Volume 85, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Rocio virus (ROCV) is a flavivirus, probably transmitted by mosquitoes and maintained in nature as a zoonosis of wild birds. Rocio virus caused a human epidemic of severe encephalitis that lasted from 1973 to 1980 in the Ribeira valley, in the southeastern coast of Brazil. After this outbreak, serologic evidence of ROCV circulation has been reported and public health authorities are concerned about a return of ROCV outbreaks in Brazil. We show here a study on the pathogenesis and the physiopathology of ROCV disease in the central nervous system of a Balb/C young adult mice experimental model. The animals were intraperitoneally infected by ROCV and followed from 0 to 9 days after infection, when all of them died. Nervous tissue samples were collected from infected animals for immunohistochemistry and molecular biology analysis. We observed the virus in the central nervous system, the inflammatory changes induced by Th1 and Th2 cytokines, and the final irreversible damage of nervous tissues by neuronal degeneration and apoptosis. These findings can help to better understand the pathogenesis and physiopathology of the human meningoencephalomyelitis by ROCV and other flaviviruses.


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  • Received : 01 May 2010
  • Accepted : 25 Apr 2011
  • Published online : 01 Aug 2011

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