Adenoviruses

Host-specific strains of adenoviruses infect a range of species, including mice, rats, and guinea pigs, and in extremely rare cases, rabbits. The virus infects by oral or ocular transport, but close contact is required. In mice, two different substrains, MAD-FL111 and MAD-K87112, have been identified. In rats and mice, the infection is mostly clinically inapparent, although myocarditis, nephritis, adenitis, encephalitis, and mortality have been observed after experimental inoculation of neonatal mice.113 In infected guinea pigs, necrotizing broncheoalveolitis is regularly observed, characterized by large basophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies in the desquamated bronchial epithelial.114 The strain infecting guinea pigs has not yet been isolated in vitro, but the virus has been identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the upper airways on days six through 15 after inoculation, and, in addition, the virus has been spontaneously transmitted from an experimentally infected animal to immune-naive cage mates.115

Adenoviral disease in guinea pigs has been observed in Europe, the United States, and Canada. In most cases, no distinct clinical signs are observed, but occasionally, dyspnoea symptoms are discretely scattered among animals in a room. The diagnosis can be made by serology in all species. This includes guinea pigs,114 but there is conflicting evidence on the degree of the cross-reactivity between guinea pig adenovirus and adenoviruses from other species.115

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