An improved method for the diagnosis of canine parvovirus using in situ hybridization in standard formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections was developed. A digoxigenin-labeled probe complementary to DNA sequences that code for the entire sequence of the capsid protein VP-1 and the middle part of the sequence of the capsid protein VP-2 was designed. Specific histologic localization of canine parvovirus-infected cells was demonstrated in small intestine, tonsil, lymph node, thymus, spleen, heart, liver, and kidney from dogs diagnosed at necropsy with canine parvovirus infection. The in situ hybridization accurately pinpointed the specific sites of viral infection. The detection of canine parvovirus in liver, kidney, and heart tissues together in the same pups could represent an enhanced virulence of this strain of canine parvovirus and suggests a broadened tissue tropism not seen before in Korean strains of canine parvovirus.
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