Mouse hepatitis virus JHM (JHMV or MHV-4) induces subacute and chronic demyelination in rodents and has been studied as a model of human demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. However, despite intensive investigation, the state of JHMV during chronic disease is poorly understood. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction amplification (RT-PCR) to 'rescue' viral RNA, we have found that JHMV- specific sequences persist for at least 787 days after intracerebral inoculation of experimental mice. Analysis of persisting vital RNA reveals that it is extensively mutated, and we hypothesize that the mutations observed reflect adaptation of the vital quasispecies to low-level intracellular replication during chronic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology