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Pathology of Measles in Rhesus Monkeys

Hall, W. C., Kovatch, R. M., Herman, P. H., Fox, J. G.
Macaca mulatta, animal pathology, biopsy, cytoplasmic inclusions, dermis, epithelium, gastrointestinal system, giant cells, hair follicles, histopathology, inflammation, liver, measles, monkeys, necropsy, pancreas, respiratory system, salivary glands, thyroid gland, viruses
Skin biopsies were taken from 16 monkeys with measles rash. Histopathological changes consisted of multinucleated epithelial giant cells in the epidermis and hair follicles, proliferative and degenerative changes of the epidermis, and mild inflammation of the dermis. Necropsies were performed on two monkeys with a typical rash and on 26 additional monkeys that died during outbreaks in the colony. Lesions attributable to rubeola virus were found in the respiratory system, lymphoid system, gastrointestinal tract, salivary glands, thyroid gland, liver, pancreas, and urinary system. In these organs the finding that was characteristic of measles was the presence of syncytial giant cells, some of which contained both intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions. The significance of syncytia and the mechanism of their formation are discussed.