Author (Your Name)

Neal Shadoff, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Chemistry Dept.


Arthur Champlin

Second Advisor

Evans B. Reid

Third Advisor

George S. Maier


There are many viruses that are able to infect the alimentary tract of man. Little is known, however, about the mechanism of infection itself or the pathophysiology of the gut during infection. 'The research reported here is concerned with the differences in susceptibility among suckling mice of various ages inoculated by the intraperitoneal and intragastric routes. Since the normal mode of entry of many viruses to the gut is via the oral route, Coxsackievirus B5, a human enterovirus which does attack this way, was utilized. It is a non-tumor producing RNA virus that has been shown to act similarly in the mouse and human. The virus was pooled in HeLa cell cultures and titered by a plaquing assay in the same cell cultures. CD-l mice, 10, 14, 18, and 22 days old , were infected either orally or intraperitoneally with 5.0 x 10^10 (10 day old animals) and 1.0 x10^9 plaque forming units per animal. Dissections were done at 1 and 3 days post infection with samples of the blood, heart, liver, and gut being taken from each animal. Each sample was titered individually and the data presented as an average of six samples. As a result of previous work, it is known that the gut of a newborn mouse isn't able to decrease the concentration of the infecting dose and therefore provides no defense against an enteric infection with Coxsackievirus B5. In contrat, mature mice are able to reduce the amount of viral dissemination across the gut as well as inhibit replication after absorption has occurred. The results of this study indicate that there is a double barrier system developing in suckling mice that is involved with and directly related to the gastrointestinal tract The first part of this defense is the inhibition of penetration of virus across the gut when the primary site of' infection is the intestinal mucosa. This mechanism develops sometime around 20 to 22 days after birth. At about 16-18 days of age, suckling mice that were challenged intragastrically are able to stop active replication and initiate clearance of virus from the systemic circulation. There are many factors that might contribute to the marked decrease in susceptibility with age of suckling mice. Some of these or possibly a combination of these factors might explain the defense mechanisms described above, but to date, the chemistry or mechanical functioning of the gastrointestinal barrier to enteric viral infection is unknown.


susceptibility differences, suckling mice, intraperitoneal rout, intragastric rout, Coxsackievirus B5

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