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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2016 Sep;28(5):506-13. doi: 10.1177/1040638716656025. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Characterization of a novel Canine distemper virus causing disease in wildlife.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Pope, Miller, Riley, Anis, Wilkes)Medical Service Corps, United States Army (Riley)Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sadat City, Sadat City, Beheira, Egypt (Anis)Center for Wildlife Health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Miller, Wilkes).
2
Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Pope, Miller, Riley, Anis, Wilkes)Medical Service Corps, United States Army (Riley)Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sadat City, Sadat City, Beheira, Egypt (Anis)Center for Wildlife Health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Miller, Wilkes) beckpen@uga.edu.

Abstract

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a common cause of a multisystemic disease in both domestic dogs and wildlife species, including raccoons and foxes. Outbreaks of CDV in domestic dogs in eastern Tennessee have occurred since 2012, and it was determined that these outbreaks resulted from a novel genotype of CDV. We hypothesized that this virus is also infecting area wildlife and may be a source of the virus for these outbreaks in dogs. From 2013 to 2014, autopsies were performed and tissues collected from raccoons (Procyon lotor; n = 50) and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus; n = 8) for CDV testing. A real-time reverse transcription PCR was used to document the presence of CDV in tissue samples, and a portion of the virus was subsequently sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. A high percentage of wildlife, both with (86%) and without (55%) clinical signs, tested positive for CDV, with the majority (77%) testing positive for the novel genotype. Microscopic findings, including syncytia in the lungs and viral inclusion bodies in urothelium, astrocytes, neurons, and bronchiolar epithelium, were also consistent with canine distemper. Minimal inflammation in the central nervous system of affected animals was indicative of the acute neurologic form of the disease. Pneumonia and parasitism were also commonly found in CDV-infected animals. Based on these results, CDV appears to be prevalent in eastern Tennessee wildlife. Subclinical or clinically recovered shedders are a potential source of this novel genotype for domestic dogs, and this genotype is genetically distinct from vaccine strains.

KEYWORDS:

Canine distemper virus; dogs; foxes; genotype; raccoons; wildlife

PMID:
27400957
DOI:
10.1177/1040638716656025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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