<p>Measles virus (MV) and canine distemper virus (CDV) are closely related members of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus. MV infection of humans and non-human primates (NHPs) results in a self-limiting disease, which rarely involves central nervous system (CNS) com-plications. In contrast, infection of carnivores with CDV usually results in severe disease, in which CNS complications are common and the case-fatality rate is high. To compare the neurovirulence and neurotropism of MV and CDV, we established a short-term organotypic brain slice culture system of the olfactory bulb, hippocampus, or cortex obtained from NHPs, dogs, and ferrets. Slices were inoculated ex vivo with wild-type-based recombinant CDV or MV expressing a fluorescent reporter protein. The infection level of both morbilliviruses was determined at different times post-infection. We observed equivalent infection levels and identified microglia as main target cells in CDV-inoculated carnivore and MV-inoculated NHP brain tissue slices. Neurons were also susceptible to MV infection in NHP brain slice cultures. Our findings suggest that MV and CDV have comparable neurotropism and intrinsic capacity to infect CNS-resident cells of their natural host species.</p>

doi.org/10.3390/v13081582, hdl.handle.net/1765/136328
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam