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Cornell Vet. 1991 Apr;81(2):151-71.

Pathogenicity of minute virus of canines (MVC) for the canine fetus.

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Baker Institute for Animal Health, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca 14850.


Minute Virus of Canines (MVC) was shown to cause transplacental infections with embryo resorptions, especially in dams given parenteral inoculations prior to gestational day 30. Responses to oral-nasal inocula were inconsistent. Direct exposures of embryos or fetuses to MVC via the amniotic sac, however, resulted in their deaths after an incubation period of approximately 2 weeks. Virus was prominent in fetal lung and small intestinal villi, but it could not be demonstrated in fetal or uterine tissues greater than 2 weeks after the estimated time of embryonic/fetal death. With 1 exception, dams inoculated during the last trimester of pregnancy gave birth to normal pups; some pups had developed active immune responses. The exceptional dam whelped dead or dying pups with anasarca or myocarditis. Antibody levels to MVC were generally higher in dams with infected fetuses than in bitches with normal pups at term. Failures to isolate virus, or demonstrate viral antigens in tissues by immunostaining, other than near the time of embryo/fetal death, indicate the need for more sensitive viral detection methods.

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