Distemper Virus (CDV)


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Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)

Devoted to Tuzik who survived CDV but forever lost his personality and health (European outbreaks of CDV in 90s).



Taxonomic lineage
Mononegavirales - Paramyxoviridae - Paramyxovirinae - Morbillivirus - Canine distemper virus
Canine distemper virus strain a92-27/4
Canine distemper virus strain a92-6
Canine distemper virus strain convac vaccine
Canine distemper virus strain Onderstepoort

The Canine Distemper Virus belongs to genus Morbillivirus in the Paramyxoviridae family. Paramyxoviruses are a family of non-segmented RNA viruses that includes major human pathogens such as Measles virus (MV) (Morbillivirus) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) (Pneumovirus). The Morbillivirus contains four important human and domestic animal pathogenic viruses: Measles Virus (MV), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Rinderpest Virus (RPV) and Peste des Petits Ruminant Virus (PPRV). Other viruses from this genus affect dolphins and whales (Cetacean morbillivirus) and seals (Phocine distemper virus).

Brief facts

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Genome organization and structure

Morbilliviruses are enveloped pleiomorphic particles with sizes ranging from 300 to 600 nm. They are negative-stranded non-segmented RNA viruses. Their genome, a single-stranded RNA, about 16,000 nucleotides long, has to be transcribed by their own polymerase into at least six mRNAs. Each mRNA is translated into one protein, while a part of P mRNA which is read in two different frames leads to P and C proteins.

At each end of the genomic RNA, there is a short region called leader (56 nucleotides long at the 3' end, and 37 nt long at the 5' end) which is thought to contain the promoter for binding the polymerase to nucleocapsid template. Each gene starts with UCCC or UCCU preceded by the intergenic trinucleotide GAA (but GCA for H-L intergenic). The RNA polymerase enters into the genome from the 3' end and starts transcribing it into monocistronic messengers.

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Disease progression

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Anti-CDV drugs are not available. Treatment consists of supportive care and antibiotics and is aimed at preventing and suppressing the secondary bacterial infections. The dehydration, brought about by diarrhea, is treated with intravenous electrolyte fluids. Injections of essential vitamins and nutrients help dogs who are unable to eat.

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