A pathological study of the salivary glands of rabid dogs in the Philippines
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Rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by the rabies virus. While the salivary glands are important as exit and propagation sites for the rabies virus, the mechanisms of rabies excretion remain unclear. Here, we investigated the histopathology of the salivary glands of rabid dogs and analyzed the mechanism of excretion into the oral cavity. Mandibular and parotid glands of 22 rabid dogs and three control dogs were used. Mild to moderate non-suppurative sialadenitis was observed in the mandibular glands of 19 of the 22 dogs, characterized by loss of acinar epithelium and infiltration by lymphoplasmacytic cells. Viral antigens were detected in the mucous acinar epithelium, ganglion neurons and myoepithelium. Acinar epithelium and lymphocytes were positive for anti-caspase-3 antibodies and TUNEL staining. In contrast, no notable findings were observed in the ductal epithelial cells and serous demilune. In the parotid gland, the acinar cells, myoepithelium and ductal epithelium all tested negative. These findings confirmed the path through which the rabies virus descends along the facial nerve after proliferation in the brain to reach the ganglion neurons of the mandibular gland, subsequently traveling to the acinar epithelium via the salivary gland myoepithelium. Furthermore, the observation that nerve endings passing through the myoepithelium were absent from the ductal system suggested that viral proliferation and cytotoxicity could not occur there, ensuring that secretions containing the virus are efficiently excreted into the oral cavity.
- Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 78(1), 35-42, 2016
JAPANESE SOCIETY OF VETERINARY SCIENCE