A visna-maedi-like disease was found in a Corriedale sheep from which a retrovirus sharing the group antigen of visna-progressive pneumonia virus was isolated from lung, brain, and spleen. Clinically, the sheep had acute neurologic signs and dyspnea. Pathologic examination showed lesions similar to both visna and maedi. In the lung, there was a patchy interstitial pneumonia with marked lymphoid hyperplasia. Changes in the central nervous system were necrotizing nonsuppurative encephalitis of the brain stem, poliomyelitis of the cervical cord, and ependymitis and subependymal gliosis of the ventricles. Histologically, the central nervous system lesions seemed to have arisen sequentially, perhaps in response to bursts of virus replication as the agent underwent possible antigenic mutation. The severe lesions in both the central nervous system and lungs suggested a virus strain with dual tropism.
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