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Advances in Virology
Volume 2012, Article ID 163860, 10 pages
Review Article

Immunopathogenic and Neurological Mechanisms of Canine Distemper Virus

1Instituto de Veterinária (IV), Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rodovia BR 465, km 7, 23890-000 Seropédica, RJ, Brazil
2Laboratório de Virologia Molecular Animal (LVMA), Departamento de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Avenida Peter Henry Rolfs, s/n, Campus Universitário, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil
3Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA

Received 3 March 2012; Revised 2 October 2012; Accepted 11 October 2012

Academic Editor: Alain Kohl

Copyright © 2012 Otávio Valério Carvalho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV), which is a member of the Morbillivirus genus, Paramyxoviridae family. Animals that most commonly suffer from this disease belong to the Canidae family; however, the spectrum of natural hosts for CDV also includes several other families of the order Carnivora. The infectious disease presents worldwide distribution and maintains a high incidence and high levels of lethality, despite the availability of effective vaccines, and no specific treatment. CDV infection in dogs is characterized by the presentation of systemic and/or neurological courses, and viral persistence in some organs, including the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoid tissues. An elucidation of the pathogenic mechanisms involved in canine distemper disease will lead to a better understanding of the injuries and clinical manifestations caused by CDV. Ultimately, further insight about this disease will enable the improvement of diagnostic methods as well as therapeutic studies.