Archives of Virology

, Volume 79, Issue 1–2, pp 67–77 | Cite as

Infection of gnotobiotic calves with a bovine and human isolate of respiratory syncytial virus. Modification of the response by dexamethasone

  • L. H. Thomas
  • E. J. Stott
  • A. P. Collins
  • Susan Crouch
  • Jean Jebbett
Original Papers


A bovine and a human strain of RSV both adapted to bovine cell culture, have been inoculated separately into 13 and 7 gnotobiotic calves respectively by 3 different methods.

Both strains infected calves and showed similar growth patterns. Virus was recovered from the nasopharynx between one and 11 days with peak titres between 3 and 8 days following inoculation.

With the exception of 4 calves treated with dexamethasone no clinical signs and only minimal macroscopic lesions of the lung were induced, which histologically comprised a mononuclear infiltration of alveolar walls and of the peribronchiolar tissue.

The serological response to both strains was similar. Antibody was detected by virus neutralisation or single radial haemolysis from 12 days after inoculation. Specific anti-RSV IgM was detected from 10 days and IgG from 16 days after inoculation.

Treatment with dexamethasone (0.5 mgm/Kg daily for 10 days) enhanced lung lesions produced by the bovine strain, prolonged the period of virus shedding and increased peak titres. The specific IgM response was suppressed.


Dexamethasone Respiratory Syncytial Virus Alveolar Wall Human Isolate Serological Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. H. Thomas
    • 1
  • E. J. Stott
    • 1
  • A. P. Collins
    • 1
  • Susan Crouch
    • 1
  • Jean Jebbett
    • 1
  1. 1.A.R.C. Institute for Research on Animal DiseasesCompton, Nr. NewburyUnited Kingdom

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