Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Guinea Pigs

Parainfluenza 3 virus infection

Synonym(s): Parainfluenza 3, PI-3, CavPI-3

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Cause: parainfluenza 3 (PI-3) virus infection; a second strain (CavPI-3) has been isolated from asymptomatic guinea pigs. It is closely related to the original PI-3 guinea pig virus and to human PI-3.
  • Signs: natural infections: usually asymptomatic.
  • Diagnosis: serology, necropsy, immunohistochemistry.
  • Treatment: none.
  • Prognosis: as most infections are acquired as newborns, transiently infected anywhere from 2-8 weeks of age, with no outward clinical signs, this disease is rarely recognized in the pet trade.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Parainfluenza 3 virus (PI-3).
  • There is a second strain (CavPI-3) isolated from asymptomatic guinea pigs that is closely related to the original and to human PI-3.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Likely infected from positive dams sometime between 2 weeks and 8 weeks of age.

Pathophysiology

  • PI-3 in natural infections causes an alveolitis with relative sparing of the airways:
    • Viral antigen is found in infected cells within alveolar septa during the acute phase of the disease.
    • Residual lesions may persist for up to 50 days post-exposure. This may be in part due to secondary opportunistic infections.
  • In addition to interstitial alveolitis, changes found include:
    • Increased histamine release from basophils.
    • Decreased phagocytic activity of heterophils.

Timecourse

  • Natural infections are transient and usually asymptomatic.
  • Experimental infections: transient but acute pneumonia and alveolitis. Lesions may persist for up to 50 days post-exposure.

Epidemiology

  • Natural infections: infants receive maternal antibodies for protection that lasts up to about 2 weeks of age. Transiently infected between 2-8 weeks of age.
  • Research on nucleotide sequencing has shown that infected humans may be the source of the PI-3 virus infecting guinea pigs.
  • Many colonies of guinea pigs are infected with no clinical signs.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Percy D H & Barthold S W (2007) Guinea Pigs. In: Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits. 3rd edn. Eds: Percy D H & Barthold S W. Blackwell Publishing. pp 217-251.


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