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Can J Comp Med. 1982 Oct;46(4):363-9.

Experimental fetal infection with bovine viral diarrhea virus. II. Morphological reactions and distribution of viral antigen.


The effect of an infection with bovine viral diarrhea virus on fetal bovine tissues as well as the tissue-localization of viral antigen are described. Four bovine fetuses, 120-165 days of gestation, were inoculated in utero with a second passage virus strain. Lymphoid tissues were studied by light and electron microscopy. The infection induced precocious development of the secondary lymphoid organs. Characteristic changes were seen in postcapillary venules, cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system and lymphoid follicles. In all four fetuses the thymus was hypoplastic. In three fetuses this implicated a morphological immaturity, but no actual pathological alterations. In the fourth fetus, the hypoplasia was caused by necrosis and depletion of lymphocytes, attended by infiltration of macrophages. Histopathological changes were also noted in the cerebellum of three fetuses, consisting of necrosis in and depletion of the external germ layer and in the skin and mucous membranes of all four fetuses. The viral antigen was present in cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system, primarily in the lymphoid tissues. The infection was further demonstrated in the affected cerebelli.

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