Marburg virus (MARV), a close relative of Ebola virus, is the causative agent of a severe human disease known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF). No licensed vaccine or therapeutic exists to treat MHF, and MARV is therefore classified as a Tier 1 select agent and a category A bioterrorism agent. In order to develop countermeasures against this severe disease, animal models that accurately recapitulate human disease are required. Here we describe the development of a novel, uniformly lethal Syrian golden hamster model of MHF using a hamster-adapted MARV variant Angola. Remarkably, this model displayed almost all of the clinical features of MHF seen in humans and non-human primates, including coagulation abnormalities, hemorrhagic manifestations, petechial rash, and a severely dysregulated immune response. This MHF hamster model represents a powerful tool for further dissecting MARV pathogenesis and accelerating the development of effective medical countermeasures against human MHF.
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