Immunohistochemical detection of canine distemper virus in haired skin, nasal mucosa, and footpad epithelium: A method for antemortem diagnosis of infection

Deborah M. Haines, Karen M. Martin, Brian J. Chelack, Ronald A. Sargent, Catherine A Outerbridge, Edward G. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


A reliable antemortem diagnostic method is needed for determining infection with canine distemper virus (CDV). The utility of immunohistochemical detection of CDV antigen was examined was examined for samples of nasal and footpad epithelium and haired skin in dogs with and without detectable CDV antigen in the lung and/or brain. Tissues from 57 dogs at risk of CDV infection were tested. Viral antigen was found in the lung and/or brain of 28 dogs. Among these dogs, viral antigen was demonstrated in the epithelial cells of the nasal mucosa in 24 of 27 dogs, in the footpad epithelium in 24 of 26 dogs, and in the haired skin of the dorsal neck in 26 of 27 dogs. Among the 29 dogs without CDV antigen in either the lung or brain, 1 dog had positive staining for viral antigen in the skin and nasal mucosa. Biopsies of haired skin of the dorsal neck, which is relatively simple to sample, can be used for antemortem immunohistochemical testing for acute and subacute infection with CDV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-399
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)

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