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Susceptibility of Zebrafish to Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Infection.

The zebrafish, Danio rerio, has become recognized as a valuable model for infectious diseases. Here we evaluated the susceptibility of zebrafish to be infected with the mammalian vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Both zebrafish cells and embryos were highly susceptible to VSV infection. Mortalities exceeded 80% in infected embryos and were preceded by the invasion of the central nervous system by VSV. Live imaging of the infection with GFP-VSV as well as virus titration from infected fish confirmed the viral replication. Immunohistochemical analysis of embryonic fish provided evidence of viral antigens as well as of the apoptosis marker caspase-3 in the brain, eye, liver, pronephros, and skeletal muscle. So far, this is the first report describing the susceptibility of zebrafish to the mammalian virus VSV.
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