Clinical, pathological and real-time RT-PCR diagnosis of canine distemper virus infection in dogs

Tuzcu M., Tuzcu N., Akçakavak G., Başbuğ O.

Journal of advances in vetbio science and techniques, vol.6, no.2, pp.57-64, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


It was aimed to compare the real-time RT-PCR based on nucleic acid detection and the histopathological method for viral nucleic acid detection by using the real-time RTPCR method for rapid diagnosis of the disease in both swab samples and postmortem tissue samples in dogs with canine distemper virus (CDV) infection. The material of study was composed of brain, cerebellum, liver, lung, spleen, kidney, sole pad, blood and swab taken from tonsil, nose and eye samples of dogs with clinical signs of fever, tear discharge and respiratory, digestive and nervous system infections, who started treatment with a clinical diagnosis of CDV infection, but died without responding to treatment, but were diagnosed with CDV according to histopathological findings. When the presence of viral nucleic acid was examined in swab samples taken during necropsy from dogs with intracytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusion bodies that are considered characteristic for CDV infection in histopathological examinations, it was observed that CDV nucleic acid copies were detected in all swabs taken from tonsils, in two of samples taken from the nose and conjunctiva, and viral nucleic acid copies were not detected in blood samples. Although clinical findings in dogs suggest the disease, virological and histopathological examinations used for definitive diagnosis take a long time. This situation brings PCR methods to the fore based on the reproduction of viral nucleic acids and increases the importance of real-time RT-PCR applications that minimize operator error, give fast results and can predict the number of viruses among PCR methods.