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Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a small, non-enveloped RNA virus, and is suspected to be the cause of respiratory and neurological disease in young children.1 The most concerning clinical sign is an acute flaccid paralysis of the lower limbs. At the Institute for Antiviral Research, and under the direction of Dr. Bart Tarbet, we have developed an animal model for studying EV-D68 infection. With this model, we will pursue gaining a better understanding of the neuropathogenesis of EV-D68. It has been shown, in in-vitro studies, that EV-68 is able to produce infectious progeny in leukocyte cell lines.2 We will, therefore, compare the white blood cell counts of infected and non-infected mice from our animal model. We will be taking blood samples from AG129 mice pre- and post-infection. With the blood collected, we will use a differential stain kit to stain for percentages of the different cell types in the blood. With the results from the stain, we will look at Complete blood count (CBC) from the collected blood. This will then be analyzed against a baseline CBC for AG129 mice. We hope that this information will provide an extra parameter when examining EV-D68 infection in our mouse model. If we identify a specific cell type associated with EV-D68, then further research may include examining the pathway of the infected cells throughout the body.

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