Lethal infection of Lassa virus isolated from a human clinical sample in outbred guinea pigs without adaptation

Junki Maruyama, John T. Manning, Elizabeth J. Mateer, Rachel Sattler, Natalya Bukreyeva, Cheng Huang, Slobodan Paessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Lassa virus (LASV), a member of the family Arenaviridae, is the causative agent of Lassa fever. Lassa virus is endemic in West African countries, such as Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and causes outbreaks annually. Lassa fever onset begins with "flu-like" symptoms and may develop into lethal hemorrhagic disease in severe cases. Although Lassa virus is one of the most alarming pathogens from a public health perspective, there are few licensed vaccines or therapeutics against Lassa fever. The fact that animal models are limited and the fact that mostly laboratory-derived viruses are used for studies limit the successful development of countermeasures. In this study, we demonstrated that the LASV isolate LF2384-NSDIA- 1 (LF2384), which was directly isolated from a serum sample from a fatal human Lassa fever case in the 2012 Sierra Leone outbreak, causes uniformly lethal infection in outbred Hartley guinea pigs without virus-host adaptation. This is the first report of a clinically isolated strain of LASV causing lethal infection in outbred guinea pigs. This novel guinea pig model of Lassa fever may contribute to Lassa fever research and the development of vaccines and therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00428-19
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019


  • Animal model
  • Clinical isolate
  • Guinea pig
  • Lassa virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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