An unusual presentation of canine distemper virus infection in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).
ABSTRACT A 4.5-year-old, male castrated ferret was examined with a 27-day history of severe pruritus, generalized erythema and scaling. Skin scrapings and a trichogram were negative for mites and dermatophyte organisms. A fungal culture of hair samples was negative. The ferret was treated presumptively for scabies and secondary bacterial and yeast infection with selamectin, enrofloxacin, fluconazole, diphenhydramine and a miconazole-chlorhexidine shampoo. The ferret showed mild improvement in clinical signs over the subsequent 3 weeks, but was inappetent and required supportive feeding and subcutaneous fluids by the owner. The ferret was then examined on an emergency basis at the end of 3 weeks (53 days following initial signs of illness) for severe blood loss from a haematoma over the interscapular region, hypotension and shock. The owners elected euthanasia due to a poor prognosis and deteriorating condition. On post-mortem examination intraepithelial canine distemper viral inclusions were identified systemically, and abundant canine distemper virus antigen was identified with immunohistochemical staining. It is important to note the prolonged course of disease along with the absence of respiratory and neurological signs because this differs from the classic presentation of canine distemper virus infection in ferrets. Canine distemper virus should remain a clinical suspicion for ferrets with skin lesions that do not respond to appropriate therapy, even in animals that were previously vaccinated.
- SourceAvailable from: furresearch.orgAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research 11/1958; 19(73):955-7. · 1.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Canine distemper virus (CDV) infects many carnivores, including ferrets and dogs, and is the member of the Morbillivirus genus most easily amenable to experimentation in a homologous small-animal system. To gain insights into the determinants of CDV pathogenesis, we isolated a strain highly virulent for ferrets by repeated passaging in these animals. Sequence comparison of the genome of this strain with that of its highly attenuated precursor revealed 19 mutations distributed almost evenly in the six genes. We then recovered a virus from a cDNA copy of the virulent CDV strain's consensus sequence by using a modified reverse genetics system based on B cells. We infected ferrets with this virus and showed that it fully retained virulence as measured by the timing of rash appearance, disease onset, and death. Body temperature, leukocyte number, lymphocyte proliferation activity, and cell-associated viremia also had similar kinetics. We then addressed the question of the relative importance of the envelope and other viral constituents for virulence. Viruses in which the envelope genes (matrix, fusion, and hemagglutinin) of the virulent strain were combined with the other genes of the attenuated strain caused severe rash and fever even if the disease onset was delayed. Viruses in which the nucleocapsid, polymerase, and phosphoprotein genes (coding also for the V and C proteins) of the virulent strain were combined with the envelope genes of the attenuated strain caused milder signs of disease. Thus, virulence-inducing mutations have accumulated throughout the genome.Journal of Virology 01/2004; 77(23):12579-91. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A study of the pathogenesis of canine distemper infection in ferrets by means of fluorescein-labeled antibody revealed that viral antigen was first detectable in the cervical lymph nodes 2 days after intranasal inoculation. Subsequently, the virus spread to the mediastinal nodes, the mesenteric nodes, the spleen, the Kupffer cells of the liver and the blood. About one week after infection, viral antigen began to appear in the epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, the urinary tract, and the cutaneous tissues. Infected animals usually became moribund and died.The viral antigen usually appeared as fine intracytoplasmic fluorescent granules during the early stage of infection. As the infection progressed, the antigen aggregated to form large, oval objects in the cytoplasm or in the nucleus corresponding to the size and shape of eosinophilic inclusion bodies.Viremia was present before fever and other obvious signs of distemper infection appeared and persisted until the death of the animals. By the examination of peripheral blood smears for the presence of fluorescent leucocytes containing specific viral antigen, a rapid method is available for the diagnosis of distemper in ferrets.Virology 03/1957; 3(1):115-31. · 3.28 Impact Factor