Experimental infection of human vascular endothelial cells by pathogenic and nonpathogenic hantaviruses
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To investigate whether the hantaviruses replicate in endothelial cells, we inoculated human umbilical vein endothelial cells with several pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of hantavirus. Intracytoplasmic, virus-specific granular fluorescence was detected initially at three days postinoculation and nearly 100% of cells contained viral antigen at 10 days. Cytopathic effect or inclusion bodies were not observed. The in vitro demonstration of the susceptibility of endothelial cells to hantaviruses corroborates in vivo findings, and suggests that endothelial cells may serve as target cells in hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.
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