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Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a tick-borne pathogen causing a febrile illness in humans, which can progress to hemorrhagic manifestations, multi-organ failure, and death. Current mouse models of CCHFV infection reliably succumb to virus challenge but vary in their ability to reflect signs of disease similar to humans. In this study, we established a signal transducer and activator of transcription 2 (STAT2) knockout hamster model to expand the repertoire of animal models of CCHFV pathogenesis that can be used for therapeutic development. These hamsters demonstrated a systemic and lethal disease in response to infection. Hallmarks of human disease were observed including petechial rash, blood coagulation dysfunction, and various biochemistry and blood cell count abnormalities. Furthermore, we also demonstrated the utility of this model for anti-CCHFV therapeutic evaluation. The STAT2 knock-out hamster model of CCHFV infection may provide some further insights into clinical disease, viral pathogenesis, and pave the way for testing of potential drug and vaccine candidates.
Ranadheera, C., Valcourt, E.J., Warner, B.M. et al. Characterization of a novel STAT 2 knock-out hamster model of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus pathogenesis. Sci Rep 10, 12378 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69054-3