Objective—To characterize clinical signs and lesions
and identify the etiologic agent associated with epizootic
catarrhal enteritis in domestic ferrets.
Animals—119 ferrets with epizootic diarrhea of presumed
viral cause and 5 control ferrets.
Procedure—Clinical records and biopsy or necropsy
specimens of ferrets with presumed epizootic
catarrhal enteritis were reviewed. Immunohistochemical
staining for coronavirus antigen was performed
on paraffin-embedded tissues from approximately
10% of affected ferrets to identify viral antigen
and determine its distribution. Transmission electron
microscopy was performed on fecal samples and sections
of jejunum. Virus isolation studies as well as
immunofluorescent tests for other similar viruses
Results—Characteristic microscopic lesions consistent
with intestinal coronavirus infection (vacuolar
degeneration and necrosis of villus enterocytes; villus
atrophy, fusion, and blunting; and lymphocytic enteritis)
were consistently detected in affected ferrets.
Coronavirus particles were identified in feces and jejunal
enterocytes by use of transmission electron
microscopy. Immunohistochemical staining of jejunal
sections revealed coronavirus antigens. Antigen staining
was not detected in healthy ferrets or ferrets with
other gastrointestinal tract diseases. Virus isolation
was unsuccessful, and other similar viruses were not
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results
strongly implicate a coronavirus as the causative
agent of epizootic catarrhal enteritis in ferrets.
Diagnosis may be made on the basis of a combination
of historical, clinical, and microscopic findings. (J Am
Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:526–530)
Objective—To determine comparative efficacy of
vaccines administered IM and intranasally, used alone
or sequentially, to protect puppies from infection with
Bordetella bronchiseptica and determine whether
systemic or mucosal antibody response correlated
Design—Randomized controlled trial.
Animals—50 specific-pathogen-free Beagle puppies.
Procedure—In 2 replicates of 25 dogs each, 14-weekold
puppies that were vaccinated against canine distemper
virus and parvovirus were vaccinated against B bronchiseptica via intranasal, IM, intranasal-IM, or IMintranasal
administration or were unvaccinated controls.
Puppies were challenge exposed via aerosol administration
of B bronchiseptica 2 weeks after final vaccination.
Clinical variables and systemic and mucosal antibody
responses were monitored for 10 days after challenge
exposure. Puppies in replicate 1 were necropsied
for histologic and immunohistochemical studies.
Results—Control puppies that were seronegative
before challenge exposure developed paroxysmal
coughing, signs of depression, anorexia, and fever.
Vaccinated puppies (either vaccine) that were seronegative
before challenge exposure had fewer clinical signs.
Puppies that received both vaccines had the least
severe clinical signs and fewest lesions in the respiratory
tract. Vaccinated dogs had significantly higher concentrations
of B bronchiseptica-reactive antibodies in
serum saliva before and after challenge. Antibody concentrations
were negatively correlated with bacterial
growth in nasal cavity and pharyngeal samples after
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Parenterally
and intranasally administered vaccines containing B
bronchiseptica may provide substantial protection
from clinical signs of respiratory tract disease associated
with infection by this bacterium. Administration
of both types of vaccines in sequence afforded the
greatest degree of protection against disease. (J Am
Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:367–375)