Like other comparative sciences, and despite its recent beginning comparative virology has already contributed useful applications and observations to human health research. Teachings derived from the study of Marek's disease found application in that of Burkitt's lymphoma, and may lead to a possible vaccine against the human disease. Equally useful information came from the study of canine distemper in the development of a chorio-allantoic membrane attenuated measles vaccine, and in our knowledge of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) of humans; from the study of reovirus-like agents of infant mice and neonatal calves in that of an acute nonbacterial gastro-enteritis of infants and young children; and from that of the cancer-producing viruses of chickens, cats, and dogs to a better understanding of some human neoplasias. Finally, Aleutian mink disease may be an excellent natural model for the study of the collagen diseases of man, and scrapie of sheep one for that of a human chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system of humans such as Kuru. Comparative virology has proved quite productive in a relatively short period, and is unlikely to be neglected in the future.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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