Encephalomyelitis induced by canine distemper virus in non-human primates.
A tissue-culture adapted Onderstepoort strain was inoculated intracerebrally into young cynomolgus and rhesus monkeys. It induced clinical signs and histological lesions of encephalomyelitis. The degenerative changes consisted mainly of neuronal damage and inflammatory changes such as perivascular cuffing and glial proliferation in wide areas in the brain and spinal cord. In one monkey observed for 70 days, lesions with a tendency to subacute sclerosing were also noticed. Immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide or antithymocyte serum aggravated the clinical course and modified the histological lesions and the cerebrospinal fluid antibody response.