An immunohistochemical study of the temporal distribution of the vesicular stomatitis virus and the preferred cells for viral replication in experimentally infected cattle
Colden, Caroline Grace
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Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a single-stranded, negative-sense arbovirus in the Family Rhabdoviridae. Cattle, pigs, and horses can become infected and the virus settles in and causes damage to the surface tissues of the feet, tongue, snout, and teats, causing vesicular (blistering) lesions. Infection can have debilitating effects on the animals, as they are reluctant to eat, nurse, or move around. They lose a great deal of weight, which diminishes their economic value. In order to devise effective control measures, it is important to understand how the virus spreads around the body and how it damages cells. In this study, immunohistochemistry was used to detect the presence of the virus in tissues of cattle experimentally infected with VSV. Virus was inoculated into the skin at the top of the hoof (coronary band) and tissues were examined sequentially to envision presence of virus and associated damage. By immunohistochemistry, VSV was present in the coronary bands 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours post-infection (hpi) with highest intensity in the coronary bands at 48 and 72hpi. Virus appeared predominantly in cells of the stratum spinosum layer, which exhibit unique intercellular bridges. Special staining for these intercellular bridges revealed a marked correlation between presence of this structure and replicating virus, indicating that the intercellular bridges may be functioning in viral entry or transport.