Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Pseudo-rabies

Synonym(s): Aujesky's disease, mad itch, infectious bulbar paralysis

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Kim Willoughby

Introduction

  • Rare; possible zoonosis - transient severe pruritus in farm workers.
  • Cause: suid herpesvirus-1; reservoir host is the pig; ingestion of contaminated food.
  • Signs: pruritus, hyperesthesia and seizures.
  • Prognosis: death usually occurs within 48 hours.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Suid herpesvirus-1 (an alpha-herpesvirus).

Specific

  • Contact with pigs, eg farm pets.
  • Ingestion of incidental hosts, eg rats; or contaminated food.
  • Bite of infected rat.

Pathophysiology

  • Ingestion of virus by cat   →   local virus replication   →   pruritus   →   virus spreads centrally along nerves   →   ganglion   →   rest of central nervous system (CNS).
  • Cats are infected by ingestion   →   localized viral replication causes localized, possible severe, pruritus.
  • Infection of ganglion and local CNS segment, leading to further localized hyperesthesia/pruritus.
  • Virus spreads throughout CNS causing meningoencephalitis.

Timecourse

  • Short incubation period.
  • Death occurs within 48 hours of clinical signs.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Thiry E, Addie D, Belák S et al (2013) Aujeszky's Disease/Pseudorabies in Cats: ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg 15 (7), 555-556 PubMed.
  • Henderson J P, Graham D A & Stewart D (1995) An outbreak of Aujeszky's disease in sheep in Northern Ireland. Vet Rec 136 (22), 555-557 PubMed.
  • Hara M, Shimizu T, Nemoto S et al (1991) A natural case of Aujeszky's disease in the cat in Japan. J Vet Med Sci 53 (5), 947-949 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Vandevelde M (1998) Pseudorabies. In: Infectious diseases of the dog and cat. 2nd edn. Ed C E Greene. W B Saunders Co. pp 126-128.


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