Pathology of Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever in the African Green Monkey

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  • U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701

Gross and microscopic pathological findings are presented for an African green monkey model of fatal Bolivian hemorrhagic fever. Six animals were inoculated with 1,000 plaque-forming units of Machupo virus, the etiological agent of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever. Five of the monkeys died within 13 days with signs of fever, anorexia, shock, and hemorrhage. The sixth monkey survived until the 24th day and died with signs of central nervous system disease. Gross lesions in the five monkeys that died in the acute stage included hepatic necrosis, necrotic enteritis, bronchopneumonia, and hemorrhages in the subcutis, lungs, intestine, liver, and lymph nodes. Microscopically, necrosis was consistently seen in liver, intestine, skin, oral cavity, and adrenal cortex. Acute thrombosis was observed in four monkeys, in blood vessels of the intestine, lung and choroid of the brain. Gram-negative bacteria were seen in many tissues, suggesting terminal bacteremia. The sixth monkey was emaciated and had bronchopneumonia, but did not have the necrotic hepatic and enteric lesions observed in the other five monkeys. The significant microscopic lesions in this monkey included encephalomyelitis, ganglionitis, and bronchopneumonia.

Author Notes

Address reprint requests to: Charles G. McLeod, Jr., MAJ, VC, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, BAMC, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234.