The Role of Heterotypic DENV-specific CD8+ T Lymphocytes in an Immunocompetent Mouse Model of Secondary Dengue Virus Infection
The goal of this study was to test the feasibility of BALB/c mice as an experimental model in the study of dengue disease. BALB/c mice were intraperitoneal infected with DENV-2 obtained from a human patient. Histopathological analysis of infected animals revealed liver injury with viral antigens detection. In initial stages, the most prominent lesions were vacuolization and diffuse steatosis in hepatocytes. Serum levels of ALT and AST increased progressively, reaching the highest values 7 days p.i. and decreasing at the 14th day. Since levels of circulating virus were very low, viremia was analyzed in C6/36 cells. Virus presence was detected by ultrastructural analysis, confirmed by RT-PCR assays. Period of viremia was analyzed by flow cytometry with cells incubated with mouse-infected sera collected in different days, revealing peak virus levels at the 7th day p.i. All such data correlate to the development of the disease described in humans.