Canine distemper virus-induced thrombocytopenia.

M. K. Axthelm, S. Krakowka

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31 Scopus citations


Effects of canine distemper virus (CDV) infection on circulating platelet values were studied in gnotobiotic dogs inoculated with R252-CDV. Thrombocytopenia (less than 200,000 platelets/microliter) was present on postinoculation day (PID) 5 and persisted through PID 15. Peak thrombocytopenia occurred on PID 10 (less than 85,000 platelets/microliter). Thrombocytopenia was accompanied by lymphopenia, neutropenia, and monocytopenia. Platelet membrane-bound CDV antigen and IgG were present from PID 7 onward; neither the third component of complement nor IgM was detected on platelets from CDV-inoculated dogs. The mean number of megakaryocytes per unit of bone marrow surface area was unchanged. Megakaryocyte infection was present in dogs euthanatized on PID 4 (0.33%), increased slightly in dogs euthanatized on PID 8 (3%), and increased sharply in dogs euthanatized on PID 9 and 10 to 17.8% and 8.3%, respectively. Phagocytosis of platelets by stellate reticuloendothelial (Kupffer's) cells in the liver was prominent in dogs euthanatized from PID 5 onward. Seemingly, CDV-induced thrombocytopenia was mediated by virus-antibody immune complexes on platelet membranes. Decreased platelet production after PID 8 resulting from direct viral infection of megakaryocytes was a likely contributing factor and occurred against a background of profound virus-induced dysfunctions of all hematopoietic cellular elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1275
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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