Journal of NeuroVirology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 45–52

Rinderpest and peste des petits ruminants viruses exhibit neurovirulence in mice

  • Sareen E. Galbraith
  • Stephen McQuaid
  • Louise Hamill
  • L. Pullen
  • Thomas Barrett
  • S. Louise Cosby
Short Communication


Members of the morbillivirus genus, canine distemper (CDV), phocine distemper virus (PDV), and the cetacean viruses of dolphins and porpoises exhibit high levels of CNS infection in their natural hosts. CNS complications are rare for measles virus (MV) and are not associated with rinderpest virus (RPV) and peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection. However, it is possible that all morbilliviruses infect the CNS but in some hosts are rapidly cleared by the immune response. In this study, we assessed whether RPV and PPRV have the potential to be neurovirulent. We describe the outcome of infection, of selected mouse strains, with isolates of RPV, PPRV, PDV, porpoise morbillivirus (PMV), dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), and a wild-type strain of MV. In the case of RPV virus, strains with different passage histories have been examined. The results of experiments with these viruses were compared with those using neuroadapted and vaccine strains of MV, which acted as positive and negative controls respectively. Intracerebral inoculation with RPV (Saudi/81) and PPRV (Nigeria75/1) strains produced infection in Balb/C and Cd1, but not C57 suckling mice, whereas the CAM/RB rodent-adapted strain of MV infected all three strains of mice. Weanling mice were only infected by CAM/RB. Intranasal and intraperitoneal inoculation failed to produce infection with any virus strains. We have shown that, both RPV and PPRV, in common with other morbilliviruses are neurovirulent in a permissive system. Transient infection of the CNS of cattle and goats with RPV and PPRV, respectively, remains a possibility, which could provide relevant models for the initial stages of MV infection in humans.


rinderpest virus peste des petits ruminants virus measles virus neurovirulence 


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Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sareen E. Galbraith
    • 1
    • 3
  • Stephen McQuaid
    • 2
  • Louise Hamill
    • 1
  • L. Pullen
    • 3
  • Thomas Barrett
    • 3
  • S. Louise Cosby
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biology and BiochemistryThe Queen’s University of Belfast, Medical Biology CentreBelfastUK
  2. 2.Neuropathology LaboratoryRoyal Group of Hospitals TrustBelfastUK
  3. 3.Pirbright LaboratoryInstitute for Animal HealthSurreyUK

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