a, IL-8, IL-5, IL-12, IL-13, and IL-17a in the lungs. These data indicate that systemic observation of responses following infection with EV-D68 in ferrets could be used as a model for EV-D68 infection and pathogenesis.