Infection with yellow fever virus causes death in 20–50% of unvaccinated patients. Researchers led by Ilhem Messaoudi, from the University of California, Riverside, undertook a study of yellow fever infection in rhesus macaques and made discoveries about the early effects of the virus, published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (online, 20 November 2014)
Messaoudi’s team found the virus causes severe loss of lymphocytes (lymphopenia), which precedes liver enzyme changes and liver failure. In the first 72 hours after infection, the virus also induces changes in the expression of nearly 800 genes.
These changes “could provide an earlier clinical outcome measure of subsequent disease activity, giving doctors a good prognostic tool for offering more aggressive supportive care,” she says.
 Engelmann F, Josset L, Girke T et al. Pathophysiologic and Transcriptomic Analyses of Viscerotropic Yellow Fever in a Rhesus Macaque Model. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003295.