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      Cross-species transmission of canine distemper virus—an update

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          Abstract

          Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a pantropic morbillivirus with a worldwide distribution, which causes fatal disease in dogs. Affected animals develop dyspnea, diarrhea, neurological signs and profound immunosuppression. Systemic CDV infection, resembling distemper in domestic dogs, can be found also in wild canids (e.g. wolves, foxes), procyonids (e.g. raccoons, kinkajous), ailurids (e.g. red pandas), ursids (e.g. black bears, giant pandas), mustelids (e.g. ferrets, minks), viverrids (e.g. civets, genets), hyaenids (e.g. spotted hyenas), and large felids (e.g. lions, tigers). Furthermore, besides infection with the closely related phocine distemper virus, seals can become infected by CDV. In some CDV outbreaks including the mass mortalities among Baikal and Caspian seals and large felids in the Serengeti Park, terrestrial carnivores including dogs and wolves have been suspected as vectors for the infectious agent. In addition, lethal infections have been described in non-carnivore species such as peccaries and non-human primates demonstrating the remarkable ability of the pathogen to cross species barriers. Mutations affecting the CDV H protein required for virus attachment to host-cell receptors are associated with virulence and disease emergence in novel host species. The broad and expanding host range of CDV and its maintenance within wildlife reservoir hosts considerably hampers disease eradication.

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          Most cited references 146

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          Pathogenesis and immunopathology of systemic and nervous canine distemper.

          Canine distemper is a worldwide occurring infectious disease of dogs, caused by a morbillivirus, closely related to measles and rinderpest virus. The natural host range comprises predominantly carnivores. Canine distemper virus (CDV), an enveloped, negative-sense RNA virus, infects different cell types, including epithelial, mesenchymal, neuroendocrine and hematopoietic cells of various organs and tissues. CDV infection of dogs is characterized by a systemic and/or nervous clinical course and viral persistence in selected organs including the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoid tissue. Main manifestations include respiratory and gastrointestinal signs, immunosuppression and demyelinating leukoencephalomyelitis (DL). Impaired immune function, associated with depletion of lymphoid organs, consists of a viremia-associated loss of lymphocytes, especially of CD4+ T cells, due to lymphoid cell apoptosis in the early phase. After clearance of the virus from the peripheral blood an assumed diminished antigen presentation and altered lymphocyte maturation cause an ongoing immunosuppression despite repopulation of lymphoid organs. The early phase of DL is a sequel of a direct virus-mediated damage and infiltrating CD8+ cytotoxic T cells associated with an up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and IL-12 and a lacking response of immunomodulatory cytokines such as IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta. A CD4+-mediated delayed type hypersensitivity and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells contribute to myelin loss in the chronic phase. Additionally, up-regulation of interferon-gamma and IL-1 may occur in advanced lesions. Moreover, an altered balance between matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors seems to play a pivotal role for the pathogenesis of DL. Summarized, DL represents a biphasic disease process consisting of an initial direct virus-mediated process and immune-mediated plaque progression. Immunosuppression is due to early virus-mediated lymphocytolysis followed by still poorly understood mechanisms affecting antigen presentation and lymphocyte maturation.
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            Climate Extremes Promote Fatal Co-Infections during Canine Distemper Epidemics in African Lions

            Extreme climatic conditions may alter historic host-pathogen relationships and synchronize the temporal and spatial convergence of multiple infectious agents, triggering epidemics with far greater mortality than those due to single pathogens. Here we present the first data to clearly illustrate how climate extremes can promote a complex interplay between epidemic and endemic pathogens that are normally tolerated in isolation, but with co-infection, result in catastrophic mortality. A 1994 canine distemper virus (CDV) epidemic in Serengeti lions (Panthera leo) coincided with the death of a third of the population, and a second high-mortality CDV epidemic struck the nearby Ngorongoro Crater lion population in 2001. The extent of adult mortalities was unusual for CDV and prompted an investigation into contributing factors. Serological analyses indicated that at least five “silent” CDV epidemics swept through the same two lion populations between 1976 and 2006 without clinical signs or measurable mortality, indicating that CDV was not necessarily fatal. Clinical and pathology findings suggested that hemoparsitism was a major contributing factor during fatal epidemics. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured the magnitude of hemoparasite infections in these populations over 22 years and demonstrated significantly higher levels of Babesia during the 1994 and 2001 epidemics. Babesia levels correlated with mortalities and extent of CDV exposure within prides. The common event preceding the two high mortality CDV outbreaks was extreme drought conditions with wide-spread herbivore die-offs, most notably of Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer). As a consequence of high tick numbers after the resumption of rains and heavy tick infestations of starving buffalo, the lions were infected by unusually high numbers of Babesia, infections that were magnified by the immunosuppressive effects of coincident CDV, leading to unprecedented mortality. Such mass mortality events may become increasingly common if climate extremes disrupt historic stable relationships between co-existing pathogens and their susceptible hosts.
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              Tropism illuminated: lymphocyte-based pathways blazed by lethal morbillivirus through the host immune system.

              The immunosuppressive properties of morbilliviruses including measles and canine distemper virus (CDV) are well known, but the host cells supporting infection are poorly characterized. To identify these cells, a recombinant CDV expressing green fluorescent protein was produced by reverse genetics based on a wild-type strain lethal for ferrets. This recombinant virus fully retained virulence and blazed three lymphocyte-based pathways through the immune system of its host: first, it infected rapidly and massively circulating B and T cells; second, it took over and damaged secondary lymphatic organs including spleen, lymph nodes, and gut-associated and mucosal lymphoid tissues; third, it infected most thymocytes. In contrast, replication in epithelial cells was initially not detectable, but substantial before host death. Thus, CDV initially infects lymphocytes and massively replicates therein, thereby causing immunosuppression and preparing systemic invasion and host escape.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                One Health
                One Health
                One Health
                Elsevier
                2352-7714
                13 September 2015
                December 2015
                13 September 2015
                : 1
                : 49-59
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bünteweg 17, D-30559 Hanover, Germany
                [b ]Center for Systems Neuroscience, Hanover, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author at: Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bünteweg 17, D-30559 Hanover, Germany. Tel.: + 49 511 953 8640; fax: + 49 511 953 8675. andreas.beineke@ 123456tiho-hannover.de
                Article
                S2352-7714(15)00008-7
                10.1016/j.onehlt.2015.09.002
                5462633
                © 2015 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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