Chronic Infection of Rodents by Machupo Virus

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Science  17 Dec 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3703, pp. 1618-1619
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3703.1618


Machupo virus, the etiologic agent of human hemorrhagic fever in Bolivia, induced chronic asymptomatic infection in laboratory hamsters and colonized individuals of the peridomestic, wild, South American rodent, Calomys callosus. Viruria was detected for more than 500 and 150 days, respectively, in the two species. Chronic viremia was shown only for Calomys. Virus-neutralizing substances were present in parenterally infected adult animals, but not in animals born to, and in contact with, an infected female. Chronic infection in wild rodents may be an important mechanism in the natural history of Machupo and related virus infections.