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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2010;3(2):156-161

Original Article
Localization of West Nile Virus in monkey brain: double staining antigens
immunohistochemically of neurons, neuroglia cells and West Nile Virus

Xianli He, Junping Ren, Fangling Xu, Monique R. Ferguson, Guangyu Li

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases; Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas
Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555; Department of Surgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical
University, Xi’an, China 710038.

Received October 5, 2009; Accepted October 28, 2009; Available online November 15, 2009

Abstract: West Nile virus (WNV) can cause encephalitis or meningitis that affects brain tissue, which can also lead to permanent neurological
damage that can be fatal. To our knowledge, no consistent double immunohistochemical staining of neurons, neuroglia cells, and WNV has
yet been reported. To establish a method for performing double-label immunohistochemical detection of neurons, neuroglia cells and WNV,
examining the pathological characteristics of WNV-infected neurons, neuroglia cells, and investigating distribution of WNV in monkey brain,
paraffin-embedded monkey brain tissue were retrospectively studied by immunohistochemical staining of neurons, neuroglia cells and WNV.
Antibodies against neuron-specific enolase (NSE), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and WNV were used to develop the method of double-
label immunohistochemical staining, which allowed independent assessment of neuron status and WNV distribution. A range of
immunohistochemical WNV infection in monkey brain was observed in both neurons and neuroglia cells in terms of the thickness of lesion
staining, and the WNV staining was slightly higher in neuroglia cells than in neurons. All these findings suggest that WNV invasion in the brain
plays a crucial role in neurological damage by inducing central nervous system (CNS) cell dysfunction or cell death directly. (IJCEP909004).

Key words: West Nile virus (WNV), encephalitis, meningitis, double immunohistochemical staining, neurons, neuroglia

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Address all correspondence to:
Guangyu Li, PhD
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77555-0435
Telephone: (409) 747-0275; fax (409) 772-6527