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The clinical laboratory, virologic, and pathologic changes occurring in hamsters after infection with Pirital virus (Arenaviridae) are described. Pirital virus infection in the hamsters was characterized by high titered viremia, leukocytosis, coagulopathy, pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, hepatocellular and splenic necrosis, and marked elevation of serum transaminase levels. All of the animals died within 9 days. The clinical and histopathological findings in the Pirital virus–infected hamsters were very similar to those reported in severe human cases of Lassa fever, suggesting that this new animal model could serve as a low-cost and relatively safe alternative for studying the pathogenesis and therapy of Lassa fever.