Neonatal infection with the Daniels strain of Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus

M. Rodriguez, J. L. Leibowitz, H. C. Powell, P. W. Lampert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The clinical and pathologic manifestation of Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis are age related. Animals infected during the first week of life die of a fulminant encephalitis analogous to human poliomyelitis. By contrast, animals infected within 2 and 4 weeks of age survive but develop chronic relapsing demyelination and persistent infection of the central nervous system. The neonatal infection results in widespread necrosis beginning with neuronal vacuolar degeneration followed by inflammatory infiltrates. Electron microscopy reveals paracrystalline arrays of 27-nm viral particles characteristic of picornaviruses within neurons and macrophages. In addition, oligodendrocytes show reactive changes and intracytoplasmic vacuoles. Immunoperoxidase studies show viral antigen primarily localized within neurons of the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, hippocampus, and anterior horn cells. Viral antigen is found within the apical dendrites and axonal projections of hippocampal pyramidal cells suggesting that Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis may travel intraaxonally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-679
Number of pages8
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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