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Canine parvovirus enteritis 3: Scanning electron microscopical features of experimental infection
  1. L Macartney,
  2. IA McCandlish,
  3. H Thompson and
  4. HJ Cornwell


A group of 10-week-old puppies was orally inoculated with canine parvovirus of faecal origin. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study and compare the surface topography in both control and inoculated animals. In control dogs the villi were tall and finger-like in shape and numerous irregular transverse circumferential grooves were present on the surface. At higher magnification, the outlines of individual epithelial cells and depressions, interpreted as goblet cells, could be discerned. In the inoculated dogs, scanning electron microscopy changes were first seen at six days after inoculation. The small intestinal mucosa was covered by a thick layer of mucus. The underlying villi were stunted and had lost their surface features. In some instances there was loss of the luminal epithelium, exposing the lamina propria. In addition, there was dilation of the circumvillar basins and the crypt mouths. There appeared to be regenerative changes by day 7 after inoculation. The surface of the small intestinal mucosa was still covered by a thick layer of mucus. Where villi could be discerned, they were short and pointed and transverse grooves could be seen on their surface. There was some hypertrophy of the intervillus ridges. The changes in the surface topography of the small intestinal mucosa following canine parvovirus infection are compared to those seen in enteric infections in other species and the similarity of the lesion to that seen following sublethal irradiation is discussed.

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