Journal Of Neuroimmunology
Viruses use various mechanisms to evade clearance by the host. Investigating how a few changes in the genome of a non-lethal virus can lead to altered disease, from survivable to immunosuppression/death, would provide valuable information into viral pathogenesis. The Daniels strain of Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus causes an asymptomatic infection or acute encephalitis followed by viral clearance. A mutant, H101, carries several alterations in the viral genome. H101 infection causes profound immunosuppression and death. Thus, a virus that is normally cleared by its natural host can become lethal due to just a few changes in the viral genome.