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West Nile Virus Infection in Diabetic Mice

09 October 2012


Diabetes mellitus is a significant risk factor for West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis (WNVE), the leading cause of arboviral encephalitis in the United States. Since diabetes is known to adversely affect leukocyte migration and their phagocytic capacity, the neuropathogenesis of WNVE in diabetics may result from reduced cytotoxicity or impaired trafficking of CD8+ T cells across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Using a diabetic db/db mouse model, we recently demonstrated that (i) diabetes enhances the susceptibility of mice to WNVE, (ii) increased mortality in db/db mice is accompanied with enhanced WNV replication in the brain and viscera, and (iii) WNV replication is associated with significant delay in the induction of peripheral antiviral immune response.

Kumar M, Roe K, Nerurkar PV, Namekar M, Orillo B, Verma S, Nerurkar VR. Impaired virus clearance, compromised immune response and increased mortality in type 2 diabetic mice infected with West Nile virus. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e44682. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044682. Epub 2012 Aug 31.