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Possible Participation of Canine Distemper Virus in the Development of Neuromuscular Disease in an Adult Dog
Rogério A Marcasso1, Mônica V Bahr Arias2, Ana Paula da Silva3, Ana Paula FRL Bracarense1, Amauri A Alfieri3, Alice F Alfieri3 and Selwyn A Headley1*
1Laboratories of Animal Pathology and 3Virology, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Paraná, Brazil; 2Department of Veterinary Clinics, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Paraná, Brazil


This report investigated the possible participation of canine distemper virus (CDV) in an eight-year-old, male, Akita dog with neuromuscular disease. Clinically, there was tetraparesis, muscular atrophy, generalized weakness, intolerance to exercise, and diminished or absent spinal reflexes. The dog was serologically negative for Toxoplasma gondii. Necropsy confirmed generalized muscular atrophy. Histopathology revealed white matter demyelinating encephalitis, generalized atrophy and fibrosis of skeletal muscle fibers, myocardial atrophy and fibrosis, loss and demyelination of peripheral nerve fibers, axonal degeneration, endoneural fibrosis, and interstitial pneumonia. Immunohistochemistry identified CDV antigens within the cerebellum, spinal cord, skeletal muscle, lungs, and spleen. RT-PCR and direct sequencing amplified the CDV nucleoprotein gene from the cerebellum and sciatic nerves. Collectively, these findings suggest that this dog demonstrated systemic canine distemper that also affected the muscular system and probably triggered the manifestations of the neuromuscular disease observed in this case.

Key words: Immunohistochemistry, Infectious disease, Molecular biology, Neuropathology


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)