Curr Protoc Microbiol 2018 11 3;51(1):e65. Epub 2018 Oct 3.
School of Medicine, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.
Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is an orthopoxvirus that causes mousepox in mice. Members of the genus orthopoxvirus are closely related and include variola (the causative agent of smallpox in humans), monkeypox, and vaccinia. Common features of variola virus and ECTV further include a restricted host range and similar disease progression in their respective hosts. Mousepox makes an excellent small animal model for smallpox to investigate pathogenesis, vaccine and antiviral agent testing, host-virus interactions, and immune and inflammatory responses. The availability of a wide variety of inbred, congenic, and gene-knockout mice allows detailed analyses of the host response. ECTV mutant viruses lacking one or more genes encoding immunomodulatory proteins are being used in numerous studies in conjunction with wild-type or gene-knockout mice to study the functions of these genes in host-virus interactions. The methods used for propagation of ECTV in cell culture, purification, and quantification of infectious particles through viral plaque assay are described. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.