Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) induces acute central nervous system (CNS) disease in humans. In this\ud study, we investigate the pathogenetic mechanisms that correlate with fatal infection with TBEV in a mouse\ud model. Following subcutaneous infection with high challenge doses (N107 PFU), mice started to die early\ud (8 days) and mortality rates reached N80%. These doses induced acute and widespread infection of the CNS.\ud On the other hand, following subcutaneous infection with low challenge doses (102–106 PFU), mice started to\ud die late (11 days) and approximately one half of the mice survived but exhibited degrees of encephalitis\ud similar to dying mice. However, low dose dying mice exhibited severe systemic stress response, and\ud increased levels of TNF-α compared with recovering mice. We therefore conclude that in addition to the\ud development of CNS disease, systemic inflammatory and stress responses contribute to induce a fatal\ud infection following subcutaneous infection of mice with TBEV
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