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Open Access Facial Paralysis and Lymphocytic Facial Neuritis in a Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) Positive forSimian Retrovirus Type D2

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Simian retrovirus type D (SRVD) is a naturally occurring betaretrovirus in nonhuman primates of the genus Macaca. Infection can lead to a variety of clinical, hematologic, and histopathologic abnormalities. We report an unusual clinical presentation of facial paralysis and histologic lymphocytic neuritis in an SRVD type 2 (SRVD2)-infected rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) with a catheter-associated vena caval thrombus, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and multisystemic lymphoid hyperplasia. At initial presentation, a right atrial mass was detected by echocardiography. The macaque was clinically asymptomatic but had persistent anemia, thrombocytopenia, hyperglobulinemia, and later neutropenia. It was seropositive for SRV and PCR-positive for SRVD 2. Approximately 1 mo after initial presentation, the macaque developed right facial paralysis and was euthanized. Histologic lesions included lymphoplasmacytic aggregates affecting multiple organs, consistent with SRV-related lymphoid hyperplasia. The right facial nerve showed lymphoplasmacytic inflammation. The nerve itself was negative immunohistochemically for SRV antigen, but antigen was present infrequently in pericapillary lymphoid cells within the facial nerve and abundantly within lymphoid aggregates in the adjacent parotid salivary gland, bone marrow, and soft tissue. Known neurotropic viruses could not be identified. Given the widespread inflammation in this macaque, particularly in the area surrounding the facial nerve, lymphocytic neuritis and facial paralysis likely were an indirect effect of SRV infection due to local extension of SRV-related inflammation in the surrounding tissue.

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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Laboratory Animal Resources Unit, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. [email protected] 2: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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