[Skip to Navigation]
December 1972

Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis: Transmission of the Virus to Calves and Lambs

Author Affiliations

Munich, Germany; Würzburg, Germany; Philadelphia; Göttingen, Germany
From the Institute for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Animals (Drs. Thein and Mayr), Munich; the Institute for Virology, University of Würzburg (Dr. ter Meulen), Würzburg; the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology (Dr. Koprowski), Philadelphia; and the departments of pediatrics (Dr. Käckell) and neuropathology (Drs. Müller and Meyermann), University of Göttingen, Göttingen. Germany.

Arch Neurol. 1972;27(6):540-548. doi:10.1001/archneur.1972.00490180076016

Ten calves and 15 lambs were intracerebrally inoculated with cell-free and cell-associated SSPE virus, measles virus, and distemper virus. Only animals inoculated with SSPE cell-associated virus showed neurological symptoms of myoclonic jerks, ataxia, decreased irritability, and blindness of the eyes. SSPE virus antigen could be located in the brains of two calves, and infectious SSPE virus was isolated from one calf after fusion of its brain cells maintained in tissue culture with indicator cells. None of the animals that received SSPE virus developed homologous antibodies. In contrast, animals inoculated with measles and distemper viruses, but who had no clinical symptoms, developed antibodies against the homologous virus.

The occurrence of sporadic bovine meningoencephalomyelitis, histologically similar to experimental SSPE disease in cattle, is discussed as a possible link in nature in the causes of human SSPE.

Add or change institution