Natural infection with canine distemper virus in a Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata).
A case of encephalitis in a Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata) was examined histopathologically and serologically. The animal had brain lesions consisting of perivascular cuffs, malacia, inclusion bodies and giant cells. Monoclonal antibody to the nucleoprotein of canine distemper virus (CDV) stained the inclusions, and the distribution of the virus antigen was closely associated with that of the histological lesions. Serologically, all the 22 monkeys in the same group as the diseased monkey had relatively high titres of neutralizing antibody to CDV, but not to measles virus (MV). The pattern of the antibody titres to CDV and MV closely resembled that of cynomolgus monkeys experimentally inoculated with CDV, but differed from that of monkeys inoculated with MV. It was concluded that an epidemic of CDV occurred in these Japanese monkeys, associated with one case of fatal viral encephalitis. This is believed to be the first report of a natural infection by CDV in non-human primates.